Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to ancient civilizations. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about ancient civilizations.
Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
We hope this list of kids books about ancient civilizations can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
Julius Zebra: Entangled with the Egyptians! - Julius Zebra is in ancient Egypt on his third madcap adventure. Will he and his friends make it out alive, or will they all end up entombed in a pyramid forever? After being shipwrecked on the shores of Egypt, Julius Zebra can’t believe his luck: he’s been mistaken for a Horse God and given the royal treatment. Preened and pampered, Julius and his friends are treated to a lavish party and ferried down the River Nile. But when hapless antelope Felix accidentally stumbles upon the Tomb of Cleopatra, he steals a gem for his rock collection, unknowingly bringing a pharaoh’s curse down upon the group. With the Egyptians beginning to realize that Julius is not quite what they thought he was, the zebra gladiator and his friends are soon fighting for their lives in a series of hilarious hijinks.
Theodosia and the Last Pharaoh - In this fourth book in the series, Theodosia sets off to Egypt to return the Emerald Tablet—embedded with the knowledge of some of the ancient world’s most guarded secrets. Accompanied by her cat, Isis (smuggled along in a basket), Theo plans to return the artifact, then explore the mysteries surrounding her own birth and oh, yes— help her mother dig up treasures on her archeological expedition. But nothing ever works out as planned, especially when a precious treasure appears suddenly, and then just as suddenly disappears . . . When the Serpents of Chaos get involved, Theo finds she’s digging up a lot more than she expected!
Julius Zebra: Battle with the Britons! - Think you know Julius Zebra? Think again! The handsome, fast-talking gladiatorial champion is sent on a zany new adventure — to Britannia! Before Julius Zebra can have his freedom, Emperor Hadrian sends him on one last mission. As the newly named People’s Champion, Julius must travel with his friends to a distant land to remind its people of the might of the Roman Empire. It’ll be just like a vacation! But when the motley menagerie of gladiators arrives in cold, wet Britannia, they don’t quite receive the welcome they were expecting. In fact, the Britons seem to hate the Romans. And the longer Julius and his friends stay in Britannia, the more they realize that they have a lot more in common with the Britons than they thought. After all, they’re all under Hadrian’s rule. But what can a ragtag group of fighting animals do about it?
Mystery of the Egyptian Scroll - You, who have dug deep and sifted hard for a story to read, have unearthed an ancient treasure: a mystery from the dusty ages, when a boy could be a hero and fight for the good of all . . . Zet and Kat are in charge, now that their father’s off fighting in Pharaoh’s army. But times are hard. Sales are dead at their family pottery stall. When Zet learns of a reward to capture a thief, he’s determined to win it. At first, the clues seem easy to track. Then he begins to fear things have gone too far. The chase leads them into forbidden temples whispering with the voices of ancient gods, into a web that threatens to crush their family forever. Praise for Scott Peters’ books: HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY: Steve Donoghue says: “Peters is such a natural and gifted storyteller” MIDDLE GRADE FICTION FINDER: Laurie Cameron says: “I recommend this historical novel”
We're Sailing Down the Nile - Climb aboard the river boat! We re sailing down the Nile. We ll visit Abu Simbel in just a little while.
Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos - Theodosia Throckmorton has her hands full at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities in London. Her father may be head curator, but it is Theo—and only Theo—who is able to see all the black magic and ancient curses that still cling to the artifacts in the museum. When Theo’s mother returns from her latest archaeological dig bearing the Heart of Egypt—a legendary amulet belonging to an ancient tomb—Theo learns that it comes inscribed with a curse so black and vile that it threatens to crumble the British Empire from within and start a war too terrible to imagine. Intent on returning the malevolent artifact to its rightful place, Theo devises a daring plan to put things right. But even with the help of her younger brother, a wily street urchin, and the secret society known as the Brotherhood of the Chosen Keepers, it won’t be easy . . . she quickly finds herself pursued down dark alleys, across an ocean, through the bustling crowds of Cairo, and straight into the heart of an ancient mystery. Theo will have to call upon everything she’s ever learned in order to prevent the rising chaos from destroying her country—and herself!
Mummy Cat - “Mummy Cat prowls his pyramid home, longing for his beloved owner. As he roams the tomb, lavish murals above his head display scenes of the cat with his young Egyptian queen. Hidden hieroglyphs deepen the tale and are explained in an informative author’snote”—
Viking Ships At Sunrise - “Beware of Vikings!” warns Morgan. Then Jack and Annie are whisked back to ancient Ireland. They land on a cliff on a misty island. How will they find the story they are looking for? It will take a Viking invasion, the help of a jolly monk, and a lot of courage for Jack and Annie to succeed in Viking Ships at Sunrise.
Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did you know you can help us improve this list? Check out our Community Handbook and learn how to add tags to books.