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A Wicked History

Alexander the Great: Master of the Ancient World

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- Opening quote by or about the featured villain/villainess
- Historical map, annotated with key locations from person's life
- "A Wicked Web" featuring allies and enemies
- Historical photos and etchings
- Boxes with additional information
- Photo documentaries: six to eight pages of photos and captions telling the person's life
- Timeline, glossary, additional sources
- Engaging narrative nonfiction written at a very accessible reading level

128 pages, Hardcover

First published September 1, 2009

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About the author

Doug Wilhelm

29 books48 followers
Doug Wilhelm is the author of 17 books for young readers, including Street of Storytellers, a multi-award winning novel for YA and adult readers:

• Gold medal, YA fiction, 2020 Independent Press Awards
• Silver medal, teen fiction, 2020 Benjamin Franklin Awards
• Winner, young adult books, 2019 Independent Publishers of New England Book Awards
Kirkus Reviews Indie Editors Choice

Doug's previous books include The Revealers, a novel about bullying that has been the focus of reading-and-discussion projects in over 1,000 U.S. middle schools, and True Shoes, the Revealers sequel on cyberbullying. Doug began writing for young people with the legendary Choose Your Own Adventure series, for which he has written 10 books. When he visits schools to talk about his books, kids notice that he is six feet ten inches tall!


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5 stars
31 (18%)
4 stars
52 (31%)
3 stars
62 (37%)
2 stars
14 (8%)
1 star
7 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 29 of 29 reviews
6 reviews
December 6, 2019
"Alexander The Great: Master of the Ancient World" starts out with Alexander's birth and childhood. I found it surprising that on page 27 it says that when Alexander was tutored by Aristotle when he was 13. Towards the middle of the story is where the action starts. Alexander and his father, King Philip of Macedonia, start invading many countries and kingdoms. After his father was assassinated, Alexander was motivated even harder to conquer and expand the empire as much as he could. After Alexander and his army conquer part of India, his men want to go back and live the rest of their lives out. The book ends with Alexander dying because of depression, alcohol, and fever after killing Hephaestion, one of his militiamen who saved Alexander's own life.

The characters in this book include Alexander (obviously), who was the son of Philip II of Macedonia. Alexander was relentless in the fact that he fought wars and conquered land nonstop for 8 straight years. Alexander's father, King Philip II who was belligerent like his son and fought many wars alongside Alexander until he was assassinated. Darius III, the Persian king, fought Alexander for several years and was finally defeated in 331 BC. Hephaestion was one of Alexander's militiamen who fought alongside him for every war them fought. One time Alexander was jabbed in the lung and severely injured. Hephaestion guarded and treated Alexander. Years later when everyone returned back to Macedonia, they got into an argument and Alexander ended up killing Hephaestion.

The setting of this story starts off in Macedonia, but has many more settings. Some of these include Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, and India.

My favorite part was on page 111 where, in a war with Mallians in India, one of the Mallians shot Alexander with an arrow and punctured his lung. After this, the book says "In a bloody rage, Alexander's men massacre everyone in the fort."
January 27, 2020
The story starts with what is going on at this time. (332 B.C.) The author explains that the Macedonians stormed the Persian Empire very briefly. Page 1 says, “For two years, an army of hardened warriors had stormed almost at will through their lands. They came from Macedonia Europe.” King Philp commanded the battle. He was a Macedonia. When he got home after the war, he was informed that his wife had given birth and they won the battle. It skips on a few years to when Alexander, (Philip’s son) is older. Philip got remarried and Alexander didn’t like that so he killed him and became king. The middle was when Alexander started his conquest near Anatolia. He attacked the Persian empire. He conquered Persia and defeated Darius III. He then battled other smaller tribes for land. Page 5 says, “Alexander pressed into India and faced war elephants of local kings in 326 B.C.” The end was when Alexander gets shot with an arrow in his chest. He was able to move back to his family but died on the way there. He died at age thirty.

The main character is Alexander the Great. He is a Macedonia ruler, the son of King Philip. Another main character is Darius III. He was a Persian Emperor. He was the main enemy of Alex.

The story takes place in the Macedonia Kingdom. Then in the Persian Empire.

