Explore early Europe, from the early farmers in the Neolithic Age and the people who started an earthen statue trend by building Stonehenge to the mighty Romans whose empire stretched across Europe. The feature on the Bronze Age includes an informative lesson about metallurgy; there is also an interesting section about Sarmatian women and how they served alongside men in battle! Another awesome part describes the Italian Peninsula?Etruscan rituals, the founding of Rome, the expansion of Rome's power as it moved to control the Mediterranean, and the literature and arts that grew there. Readers also get to look at warring German neighbors and the construction of Hadrian's Wall in England for border control. Read on to discover the way of life as the Empire expanded, was divided, and subsequently began its decline. This look at Roman societies fits beautifully into the timeline of the "History of the World" series, following the same style as the other books. The books in the series feature wide two-page spreads on each topic, laid out with vivid illustrations of both authentic pieces of work as well of maps and replicated items. There are also incredible diagrams that are labeled and often complete with captions to give more information. One of the most utile aspects of each page is a blackened sidebar with an overview of dates or other pertinent information. These are invaluable as a quick reference because the pages are rather busy, being so full of detail. Another really great feature can be found on the Contents/Introduction pages: a timeline that has a separate band for each group of peoples discussed in the set of years covered in the book. This serves as a great comparison for events happening simultaneously in each culture. Reviewer: K. Meghan Robertson
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10–Similar in style to DK’s “Eyewitness Books,” this appealing series moves from prehistory through medieval Europe and onward to the global issues of today. Along the way, readers are introduced to many prevalent themes in the areas of religion, government, and economics, for example. Spreads discuss a subtopic each, such as the literature and arts of ancient Rome or Inca society and religion. Their effectiveness lies in the combination of lush illustrations, well-chosen, captioned photographs of contemporary artifacts, and reasoned, concise narratives. Succinct time lines border most pages, and effective introductions, the proper amount of white space, and clear dark print maintain organization and clarity. A superior choice.