Children's LiteratureThis slim and colorful book presents a great deal of information at a necessarily superficial level, resulting in a somewhat confusing overview of the laws and punishments of the Middle Ages. The presentation is not particularly well organized, so that tidbits of information are scattered throughout. It is unclear whether the laws and punishments apply to the entire world, a particular country, or a group of countries during this era, except in specific circumstances, such as when a sheriff is identified as English or a particular punishment identified as Chinese. Still, there is much to be learned and many facts that will pique the interest of even reluctant readers. For example, boys over twelve years old were put into groups of ten and expected to ensure that all members of the group followed the law; nuns could be placed in the stocks; families sought revenge via blood feuds; and, of course, there was a plethora of bloody ways to punish bad guys (and girls). The period illustrations complement the Medieval theme well. There is a glossary but the scant index limits the book's usefulness. 2006, Crabtree, Ages 8 to 12.