________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 24. . . .February 26, 2016


Hard as Nails Kings and Queens. (Hard as Nails in History Series).

Tracey Turner. Illustrated by Jamie Lenman.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2015.
64 pp., pbk. & hc., $12.95 (pbk.), $23.96 (RLB).
ISBN 978-0-7787-1523-8 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-1519-1 (RLB).

Subject Headings:
Kings and rulers-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Queens-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Royal houses-Juvenile literature.
Monarchy-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Ian Stewart.

*** /4


Hard as Nails Travelers and Explorers. (Hard as Nails in History Series).

Tracey Turner. Illustrated by Jamie Lenman.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2015.
64 pp., pbk. & hc., $12.95 (pbk.), $23.96 (RLB).
ISBN 978-0-7787-1525-2 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-1521-4 (RLB).

Subject Headings:
Explorers-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Adventure and adventurers-Juvenile literature.
Voyages and travels-Juvenile literature.
Discoveries in geography-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-12.

Review by Ian Stewart.

*** /4


Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. The future queen was only two years old when her mother’s head was chopped off on the orders of her father. She wasn’t expected to become queen, since she had an older half-brother and half-sister. When her half-bother Edward died when he was 15, Elizabeth’s half-sister Mary became queen. During Mary’s reign, Elizabeth was accused of being part of a rebellion and imprisoned in the Tower of London… In 1558, Queen Mary died without having any children and Elizabeth became queen. (From Hard as Nails Kings and Queens: Elizabeth I.)

This book contains the toughest and most courageous explorers and travellers in the history of the world. Some of them navigated uncharted waters, some braved the icy landscapes of the freezing poles, and one even set foot on the moon. (From
Hard as Nails Travelers and Explorers.)


These two high interest books introduce students to the remarkable lives of some of history’s warrior kings and queens and travellers and explorers. All the books in the series are at a guided reading Level S, which corresponds to the end of grade 4 level. Teachers will be able to use these books for a variety of purposes in their English Language Arts programs or history.

     Kings and Queens takes students as far back in history as Hatshepsut, who lived over 3500 years ago, the only female Pharaoh of ancient Egypt, up to the time of Frederick the Great of Prussia in the 18th century. Travelers and Explorers takes readers back to the time of Leif Eriksson when he and his band of Viking explorers sailed to North America in the 8th century up to the first moon landing in 1968.

     The “Hard as Nails” series, which also includes Hard as Nails Warriors follows a similar format to determine how actually “hard as nails” are the rulers or explorers. Each entry has a two page synopsis of his or her life, enemies and accomplishments, and the “Hardometer” rates each character based on cunning, ruthlessness, courage and survival skills.

     All the books in the series are an excellent way to introduce students to historical characters from wide-ranging cultures and time periods. Each book contains a time line, a glossary and a special section on a specific topic, such as diseases or a game.


Ian Stewart teaches at Cecil Rhodes School in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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