Gr 8 Up-This straightforward narrative of Joan's life, interspersed with numerous quotes and illustrations, is severely flawed. Silverthorne assumes that readers are intimately acquainted with Catholicism. She begins, "Joan of Arc lived during the Middle Ages, a time when the church defined life for most people in Europe"-what church? This paragraph and the next three blithely refer to baptism, God, Satan, heaven, hell, the devil, priests, the pope, cathedrals, monasteries, excommunication, and the sacraments without explanation; the book continues on in this vein. Historical terms such as "feuded domains," "wheelwright," "surcoat," "sollerets," "standard," "ramparts," "capons," and "sortie" aren't defined either. Many of the quotations are too convoluted or archaic to be useful, while others add little to the discussion and just serve as window dressing. The majority of the black-and-white illustrations are old-fashioned, inaccurate, and inconsistent with the text; the only map, which is overly complicated, doesn't appear until page 67. Silverthorne also fails to address the possible sources of Joan's voices and visions. The annotated bibliography and list for further reading contain too many old, outdated titles while omitting newer ones. Polly Shoyer Brooks's Beyond the Myth (Houghton, 1999) remains the best young adult biography of Joan of Arc.-Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.