On the assumption that kids who are interested in knives want an orderly display rather than a rambling discourse, this can't come within striking distance of Harold Peterson's A History of Knives (1966). In probably twice as many words and certainly twice as many pages, it describes much that is peripheral (like the process of trepanning) and omits much that is essential (like the reasons for the superiority of metal over stone knives), identifies many, many knives but fails to illustrate some of the most significant and interesting (the Viking scramasax, the stiletto). The drawings by Daniel Feaser in the Peterson volume score not only on subject but also on looks--that is, the knives look like something you'd want to stroke, or stay away from; in the present instance they're all as flat as the superfluous spatula. Moreover, Peterson's efficient utilitarian plan presents all-purpose knives, fighting knives, chopping knives, hunting knives, eating utensils and pocket knives in successive short sections whereas James devotes overdetailed chapters to some, scatters references to others throughout. In sum, mishandled.