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Story of the World, Volume 1: Ancient Times Audiobook CD: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor, Revised Edition (7 CDs) (v. 1) Audio CD – October 2, 2006

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The adventures that started it all. Newly bound together, the first four books of the fan-favorite chapter-book series are the perfect introduction to the Magic Tree House series. Paperback | Kindle book | Magic Tree House series

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Story of the World, Volume 1: Ancient Times Audiobook CD: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor, Revised Edition (7 CDs) (v. 1) + The Story of the World, Activity Book 1: Ancient Times - From the Earliest Nomad to the Last Roman Emperor + The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: Ancient Times: Tests and Answer Key (Vol. 1)  (Story of the World)
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Editorial Reviews


“This may well be the best multi-age read aloud narrative of world history yet to have been written.” (Homeschooling in Japan) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Susan Wise Bauer is the best-selling author of the Story of the World series and The Well-Trained Mind, among other works. She lives in Virginia.

Jim Weiss has been a storyteller for more than twenty-five years. He lives and works in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Audio CD: 7 pages
  • Publisher: Peace Hill Press; Revised Edition edition (October 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933339047
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933339047
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.2 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (350 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susan was born in 1968, grew up in Virginia, and was educated at home by pioneering parents, back when home education was still unheard of. She worked as a professional musician, wore a costume at Colonial Williamsburg, toured with a travelling drama group, galloped racehorses at a Virginia racetrack, taught horseback riding, worked in radio and newspaper ad sales, learned enough Korean to teach a Korean four-year-old Sunday school, and served as librarian and reading tutor for the Rita Welsh Adult Literacy Center in Williamsburg, Virginia.

In her less haphazard adult life, she earned an M.A., M.Div., and Ph.D. She has taught at the College of William & Mary in Virginia for the last sixteen years. Susan is married and the mother of four.

Susan's most recent book for Norton, The Story of Western Science: From the Writings of Aristotle to the Big Bang Theory (2015), guides us back to the original texts that have changed the way we think about our world, our cosmos, and ourselves.!

Her previous book, The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had (2003), is a guide to reading the classic works of fiction, poetry, history, autobiography, and drama. Norton also published The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (with co-author Jessie Wise); originally published in 1999, this bestselling guide to education in the classical tradition was revised and updated in 2004 and again in 2009.

For Peace Hill Press, Susan has written a four-volume world history series for children, The Story of the World, for Peace Hill Press. Volume 1, Ancient Times, was published in 2002 (revised edition 2006); Volume 2, The Middle Ages, in 2003 (revised edition 2007); and Volume 3, Early Modern Times, in 2004. The final volume, The Modern Age, was published in 2006. She has also written a best-selling elementary writing program, Writing With Ease.

Susan is also the author of The Art of the Public Grovel (Princeton University Press) and many articles and reviews. Visit her blog at

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#46 in Books > History
#46 in Books > History

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

402 of 420 people found the following review helpful By homewith4 on March 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
We used this book last year and are now half way through the second volume. I think both books do a phenomenal job of meeting their stated purpose: to INTRODUCE world history in an engaging fashion to early elementary aged students. I think it's very important to purchase the activity book along with the book, as the activity book not only has tons of really fun and reasonably simple activities that help bring history alive, but also contains stellar recommendations for further reading. The fact that many of those recommendations flat out contradict the viewpoints presented by the author in this book is an indication of Bauer's academic integrity, in my opinion.

Many of the critiques of this series hinge on the fact that the book is loaded with inaccuracies and mythology. It is. But even stick-to-the-facts-and-only-the-facts history text books (which are BORING) are full of inaccuracies. At least this is interesting. Also, an understanding of the intended purpose of the book is important. It's designed as a read-aloud, NOT to be read independently by the child. It's also designed to serve as an INTRODUCTION to historical topics and parents are encouraged to supplement the stories by doing further investigation. I'd like to see the book that could adequately present all of the complexities and varying historical arguments about a topic in two pages in a child-friendly format.

