Horrible Histories: Angry Aztecs by Terry Deary and illustrated by Martin Brown, paperback non-fiction novel, 138 pages, first published by Scholastic Ltd. in 1997, this edition published in 2008.
This is a book that tackles the perception of history being boring, and re-invigorates it in a format perfect for children thirsty for knowledge. I thoroughly enjoyed this informative look at the Aztecs, how they lived and how they died, including all the nasty bits, such as human sacrifices, violent ball games and dogs for dinner. There was information on the Aztecs’ neighbours, enemies and the Spanish Conquistadors, their diets, priests and marriages.
Angry Aztecs is full of historical facts that were easy to understand, and presented alongside amusing black and white drawings. As well as allowing easier visualisation of parts of the Aztecs’ history, the illustrations included some comics to help elucidate various points being made in the text. There were also engaging quizzes that assisted in consolidating the knowledge acquired throughout the book
A very definitely not boring insight into the peoples of this interesting empire of the Americas, this is a good read for middle and upper primary school children, especially those interested in history or other cultures. It is on my second-grader’s ‘to read’ list, along with many other titles from his fantastic series. Everyone needs some Horrible Histories in their lives!