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Children's LiteratureWhen most people think of Vikings, the idea of a violent culture pillaging far and wide is usually the image that pops into their head. It is true that the Vikings did attack other settlements and when victorious they took whatever booty they could find. When at home, though, the Vikings led very peaceful and civilized lives. They were able to acquire wealth and move up socially, usually through participation in raiding parties. They were excellent navigators and ship builders, and unlike many other groups of the time, women were allowed to own property and wealth. To assume that the Vikings were barbarians is to underestimate them. This book explores the Viking culture. It is formatted like many popular reference books are today—lots of colorful pictures and short bursts of text. The captions are often as long as the main text itself. Every inch of the book is used, including the front and back covers. Even the index is full. Because of the amount of text needed for this type of format, some facts are repeated, but it is a great reference book for the price. 2006, Saddleback, Ages 11 to 15.