Prefaced by a full-page close-up portrait, each of Arato's nine short tales describes a watershed day in the life of a young person in a different part of the world and a time between the eighth and 14th centuries. In locales ranging from the Mayan city of Tikal and Tang Dynasty China to Timbuktu and Toledo, the children enjoy a ball game or a joust, visit a doctor, get married, make friends and like familiar experiences. The best and least purpose-driven of the lot is the closing episode, in which a young Spanish apprentice discovers that his loving master is a converso (a secret Jew) but reaches a wordless understanding with him. Because the settings aren't described in close detail and in Ferguson's pictures all of the children sport similar features and the same faraway look, readers will get a better feeling for the various societies' commonalities than their differences. Still, each story is supplemented by a map and a spread of background facts, and overall the collection may pique readers' interest in finding out more about some of these realms and eras. (Informational fiction. 9-11)
On a Medieval Day: Story Voyages Around the Worldby Rona Arato, Peter Ferguson
What if you could spend a day in the shoes of a child in the Middle Ages? What would you learn about cultures of the past? On a Medieval Day uses nine historical fiction stories to give kids just that opportunity. Contrary to the common Euro-centric associations of the word "medieval," On a Medieval Day visits cultures from Japan to Mali and spans/i>/i>
What if you could spend a day in the shoes of a child in the Middle Ages? What would you learn about cultures of the past? On a Medieval Day uses nine historical fiction stories to give kids just that opportunity. Contrary to the common Euro-centric associations of the word "medieval," On a Medieval Day visits cultures from Japan to Mali and spans nearly 700 years of world history. From Viking explorers to medical advances in Baghdad, this book challenges assumptions and enlightens readers to the fascinating civilizations that have shaped our world. Told through the eyes of boys and girls aged 12 to 14, readers follow each character through a single day. Whether examining an arranged marriage or aspirations of becoming a knight, each character tells a compelling story about universal trials of growing into adolescence. Portraits painted by artist Peter Ferguson and detailed background pages that use facts, maps, and illustrations bring readers further into this history.
"A gorgeous book to be savored, read aloud, and enjoyed repeatedly."
Quill & Quire
"The collection may pique readers' interest in finding out more about some of this realms and eras."
“The fast-paced stories make for entertaining reading
a wonderful attempt to expand the usual concept of the medieval world beyond Europe.”
School Library Journal
“Smoothly written and sometimes dramatic, the entries offer glimpses of different cultures within well-structured narratives.”
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