A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the Who Was? series is a phenomenal source for learning history. The biographical books are fun to read, packed with information and obscure details, and they're careful to show how the topics are relevant today. Each book takes the time to set the scene, telling readers what was happening in the world during the life of people such as Gandhi, Beatrix Potter, and Wayne Gretzky. Placing these people in the context of their impact on the current era gives readers a valuable perspective. The series is upbeat and positive wherever possible, and reminds readers of their own potential to make their mark on the world. Books about living people are titled "Who Is?" rather than "Who Was?"
What's the story?
The WHO WAS? series profiles historically significant people, places, and events in great detail, giving readers a closer look at historical, more recent, and current figures, including Frederick Douglass, Judy Blume, Joan of Arc, Blackbeard, Steve Jobs, the Wright brothers, Pele, Nikola Tesla, and many more. Each book has a bibliography and fold-out, glossy timeline of events at the end, and sidebars throughout the book give additional details related to the main topic or person.
Is it any good?
The books in this series are fabulous, giving the right level of detail for both young readers and adults who want to learn. The writing in the Who Was? series is far from the dull monotony of kids' school history books, and makes an effort to bring history and people to life on the pages. There's a ton of great vocabulary, endless amounts of facts and trivia to glean, and topics for every interest.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the Who Was? books fit into current events and people. Are there any similarities between what happens in one of the books and what has happened recently?
What's your favorite time period in history and why?
What details did you learn about a person in a Who Was? or Who Is? book that you didn't know before?
- Author: Who HQ, et al.
- Genre: Biography
- Topics: Activism, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, History
- Book type: Non-Fiction
- Publisher: Penguin Workshop
- Publication date: May 19, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 112
- Available on: Paperback, Audiobook (unabridged), iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 30, 2019
Our editors recommend
For kids who love history and biography
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.