Children's Literature - Ann L. KreskeWas Attila the Hun truly as destructive and cruel as historians depict him? Readers can judge for themselves in this revised edition in the “A Wicked History” series. This version details Attila’s training to become a vicious fighter, his position as a co-king of the Huns, his plot to become the only king of the Huns, his domination of what is now Europe, and his sudden and unexpected death. Attila the Hun’s frequent portrayal as a two-dimensional, ruthlessness killer may, partially be due to the lack of first-hand historical records concerning the Huns. The volume begins with a world map during Attila’s time showing key events and places, and a web of Attila’s family, allies, enemies, and the various barbarian tribes of the time. Colored and detailed photographs of European cities and Roman historical figures, drawings, and paintings bring the story to life. Four sections, with two to six chapters in each, take readers through different stages of Attila’s life. Each part begins with questions for readers to consider as they progress through the chapters. At the end are excerpts from an eyewitness of Attila’s court and secondary sources, adding a slightly more human dimension to the portrayal of Attila. Supplemental project ideas extend the learning and make use of social media, though some of the ideas allow for deeper analysis than others. Also helpful are profiles of historical figures mentioned, a timeline of Attila’s life, and a glossary of the terms that appear in the book. Finally, a list of books with more information about Attila the Hun, his tribe, and its history with the Roman Empire, with brief descriptions of each book, is incorporated. This biography provides a good general overview of Attila’s life. Reviewer: Ann L. Kreske; Ages 12 up.
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