Children's Lit Book Reviews

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Castles At War: The Story of a Seige
World War II
By: Andrew Langley
Publisher: DK Children
Copyright: 1998
Pages: 48
Reading Level: 9-12
Genre: Non Fiction
"A good choice for recreational reading and reports."
School Library Journal

Summary: Reading this book will help readers understand exactly what it took to lay seige on a castle during medieval times and witness the storming of a medieval fortress. Vivid storytelling brings the past to life. Exciting eyewitness accounts make you feel part of the action. A gatefold page opens out to show a panoramic view of the scene. Stunning photographs, call-out details, and exploded views help you piece together the story. There are many different chapters dealing with stories of castles and their inhabitants, examining real life seiges, the castle lands and explaining how castles were built. Langley and, illustrator, Peter Dennis use great detail in their great work. A superb example is the chapter entiled. "Preparing For Battle." Here, Langley wrote about what it takes to prepare a castle for the onslaught of people laying seige to the castle. Langley wrote, "... in panic, people from nearby villages and hamlets abandoned their homes and hurried toward the shelter of the town. Meanwhile, the castle constable put his garrison on full alert. He sent messengers out to summon extra soldiers. He ordered supplies of goods, water and ammunition to be brought unto the town and stored. He arranged for the carpenter to strengthen the castle defenses by building wooden hoardings on the tops of the walls and towers(Langley, 22)...."
Who would benefit from reading this book? This is a great educational tool that provides detailed information, backed with beautiful illustrations to help fulfill the childs want and need for knowledge. I think that every child who picks up this great book will benefit from it and walk away gratifed and filled with facts about castles and what it took to lay seige on them.
What problems/concerns could this book potentially case? I don't think that this book would cause any problems for anyone and should be read or provided for every child to read.
My reaction: This is a very detailed book. I think it had a lot of information. In my opinion, some pages are filled with maybe too much information. However, I still recommend this book to all parents and teachers and invite them to allow children to be engulfed in medieval times and castles.

posted by Jon Dale at 8:50 AM


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