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Non-Fiction Focus Week: Tudors: A High-Speed History

Posted on Nov 1, 2010

Terry Deary (text) & Dave Smith (illustrations)(Scholastic)
The Horrible Histories books have sold in their millions. They are amongst the most successful non-fiction series for youngsters ever published, if not the most successful. It is easily to see why; Terry Deary manages to make history exciting, with humour, gore and sometimes very obscure but accurate facts. But one shortfall of the series is that it is quite dense in text and many of the children who are enjoying the TV series will find the books quite challenging. This is why I chose to review this new format on Horrible Histories, all in comic-strip style and therefore more accessible to younger readers. It is still all there: the humour, the gory bits, and includes artwork from a new illustrator, Dave Smith, whose style suits comics.




The Tudors is a crucial era of British history but it is long and complicated. This book delivers all the details needed for a clear overview of the era without being long or complicated. I got to hate learning about the Tudors after hearing about it once too often at university but I did enjoy this, because it is fun. The resident history teacher of the Library Mice household (aka my other half) thinks it is brilliant too. Anything that can clearly explain the Catholic/Protestant/Catholic/Protestant rollercoaster of the Tudor bonus and make it entertaining is a bonus as far as he is concerned!



Overall, this is a fun and informative book that can be enjoyed by fans of Horrible Histories books and those who love the TV series but are struggling with reading the original books. This is definitely one to be added to the school library stock too!

And just for fun, here is the Tudors Song from the TV series:

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