Who would have guessed that wheat did not originate in the Bread Belt of the United States? According to this book, it was first grown in the Middle East and grew wild as a kind of grass. Ancient civilizations quickly picked up on the fact that wheat was edible and could be stored for long periods of time. It helped sustain many a nation with all of its uses. Today wheat is found in more then bread. For example, it can be found in cat litter, dog treats, soap, and even in wheat concrete. Farmers can plant wheat in the spring or winter. There are different varieties, including hard and soft wheat. A special protein called gluten is found in wheat and assists in making the dough rise. While wheat is found in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, some countries need more then they can produce, like China. They buy wheat from the United States to help feed the people. Wheat has survived for centuries and will be around forever. The author Jennifer Lackey has written a well-versed book about the history of wheat, but I was surprised not to find a list of sources. I felt disappointed, because the point of a good school reference book is to be able to go beyond and research even further into the subject matter. I did appreciate the colorful illustrations and photographs that brought history to life, and the incredible facts written about the origins and life cycle of wheat. This book is included in the "How Did That Get Here?" series. Reviewer: Julia Beiker
Children's LiteratureAGERANGE: Ages 10 to 14.
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