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Best History Books for Ages 12 – 14

Old book in library with open textbook, stack piles of literature text archive on reading desk, and blur aisle of bookshelves in school study class room background for education learning concept

At this age, history students are starting to take a deeper, unvarnished dive into history — regardless of whether they’re studying U.S. or world history. This means the books should dig deeper into the “why” of historical events with full backgrounds on central figures, the events that occurred and the aftermath.

With this history book, students will cover every aspect of U.S. history from its founding to the modern era. The chapters are divided by eras so it’s easy to follow.

This history book is perfect for visual learners who are less likely to be engaged with a traditional text-only or predominantly text-only history book.

We like that this history book focuses on a range of Americans from various eras, including a healthy number of people from modern times for a more relatable reading experience.

We like that this World War II-era history book also includes stories from survivors of the Holocaust as well as people who lived through the war in Europe and the U.S.

Children will learn about everything from dinosaurs and Neanderthals to the Industrial Revolution and the Silk Trade in this intensive history book.

Expert Commentary

Junior high and middle school is the period when students go beyond facts and figures to critical thinking and understanding the patterns and rationale behind historical events. These history supplements are a fun, engaging way to get your student to push their limits and start viewing history in a holistic manner. Some include riveting stories that bring to life historical events, which will help your student engage with the subject in a deeper way. These are great for adults, too, who may need a refresher on their social studies!

Our Expert Consultant

Julia Yoo

Julia is an avid reader and writer and has experience as a former undergraduate teaching assistant and tutor. She is from the Midwest and has lived on both the East and West coasts. She holds a bachelor of science and an MBA from MIT.


About The Author

Dorian Smith-Garcia

Dorian Smith-Garcia is a bridal and beauty expert/influencer and the creative director behind The Anti Bridezilla. She is a diverse writer across beauty, fashion, travel, consumer goods, and tech. When Dorian’s not writing she’s collecting stamps in her passport, learning new languages, or spending time with her husband and daughter.


The Scripps National Spelling Bee receives a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.