Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-These collections feature excerpts from contemporary newspapers-opinion pieces, essays, letters, interviews, and poems-in addition to straightforward reporting. Each covers 26 to 30 key events and issues, with 4 to 12 excerpts for each presented in a pro/con format. Each chapter begins with an overview of the issue/event and brief summary of the documents, and concludes with discussion questions. A few black-and-white illustrations are included. Unfortunately, there are no maps or descriptive lists of persons and incidents mentioned. The absence of glossaries or annotations is a crucial omission. While a few difficult and/or unusual terms, archaic spellings, foreign phrases, and numerous allusions are defined, the vast majority are not and will stymie readers, e.g., phrenzy; "So mote it be!"; Volumnia; "a tournament with windmills"; Sylla; "the pas qui conte"; "-ye fustian declaimers for liberty!" Not all the chapters are balanced. Finally, there is little attempt to identify misinformation in the excerpts. Although no other titles use only newspapers, a few focus on primary documents. Brenda Stalcup's Reconstruction (Greenhaven, 1995) uses a similar format and is thoughtful and readable, with pertinent documents, discussion questions, a chronology, an annotated bibliography, and political cartoons. David F. Burg's The American Revolution (2001) and Joe H. Kirchberger's The Civil War and Reconstruction (1990, both Facts On File) contain historical data, detailed chronologies, and short "eyewitness testimony" arranged chronologically, as well as maps and biographies. Any of these books will be more useful to students than these series titles.-Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.