Horrible Histories Oxford
Terry Deary, ill. Martin Brown
London, Scholastic, 2007, 96p
I felt it was time to review some non-fiction. Although not my usual choice of leisure reading, Horrible Histories have always been entertaining, and I hoped I might learn something new about my new home town.
I knew bits and bobs about the city's history already - particular elements about the Danish settlers and the development of the university. What I didn't realise was how many times the university students had conflicted with the townspeople. I guess it still happens today - when a university pops up, the locals hold a grudge against the incoming students. But today, it doesn't usually end in deaths.
And there is a lot of death in this book. There is information about Catholics burned at the stake, all sorts of animals turned into meals, and ghost stories.
Right in the middle of the book is a map of the city, with a little guide to where to visit. Most of it I know by now, as people tend to offer me the same city highlights over and over again.
But I think it's perfect for the kids. This guide to Oxford gives them the chance to learn about where this city has come from and to claim their home town as their own.