In history education, the deconstruction of narratives is an important skill for students. The skill teaches them to look critically at the offered texts. In this study, we investigated the extent to which students are able to critically analyse the narratives in their history textbooks. To answer this question, we asked 106 students in pre-university education (16–17 years of age) to read and compare two texts – from two different textbooks – about a turning point in the development of the Dutch state and democracy: the introduction of universal suffrage for men and women in 1917–19. One group of students (N=10) worked on the assignment while thinking aloud. We found that most students recognized the author’s voice in the selection of persons and dates and in the attention paid to a particular topic, but that they hardly mentioned recognizing the voice in aspects such as the choice of words or headings. The students who analysed and compared the texts while thinking aloud all indicated after the assignment that they understood that these texts are different interpretations of the same historical development.