I recommend this book to anyone. I don’t love this topic but it was pretty nice to read.
30 reviews1 follower
February 22, 2017
Alexander the Great was a very powerful man. When he was born, the temple of Artemis burned. Many people thought that Artemis, the goddess od childbirth, "decided to stay with Alexander reacher than dart at her shrine." Many people already felt that Alexander would do good to their nation so they all had hope for him. As a young child, Alexander was being tutored by the greatest philosopher of the time. Alexander was a very intelligent person and also veg strong. At age 12, Alexander tamed a wild stallion Bucephalus, winning his father's respect. After Alexander's father was murdered, he became king. He already had a lot of power, so he took advantage of his position and used it to be even more powerful.
"Alexander the Great: Master of the Ancient World" by Doug Wilhelm, was a very interesting book. I enjoyed reading it, so I would recommend this book to anyone who likes non fiction books.
19 reviews39 followers
April 15, 2015
Alexander the Great wanted to conquer the world. Unfortunately, it is not easy to conquer it. Because of that, he went on a ten year trip with his army and defeated armies that were 3 times as big as his. Then, he continues his adventure but dies. This book is about friendship, hope, and adventure.
5 reviews
October 17, 2016
Alexander the Great, what he like? Who was he? Was he a God? This book is about his parties and how they didn't always end well, as well as he had many victories and how he'd give you respect. This book also talks about how he was a ruthless drunk, and ally someone if he thought they were worthy. Alexander the Great would drink so much where it didn't matter who you were, whether you were is best friend, his top general, or his worst enemy, if you insulted him, he'd kill you on the spot without thinking twice.
Alexander the Great was a ruthless drunk. Alexander over drank a lot and ended up hurting or even killing those close to him. After nearly every victory Alexander had, and there was a lot, he, his soldiers, and friends would celebrate, and the celebration often involved them heavily drinking, for multiple days at times. This is notice this after you reading, “After a night of heavy drinking, Cleitus continuously hurled insults at Alexander, who responded to him by throwing a spear through his close friend.” This wasn't the first or last time Alexander responded with a fiery, drunken anger either. While Alexander would more than likely kill someone for insulting him, he would also give them respect when they would fight and die instead of surrender. As India’s king at the time quickly found out.
Alexander the Great was impressed with India’s strength and determination. This is why Alexander made them his allied. “As india’s king fell of his battle elephant he continued to defend his people as he layed on the ground and bled to death.” This impressed Alexander enough where he withdrew his troops and later went to the king and allied him instead of conquering the country.
There is no doubt that Alexander the great didn't appreciate negative comments against him. Alexander the Great, the greatest ruler and warrior this has ever seen? Maybe. He was most certainly a fierce and cocky warrior who could be your best friend or worst enemy. He was definitely not liked and did not take care of himself.

42 reviews2 followers
May 24, 2017
I really enjoy the "Wicked History" book series and have recently read about Alexander the Great. This book is about a powerful man since birth the people all had hope that he would be a good help to their nation. As a young boy he grew up in horrible circumstances. He was tortured among many other things. Alexander was a young boy yearning for his fathers respect. He really wants to earn it and he will. At 12 yeatrs of age this highly intelligent little boy tamed a wild stallion Bucephalus. He earns his respect and is in the royal family. So in this story when his father is murdered he ends up becoming king. He is now more powerful then ever. If he was powerful before nobody will know what is coming. Alexander the great was great and he definitely made sure people knew. This book tells about this powerful king and his life. I recommend this book to anyone who likes informational stories and anyone who just wants to learn something new. The Wicked History series is very enjoyable and informative.
6 reviews
September 28, 2017
alexander the great is one of the greatest general empeorer of all time. he concred most of the known world and tied together many cultures from the areas he concerd. but this was also his downfall, from eating up more teritory the inhabitants became incresingly hard to maintain. From his bad life of drinking he would sink into deep deprestions. his men would lose faith in him after embracing the persian culture and acting more like a god than a general. This book is a good source of history for anyone doing a project on famous generals I highly recomend it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Heather Redmond.
3 reviews1 follower
March 24, 2022
Read to my homeschooler. Nice quick read with a thorough overall timeline of Alexander the Great. A lot of information in one book to follow all the dates and events but all in all a great read to add to your history lessons!
June 13, 2017
This was a very helpful book to me because i didn't really know anything about this guy, and this book taught me a lot about him. I also got a 100 on the SRC test so that was good.
Profile Image for Mona Randall.
451 reviews47 followers
July 24, 2019
A great historical summary and a good place to start if desire to read more on this man.
Profile Image for Lana 🎀.
50 reviews
February 16, 2023
had to read this for school... it was alright. tbh i'm not really a big fan of these kind of books so i didn't really enjoy it nor enjoy it... i just wanted finish the book.
22 reviews1 follower
April 3, 2016
Alexander the Great is a fantastic and informative book written by the creative author, Doug Wilhelm. Alexander the Great is an interesting non-fiction biography that is mainly about Alexander and his achievements throughout his life. Alexander was a semi-Macedonian man, father of the King of Macedonia, King Philip III. Upon his father’s assassination, he was granted access to the throne. However, Alexander was very cautious of his enemies, therefore, he killed most of his brothers and King Phillip’s other wives. As a king, Alexander grew to be a strategist. To expand his empire, he either formed alliances with his enemies or defeated them on the battlefield. However, it wasn’t easy for Alexander to be the winner of battles. In order for his troops to be successful, he used a phalanx equipped with the sarissa, siege towers and crossbows. Apart from waging war, Alexander was also a great ruler for political reasons. He conquered most of the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Persia and Central Asia, which was a great achievement. Furthermore, all territory he conquered during his reign was well controlled. All cities were granted freedom of choice, liberty of culture and respect. However, Alexander ended his rule at 33 years old, dead because of his poor health. All in all, Alexander the Great is an informative and well-written biography written by Doug Wilhelm.

