The Thrifty Guides Handbooks for Time Travelers are irresistible, wildly imaginative romps through history. These books are filled with tongue and cheek hilarity while also being boldly informative about their historical topics, so far The American Revolution and Ancient Rome. If you’re looking for the BEST history books of your life, look no further than The Thrifty Guides. Kids will love the sarcastic humor, the brilliant illustrations, and the all the pertinent historical facts packed into these engaging guidebooks written by Jonathan W. Stokes and illustrated by David Sossella.
Thrifty Guides Handbooks for Time Travelers Make History Irresistible
The guides are published by Time Corp in the year 2164 to help vacationing tourists with the most practical information for their time travel trips. Information such as:
Where to find a decent hotel room
How to dress
(Ancient fashions are tricky — read the guide because you don’t wear a candy corn hat when you’re supposed to wear a tricorne hat! And if you’re in Rome, here’s a helpful tip: “While any chump can wear a tunic, only free Roman citizens are allowed to wear togas… If you think you can pass as a citizen and you’re planning to wear a toga, just know that it’s been bleached white using stale urine.“)
What’s going on when you arrive
Who is important
(“How to Fire a Musket“, “What to Do If You Are Enslaved in Rome“)
Who to take out to lunch
(George Washington is sick of lunches with travelers to try Salem Poor or Betsy Ross instead if you’re in the American Revolution, or the great general, Hannibal, if you’re in Ancient Rome — just choose your words carefully because “he can be a bit touchy”.)
Pranks to pull
(“If the Royal Navy stops for directions, send them to New Jersey” or “Install a metal detector at the Roman Senate in 44 BC and you can completely prevent Caesar’s assassination by knife-wielding Senators. Caesar will feel grateful, and it doesn’t hurt to have the most powerful man in the world as your new best friend.“)
(“Cleopatra’s Perfectly Normal Family Tree“, “British and Americans Scoreboards of Killed, Wounded, and Captured”)
(“All the Land Caesar Conquers in Europe, 58 – 51 BC”, “Map of Bunker Hill“)
The Thrifty Guide to the American Revolution
If you’ve decided to travel to the American Revolution, you’ll want your Thrifty Guide along for this exciting adventure!
“Set your Time Corp Time Machine Colonial to April 18, 1775, and get some rest, because you are not going to have another chance to sleep for the next twenty-four hours. The good news is, things are about to get very exciting. The bad news is, well, you’re probably going to get shot by a British musket.”
Lucky for you, the book provides a helpful hints section of your odds of being hit by a musket along with information about the battles, casualties, and leadership. (“Better commanders than William Howe: Finn Greenquill’s grandmother, a wet sock, a bowl of soggy oatmeal, this book, a cat stuck in a washing machine.“)
But it’s not all silly — you’ll learn a lot, too.
“The Winter at Valley Forge On December 19, 1777, Washington’s hungry and tired army limps into Valley Forge. Four thousand of the army’s twelve thousand soldiers are so poorly clothed, they are declared unfit for duty. Fully one-third of men do not even have shoes. Without proper food or shelter, the men begin freezing to death. Over this lovely winter, 2,500 soldiers and 700 horses die of starvation or disease. Somehow, Washington’s army is even worse off than it was a year ago.”
See what I mean? Zany and factual!
The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Rome
If Ancient Rome is your preferred destination, you’ll need your handy handbook close by to make sure you survive — which seems to be unlikely since, since as the book says, “Rome is an absolute deathtrap.”
One great time travel option is to witness Julius Caesar’s rise to power… This guidebook will help you prepare with how to blend in, what to do if you are attacked by a barbarian (“spread your arms to appear as large as possible“), and the battles you’ll be facing in Europe and the Civil War. “If you’re going to march with Caesar’s army, just know that it gets a bit on the bloody side. You may want to bring a fresh change of clothes, or even just wear read. Of the 370,000 Swiss tribal people, Caesar slaughters 200,000. To be fair, the Swiss technically started it.“
While you’re there, you might want to have lunch with Crassus. He’s the richest man in Rome which the book explains was due to stealing from dead people, slave trading, extorting real estate, silver mines, and renting slaves.
Throughout these thrifty travel guides, you’ll read letters from your “Corporate Overlord at Time Corp“. These, as you may expect, are hilarious! You’ll learn many things about CEO Finn Greenquill including how he stole the time travel information, went back in time to bet on the 1927 Yankees to make enough money to launch the company, and exactly how he spends all the money you pay him — on himself. (Of course.) “But I am not just about gigantic diamonds and flambeed endangered species. I am a person who truly cares about important causes. That is why I personally donate a portion of every Time Corp purchase to building my intergalactic space yacht.“
If you haven’t already raced to the bookstore to preorder these books, put it on your to do ASAP list. (Both books will be published January 30, 2018 and are available for preorder) Your kids and students will LOVE them.
The Thrifty Guides are not to be missed historical books that will entertain and educate children 8 – 12 year olds. (And some of us that are a wee bit older than that demographic, too.)
The author of The Thrifty Guides, Jonathan Stokes, is a former teacher who is now a rising star as a Hollywood screenwriter. He has written screenplays on assignment for Warner Brothers, Universal, Fox, Paramount, New Line, and Sony/Columbia. Inspired by a childhood love of The Goonies and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Jonathan wrote his first novel, Addison Cooke and the Treasure of the Incas, published by Philomel in 2016.
Melissa Taylor, MA, is the creator of Imagination Soup. She's a mother, teacher, author, and freelance writer. She writes Imagination Soup and freelances for publications online and in print, including Sylvan Learning, Random House, USA Today Health, The Writer, and Scholastic Parent and Child.