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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Avoid being in a Medieval Castle! The Danger Zone by Jacqueline Morley

Avoid Being in a Medieval Castle! - Danger Zone

Life in a medieval castle was not as romantic as you might think! See what life was really like for a lowly servant, carrying out all the grim menial work of the castle and doing her best to survive the horrors of siege warfare. The humorous cartoon-style illustrations and the narrative approach encourage readers to get emotionally involved with the characters, aiding their understanding of what life would have been like being a in medieval castle. Informative captions, a complete glossary and an index make this title an ideal introduction to the conventions of non-fiction texts for young readers.

The reader in this book is asked to take on the persona of a country girl in 13th century England, who finds herself caught up in a siege following King John's power struggle and subsequent signing of The Magna Carter in 1215.

The book is written as a story and is a great way for children to learn about history and life. Full of pictures and easy to read, bite size pieces of text for children to read and digest. There are handy hints on each double page, full of facts that most history books omit to tell you.

A great way for children to learn about history - the facts are cleverly included within the story and children will enjoy reading or listening to the story that they won't realise they are learning as well. I also found that there was a lot of information contained within the book and information which would not be found within other books, snippets of information which could add interest to any essay!

I thought the pictures were well drawn and showed life in the castle well, however my favourite pictures were the cut through castle keep and the map of the Bailey - so much information contained within the diagrams, but in a child friendly way.

The back of the book also contains a glossary which lists many of the important words within the book, however it is not complete and there is a note which explains that many other important words are explained within the text. I think it would have been more useful to include all the words related to castles and the historical event to have been in the glossary - this would of made it very useful for homework etc.

I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in castles or life in historic times, but also would make a great addition to any school classroom or school library.

Thank you to the publishers, Salariya Books, because i received this as part of a competition prize.

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