Reviews for Crafts And Culture of a Medieval Town

School Library Journal Reviews 2007 April

Gr 4-8-- Jovinelly and Netelkos have established a successful formula for presenting history to young people. Opening with a discussion of the culture, they go on to describe subjects such as life in a monastery, working in a scriptorium, and a monk's diet, and include a craft for each one; e.g., "Education in Medieval Europe" features a full spread on making a hornbook. The texts are specific, with facts clearly articulated. Color images support the projects so readers can relate pretzels, prayer beads, or a plague mask to the culture that produced them. The directions for these rather sophisticated crafts are broad and lack specifics such as quantities or colors and, in the case of the illuminated manuscript, the authors suggest that readers use a goose quill and look at other books for ideas on the topic. Also, the projects are not listed in the indexes. Still, these books will satisfy homework assignments. If students are seeking only crafts, they might have an easier time following the directions in Laurie M. Carlson's Days of Knights and Damsels: An Activity Guide (Chicago Review, 2003). The strength of these books is in the history that accompanies the projects.--Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library

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