You Wouldn’t Want to Be Sick in the 16th Century! by Kathryn Senior, illustrated by David Antram

(Suggested Reading Level: Ages 9-12)

This is the first of the You Wouldn’t Want to… series that I’ve read, but I was definitely impressed. Fun and factual history go hand in had in this short book, and parts are just downright gross, which is always attractive to kids.

The introduction sets the stage.

Your name is Nicholas Knight, and you are a barber surgeon in the 16th century, known in England as Tudor times. (pg. 5)

We then learn about how patients were diagnosed, “surgery” techniques, infections and the plague. We travel to a battlefield in northern France and aboard a ship during the Spanish Armada. We’re even present at the bedside of Queen Elizabeth I.

This is not always a pleasant experience—she becomes bad-tempered and bitter as she gets older. (pg. 28)

To be honest, I learned a lot about medicine in the 16th century, most of which I didn’t want to know. But it was presented in such an enjoyable, light-hearted way, both the writing and the illustrations, that kids will just love it. I need to pick up some more in the series and see what else Amber (9) and I wouldn’t want to do.

My copy was borrowed from the library and the above is my honest opinion. I am an Amazon Associate.


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