You Wouldn’t Want to Be Joan of Arc by Fiona MacDonald (Grades 3-5)


CheckBook cover: You Wouldn't Want To Be Joan of Arc by Fiona MacDonald this book out from the New Orleans Public Library or from the Jefferson Parish Library

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Grades 3-5, review: “The irrepressible You Wouldn’t Want To . . . series has already assured us that we wouldn’t want to be Tutankhamen, Marco Polo, or a Sumerian slave—but how about French army leader and eventual saint, Joan of Arc? Well, no. As a 16-year-old peasant, Joan (or you, as the second-person text insists) lives a quiet, humble life. One of the great things about the series is all of the historical lessons posing as survival tips, and after Joan hears the voices of saints and joins the army, those tips change from how to handle household chores to how to survive on the battlefield. As presented, the political pressures of the Hundred Years’ War are muddled, but what’s perfectly clear is the danger Joan thrusts herself into. Feel like ignoring those voices, Joan? Tough: “You must obey them—it’s a holy command!” Antram’s antic cartoon art infuses everything with dark humor, even when Joan is accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake. Immersive, fun, and convincing, too. Grades 3-5. –Daniel Kraus”


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