Book Review: The History of the World in Fifty Dogs

I knew I’d love these essays. I’m a big fan of dogs and history, so I was enthusiastic about this book from the get-go. Then I got to this line:


“Good bois were all over Egypt- it’s Unde-NILE-able.”

I enjoy the right mix of internet punning with my history. Don’t be fooled by the cartoon appearance; this book is for teens. It turns out you can mix cute art, funny banter, and history in a book that YA readers can use as part of their studies.


We borrowed it from our library on release day. By the time I was halfway through reading it, I knew I’d be adding it to our homeschool reading list. The fifty essays are only a couple pages long each, but they are full of facts about dogs, the people who took care of them, and the period of history. I’d love to include this book as a spine for a World History course. It’s not quite enough on its own. But, paired with a good world history encyclopedia and some other interest-based nonfiction titles, and you could have a year of high school history.


The first chapter contains the origin of dogs’ domestication and ends with an essay about some breeds that are extinct now. Just about every significant civilization utilized dogs in some capacity and the way this reads, history comes alive through the dogs that we all love. What better way to get teens interested in historical events?


I’d give it one million stars if I could- engaging nonfiction is hard to find.

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