Reinventing middle school history and social studies textbooks

May 1, 2019 | Midgard Education Publishing

American students are facing a reading crisis. Reading proficiency for middle school students in the United States is only 35%—that’s 24th in the world. Just 18% of eighth grade students are proficient in American history. It can be challenging to get kids to fall in love with reading and become excited by history. The problem is not with the kids, it’s with the textbooks. Now, an innovative new company, Midgard Education Publishing, is reinventing the textbook.

Midgard has just launched a new line of history and social studies books for middle school students. Created by a teacher, the books are accessible, inclusive, and entertaining. These unique textbooks make history more engaging, with stimulating, fast-paced storytelling, compelling narratives, and inviting graphics that encourage student involvement, critical thinking, and inquiry-based learning. All students, particularly those with reading challenges, respond well to stories that motivate their curiosity. These books were initially developed for cognitively diverse learners and have contributed to their increased essay-writing skills.

Also notable, Midgard books restore the diverse voices and stories of people that are often left out of standard textbooks. Midgard features the contributions of women, African Americans, Hispanics, indigenous people, and immigrants to the United States and the world to present a more truthful account of history.

Each book comes with a comprehensive Teacher’s Guide consisting of discussion topics, assignments based on individualized learning styles, project-based prompts, assessment quizzes, and other supportive tools.

“Midgard has created a new approach that puts the story back in history,” said Stuart Matranga, Editor-in-Chief at Midgard. “For teachers, it’s about getting students to engage in the content. For students, it’s about showing why the content matters. Midgard’s books bring the drama, comedy, and action of video games or television shows to history—with the added advantage of these stories being true. Just as important, the books’ inclusivity is a big asset: when students see a reflection of themselves in the past, they see a place for themselves in the future.”

“Midgard’s books are designed to align with and enhance the middle school curricula, with engaging, yet rigorous, content that conforms to standards,” said Jay Gissen, CEO at Midgard. “Our books emphasize the critical thinking skills that students can apply to any class. Why should history ever be boring? Other publishers have basically ignored history in favor of English, math and science. It’s important to change that.”

Midgard’s low-priced, lightweight, spiral-bound books are easy on school budgets, easy for kids to carry, and they make it easier for teachers to connect history to students.

To learn more and to sample/purchase the books, please contact [email protected]

About Midgard Education Publishing

Midgard Education Publishing offers innovative story-based history and social studies textbooks designed for middle school students. Our mission is to engage students with compelling content that promotes literacy and encourages critical thinking skills and inquiry-based learning. Our middle school history books—combined with the project-based activities in our Teacher’s Guides—hook students with exciting, accessible, and inclusive storytelling that gets them to fall in love with reading—and the agency sparked by their own imaginations. Our books are vital tools that help students achieve and develop 21st century communication skills. Midgard puts the story back in history. For more information, visit

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