Break the Siege: Make Your Own Catapults

9781512406382. ea vol: illus. by Jean Paul de Quay. 32p. (Tabletop Wars). chart. diag. ebook available. glossary. illus. index. Lerner/Hungry Tomato. Nov. 2016. lib. ed. $26.65. pap. $7.99.
Gr 3–7—Let's be honest, books about warfare tend to fly off the shelf, and this series is worth a good look. Craft enthusiasts will use rubber bands, craft sticks, paper tubes, and pencils to fling paper wads and marshmallows across the room or set up a battlefield for warriors made of plastic eggs. Most of the projects are tricky to make, and though each one is explained via multiple illustrated steps, even confident crafters might benefit from photos instead of drawings. Materials are culled from the recycle bin or the office, sometimes creating more work than necessary (instead of being told to use dowels, students are instructed to cut the point and eraser off of pencils). Illustrated sidebars give historical anecdotes for each project.
This series teaches readers how to construct models and miniature, working versions of medieval weaponry out of household items such as pencils, popsicle sticks, cardboard tubes, etc. The cartoony illustrated instructions are helpful and also provide levity. The complexity of some of the constructions and required techniques may frustrate kids on the lower end of the suggested audience. Ind. Review covers the following Tabletop Wars titles: Break the Siege, Castle Attack, Ready, Aim, Launch, and Surprise the Enemy.

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