Gr 5-8-These practical resources offer up a generous amount of historical facts combined with maps, photos, and reproductions. Each book begins with a brief introduction to the circumstances in Europe that led to world exploration and eventual settlements in the New World. The colony is then discussed in depth, with a focus on the political, social, and religious maneuverings that occurred prior to the American Revolution. Native American groups are mentioned throughout, but primarily in the context of their encounters with Europeans. The authors make every attempt to give a balanced perspective on the topic. They do not cover the Revolution itself, but early incidents of rebellion and oppression are included to give context for the looming war. An epilogue provides a quick look at the state as it is today, and any major events that may have occurred since the Revolution. While the writing is clear and concise, these titles are fairly conventional in their approach to American history, providing a compendium of names, dates, and places. Artwork, maps, and sidebars appear throughout, and unfamiliar words are helpfully defined on the actual page as well as in the glossaries. These solid offerings are more accessible but less comprehensive than titles in Dennis Fradin's The Thirteen Colonies set. (Scholastic, 2004).-Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.