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Author: Burr, Claudia
Publisher: Groundwood Books Ltd
Year Published: 1997
ISBN: 978-0-888993-04-5
Grades: Grade 8

Broken Shields

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The book depicts the Aztec worldview and details events leading up to the destruction of the Aztec civilization. Students should read the annotation on the last page before reading the poem. This unusual book uses centuries-old words and illustrations. The text is adapted from Friar de Sahagun’s 16th-century history of New Spain. In simple language and a sad tone, it tells the story, derived from accounts of Aztec witnesses, of the tragic events. The illustrations are taken from another historical work, presumably painted by natives. The text conveys the general progression of events, but readers who are already familiar with the history will benefit most from this book. Sally Mathews’s Sad Night, also in picture-book format, offers more historical background, while Broken Shields conveys the events more emotionally. A valuable, insightful resource.

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