Totally Chaotic History: Ancient Egypt Gets Unruly!

Totally Chaotic History: Ancient Egypt Gets Unruly!

By Author / Illustrator

Greg Jenner, Dr Campbell Price, Rikin Parekh


Non Fiction

Age range(s)



Walker Books




Paperback / softback




The first book in a fantastically funny new history series from best-selling author and chart-topping podcaster Greg Jenner!

Think history is just a boring list of facts and dates? Think again! History is hectic, exciting and unpredictable - in fact, it's absolute CHAOS! Join bestselling author Greg Jenner on a riotously fun journey through ancient Egypt, from brilliant beginnings to epic ending.

Accompanied by expert Egyptologist Dr Campbell Price and with side-splitting illustrations from Rikin Parekh, Greg's whirlwind tour will cover everything you need to know about the Egyptians and show you what it would REALLY have been like to live through thousands of years of chaotic history. Hold on tight, because with history, you'll never believe what happens next!

Watch Greg Jenner introduce Ancient Egypt Gets Unruly, and read our Q&A with the author!



Totally Chaotic History: Ancient Egypt Gets Unruly! is an accessible and hugely informative fact book written entertainingly by historian Greg Jenner and supported wisely with expert commentary from Egyptologist Dr Campbell Price. It is illustrated appealingly by Rikin Parekh.

Totally Chaotic joins a popular genre of quick fact books but brings a unique hook for young readers - the chaos meter! The history of Egypt is divided chronologically into chapters which are labelled with a status from the meter from: - total calm - bit lively - uh-oh - very messy - total chaos. The text is broken up using a variety of illustrated sections, maps, jokes and text blocks.  Humour and grisly detail punctuate the pages (the latter with helpful trigger warnings) and the complicated historical information is presented in an age-appropriate way.

Totally Chaotic History is written in a way that makes this book an enjoyable read for children. Equally, it is a great book to dip into; perfect for the daily school session often used to encourage reading for pleasure. This will be a great book for adults to read to children - captivating information, the opportunity for interaction with the illustrations, suitability for reading with prosody. Finally, the cover is eye catching and comedic so a great front-facing book for library loans.

I was delighted to read that there is already a follow up being planned 'Totally Chaotic History: Roman Britain Gets Rowdy!' which will make a welcome companion on the library shelves. Highly recommended for older primary and younger secondary school students.

160 pages / Reviewed by Ruth Cornish, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 7+


Totally Chaotic History: Ancient Egypt Gets Unruly! is the start of a fresh, fun, new series and a lively, laugh-out-loud way to explore history that will appeal to readers of all ages. Author Greg Jenner has a brilliant cast alongside him: Dr Campbell Price, who is the Egyptology expert at Manchester Museum, and fantastic illustrator Rikin Parekh, with his fabulously funny sketches depicting the characters and important facts about all things Egyptian. The vibrant front cover and a easy-to-read, informal style within - bold text, captions, drawings and creative layouts - ensure the reading experience is interactive and interesting throughout.

The excellent timeline in the front of the book sets the past into context and creates the background for the chaotic climate we are immersed into. While there are plenty of facts and figures to peruse and familiar famous figures to refresh our memories about, there is also the lesser known information and the alternative historical explanations and possibilities for what we already know. Chapter 6, for example, devotes itself to debating then many myths regarding the creation of the Pyramids. There are Historian Head-to-Head sections where Greg Jenner and Dr Campbell Price set out their views on some contentious issues, such as the reasoning behind the mummification of bodies (to preserve or to transform? What do you think after reading two opposing but engaging opinions?)

The many Egyptian pharaohs, queens and customs are discussed in detail and graded on a chaos meter of how calamitous and crazy the scenes were at that period in time. Packed full of accessible and interesting knowledge, this book engages, explains and encourages discussion and is a wonderfully imaginative way to bring history to life.

160 pages / Reviewed by Jenny Caddick, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 7+


Totally Chaotic History: Ancient Egypt Gets Unruly! by Greg Jenner, covers all the 'interesting stuff' that primary school teachers don't. A totally brilliant read delivered in an attractive, simple-to-understand format that will redoubtably appeal to readers of all ages.

Dispelling some of the common myths about the ancient Egyptians, packed with intriguing facts and stories, comic 'foot notes' on every page and some fab illustrations by Rikin Parekh, this is a laugh-out-loud look at ancient history. An ideal read for newly independent readers, or those who prefer to flick through and pick out the best bits rather than read a book from cover to cover.

Forget the dreary school text books; if you are of primary school age and interested in Ancient Egypt, then this is the book for you!

160 pages / Reviewed by Sam, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 7+


The Totally Chaotic History: Ancient Egypt Gets Unruly! is very eye-catching. A fabulously illustrated non-fiction chapter book which covers the history of Ancient Egypt in chronological order. The information is easily accessible to children without appearing overwhelming as it is presented in such a fun way.

Each chapter begins with a timeline so that you can pinpoint where you are in the history of Ancient Egypt. There is also a Chaos Meter (a bit like a speedometer in a car), which will tell you how lively that period was, ranging from total calm to total chaos! It is full of facts and information but they are laid out in an informal way with illustrations, speech bubbles and amusing annotations in the page margins.

The Totally Chaotic History books (there are more to come) will be perfect for fans of the popular BBC Horrible Histories series; the author Greg Jenner was in charge of all of the history facts for the Horrible Histories series. This book certainly isn't boring and will be perfect to engage a more reluctant or younger reader.

It is packed with information without being too lengthy or wordy. If you would like to know what it would really have been like to live in Ancient Egyptian times, then this is the book for you. There are 160 pages full of captivating information which is presented in a visually appealing way.

160 pages / Reviewed by Clair Bossons, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 7+


Totally Chaotic History: Ancient Egypt Gets Unruly! is a fantastic new book by historian Greg Jenner and co-author Dr Campbell Price. This book takes the reader on a whirlwind journey through the history of Ancient Egypt, from the beginning to the end of the civilisation.

I really enjoyed the layout of this book and how it puts the reader in control of the information they want to learn about. There are quirky page notes written throughout the book on the edge of the pages that bring humour and often clarify the meaning of the text they accompany. Another feature that gives this book originality is the expert interruptions by Dr Campbell Price, when historical information has been given but its authenticity has been questioned. Dr Campbell Price often gives an alternative response to the historical claims and this allows the reader to make their own historical interpretations. It is really cleverly done and becomes an entertaining feature throughout the book.

This book is full of historical knowledge and written in a very entertaining way; it brings in the reader as if it's a reality TV show. There is humour embedded through out the book, which makes it funny when reading such detailed historical accounts.

Children will thoroughly enjoy reading about Pyramids, Egyptian Gods and events that take place through the 3000 years of Egyptian Rulers. They will learn about historical enquiry and how historical debate is paramount through the chronological order of Ancient Egyptian history.

Totally Chaotic History: Ancient Egypt Gets Unruly! would be an excellent accompaniment to the teaching of ancient Egypt in KS2 / ages 8+, and also could be used for cross curriculum writing in English, as there are many different styles of writing forms that children could study from an historical perspective.

Every school library should stock this book for children to read for pleasure.

160 pages / Reviewed by Hayley Summerfield, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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