From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5–Illustrated spreads highlight various aspects of each civilization, including people and customs (both the rich and the poor), occupations, religion, the military, clothing, family life, etc. The brief descriptions can be choppy–Women ran the households. Children didnt go to school. Sidebars and informative pictures help clarify particular points throughout the texts. While the maps provide a geographical context invaluable to newcomers, there are some inaccuracies; for example, Ireland is labeled Great Britain on one map, and another combines Roman place names like Gaul with modern ones like Germany and Italy. The books tend to feature breadth over depth, eliminating or glossing over the kinds of things that would hook young readers, like gory specifics about Viking raids or Mayan sacrifices. Browsers will come away with a fundamental understanding of each civilization, but serious students may need more. Series such as You Wouldnt Want To… (Watts) or the Eyewitness books (DK) better engage readers at this age level, with both interesting tidbits and eye-catching graphics.–Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA
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