Book Review: It's a Feudal, Feudal World: A Different Medieval History by Stephen Shapiro and Ross Kinnaird

It's a Feudal, Feudal World: A Different Medieval History, written by Stephen Shapiro and illustrated by Ross Kinnaird, is a reader friendly approach to explaining medieval history. This book uses short bits of informational text combined with clever infographics and cartoons to give readers an overview of life during medieval times. Each double-page spread highlights an aspect of the diversity and intercultural dynamics of the medieval world. It covers medieval Europe to the Byzantine, Ottoman and Islamic empires from the daily life of the medieval child to Rabban bar Sauma's extraordinary pilgrimage, the result is a colorful and varied picture of what life was like a thousand years ago.

It's a Feudal, Feudal World gives a unique and fairly thorough overview of medieval life. The book covers some fun little bits of information as well as facts that could save your life. For instance,readers will learn the best way to stop the unstoppable knight, who was most likely to die from the Black Death, and what life was like for medieval women. Information on crusaders and caliphs, Mongols and midwives, and the expansion of trade routes, power shifts, conquests, adventures and persecutions. While the book is not the end all of all medieval information, it could be a helpful classroom resource or inspire readers to do further research on their own.

It's a Feudal, Feudal World is informative without being boring. The bright graphics and combination of facts and fun could be just the thing to get readers interested in history, the medieval era, or conducting more research on their own. As a person that loves literature from and about that era, I found many of the facts old news, but am glad to saw I still learned some things and have a renewed interest in medieval life. While not a complete or comprehensive book for researching the time, this book is a good jumping up point to help narrow down the areas that most interest report writers and researchers before the dive into heavy collections of history.

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