School Library Journal - School Library Journalea. vol: 30p. glossary. bibliog. charts. (Everyday Life of Series). CIP. Bedrick, dist. by Harper. Oct. 1986. PSm $9.95. Gr 4-6 The daily life of four distinct cultures is seen through the eyes of an adolescent. Zita, a young Russian slave, describes her master's household near Florence during the 14th Century in A Florentine Merchant. Based on the extensive household accounts and letters of Messer Francesco, this title gives more feeling for the period than the other volumes in the series, which describe prototypical settings. Pierro, sent to the great monastery of Cluny in 1140, gives a brief picture of French Benedictine monastic life in A Medieval Monk. In A Roman Soldier, new recruit Marcus describes garrison life along Hadrian's Wall in third-Century Britain. Egil's father, newly returned to Denmark from a long trading expedition, moves his family to York in A Viking Settler. A preponderance of wooden dialogue makes this book the least readable. In each volume, a sketchy, sometimes unconvincing plot advances the story and makes possible the inclusion of historical background. Stilted dialogue provides additional information. A brief introduction clarifies the story; pictures of period architecture and common implements conclude each volume. Detailed full-color illustrations provide a vivid sense of place to the two-page chapters. These attractive vignettes give a personal view of four colorful periods of history and can be used as supplementary reading.Marguerite F. Raybould, Glendale Public Library, Calif.
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