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Children's Nonfiction General

From Then to Now

A Short History of the World

by (author) Christopher Moore

illustrated by Andrej Krystoforski

Initial publish date
Mar 2011
General, Exploration & Discovery, Ancient
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2011
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 10 to 18
  • Grade: 5 to 12


Just 50,000 years ago, our hunter-gatherer ancestors ventured off the African savannah and into the wider world. Now, our technology reaches far out into the cosmos. How did we get to where we are today?

With lively text and colorful illustrations, From Then to Now explains how individual societies struggled to find their own paths, despite war, disease, slavery, natural disasters, and the relentless growth of human knowledge. From Hammurabi to Henry Ford, from Incan couriers to the Internet, from the Taj Mahal to the Eiffel Tower, from Marco Polo to Martin Luther King, from Cleopatra to Catherine the Great, from boiled haggis to fried tarantulas – this is no less than the story of humanity. It’s the story of how we grew apart over all those years of migration and division, and how – as we recognize our common heritage and our often mixed ancestry – we can come together.

An index, maps, and notes make this a must-have reference, as well as a delight to read and to discuss. From Then to Now is bound to create a generation of history buffs!

About the authors

CHRISTOPHER MOORE is the author of numerous history books for adults and young readers including 1867: How the Fathers Made a Deal, McCarthy Tetrault: Building Canada’s Premier Law Firm, and Louisbourg Portraits. He is winner of the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction and co-author of The Illustrated HiStory of Canada. Christopher lives in Toronto with his wife and their two daughters.

Christopher Moore's profile page

Andrej Krystoforski was born in Poland. He has worked as a production designer and as an animator. In addition to illustrating the Jungle of Utt books and The Boy Who Loved Bananas, he has also contributed illustrations to many magazines and newspapers. Andrej lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Andrej Krystoforski's profile page


  • Winner, Governor General's Literary Award - Children (English)

Editorial Reviews

 “From Then to Now: A Short History of the World, by Christopher Moore, is a fascinating examination of the evolution of human civilization that is global in its span and inclusive in its outlook. The energetic narrative tells a story that rivals the very best fiction.”
 —Governor General Awards Jury’s Comment

“…From Then to Now… offers young readers ages 10 and up a fascinating look at how individual societies have struggled to make their way despite the ravages of war, disease, slavery, natural disasters and our ever-expanding wealth of knowledge. It was an ambitious undertaking to condense that much history into a form young readers 10 and up can relate to, but Toronto author Christopher Moore and illustrator Andrej Krystoforski of Poland have done an excellent job.”
Waterloo Region Record

“…[a] lushly pictorial biography, extended with archival artwork, maps, and artifacts ….”
School Library Journal
“[N]ot only introduces readers to the explorer’s life story and the challenges he faced in North America, it also provides excellent background information ….”
“… [an] excellent addition to school or home bookshelf.”
– The Globe and Mail

Librarian Reviews

From Then to Now: A Short History of the World

Historian Christopher Moore, in addition to his many print credits, has crafted the popular The Story of Canada for young people with renowned author Janet Lunn. Now, in fewer than 200 pages, Moore takes on the history of the whole world with wonderful results. Moore first places readers (figuratively) beside a flickering fire. Then, in ten chapters, he tells the tale of humankind from the first Homo sapiens in Africa to a time a few decades past the invention of the automobile in America.

A polished storyteller, Moore communicates simply, adding drama and laughter as he relates human actions and interactions from around the globe. Importantly, he highlights Egypt’s Hatshepsut and Vietnam’s Trung sisters, as well as other great female leaders. In several text insets, he humorously acquaints readers with a civilization through its inhabitants’ stomachs, as in a description of Cambodian spider fries. As students read, they will want to discuss Moore’s interesting perspectives. Do they agree, for example, with his positive view of hunting and gathering as “a good life”?

Andrej Krystoforski’s (The Boy Who Loved Bananas) has created bright watercolours to begin each chapter. Smaller ones are splashed throughout the book, although many topics are not illustrated. There are a slim index and a map situating 30 places referred to in the text. From the first to the last page, the words invite solid readers to explore From Then to Now: A Short History of the World and enjoy a story told in a timeless fashion.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2011. Volume 34 No. 3.

From Then to Now: A Short History of the World

This reference book explains how individual societies struggled to find their own paths despite war, disease, slavery, natural disasters and the relentless growth of human knowledge. It is the story of humanity around the globe and how the world’s people grew apart through years of migration and division and how we are coming together again as we recognize our common heritage. Winner of the 2011 Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Literature.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Fall, 2012.

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