Gr 3–5—These titles focus on the lives of representative children in order to provide information about past societies. The children are generally members of a specific social group, such as Isolda, a peasant girl living during the Middle Ages, and Shen, an Egyptian farmer's son. The books describe their lives and place their experiences and familial situations into a larger context. Quality is uneven, with Egypt and Greece the best of the group. Civil War, the weakest, depicts a slaveholder's son and his family's slave boy as friends whose lives and "sacrifices" are quite similar. The large color photos and period illustrations are appealing, but oversimplification and inconsistencies (Priscilla in Colonial America is a Rhode Island Puritan, but the pictured church is the Anglican Bruton Parish church in Colonial Williamsburg) reduce the effectiveness of the books. VERDICT These works don't improve on extant titles, making them supplemental purchases.