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American History, Vol 1, and American History Vol 2 Review by Danielle Lenz

Thomas Kidd
B&H Academic
Street One Lifeway Plaza
Nashville, TN, 37234

Discovering and understanding American history has never been more important to my family than it is today. In a world full of division and controversy, I find it more essential than ever to look to our past to create an improved world for our future. Author Thomas Kidd produced two excellent resources for sharing important events in our country’s history with your family. American History, Vol 1 and American History, Vol 2 are incredibly well-written, easy to comprehend, and factually accurate. American History, Vol 1, covers the years 1492-1877 in 338 pages. American History, Vol 2, covers the years 1877-2019 in 358 pages. Each book is available to purchase online in either a paperback copy for $59.99 or an eBook edition for $39.99. If you prefer one combined edition of both Volume 1 and Volume 2, you can purchase it in either the paperback or eBook version for $89.99. 

This year, my family has been focusing specifically on US History in our lessons. I have many books on world history that my children share, but we have struggled to find many books that focus solely on US history in detail. American History, Vol 1 and American History, Vol 2 were just what we needed to add to the shelf! Over the past few weeks, we have been studying World War II. More specifically, over the past few days, we have been discussing the Pearl Harbor bombing of 1941. American History, Vol 2 has a beautifully written chapter about Pearl Harbor and the Pacific. It also includes several pictures of the events, complete with captions explaining the pictured event. There is an illustration credit in the back that details the source for the images used in each chapter.

Additionally, there is a very reader-friendly index in the back of each book, making it easy for my children and me to look up specific events. As I mentioned before, these books are factually accurate and contain actual images of historical events. I have gotten into the habit of looking up content the day before to know what is included. Some of the pictures can be a bit graphic, depending on the age of your child. 

Not only are both American History Vol 1 and American History, Vol 2 written well, but they are also very well-made and organized. Kidd wrote the book in such a way that you feel like you are reading a captivating novel rather than a textbook. The font is clear, and lines spaced far enough apart that it does not become too overwhelming for my eight and nine-year-old children to read. Breaking up the text with historical images makes the content less intimidating and easier to imagine. I do not often read non-fiction for pleasure, but I found myself intrigued by these books to the point where I was reading them out of pure interest- well after we finished our lessons for the day. 

Thomas Kidd has done a fantastic job recording our nation’s history in American History, Vol 1 and American History, Vol 2. We like to use a combination of resources when learning about a new historical event (documentaries, online resources, songs, books, etc.). Since the day we got them, American History, Vol 1 and American History, Vol 2, have been an excellent “go-to” resource for our family. I would recommend these books to any family with children ages eight and up (or younger if they are reading at an elevated level). This is a wonderful all-family resource used as a supplement to lessons or for some great educational, independent reading. 

-Product review by Danielle Lenz, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2021