Attila the Hun (Biography from Ancient Civilizations: Legends, Folklore, and Stories of Ancient Worlds)
Attila, king of the Huns, thundered out of the Steppes of Central Asia early in the fifth century CE. He rode at the head of his horrific band of horsemen, spreading fear and wreaking havoc throughout the European countryside. History recalls him as a terror of monumental proportions. Known as the scourge of God by early Christians, he ruled for two short decades and was gone. Attila took on the mighty Roman Empire and contributed mightily to its fall. He led his barbarian hordes to the gates of Constantinople, across present-day Germany and France to OrlÃ©ans, and deep into today s Italy. He left behind a sinister legacy, borne out by the blood and bones of tens of thousands of his victims.
From School Library Journal
Grade 6–9—Although these books are by the same author, they vary considerably in interest, readability, and appeal. Attila, an average production, has inadequate maps. Clovis is by far the worst; it's wordy and uses archaic, often unintelligible language. Eleanor is disappointingly condensed and limited, providing more information on family members than on the queen herself. It's woefully unbalanced (40 crucial years of her life are covered in 5 pages), and there are numerous omissions. All three titles assume basic knowledge, of the Roman Empire or Middle Ages. Each one features unappealing illustrations. Suggested pronunciations are given for only a few words, and the glossaries are incomplete. Finally, Rice offers nothing about the influence of these individuals or their place in Western culture—what is the value of studying them? No young adult biography of Eleanor can compare to Polly Brooks's excellent Queen Eleanor (Houghton, 1999).—Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY
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Aimed at the “not-so-enthusiastic reader,” titles in the Biography from Ancient Civilizations: Legends, Folklore, and Stories of Ancient Worlds series introduce their subjects with lively narratives filled with anecdotes and quotes about the profiled historical figures that will spark students’ curiosity. The Life and Times of Attila the Hun, for example, includes an account of the legendary barbarian as a gracious host who eschewed ostentatious shows of wealth in his personal style. In describing dramatic scenes, Rice occasionally takes some liberties with unsourced details. A few blurry artists’ renderings crop up in each title, but for the most part, the numerous visuals, including maps, reproductions from illuminated manuscripts, and photos of artifacts, such as weaponry, will draw students into the compelling stories. A personal chronology, a time line setting each life in context, chapter notes for direct quotes, a glossary, and suggestions for further reading complete these titles that seek to generate high interest in ancient history. Grades 5-8. --Gillian Engberg
About the Author
Earle Rice Jr. is a former senior design engineer and technical writer in the aerospace, electronic-defense, and nuclear industries. He has devoted full time to his writing since 1993 and is the author of more than fifty published books. Earle is listed in Who s Who in America and is a member of the Society of Children s Book Writers and Illustrators, the League of World War I Aviation Historians, the Air Force Association, and the Disabled American Veterans.