i know its aimed at kids but its great if you want detailed background info very quickly: horrible histories ;D and check out some of their clips on youtube. its just typical british humour
I have an 8-yr-old nephew and I bought him "Groovy Greeks" and "Rotten Romans" for his birthday. He loved them so much he asked for more for Christmas. Definitely a great way to get kids interested in different areas of history. And my sister enjoyed reading them with him, even though she had a lot of the more general background.