the Story of the World Volume 1: Usborne Book List

December 15th, 2015 by Dionna | 5 Comments
Posted in Children, Eclectic Learning, Homeschooling, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, Stuff I Sell, Teens, Usborne

  • Email This Post

SOTW Vol 1 Usborne Book List

Our family uses the Story of the World history curriculum from Peace Hill Press as a secular homeschooling curriculum.1 Story of the World (SOTW) is a four-volume set that covers history from ancient times through the late twentieth century. The author’s intent is that students will go through the cycle of volumes twice – the second time in more depth, as the student is older.2

My bookworm kids love the way that history is written as a narrative in SOTW. The chapters are split into manageable chunks for even young elementary-aged kids. The teacher editions offer activity ideas, additional resources, worksheets, and more that are helpful for our family and our co-op.

We’ve referred to the Usborne Encyclopedia of World History (with Internet Links), which is recommended as a supplement by SOTW. But if you love Usborne educational books, don’t stop with the Encyclopedia of History. There are so any other books that can be rich resources for your kids as they work through Story of the World!

Below are the currently published Usborne books your children can use to enrich their secular study of Ancient History with Story of the World Volume 1. I’ve included a list of the chapters and sub-sections, and I’ve arranged the book lists by country/area of the world (Volume 1 jumps around and back to countries throughout the book). Some of the Usborne books I’ve listed are good for more than one chapter, so I included them multiple times. Books listed in red are Bible-based books that may be helpful for families using SOTW as a Christian resource.

You can find all of these books (and more) at Code Name: Bookworms. And thank you – every purchase you make from Code Name: Bookworms helps support my little homeschooling family!

the Story of the World Volume 1 (Ancient Times):
Usborne Book List

Chapter # and Subjects Early Elementary Resources (Picture Books, Activities, and Beginning Readers) Late Elementary/Middle/High School Resources(Advanced Readers and Reference Books)

Egypt (and Africa)

  • Chapter 1: The Earliest People (Nomads, Farmers, Fertile Crescent)
  • Chapter 2: Egyptians Lived on the Nile River (Egyptians, Gods of Ancient Egypt)
  • Chapter 3: The First Writing (Hieroglyphs, Cuneiform)
  • Chapter 4: The Old Kingdom of Egypt (Making Mummies, Egyptian Pyramids)
  • Chapter 11: Ancient Africa (Ancient Peoples of West Africa, Anansi and Turtle, Anansi and the Make-Believe Food)
  • Chapter 12: The Middle Kingdom of Egypt (Egypt Invades Nubia, The Hyksos Invade Egypt)
  • Chapter 13: The New Kingdom of Egypt (The General and the Woman Pharaoh, Amenhotep and King Tut)
  • Chapter 14: The Israelites Leave Egypt (The Baby Moses, The Exodus from Egypt)

Mesopotamia, Sumer, Iraq, Phoenician colonies, Iran

  • Chapter 5: The First Sumerian Dictator (Sargon and the Akkadians)
  • Chapter 6: The Jewish People (Bible Stories)
  • Chapter 7: Hammurabi and the Babylonians (Hammurabi’s Code)
  • Chapter 8: The Assyrians (Shamsi-Adad, King of the Whole World, The Story of Gilgamesh)
  • Chapter 15: The Phoenicians (Phoenician Traders, The Founding of Carthage)
  • Chapter 16: The Return of Assyria (Ashurbanipal’s Attack, The Library of Nineveh)
  • Chapter 17: Babylon Takes Over Again! (Nebuchadnezzar’s Madness, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon)
  • Chapter 21: The Medes and the Persians (A New Empire, Cyrus the Great)

India and China

  • Chapter 9: The First Cities of India (The River-Road, The Mystery of Mohenjo-Daro)
  • Chapter 10: The Far East: Ancient China (Lei Zu and the Silkworm, The Pictograms of Ancient China, Farming in Ancient China)


  • Chapter 18: Life in Early Crete (Bull-Jumpers and Sailors, King Minos and the Minotaur, The Mysterious End of the Minoans)
  • Chapter 19: The Early Greeks (The Mycenaeans, The Greek Dark Ages)
  • Chapter 20: Greece Gets Civilized Again (Greece Gets an Alphabet, The Stories of Homer, The First Olympic Games)
  • Chapter 22: Sparta and Athens (Life in Sparta, Life in Athens, )
  • Chapter 23: The Greek Gods (The Golden Apple)
  • Chapter 24: The Wars of the Greeks (Greece’s War with Persia, The Greeks Fight Each Other
  • Chapter 25: Alexander the Great (Philip and His Son, Alexander’s Invasions, The Death of Alexander)


  • Chapter 27: The Rise of Rome (Romulus and Remus, The Power of Rome)
  • Chapter 28: The Roman Empire (The Roman Gods, The Roman Builders, The Roman Gladiators, The Gladiator School)
  • Chapter 29: Rome’s War with Carthage (The Punic Wars)

The Americas

  • Chapter 26: The People of the Americas (The Nazca Drawings, The Heads of the Olmecs, Rabbit Shoots the Sun)

*Story of the World photo modified (text added) with permission from Peace Hill Press. Peace Hill Press did not review or approve this list, I compiled it independently.

  1. SOTW was written from a Christian perspective, and as such, families homeschooling without a religious leaning will need to find ways to tweak some of the narrative. Volume 1, especially, contains Biblical stories that are presented as fact, whereas other religions’ stories are presented more as myths. We have not found it difficult to use SOTW as a secular curriculum.
  2. As a side note, we are doing SOTW with a homeschool cooperative. We came into the co-op when my son was in “first” grade, and the co-op (which had been in existence for several years) was on volume 3. We’d already started reading some SOTW Volume 1 at home, but my son had no problem transitioning to Volume 3 with our group.

5 Responses to:
"the Story of the World Volume 1: Usborne Book List"

  1. Jenna

    This is great. Have you done the other volumes of SOTW and how they correspond to Usborne?

    • Thanks, Jenna! I’m working on Volume 2 :)

      • Megan Douglas

        Any chance you would be willing to share your rough draft?!I am struggling to find some great support books for my littlest students in grades 1-2.

      • Whitney L.

        Many of these books are out of print or no longer available on the Usborne website

      • There are a couple that have gone out of print since I made this list. However – sometimes they come back in print later, and often you can find them on homeschool for sale/trade sites. :)

  • Grab my new badge!

    Visit Code Name: Mama

  • Visit Natural Parents Network
  • Display & participate!

    Visit Code Name: Mama

  • Carnival of Weaning

    Carnival of Weaning