Children's Literature - Barbara L. TalcroftSwords, lances, bows and arrows, muskets, cannonweapons of war fill this "Warriors of History" series designed to capture the attention of boys who may be reluctant to read, but are well attuned to the constant violence and bloodshed of films, games, and the daily news. Each title introduces a military organization or cult in four chapters, including at least one gruesome incident to add a thrill. Some of the titles are better than others; some contain mistakesall offer unattributed illustrations (a major fault of this series) ranging from modern photographs and movie stills to period engravings, prints, or paintings. In British Redcoats, chapters describe origins of the red coats in the seventeenth century, the life of a British soldier (eighteenth and nineteenth centuries); battles and tactics; and the gradual phase-out of the red jackets except for ceremonial uniforms. While the author describes flogging as a punishment (finally outlawed in 1881), the illustration is completely misleadingofficers were never flogged and it was never done in as elegant a setting as shown. Important changes over time are not discussed; for example, the Crimean and Boer Wars (neither is mentioned) brought about major reforms of the army, including abolishing the sale of officers' commissions, establishing a military academy at Sandhurst and, later, introducing khaki uniforms; a page on Benedict Arnold seems completely irrelevant to the subject of red coats. Parents and teachers will need to decide whether a series focusing on war, violence, and cruelty is appropriate for their children's classrooms. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
Edge super high interest, low reading level books about great warriors in history.
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