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VOYAAfter winning the 2004 National Geographic Bee, Andrew Wojtanik was asked to write this study manual about the 192 countries of the world. Organized alphabetically by country, it provides facts about the physical, political, environmental, and economic conditions of each country. Included are peaks higher than 8,000 feet, rivers more than 100 miles long, and cities with a population of more than 1 million. Continent maps indicating each country's location open the guide, and a more detailed political map accompanies each country study. Wojtanik advises those students applying for the bee to use the guide as a companion tool along with a good, detailed atlas. The book will also stand on its own as a geographic reference tool. The glossary explains such terms as mistral, patois, and Coptic. There is also an appendix giving geographic extremes in the world such as the largest rain forest and the lowest point. Much of the information in the guide will not change quickly, but the inclusion of the current leaders of each country will make its usefulness in that area outdated almost overnight. Nevertheless this book will be a useful reference for both geographic bee contestants and geography researchers. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2005, National Geographic, 384p.; Glossary. Maps. Biblio., Trade pb. Ages 11 to 15.