Cover image for Montezuma and the fall of the Aztecs
Montezuma and the fall of the Aztecs
Kimmel, Eric A.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Holiday House, [2000]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) ; color illustrations ; 28 cm
Traces the life of the last emperor to rule the Aztec empire in Central America before it was conquered by the Spaniards.
Reading Level:
590 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.8 0.5 41522.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.1 3 Quiz: 21563 Guided reading level: P.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F1230.M6 K56 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
F1230.M6 K56 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
F1230.M6 K56 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
F1230.M6 K56 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
F1230.M6 K56 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



The end of the Aztec empire and its last emperor.

Author Notes

Eric Kimmel was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1946. He received a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Lafayette College. He also has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Illinois.

He was an elementary school teacher and college professor before becoming a full-time writer. He has published over fifty titles, many of which have won state and national awards. His titles "Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins" won the Caldecott Honor Medal, "The Chanukkah Guest" and "Gershon's Monster" won the Sydney Taylor Picture Book Award and "Anansi and the Talking Melon" won the Utah Children's Choice Award.

Kimmel travels nationally and internationally visiting schools and talking about his books and telling stories.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-5. In this picture book for older readers, Kimmel and San Souci bring the story of Montezuma's fall vividly to life. This is not an uncomplicated story, yet Kimmel presents it with ease, introducing readers first to the Aztec empire and its ruler, Montezuma. He discusses the unrest of the Aztec's subject people and describes the coming of Cortes, who used the conquered people to help him defeat the Aztec. Also crisply described are the strategies planned by each side to trick the other. Cortes, of course, prevailed, and the book ends at the siege of Tenochtitlan. Using traditional Aztec motifs and bright colors--jungle green, turquoise blue, sunset pink--San Souci does a fine job of juxtaposing the Aztec with the gray-armored Spanish soldiers, who have come to claim the land for Spain. Some of the pictures are static, but the colors enliven even the stationary scenes. This is a good introduction to a pivotal event in the Americas, and children who find the text easy to read may want more information, though the appended reading list seems to contain books that are more for adults than children. --Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

Kimmel's (The Two Mountains, reviewed above) ambitious yet problematic recounting of the Aztec nation's demise opens with a description of Montezuma II and the 16th-century empire over which he ruled in what is now central and southern Mexico. "But all was not well in Montezuma's domain," the narrative continues. Kimmel demonstrates that the Aztecs' penchant for capturing other peoples and sacrificing them to their gods led almost inevitably to the Aztecs' downfall: the Spanish explorer Cort‚s successfully drafts the conquered people into his cause and overthrows Montezuma. San Souci's (Ice Bear and Little Fox) opening watercolors give the Aztecs an exotic air by focusing on the pageantry and grandeur of Montezuma's court; his later illustrations capture the violence (if not the blood and gore) of the battles between the two warring groups. The complexities of Montezuma's and Cort‚s's characters are necessarily glossed over in a volume this brief; unfortunately, only a final author's note explains that the Spanish rule to follow would prove even more tyrannical than that of the Aztecs. Consequently, readers may come away with the false impression that Cort‚s was a liberator rather than a conqueror. Ages 6-10. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5-Hern n Cort‚s and his small force of Spanish soldiers arrived on the coast of Mexico in 1519. Within three years an estimated 240,000 people were dead and the Aztec empire had collapsed. Kimmel prefaces his account of these events with a few pages of background information on the empire and Montezuma's rule. The story of Cort‚s's marches inland, his capture of the native leader, and the siege on Tenochtitlan is simply but dramatically told. San Souci's light-filled, detailed watercolors paint a vivid picture of these adversaries-bearded Spanish soldiers on horseback laden with heavy armor in contrast with the Aztec leaders on foot, adorned with colorful plumage and jade. Use this inviting and clearly written title with Kimmel's The Two Mountains (Holiday, 2000) and Mary-Joan Gerson's People of Corn (Little, Brown, 1995) to enrich studies of Mesoamerican culture.-Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.