Sunday, 11 October 2009

Cut-throat Celts by Terry Deary

The ghastly truth about the wild warrior race who weren't afraid to fight the Romans. The book includes stories about suffering saints, gruesome games for Celtic kids, and the dreadful Druids with their strange sacrifices and terrible trials.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: YOU ARE SO LUCKY. When I was a teenager we didn't have many great books to read and Horrible Histories is just another example of the type of book I would have eaten up if I'd had them around.

Terry Deary is amazing. He is funny and interesting. He really knows how to make history interesting for young readers. He goes after all the shocking stuff and all the disgusting stuff and he tells us his story in a most amusing way.

Martin Brown's illustrations are hilarious. My favourite was the comparison of the Celtic and Roman solidier ready for battle. The Roman is standing there in full armour, covered from head to toe. Next to him is the Celtic warrior, standing naked except for a little fig leaf over his private parts. My son and I laughed so hard when we saw that.

Deary's books get a lot of the facts on the table and he gives us maps and drawings to make things clear. He tells funny little stories about real people. He makes little question lists (followed by answers) and the result is usually shock and awe.

The Celts are an interesting group and well worth reading about. I think I know a little bit more about European history now. At the very least I know that reading about history is good fun!

Scholastic recently had the whole series in a box set. I'm still kicking myself because I didn't buy it. You see, I only recently discoverd Horrible Histories and their amazing creator Terry Deary. Even if you don't like history, I dare you to pick one up. I'm sure you'll find something in there that you'll love.

Terry Deary is a hero for making history exciting and fun for kids (well, and even for us older types). BTW, we now have a signed copy of the Second World War book for our collection! Yay! Stay tuned, I'll try to get more for the SRR as soon as I can.

4.5/5 Stars

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