Gr 6-9-These books are handsomely designed, beautifully illustrated with many period paintings, and written in a clear and lively manner. Church focuses on the religious conflicts of the Renaissance and Reformation and describes what life was like for religious and laypeople, both Catholic and Protestant. A useful section explains the rise of humanism and reform. The role of women in religious life during the Renaissance is particularly interesting. City discusses the economic and social life of cities in both northern and southern Europe. Countryside describes the role of peasants and landowners. Interesting sidebars appear in all three titles. For example, Church provides a recipe for hot-cross buns, City includes a description of bathing and bathhouses, and Countryside offers a simple menu that a French peasant might have eaten. Each volume cites sources of quotations and paintings and has a useful glossary, extensive bibliography, and sources for online information. With many fascinating details that bring the period to life, these well-organized books provide the sort of information required in school reports and should be first purchases for libraries needing material on the Renaissance.-Jennifer Ralston, Harford County Public Library, Belcamp, MD Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.