Review Blog

Apr 28 2014

Warriors by Krista Bell

cover image

Windy Hollow Books, 2014. ISBN 9781922081032.
(Age: 6+) Recommended. History, China, Travel. Two stories of the Terracotta Warriors are told side by side in this fascinating book for younger readers. Andrew travelling to China with his father, knows little of the country of his family. So when they get to Xi'an, Da tells his son the story of the finding of the sculptures in 1974, when farmers digging a well, came across a stone head. They believed it as had others before them, to be part of ghosts in the fields but when an archaeologist from the district museum came and looked, it was declared a site of historical interest. Consequently this area in Central China is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The story of how they came to be there is also told. Da tells Andrew some of the story of the emperor who wanted his army buried with him when he died, and scraps of paper on the pages next to the story gives more information. So Da tells his son about the emperor, Ying Zheng, while from the act sheet, we learn that he became emperor when thirteen and took over from his guardian when he was twenty two. Other fact sheets fill out the story that Da tells, allowing the reader to develop their own sense of the emperor who left behind this strange army.
Much more information is given in the maps, postcards home to Melbourne and fact sheets given within the covers of the book, even the endpapers adding to the tale, and the range of photographs ensures that readers will be occupied long after the words have been read. Teacher's notes are available from the publisher's website.
Fran Knight

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