Smith defines castles and tells how they were built--in a ""First Book"" that is solidly constructed, like its subject, but a little heavy as a first taste. The information is well organized, accurate, and filled with workmanlike photos and reproduced drawings illustrating points in the text. Chapters follow historical development from motte and bailey structures to elaborate, elegant castles built long after the need for defense; the castles range from simple, ancient structures to powerful strongholds. There's a bit of information on medieval times, but only enough on warfare and defense to whet young appetites. In a final chapter, Smith reports on some castle stories, including some mysterious ghosts. This won't replace the lively, thought-provoking books by Macaulay or Sancha, but will serve as a supplement. Glossary; index.