Alexander the Great is an informative book about the great ruler, Alexander. Because the book is entirely based on Alexander’s life and exploits, it is a biography of Alexander. Alexander the Great is also a non-fiction book because it is about the real-life theory of Alexander, who lived in Ancient Greece. Alexander was an important man in history, due to his accomplishments. He is remembered up to this date as a man of honor who had conquered the Middle East, Persia, Central Asia, Egypt and most of the Mediterranean in only 33 years. In addition, he also helped the spread and the improvement of Greek culture and Greek knowledge. He did so by conquering many different cultures, and by praising them. Alexander the Great also gives a lot of facts to support the main chapters in Alexander’s life. Not only does the reader discover that Alexander’s army composition was a phalanx, but they also learn about the Sarissa, the siege towers and the crossbows, which are used as offensive weaponry. In addition, the biography includes facts about Alexander’s family and his death. He was born on 356 B.C, son of King Phillip III and Olympias. On the other hand, he died 33 years later, at 323 B.C, due to his poor health. All in all, Alexander the Great is a resourceful biography about the great ruler, Alexander.

Alexander the Great is a very resourceful and exciting book, which is why I recommend it to many different kinds of people. Primarily, I would advise this biography to people who want to learn more about history, especially history in Greece. The reason behind it is that Alexander the Great is a great source that contains many different facts related to Ancient Greece. However, I wouldn’t recommend it to students that read a lot, for this non-fiction book is very short. On the other hand, it would be ideal for others who don’t have the time nor the patience to read. Another advantage is that this biography is simple to understand, thus making it comprehendible to everyone. Therefore, 5th graders up to 7th graders would be very suitable. Higher grade-levels, however, would probably already have studied Alexander, which is why it isn’t recommended to them. All in all, Alexander the Great is a very simple yet resourceful biography, which is why I recommend it to many students.
19 reviews5 followers
March 21, 2013
Alexander The Great
Doug Wilhelm
117 pages

Alexander the Great is a nonfiction book, part of our wicked history. Was Alexander a king? a devil? A hero? Or a destroyer? What do you think? Some people say he was a king and a hero because he opened the world to every culture. He founded a ton of new trade places from Europe, India, Middle East, Persia, and then China. He also minted coins so every merchant could trade with others from around the world. Alexander also accepted every culture and he welcomed them everywhere he went. He wanted a racially diverse elite that would go through all of Asia for years after years. People thought he was a devil and a destroyer because well, he destroyed many cities and many innocent people. He would stop at nothing to get power. He went Ina decade-long rampage around Asia. Alexander found about 70 cities but unfortunately, he damaged many. All of his army killed around 500,000-750,000 people. They also sold another half a million into slavery. As some people thought he was a devil, he thought of himself as the son of a god. Also, some of the stuff he could not control. Many people believed he has a bipolar disorder or he may have been an alcoholic. They say he was the greatest warrior of all time so that's why he's called Alexander the Great. Would you agree that he's great?

