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Ballplayers and Bonesetters - One Hundred Ancient Aztec and Maya Jobs You Might Have Adored or Abhorred

Ballplayers and Bonesetters

One Hundred Ancient Aztec and Maya Jobs You Might Have Adored or Abhorred

Interest Age: 9–12
Grade: 4–7
Reading Age: 9–12
Hardcover : 9781554511419, 96 pages, September 2008 , 10.77" x 8.45"
Paperback : 9781554511402, 96 pages, September 2008 , 10.51" x 8.24"
Rights sold: Korean, simplified Chinese


Imagine growing up in Mesoamerica before the Spanish Conquest (1350 – 1521). What does your future hold? The ancient Aztecs, Maya and other Mesoamericans believed that the gods created a world where everyone had a role to play. Some people were born to rule, others to serve. If you were lucky, you might have been a high priest or a queen. On the other hand, you could have ended up as a latrine boatman or a slave destined to become a sacrificial victim.

Find out what it was like to be a tax collector (don’t try to keep any money for yourself; the penalty is death!) or a porter (only if you enjoy carrying heavy packs up mountains). Or perhaps you’d prefer building pyramids, raising dogs or being a royal cook (frog casserole with green chile, anyone?). Other jobs you might have held include: • Counterfeiter • Bell maker • Mosaic mask maker • Beekeeper.

Featuring a fact-filled introduction, a timeline and humorous illustrations, this book offers a unique view of one of the most remarkable civilizations of all time.  


“This book rates very big in ‘COOL’ness factor!”

- Resource Links, 12/08

“Entirely engaging, and Martha Newbigging’s detailed cartoons shine just as bright as Laurie Coulter’s spunky, humorous tone. Highly recommended. ”

- CM Reviews, 02/09

“Readable . . . humorous . . .  lively . . .  the descriptions of the vocations yield a rich view of the culture, and the breezy text makes this as much a browsing as a reference title . . .  a solid purchase for elementary school and public libraries. ”

- School Library Journal, 12/08

“A distinctive look . . . that adds much information in a witty and charming cartoon style. ”

- Canadian Children’s Book News, 10/08

“This book describes in often humorous detail (accompanied by equally humorous illustrations) the work that both the elites and commoners performed. The jobs run the gamut from judge to latrine boatman, from salt maker to adobe brick maker, from Great King to slave. ” 

- The Globe and Mail, 09/08

“This kid-friendly narrative will entice with its humor and unexpected trivia. ”

- Foreword Reviews, 01/09