This series of books about the warriors of four different cultures covers subject matter that is not common to most early readers, but is a topic that fascinates kids. The books are well written and illustrated; though one weakness is the map included at the end of each one. Intended to appear as an aged atlas of the globe, it is hard to read and will challenge a child attempting to identify the warrior locations highlighted. The last page of each book is a trisection of information—a very brief glossary of words highlighted in the text, a bibliography with related resources, and an index to each individual title. Samurai warriors protected their masters and their master's lands using martial arts still practiced competitively (and as a self defense strategy) today. The weapons of theses warriors included sharp blades and poles that were thought of as extensions of their bodies. The victorious outcome of a fight was a great source of pride; however, upon losing a Samurai's shame was so great that fighters often punished themselves by taking their own lives. Pride and self discipline continue to be traits of those who study martial arts today. Colorful prints and historic photos aid in creating a glimpse into the lives of these ancient warriors. Part of "The Great Warriors" series. Reviewer: Cindy K. Schofield
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Warriors are a source of fascination for children, and these titles make historical fighters accessible to students just beginning to read on their own. The text and design of the books are spare, and vocabulary words are introduced unobtrusively. Pronunciation assistance is included within the texts. The illustrations are reproductions of historical artwork, lending the books a feeling of maturity that independent readers will appreciate. The concepts are simple, but introduced without oversimplification that might lead to misunderstandings. These are excellent introductions—and fun to read aloud.