I chose this book to read because I enjoy learning about our history. I also find it amazing how cruel people were back then. For Alexander, I'm not sure if he was a hero or a destroyer or a king or the devil. I think he could be both. I've read worse stories about people being crueler. I think he could be a hero because he founded over 70 cities, was in control for almost his whole life, and also he died over 23 centuries ago and we are still reading about him til this day. I find that amazing. We still read about his accomplishments and how he was such a great warrior. I also think he was a destroyer because he burned almost 20 cities and killed about 100,000 people by himself. His whole army killed about 500,000-750,000 people. I also found it cruel how he enslaved half a million people and even children. He enslaved men, women, and children no matter what age. Well those are my thoughts about Alexander the Great.
18 reviews
March 21, 2013
Alexander the Great taught me about Alexander's life, what he did, and how relentless he was to conquer the world. When Alexander was born, his mother thought that he was born of the gods. This gave him a lot of authority and now he was first in line for the throne. He once tamed a wild horse in front of his father and earned almost instant respect. His father also had a child with a woman who was born in Macedonia, where Alexander lives. This meant that Alexander might not be the first in line for the throne. So Alexander hired someone to kill his father. Now Alexander was the king and could start his conquest of the known world. He starts by uniting Greece under his rule and then heads out to calm down the rioting tribes near the Persia Empire. After this he heads into Persia and starts wiping out cities. He meets the Persian king, Darius the third, eventually and attacks him and his army. Darius retreats and flees to Babylon. But as Alexander defeated Darius, he became the ruler of Persia. He searches for Darius and finds out that Darius had been killed by one of his own soldiers. Alexander kills this man for humiliating a king. Then he headed off for the endless sea and runs into Indians. They made a truce after the Macedonians killed a lot of their soldiers and elephants. Then the Macedonians head home. On the way, in Babylon, Alexander the Great dies at the age of 33.

I think that this book gave a lot of insight to Alexander the Great's life, accomplishments, and how he came to be known as Alexander "the Great." This novel answered my questions about how Alexander could have been wicked. It says in the end of the book that his army may have killed between 500,000 and 750,000 people. That is a lot of people that died and definitely shows that he was relentless to can control of the known world. I also like how the book made his life seem not that bad until you found out how many people he actually killed. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Alexander the Great.
21 reviews2 followers
April 3, 2016
The biography Alexander the Great: Master of the Ancient world written by Doug Wilhem talks about the life of Alexander the Great. The book starts by showing a map of Alexander's empire. Then, the book continues by talking about how alexander became king at 20 after his father, King Philip III died. Commanding the best-trained army, he conquered the great cities of Greece. After that, Alexander led his armies into the Persian empire. Along the way they defeated princes,straps and kings and Alexander became a legend. As one can see, Alexander was a great role model to his people.

I chose 3 questions to answer about the book: 1. Is there another title you could give this book? Why is it a good title? 2. Explain why the topic of this book is important? 3. Which photograph is your favorite? First, I would change the title to Alexander and his Empire because the book mostly talks about his empire and how he got the title of “Alexander the Great”. Second, the topic of this book is important because it was a big part of history and it is still known today. Last, my favorite photograph is the photograph of the map of Alexander’s map at the beginning of the book because it clearly shows what Alexander’s empire was. As one can see, this book is easy to understand.

