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Rupert’s Parchment (Book) Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

Page Count: 38
 
Genre: , ,
 
Author:
 
Year Published:
 
Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
3.5/ 5


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We liked?


Gives kids an introduction to the Magna Carta in a context they can understand.

Not so much?


May not appeal to younger kids, though budding history buffs should enjoy all the extra details.


Final Fiendish Findings?

Story of Magna Carta The idea of the educational storybook is a good one. Reading is great for kids, and if you can sneak a little history in there at the same time, it’s all for the better, right? Unfortunately, oftentimes the books based on historical events come across as fairly dry and uninteresting. It’s […]

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Posted July 22, 2015 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

Story of Magna Carta

The idea of the educational storybook is a good one. Reading is great for kids, and if you can sneak a little history in there at the same time, it’s all for the better, right? Unfortunately, oftentimes the books based on historical events come across as fairly dry and uninteresting. It’s a sad fact, and it’s a shame because a lot of history is actually filled with fascinating events and characters. In Rupert’s Parchment, author Eileen Cameron attempts to take the events leading up to the signing of the Magna Carta and turn them into an interesting story that kids will both understand and enjoy.

The story follows a young boy named Rupert, who works with his father in a parchment shop. There, they turn sheep skins into high quality parchment. Since this is the 1200’s, all of the work is done by hand, and Rupert is quite pleased to be learning the trade at the tender age of twelve. But when Rupert witnesses his uncle’s cart and horses being seized, he quickly finds out that all is not well in the world. A fight is brewing between the king, who wishes to wage war and expects his subjects to obey without question, and the nobles who feel the king is asking too much.

Just when it looks as though war is inevitable, some men come to the parchment shop in search of their finest parchment. Thy are going to attempt to reach a compromise between the king and his nobles, and they take Rupert along with them to serve as a messenger between the two parties. As the messages fly back and forth, a compromise is reached that both parties can agree with. Thus, the Magna Carta is signed, giving rights to the nobles and merchants – an important date in history that affected Englishman of course, but also served as the basis for American independence centuries later.

The story is written from Rupert’s perspective, and does a decent job of explaining both the conflict and the agreement, with colorful images depicting each part of the story. Though it didn’t really hold the attention of younger kids, school aged testers found it interesting and informative. At the end of the book, a page describes the Magna Carta in fuller detail, as well as explaining why it was important. There is also a glossary that gives details on terms kids might not be familiar with, like apprentice, parchment, and Parliament. These add more educational value to the book, and though they do read like a textbook, young history buffs will enjoy them.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)