Children's LiteratureIn readable prose addressed to the proficient first grade or second grade reader, this nonfiction "Rookie Reader" book introduces basic geographic facts about the Appalachian Mountains, using a map, colorful photographs, and one to three sentences per page. Vocabulary includes some specific place names, such as the Appalachian Trail and the Allegheny River, although neither is shown on the simple map. Nice touches include both serious hikers and in another picture, families with young children hiking in the mountains. Pictures suggest the diversity of mountain terrain and animals while text notes the differences between crops grown in the north and the south ends of the mountain range. A picture gallery of "words you know" includes both simple (bears, moss) and more demanding words and an index provides help. Taken as a whole, the series introduces important concepts and geological features of mountains, provides pictures to talk about, and introduces major mountain ranges to new as well as challenged older, less-able, readers. 2004, Scholastic, Ages 5 to 7.
Susan Hepler, Ph.D.