Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
on 28 January 2012
Had I read the previous review, I would not have bought this book. My son does read at level Oxford Reading Tree level 11, but he is only 6. I would not want him to know about the final solution just yet. Thankfully, the previous review is mistaken - there is nothing about the Final solution, and the only mention of Nazi's is a picture of Rudolph Hess with the brief note that he was held prisoner in the tower for a few days before being moved to another prison.
I bought this book because my son wanted to know more about the Tower of London after reading Charlie Higson's novels, which take place there. This is an excellent, well written book. There is a section on famous prisoners, graffiti left by inmates, the menagerie kept at the tower, armour and the Crown Jewels, the fire of London, the mint, and tourism. There are also sections on torture and execution, and my son did find these pages upsetting. They are not distasteful, nor are they particularly gruesome. The most horrible would be a black and white woodcut style picture of a fellow being drawn and about to be quartered. There is not a great deal of description - thankfully. He simply could not understand how humans could do such things to each other. Of course these questions must come up at sometime, but I would advise parents to read this first, and if in doubt, and discuss the issues with their child. This would be more appropriate for children at teh recommended age level of 8-9 than my son's age. Of course the Charlie Higson books he reads are far more gruesome, but he knows they are not real, where this is non fiction.
On the plus side though He just loved the large colour drawings showing the tower lay out and explaining when different sections were built. It was great to be able to see the setting for his favourite story and he could really understand why The Tower would be an ideal defensive location. We also quite enjoyed the section on the ravens kept at the tower.
I would recommend this book very much to anyone who will be visiting The Tower, or for older children already a bit familiar with some of the topics. It is a great book to teach British History from , as well as being ideal as a levelled reader.