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Posted April 10, 2004
A light and fun look at history
This book is a collection of three short history books about (as you can guess from the title) knights, spies, and pirates. If I had to guess I would say that it is written for a 'young adult' (age 10 to 14) target demographic. The books themselves are all under 100 pages in length, and the writing is in a very conversational style that plays up the interesting and seedy bits rather than focusing on boring, hard facts. For example, you could say that knights wore armor and used lances, or you can say that knights dressed up in oversized steel cans and poked each other with sharp things for fun. The author chooses the second option. But while taking the fun route, the author still (from what I can tell) sticks to the historical facts. You just don't get a lot of the historical facts. When telling a story aobut, say, a famous spy, the story will take at most four pages to be told. I'm sure that there are certain details that are left out of the stories, but this isn't intended to be a scholarly work; it is written to get kids interested in history. Now, I'm not a kid, so I can't say how much this approach works, but I can say that the books were entertaining light reading, and it proves that history doesn't have to be boring. I definitely enjoyed reading about the various spies and pirates that the author thought were worty of mention. Bottom line, I had fun, learned something new, and because I borrowed this book from a friend, the price was definitely right!
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