I would recommend this book to all ages for many reasons. First, I would recommend it to lower schoolers like 5th graders because it's not too hard but at the same time it is a challenging level. Second, to middle schoolers because they are learning Greece history and the book would be at their exact level or even less. Last, I would recommend it to high schoolers and above because it would refresh their minds in Greek history. My favorite part of the book was when Alexander conquered the Persian empire. My least favorite part was when Alexander died of a high fever because it was sad for his people to lose their leader. As one can see, this book could be recommended to many people.
7 reviews
February 15, 2015
Alexander The Great's setting takes place in 356 B.C.E Macedonia. His Father, King Phillip the Second is the king who takes over ancient greece, With the enourmous power of the greeks, he sets out to take control over the world. Alexander of Macedonia was born in 356 B.C.E and was the son of King Phillip. As a child, Alexander never got any real attention fromhis father since he was out conquering other lands. Anyhow, Alexander grows up to be a fine soldier and generall thanks to his great teacher Aristotle. Alexander wanted the throne and to continue his father's dream of taking over the world. He soon gets the throne when his father was murdered by his bodyguard. At age 16 he starts preparing his army with new tactics and revolutionary strategy. Alexander soon starts his quest of taking over the world and goes up against the great persia, he soon defeats persia and King Darius of persia.
But, Alexander is not finished here, he soon decides to push further into the known world all the way to modern day Pakistan. So, Alexander is still not satisfied and keeps on pushing straining his soldiers further more. Then, Alexander becomes sick and mysteriously dies possibly of food poisoning. His vast empire also collapses after his tragic death. Alexander The Great, master of the ancient world is a story about Persistence, Hope and greed.
Profile Image for Kelly J..
13 reviews2 followers
March 22, 2013
Alexander The Great Master Of the ancient world
Doug Wilhelm
121 pages

Alexander The great is about alexander and his rule over the ancient world. This book is about how he grew up and how he ruled Macedonia and how he killed a lot of people. Alexander wanted to rule the entire world but obviously he didn't. He killed a lot of people and went to war a lot. I thought that Mary Tudor or "bloody Mary" was wore then Alexander because I thought that overall she killed more people and she killed people if they didn't believe in God. Mary Tudor also had people killed while she was about to die which I just think is plain wrong. That is why I think Mary Tudor was worse but others could say Alexander was worse.

I thought this book was ok because it wasn't the best book I have read but it wasn't that boring either. Also this book was ok because I liked how the author put in pictures and facts in-between each part and the spider web at the beginning and the timeline at the end of the book. I didn't like this book because it was kind of boring at parts and didn't really interest me. I would recommend this book to middle schoolers who are into war and that kind of stuff. Those are some reasons why I liked and disliked this book.
Profile Image for Melanie.
112 reviews2 followers
May 31, 2012
For such a short life (he died just prior to his 33rd birthday) he made an impressive impact on the world and history. This is an engaging read that gives you a brief idea of all that Alexander accomplished in his lifetime. The most impressive to me was the way that he encouraged cultural diversity. He encouraged his men to take wives from other cultures (after defeating them first of course). He embraced technology, art, music, theatre and education. His successes can be seen throughout the world where he influenced the culture and structure of the land. He destroyed much and created much more.
March 14, 2014
Alexander the great was one of the youngest of the Greek people to be a king of a young age he took over Alot of places such as great Britain . Alex was one of the young Mens to be up there with Julius Cesar . he became king of Macedonian at the age of twenty but no kingdom could contain the ambitions the way alex did . this book was mostly good because of all the adventure and fighting i would love to see another book about alex because he was a great young greek .
Profile Image for Sam L.
25 reviews3 followers
March 20, 2013
Alexander The Great

Alexander the great was born the prince of macedonia, son of Phillip the third. He conquered the great cities of Greece then he lead his armies into the persian empire.

I thought that Alexander the great was a cruel person. He would slotter anyone without thinking. He was very cruel.
Profile Image for Lea Ann.
429 reviews17 followers
August 19, 2015
This biography is written just right for kids (maybe 10+). Alexander's story contains lots of intrigue, blood and madness, and is yet another example from history of how absolute power destroys a man. Doug Wilhelm manages to bring all of that to life without getting too graphic for his audience. Biographies like this one may actually hook a kid into history.
Profile Image for Jhoskin7.
12 reviews
February 18, 2014
Alexander the Great was a very successful Greek conqueror during his time from 356 BC to 323 BC and onward through history. He wanted to conqueror the known world in that era, but at the time the Persians were very powerful and had lots of control. So he took down as many Persian.
Profile Image for Alex.
37 reviews
September 13, 2010
Just finished it! I got for a school bography report! I loved it! Great!
21 reviews
February 21, 2014
I chose this book because I had read other wicked history books. This one was a little mor interesting than the others!
Profile Image for Shelli.
5,019 reviews42 followers
April 27, 2017
A Wicked History series provides a quick yet nice overview of the featured leader, in this case Alexander the Great; whose relentless desire to rule all of Asia drove him men to fight a semingly endless war over 12,000 miles. These books are perfect for any middle/high school classroom or library and are guaranteed to make history exciting for students
Displaying 1 - 29 of 29 reviews

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