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Children's LiteratureAncient Greece is part of the required social studies curriculum in many grade schools across the United States, and this introduction to the subject will make a worthwhile addition to school or classroom libraries. It is attractively designed, making use of both photographs and drawings, as well as color blocks and drop shadows to highlight sidebars and captions. And there is plenty of white space to keep young readers from getting bogged down in the text. The one problem is the text itself. While it covers the subject well, it reads like a forty-year-old textbook, completely devoid of variety in sentence structure. There is simply one short, declarative sentence after another: "Greece's mountains and seacoast influenced early settlers. The Greeks lived in valleys and on open plains. Mountains separated villages. Only small areas near the coasts were good for farming." This unending repetition of sentence structure and rhythm makes it just about impossible to read the book through, but young readers will still find the book helpful when gathering facts for reports and projects. This book is part of the "Early Civilizations" series. 2004, Capstone Press, Ages 8 to 11.
—Barbara Carroll Roberts