If You Were Me and Lived in . . . Renaissance Italy, by Carole P. Roman ISBN 9781523234271
Five out of five stars
Carole P. Roman is the author of a series of books that begin with “If You Were Me and Lived in . . .” and they cover many countries and time periods. In general, they are written at the level of the late second grade reader, although this one is a bit longer and more advanced.
The subject is the Italian city of Florence at the time when learning and the arts were emerging from the long shadows of what has often been called the “Dark Ages.” Florence was a dynamic city-state, one of the leaders in the rise of a merchant class engaged in a revival of international trade. It was ruled by a powerful and wealth family that spent a great deal on the arts, much of what is now referred to as Renaissance art was produced by artists they supported.
Like all books in this series, this one is written from the perspective of a pair of children, one male and the other female. Their world, from fashion and education to the food they ate, living conditions and social activities are all described in some detail. It was a time of great change in that section of the world and Roman captures what was done as well as some of what it meant for the future.
No history course covering western civilization is complete without coverage of the great awakening called the Renaissance and that is not complete without a description of the role of Florence. This book is a very good addition to the resources used in teaching children about life in Florence at that time.
This book was made available for free for review purposes.