Mayan civilisation topic books for children

Mayan civilisation topic books for children

Children’s books about Mayan history. The Mayan civilization, a pre-Columbian Mesoamerican culture that thrived from around 2000 BC to the 16th century AD, is a compelling subject of study for children due to its unique historical, scientific, and cultural contributions. This ancient civilization, which encompassed present-day Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador, will fascinate young learners with its intricate hieroglyphic writing system, the precise Mayan calendar, and architectural marvels such as Chichen Itza and Tikal.

This list contains 30 titles with a range of nonfiction, fiction, chapter books, historical novels, picture books and activity books suitable for school libraries, independent reading and topic teaching in KS2. This list features books by Maz Evans, Katherine Rundell, Alex Scarrow, Alastair Humphreys, Clare Hibbert, Davide Domenici, Jerome Martin and Rupert Matthews.

Mayan civilisation books for children

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Mayan history books for children – our recommendations

KS2 children’s books about the Mayan civilisation

A Question of History: why Were the Mayan Games So Deadly? by Tim CookeA Question of History: why Were the Mayan Games So Deadly? by Tim Cooke.
Uncover History: Mayan Civilisation by Clare HibbertUncover History: Mayan Civilisation by Clare Hibbert.
You Wouldn't Want to Be a Mayan Soothsayer! by Rupert MatthewsYou Wouldn’t Want to Be a Mayan Soothsayer! by Rupert Matthews.

The Genius Of: the Maya by Izzi HowellThe Genius Of the Maya by Izzi Howell.
The Maya by Jerome MARTINThe Maya by Jerome Martin.
Mayan Civilization by Clare HibbertMayan Civilization by Clare Hibbert.

Explore!: Mayan Civilisation by Izzi HowellExplore!: Mayan Civilisation by Izzi Howell.
Mayans, Aztecs and Incas - DKfindout! by Brian WilliamsMayans, Aztecs and Incas – DKfindout! by Brian Williams.
The Maya by Tracey KellyThe Maya by Tracey Kelly.

New KS2 Discover & Learn: History - Mayan Civilisation Study by Discover & Learn: KS2 History – Mayan Civilisation Study by CGP.
New KS2 Discover & Learn: History - Mayan Civilisation Activity Book by CGP BooksDiscover & Learn: KS2 History – Mayan Civilisation Activity Book by CGP.
The Maya Pupil Book by ALF. WILKINSONThe Maya Pupil Book by Alf Wilkinson.

The Mayans by Jon RichardsThe Mayans by Jon Richards and Jonathan Vipond.
Where Is Chichen Itza? by Paula K Manzanero, Who HQWhere Is Chichen Itza? by Paula K Manzanero.
Daily Life in the Maya Civilization by Nick HunterDaily Life in the Maya Civilization by Nick Hunter.

Aztec and Maya by Fiona MacdonaldAztec and Maya by Fiona Macdonald.
Tools and Treasures of the Ancient Maya by Matt DoedenTools and Treasures of the Ancient Maya by Matt Doeden.
Ancient Maya Inside Out by Rachel StuckeyAncient Maya Inside Out by Rachel Stuckey.

Oh Maya Gods! by Maz EvansOh Maya Gods! by Maz Evans.
The Explorer by Katherine RundellThe Explorer by Katherine Rundell.
Timeriders the Mayan Prophecy Vol 8 by Alex ScarrowTimeriders the Mayan Prophecy by Alex Scarrow.

Alastair Humphreys' Great Adventurers by Alastair HumphreysAlastair Humphreys’ Great Adventurers by Alastair Humphreys.
The Story of Chocolate by Katie DaynesThe Story of Chocolate by Katie Daynes.
The Hero Twins by Dan JolleyThe Hero Twins by Dan Jolley.

The Chocolate Tree by Linda Lowery, Richard KeepThe Chocolate Tree by Linda Lowery and Richard Keep.
Neopalzin, a Mayan Adventure by Estefania DiazNeopalzin, a Mayan Adventure by Estefania Diaz.
Mayan Coloring Book by Jasmine TaylorMayan Coloring Book by Jasmine Taylor.

Guatemala by Alicia Z. KlepeisGuatemala by Alicia Z. Klepeis.
The Mayans' Calendars and Advanced Writing System - History Books Age 9-12 | Children's History Books by ProfessorThe Mayans’ Calendars and Advanced Writing System by Baby Professor.
The Bird who Cleans the World by Víctor MontejoThe Bird Who Cleans the World by Víctor Montejo.

Books about the Maya civilisation to inspire teachers

Aztec and Maya: an Illustrated History by Charles PhillipsAztec and Maya: an Illustrated History by Charles Phillips.
The Mayas by Davide DomeniciThe Mayas by Davide Domenici.
Mayan Folktales by James D. SextonMayan Folktales by James D. Sexton.


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Maya civilisation resources for teachers

  • National Geographic Kids offers a free downloadable resource pack for KS2 teachers which explores architecture, agriculture, pottery, hieroglyph writing, mathematics and calendar-making.  Also, this resource will help children explore how traces of the Mayans are still seen today in Guatemalan and Mexican culture.
  • Maya Archaeologist features a great range of interactive resources and videos suitable for primary school teaching. Find out how to make your own Maya worry doll, chocolate pot, mask, headdress and more.
  • The Historical Association offers a complete Mayan Civilisation scheme of work for KS2.
  • PBS Learning has an interactive website which explores literacy, culture and social studies relating to Mayan times.
  • BBC Teach has a range of videos and teacher resources, including this introduction for lower KS2, and this set of resources for UKS2.
  • The University of Cambridge offers a set of PowerPoints, teacher resources and worksheets covering Maya rituals and beliefs.


About Tom Tolkien

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Tom Tolkien is a highly qualified (BA Hons, PGCE, QTS) children's literature expert and teacher with over 25 years of experience. He has led inset courses, developed curriculum materials, spoken at conferences, advised on longlisting for several international children's literature literature awards and written for educational publishers including contributing to a BETT award-nominated app. Social profiles: Twitter | Linkedin

This booklist was last updated on November 8th, 2023 and first published in 2023.