Children's LiteratureThis book is part of the "Makers of the Middle Ages and Renaissance" series. It is divided into six chapters: "Murder in the Cathedral," "Bankers to the Republic," "Lorenzo the Magnificent," "A Medici Pope," "Catherine de Medici," and "A Dynasty's Decline." Wagner does not hide the family's troubled past, but rather she tells their story and all its gruesome details. Colorful reproductions of the artwork the family helped fund are reprinted on many of the pages, though there are a few photographs of important sites in Florence to which the family is linked. While the book opens with an intriguing action scene by describing the Pazzi Conspiracy, this book is probably not the most inspiring to young readers because of the grey cover and the nature of the artwork included. After each chapter there is a five question quiz entitled "Test Your Knowledge" that reviews major historical facts. Throughout the text there are a few lengthy sidebars that explain in-depth important topics, such as the Duomo, Michelangelo, and the papal electoral process. While there is a comprehensive chronology and timeline, there is no glossary of terms, nor is there a map of Italy or a family tree explaining how each member is related to help young readers gain a thorough understanding of this family's life. The library binding makes it a good acquisition for a school whose curriculum covers this time period. 2005, Chelsea House, Ages 9 to 12.