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Sunday, February 6, 2011

You Wouldn't Want to Live in a Medieval Castle by Jacqueline Morley

Historically solid and entertaining.

I just discovered this series and I've been reading a few of them for fun this summer.

You Wouldn't Want to Live In A Medieval Castle is entertaining and it contains solid, accurate history presented in a visually interesting format.

While I've been lookig a few of these over for my own personal entertainment, my almost 4th grade daughter has been sneaking them out of the stack and reading them without any encouragement from me. 

The book mostly is about a little girl who is brought into a castle to work as a damsel (lady-in-waiting or a bodyservant). The book is also about a real historical event - the siege of Rochester Castle in Kent, England in 1215 by King John who is having trouble dealing with the barons after he signed the Magna Carta.

There is also quite a bit about a young page who is trying to become a squire so that he might become a knight someday.

Everyday life in the castle is discussed (carrying water for baths, common dining areas, sleeping arrangements, daily Mass, etc.) and so are the details of laying siege to and the defense of a castle.

The only problem I had with the book is a simple matter of labeling. On pages 8 & 9 they have a map of the Bailey (the interior of the fortifications). On the key they label things like the chandlery and the barracks without telling what they are. They are defined in the glossary in the back but a word or two on the map page would have been nice.

Still, I highly recommend this book for kids who are in 4th grade or higher. Also, for any adults who want a painless refresher on castles and medieval life!

I rate this book 5 stars out of 5 and it can be found on Amazon.com here: You Wouldn't Want to Live in a Medieval Castle

Reviewed on June 11, 2009.

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