Sunday, December 14, 2008


I am not, in any way, an advocate of  violence. If I'm being honest, I have to tell you I cringed a little bit when I saw SWORDS: AN ARTIST'S DEVOTION on the CYBILS list. This book, though, is not in any way, shape, or form violent. or bloody, or gory, nor would it present any problems in a school library or classroom. It even got a review in PARENTS' magazine.

Ben Boos is a lifelong sword afficionado. In this book, he traces the history of swords through swordsmen  all over the world- raiders, knights, kings, ninjas, samurai, and others. Each chapter is about a different sword-bearing group. The chapter begins with a brief introduction (generally no more than two or three paragraphs) and is followed by three or four pages of some of the most incredibly detailed artwork I have ever seen in a children's book. The intro pages for each chapter are usually in color, then later pages in the chapter are a series of captioned diagrams which give tons and tons more information about this particular group's swords.

I could see using this book in a unit on medieval times.  I could see using this book in a lesson on how different nonfiction texts are structured. I could see using Boos' diagrams to teach students about creating diagrams.  I could see using the incredibly detailed drawing in art classes. Maybe most importantly, I could see using this book to engage kids in books- it sure caught my boys' attention last night!

1 comment:

Franki said...

This looks GREAT! My students will love it and I love that there is no violence, but instead history. What a great find. Thanks for sharing:-)