Horrible Histories: Top 50 Villains by Terry Deary

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Horrible Histories: Top 50 Villains by Terry Deary, paperback non-fiction, 141 pages, published by Scholastic Ltd in 2016.

Top 50 Villains is a special edition in the Horrible Histories series, detailing fifty of the vilest villains from across all periods of history, including American gangsters, Mongol Warriors and Roman Emperors.

I’m a huge fan of this series, and I love reading all the foul facts. This book was quite interesting, with a couple of pages dedicated to each criminal, including a portrait of each. There is also some more general information about villainy through the ages scattered among the mini biographies.

I would have liked a little more depth about each person, but for the intended age group, it is quite a good taster. It introduces some of the most notorious people in history (and a few I hadn’t heard of!) to middle and upper primary school children, hopefully inciting them to undertake a little of their own research to find out more about their favourite crooks.

This book has been produced in full glossy colour, bringing the illustrations to life. I find the pictures to be darkly humorous, but perfectly suited to the style of the book. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed in the poor quality of binding on this book, with some of the pages coming loose on its second read.

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