Gr 7 Up¿Drawing on documented primary sources and modern scholarship, these well-written books separate fact from myth and give readers a detail-rich glimpse into life during the often gruesome Middle Ages. Books are primarily focused on Western Europe, and authors describe both the rigid social and religious structures and the ignorance and brutality that were hallmarks of medieval life. They also explain how innovation and expanded trade with the Middle East brought gradual change, especially in weaponry, warfare, and medicine. Texts are supplemented with sidebars that provide longer primary source excerpts and additional information about related topics. Illustrations, which include a single map of medieval Europe and color reproductions of period art and contemporary photos of locations and weapons, add little. These books will help readers and report writers understand the reality of medieval life. Good choices for secondary libraries.