This book will give you double-dose of history. First, it's exactly like it says on the cover: the story of mankind from prehistoric to modern times. Second, it's the first ever winner of the Newbery Medal. No dry academic tome, this account, while based in fact, is unabashedly subjective. Van Loon is sometimes snarky, occasionally biased, and always passionate about his subject matter. He makes history personal by sucking you into the narrative and never letting you lose track of a moment's context. While it might not hold up to the rigors of journalistic scrutiny, reading this book kept history in my head more than any textbook I ever got in school while keeping me interested in the story and making me fall in love with the author. -Sarah's January Staff Pick, 2015
Winner of the first John Newberry Medal, Hendrik Willem van Loon's The Story of Mankind, originally written for the author's grandchildren, has charmed generations with its warmth and wisdom. Beginning with the origins of human life and sweeping forward to illuminate all of history, van Loon's incomparable prose and illustrations presented a lively rendering of the people and events that have shaped world history. This new edition, updated by best-selling historian Robert Sullivan, continues van Loon's personable style and incorporates the most important developments of the early twenty-first century, including the war on terrorism, global warming, and the explosion of social media. The result remains extremely "valid in broad outline if not detail and, as ever, a grand and thought-provoking read" (Kirkus Reviews).