Monday, December 12, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Geo Librarian.

My selection is "Barbarians!" written by Steven Kroll and illustrated by Robert Byrd.

Kroll begins his book with a pair of questions -- "Are you rude, crude and uncivilized?  Could you be -- a barbarian?"  He offers both the history of the word and an up-close look at four groups commonly referred to as barbarians: the Goths, the Huns, the Vikings, and the Mongols.  He acknowledges their war-like tendencies, but goes on to describe their history, culture, and beliefs.  Each chapter is enriched by sidebars offering facts on various topics.  Best of all, Kroll provides readers with a clear understanding of the ways in which these barbarians changed and enhanced their world through their many encounters with the civilizations of the time and left behind a legacy that has continued to the present day. 

Byrd's richly colored illustrations are intricate in their detail and powerfully depict the life of these barbarian societies from the battle-field through day-to-day life.  Maps, timelines and a bibliography complete the book.

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