These books on archaeology for kids are perfect for ancient world history lessons or for adding a little history to your story time. Kids love these types of books. Adults sometimes think that since children are still developing a sense of history and the passage of time, they can't really appreciate the heart of what archaeology is. But...they love it. They 'get' the joy of discovery aspect more than adults do, and do understand that the stuff is 'old.'
We'd like to expand this list, so if you know of some good books on archaeology for kids, please do let us know! We love book recommendations.
How Sphinx Got
to the Museum
A charming account of the sphinx of Hatshepsut--from when it was carved 3,000 years ago to how it got to a NYC museum in modern day. Great for showing all the effort that goes into preserving the past.
(2nd grade - 4th grade)
A group of friends accompany an archaeologist on a dig and learn all about what archaeologists do and what their discoveries tell us. Part of the fantastic Let's Read and Find Out Science series.
(1st grade - 4th grade)
Subtitled "Solving a Mystery of
Ancient Egypt", this book is an account of the famed 1924 archaeological expedition at Giza, as told through the eyes of a fictional young boy invited to participate. We love the format and the illustrations!
3rd grade - 5th grade
Archaeology for Kids
Subtitled "Uncovering the Mysteries of Our Past", this activity book features 25 projects such as making a surface survey of a site and counting tree rings, plus teaches kids the techniques that unearthed many of the world's great archaeological sites.
(5th grade - 9th grade)
Motel of the Mysteries
A satire of archaeology that is really clever and funny, BUT must be given to kids only with great care and forethought, as it throws into question the very notion that archaeologists can draw conclusions from their findings.
by David MacAulay
(8th grade +)
If Stones Could Speak
Subtitled "Unlocking Secrets
of Stonehenge", this book provides an accessible, well laid-out exploration of archaeology for kids, using the setting of Stonehenge to show the steps involved in archaeology and the fascinating insights the discipline provides.
(5th grade - 8th grade)
Then & Now
by Stefania Perring
Modern photographs and artists' reconstructions depict twenty of the world's ancient sites, as they are today and as they were in their period of greatness. This is not specifically a book for children, but they will definitely be intrigued by it.
(5th grade & Up)
DK Eyewitness Archeology
"A mini museum between the covers of a book" (NYTimes), this title provides a close-up look the great archaeological finds of the last 50 years, including of the city of Troy to the recent discovery of a tomb of a Chinese emperor.
(4th grade - 8th grade)