I admit I was a little skeptical about this book — having seen previews, it looked like endless blocks of text. Not very exciting, right? Now that I’ve been using it for a couple of months, I’d say it’s absolutely necessary if you’re using Story of the World with your kids! There’s a variety of tools & activities for each chapter and you can pick & choose what you want. There are review questions, narration exercises, map work, literature suggestions, and activities including coloring pages and word games. We usually use the review questions, do the map work, use the games/coloring sheets, and often track down the corresponding recommended literature. Story of the World is absolutely WONDERFUL — my child & I adore it! It’s fabulous for families who don’t want a Christian curriculum (difficult to find in the homeschooling world) and for those who love to incorporate literature into their learning. Highly recommend!