Gr. 9–12 Written by various well-known nonfiction authors, this series attempts to describe life during various periods of history, through the social history of the common man; merchant, farmer, artisan, and slave. Using letters, diaries, coins, paintings, and other items of the historical periods, the authors endeavor to reconstruct the daily struggles of the average person. Life in a Nazi Concentration Camp is the most wrenching. Each volume has a timeline of the subject covered. The books are replete with numerous sidebars and illustrations giving more information to the topic. Bibliography. Websites.
—Augie E. Beasley, Educational Reviewer, Charlotte, North Carolina
Gr 8 Up These volumes focus on the everyday lives of a variety of people, including different social and economic classes, women, children, and slaves and servants. The books describe how people were housed, where they worked, what they ate, and how they worshipped and learned. All are well written in clear, informative prose that draws on well-documented primary sources, which are quoted in the text and excerpted in sidebars. The titles are objective about the negative and positive parts of each culture. The average-quality maps, period reproductions, and photographs add little to the texts. More focused on ordinary people than the books in Lucent's "The Way People Live" series, these titles will promote deeper understanding of societies and groups that, for better or worse, influenced world history. Solid choices for secondary collections.