What would it be like to be a 15-year-old apprentice, living in Florence, Italy in the 1400's? What kinds of art and learning would you encounter? What would you hear about the Medici family, and the other families who were contesting for power in Italy?
Catherine Jaime's book, Leonardo the Florentine, paints a picture of all of this, with details that portray what this time period (Renaissance) was like. This book is about Leonardo da Vinci, who spent much of his life as an artist and inventor in Florence. Towards the end of his time there he began work on "Adoration of the Magi," his first large painting (about 8 feet square).
If you'd like to read about Renaissance times, or about Da Vinci in a historical fiction format, this book is a perfect fit.
There is also a sequel to this book, that tells about Da Vinci's further work in a different Italian city-- called Masterpieces in Milan (see earlier blog post about it here).
We used both books as read-alouds. We read them out of order-- the Milan one first-- but it didn't seem to matter; both were books that held our interest, and we enjoyed learning more about Leonardo da Vinci and the culture of his time.
There is a third book available in the series-- we'll have to start on that one next . . . it is called To Mantua and Beyond, and picks up where the Milan book left off, through several more years of Da Vinci's life.
Catherine's books are available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions.