Reviews for Stonemason

Library Media Connection Reviews 2009 August/September
This series meets the needs of middle school students in their quest to understand and appreciate the European Medieval period from approximately 1000 to 1500. Each book tells the story of a different class of people from birth through childhood, adulthood, and death. Quotes from medieval diaries and other writings, such as the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer, will help the teacher-librarian introduce the role of primary documents in understanding history. Captioned, color photographs and illustrations provide visual interest and understanding to the text. Particularly helpful is the glossary, though readers would benefit more from this tool if glossary terms appeared in bold throughout the text alerting the reader that the definition is available. Students will find a timeline as well as a list of useful medieval history websites. The series will be very appealing to students; however, the absence of a works cited or bibliography calls into question the credibility of the information. Index. Recommended. Susan D. Yutzey, Library Media Specialist, Upper Arlington High School, Columbus, Ohio ¬ 2009 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

School Library Journal Reviews 2008 November

Gr 4-6-Rare references to more distant locales aside, these present-tense profiles present a conventional, narrowly Western Eurocentric view of medieval society. Each one opens with a similar prcis of the hierarchical social order. It then follows a fictional, unnamed subject from birth to death, retracing a successful career and pausing for glances at schooling, training, daily and annual routines, celebrations, and typical tasks and accomplishments. Social roles and expectations are largely set in stone, with regional variations seldom noted. Moreover, several vague historical allusions, such as the assertion that "[Eleanor of Aquitaine] led a scandalous life of rumor while trying to retain power" and terms like "churched," will not be meaningful to most readers. Along with unenlightening, contextless quotes from contemporary or later writers ("There was meat and merrymaking and much delight"), the narratives are supported with undifferentiated mixes of crudely drawn new art and enlarged details from unidentified period or later illuminated manuscripts.

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