I think there is a Christian bias throughout the book, but as a non-Christian I haven't found that to be particularly problematic. For example, the story of the Exodus is presented in a much more factual format than many of the other mythologies in the book. There are plenty of people who believe in the absolute historical accuracy of that story, so for them that's just fine.
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275 of 293 people found the following review helpful By larin on March 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
Having read and enjoyed Susan Wise Bauer's larger volume of history for adults, I was excited to use this book set with my children. Halfway through it I have decided to continue my search for a foundation for my history class.

My classroom experience using this text has been good in many ways. The story format is engaging, as history should be for a young person (in this case second and third graders). Including stories and myths from those times is not a bad thing, and it is up to the teacher to be able to help the student differentiate between the two. Remember that many of the people of these time periods did believe these things and based their cultures on them. That doesn't mean we have to take the stories as the truth, but knowing them gives us insight into other aspects of these cultures and how they developed further. Students should learn factual information, but I think many approaches to history are so factual that they end up becoming dry, dull drudgery for students, causing them to lose any enjoyment they may have had of the subject.

On that topic, I have greatly enjoyed working through some of the supplemental activities with my students. More importantly the students have loved the activities and have told their parents that history is their favorite subject. I do not do every activity, but choose the ones that give the students a stronger sense of what it would be like to live during this time period. Some of the suggestions in the activity guide have given me ideas for my own projects that the students have really enjoyed, as well. I have the first version of the activity guide and would not recommend it. I also teach art and would endorse very few of the drawings in the book; why expose your young people to such bad art?
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93 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Busy Reader: Get To The Point on June 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I searched out this book after listening to Ms. Bauer's audiobook, "The History of the Medieval World," which is well worth an adult's time to digest. I am reading "The Story of the World" to my six-year-old son, and he loves it. I wasn't sure he would take to a long book without many pictures, so I'm pleasantly surprised.

Perhaps you should know my purpose and background, in order to evaluate this review. I am not an expert on history, as many reviewers here claim to be. If Ms. Bauer makes a historical mistake, it'll need to be glaring for me to catch it. My son attends a public school, so I'm not using this as a textbook at home. I want my son to know history because that's the best way to know what to expect from people. In our opinion, this book is excellent for its purpose. I'm sure we'll want more detailed, mature treatments of the subject later on. Right now, the beginning exposure is what's most important.

I read the negative reviews with interest. Most seem disappointed on religious grounds; either Ms. Bauer's story is too Christian or not Christian enough. I'm an atheist, and I think her treatment of myths and religious history is appropriate and manageable. I'm not expecting her to deliver enlightenment on that front. I encourage anyone interested to read the sample pages offered on the Amazon site. I think the gaps in this series can only be remedied by further reading, not an attempt to find one perfect textbook. Good luck to all you parents.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. Robinson on January 10, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read a lot of the reviews on this book - especially the negative reviews - and had to write my own because I think there are many ways to approach this book series.

This is our first year homeschooling our 4th grade daughter and we met and grilled many of the homeschool mothers in our area on their system of teaching. One of them recommended the Wise/Bauer book "The Well-Trained Mind" which seemed to be a very good fit for both my teaching style and our daughter's learning style. "The Well-Trained Mind" recommends, of course, this series of books for teaching history. But what a lot of people are missing, I think, is that Volume 1 is meant for 1st grade, Volume 2 for 2nd grade, etc. These 4 volumes are also meant to be the first of 3 levels of teaching history as the child goes through his/her 12 years of education. In other words, these four volumes are laying the groundwork for what's to come. It's not a be-all end-all history course.

The reason my approach is different is because I'm using this series of books to catch my daughter up to where a well-educated child should be by the 4th grade. Up through to the end of 3rd grade in the public school system, the only exposure she'd had to history is to the timespan just before and just after the American revolutionary war. So we had a lot of ground to cover. But I didn't want it to turn into a grind for her, so I took the authors' intentions to heart and I'm using this series to form a groundwork for a basic understanding of history.

So what I'm doing is covering all four volumes in 1 year. That works out to a little over 2 months per volume or 4 chapters (for Volume 1) per week. I skipped the activity book but did buy the workbook with the quizzes.
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Story of the World, Volume 1: Ancient Times Audiobook CD: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor, Revised Edition (7 CDs) (v. 1)
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