The Story of Mankind by Hendrick Willem van Loon was written in 1921 as a way of sharing human history with his grandchildren. Back in December, Robert Sullivan updated and reintroduced this extremely readable resource of world history. And as the title states, this is the literal story of mankind, beginning with the earliest stages of earth and man's earliest ancestors and ending it's 800 pages with a chapter on friendships and communication.
The Story of Mankind is a classic and its length might appear daunting to your 11-14 year old child at first glance. But flipping through the pages with their layman's terms and illustrations will take much of the dullness out of the history of humanity for this overly stimulated generation.