The Black Death

The Black Death is a Junior Library Guild Selection!

Could a few fleas really change the world? In the cramped and rat-infested streets of medieval cities and villages, all it took were the bites of a few plague-infected fleas to start a pandemic that killed roughly half the population of Europe and Asia. The bubonic plague wiped out families, villages, even entire regions. Once the swollen, black buboes appeared on victims’ bodies, there was no way to save them. People died within days. In the wake of such devastation, survivors had to reevaluate their social, scientific, and religious beliefs, laying the groundwork for our modern world.


The lurid appeal of the topic is effectively captured on the cover of this solid history of the 14th-century plague. Zahler connects the seemingly unstoppable march of death to the inception of new ideas about the Church, the value of labor, and the preciousness of human life that contributed to the Reformation and the Renaissance…. Full-color illustrations, a note explaining the value of primary sources, a who’s who, and careful source notes make this book a valuable addition to history collections. —School Library Journal


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