Many kids find the subject of History a little intimidating, a lot boring and a whole lot incomprehensible. Years ago, while on a trip to London, my kids discovered a series that is slowly making its way to the United States - the Horrible Histories by Terry Deary (and others, including Martin Brown).
There are many books in the series, but I have pictured a few of the particularly good ones above. Each book is filled with horrible, gruesome stuff that will appeal to middle grade boys and girls, but they are also packed with history. My older son was never a huge fan of history, but he loved these books, and I will always remember the day he came back from taking the A.P. European History test laughing because there were a few questions he had known the answer to because he remembered them from the Horrible Histories he had read in middle school. And yes, he got a 5 (top score) on the Advanced Placement test.
Teachers, parents, librarians: take a look at these books, and make sure they are in your classroom or home or library. They may kindle a love of history which will serve your kids far into their later education, and they are great fun to read as well. (Yes, I've read a dozen or more.)
See more information about Horrible Histories on Amazon.com
See more information about Horrible Histories on Amazon.co.uk