|Grades:||1 - 2|
|Guided Reading Level:||R|
5/1/04 The Midwest Book Review
There are a lot of glamorous jobs in history that children often daydream about. The jobs in the You Wouldn't Want to be a... series might be included in those daydreams. However once readers learn what the jobs really entailed they may not daydream about them and if they do, they will certainly have a bit more respect for the position. Titles in this fun series are:
Greek Athlete: This book takes a look at what it was like to be a young man preparing to be an athlete in the Olympic games. Believe me, it certainly entailed a lot more than one might think. The book looks at such things as training, military service, practice, sacrifices and the various events, which were a part of every competition. The image of an athlete leading a life of luxury is quickly dispelled, but in a way that will be fun for children to read.
Civil War Soldier: Looks at America's bloodiest war from the perspective of what it was like to serve from both sides. The book explores everything from enlistment to medical treatments for injuries. This is a delicate subject to approach when writing a book for children and in my opinion Thomas Ratliff has done a superb job of getting the facts across in a serious yet entertaining way that is not threatening. I found it to be an enjoyable read filled with little known facts about the life of a soldier during service.
Medieval Knight: This book was particularly interesting to me, as I always wanted to be a knight. Okay, since I am a girl, my daydreaming would lean more toward being around knights. There is more to be considered than riding off to battle and returning to a luxurious castle life. In fact the life of a knight had few luxuries. It was a lot of hard work and there were oh so many ways to meet ones demise. This is a truly charming book that presents a lot of information that may be missed or perhaps fantasized out when thinking of this time period. They style is perfectly suited for children and great fun for adults.
Pyramid Builder: Now this is a job you can tell right away involves a lot of hard work. Let's face it, those stones are big and it was hot! But the heat and blocks were just the beginning of the hardships faced by the pyramid builders. What is really neat about this book is it looks at all of the work it took to build a pyramid, from heavy laborers to scribes. It also explores the living conditions and many other factors. This is an utterly engrossing read that is sure to please all ages.
This series is designed for grades two through five and is perhaps the most enjoyable read I have had in quite a bit. I must give my highest recommendation to any children's book that can be as entertaining for the adult as it is for the child. The information is presented in such a way there is never too much being given at once and very often, even though you are taking in so many things that are new to you, it doesn't read as such. I know if social studies had been presented to me this way I certainly would have paid more attention in class. This is a great way to get children interested in study of history. It is simple and brilliant. Facts made fun. If you have or work with children or just happen to like history, this set is perfect and comes with my highest recommendation.