Aztec: Kids at the Crossroads

Overview

What if kids kept blogs during pivotal moments in world history?

The Internet offers modern kids amazing ways to express themselves and learn about the world. Imagine if the same technology had been available to children during dramatic episodes in history. Welcome to the Kids at the Crossroads series.

Each book is written as an Internet journal, including illustrated snapshots of the action and "links" to sidebar windows providing facts about ...

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Overview

What if kids kept blogs during pivotal moments in world history?

The Internet offers modern kids amazing ways to express themselves and learn about the world. Imagine if the same technology had been available to children during dramatic episodes in history. Welcome to the Kids at the Crossroads series.

Each book is written as an Internet journal, including illustrated snapshots of the action and "links" to sidebar windows providing facts about and images of the era. This innovative blend of history and high-tech storytelling is sure to capture the attention of web junkies and history buffs alike.

Aztec: Kids at the Crossroads logs you on to the blog of 12-year-old Yoatl, an Aztec living in 1519. Although he's the son of a warrior, Yoatl always figured he'd be schooled as a priest. But when his father is disgraced in battle, Yoatl loses his prestigious spot at school and is sent instead to train as a warrior.

From day one, Yoatl struggles with his training. Then, in his first battle, he rescues an enemy Tlaxcalan boy from being trampled. When Yoatl's superiors mistake the move for military heroism, he is celebrated for capturing a victim to be used as a human sacrifice. Desperate to correct the boy's destiny, Yoatl arranges his escape, only to be captured himself by the enemy.

Yoatl soon discovers that the Tlaxcalans have allied with pale, hairy-faced strangers who have powerful weapons. At first intrigued by the newcomers, Yoatl is soon alarmed enough to use all his wiles to escape these conquistadors and warn his people of the coming storm... only to find that his emperor already welcomes these newcomers with open arms.

The world of the Aztec comes alive through the immediacy of the blog style and fact-filled windows linked to the text.
Aztec: Kids at the Crossroads is historical fiction like you've never seen it before.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
In faux blog posts, a young resident of Tenochtitlan describes his training at a military school, confused melees with bands of warriors from rival cities and the portentridden arrival of Cortes. Considering himself more priest than warrior material (those being the two choices available), Yoatl chronicles his unhappiness as in various misadventures he inadvertently captures an enemy lad, then helps him escape being bloodily sacrificed and goes on to become a captive himself before falling in with the strange and duplicitous Spaniards. Side panels ("hyperlinked" to his narrative) offer encyclopediastyle entries on his culture's theology and general customs-all accompanied by an undifferentiated blend of new illustrations and unsourced period art. Readers will be left with a clear sense of that culture's pervasive fatalism but only vague notions about how the Aztecs lived their daily lives. A participant in the 1212 Children's Crusade supplies a similarly hybridized report in Kids at the Crossroads: Crusades, illustrated by John Mantha (9781554511471, paper: 9781554511464). Both volumes try for too much and end up offering neither a properly developed story line nor a coherent picture of their narrators' historical contexts. (Infofiction. 1012)
Canadian Materials - Philip Bravo
Aztec offers readers interesting information about the era, the diversity of Mesoamerican culture, a fast-paced story, interesting characters and an attractive protagonist that most readers will relate to quite well. The text is complemented with excellent graphics, an appendix, suggested readings, a bibliography and a glossary.... As a parent and librarian trying to encourage children to read, I applaud Annick Press and Laura Scandiffio for producing this creative, informative and attractive book and series for children. Highly Recommended.
Metro Family Magazine (Oklahoma)
(reviewed with Crusades) These clever books tell historically accurate stories in a modern blog-style format. Aztec is about a boy living in the Aztec civilization circa 1519. Crusades tells the story of a boy destined to march in the children's crusade. The format engages young readers and makes the historical tales more accessible.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554511761
  • Publisher: Annick Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 8/20/2009
  • Series: Kids at the Crossroads Series
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 1,145,589
  • Age range: 9 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Scandiffio is the award-winning author of Escapes! and The Martial Arts Book. She lives in Toronto.

Tina Holdcroft has illustrated more than 30 books for young readers. She lives in Toronto.

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