No city has as many amazing stories to tell as London. Brought low by the Black Death, burned to the ground, and blitzed...London always rises from the ashes and new generations of children are born to make its history.
Let twelve of these children lead you on an incredible journey from a simple Saxon settlement by the Thames to a vibrant, Global city hosting the 2012 Olympic Games.
This is an excellent educational book for your budding historian! With the Olympics coming up, this is an awesome book that has been timely produced. I really like the publishing of the book, its a great wee square size and the font is a nice size for older children.
The book consists of various stories that begin in AD61 right through to 2012, I really enjoyed the story that related to WWII "Blitz 1940". "Death at the Globe Theatre 1587" was an excellent historical story with relevance to today's society with Shakespeare taught in schools.
There is so many great tid bits included that make it so relevant to children reading this, its jam packed and definitely the 'older' storeys do not feel dated and are easy to read. These stories come from a child's perspective, so are unique and fully aimed to the older child reader reader.
This book would be awesome if your child is a confident reader of chapter books and is interested in history, and/or learning about the past and other countries - perhaps if you have family that live or have come from London/Britain, this would be great to establish discovering the children's family's past.
Having read a lot of history in general and of London I was a little bewildered by the style the author chose to take on this book. Aimed at children he appears to be trying to emulate the style used by reknown authors Peter Ackroyd and Edward Rutherford in their rather lengthy, but very impressive tomes, on London. I didn't feel like the author succeeded at all in what I assume he was setting out to achieve.
This book contains 12 stories of young children set in different time periods in the city of London. Jim Eldridge has chosen to use time periods that are of historical significance such as "the Gunpowder plot" namely what is now known as Guy Fawkes day, The Great Fire, 1666 and Blitz! 1940. In between each chapter of these stories he has written a page or more aimed at explaining what was happening in that time period with the monarchy and religion etc.
I felt that the stories from the children's perspectives were not well written and also the characters were not based on fact which I think would be confusing to a young reader. For example with the Guy Fawkes story he has a young seamstress foiling the plot to destroy the Parliament buildings which was not actually what happened. The information contained in the intervening pages of the chapters is so confusing I was struggling to understand it. I think partly because whilst trying to abbreviate the information Eldridge is also trying to not lose the content of what occurred. A very difficult task.
I was very disappointed in this book and would actually like to see a rewrite amalgamating the factual history into the story line and making the stories more realistic thus increasing the readability of the book as a whole.
I am not sure that this is a book that I would be using as the basis for any history lesson and there are a raft of other books out there for children that, whilst they may not cover such an expanse of time periods in one cover, perhaps give a more realistic portrayal of events and conditions at the time.
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"Character - the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life - is the source from which self respect springs."
Joan Didion (1934 - ), 'Slouching Towards Bethlehem'