School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 8-10 Excellence in presenting U.S. Supreme Court cases lies in dramatizing the conflicts through personal stories of the individuals concerned while providing insight in the social currents of the time. The current standard work for young adults, Andrew David's Famous Supreme Court Cases (Lerner, 1980), balances these factors well, but covers only 20th-Century issues. Lawson's treatment is similar, but it also mentions major 18th- and 19th-Century issues: the courts' powers and slavery. He also covers 20th-Century issues of more current interest: school prayer and the Silkwood (anti-nuclear) case (although perhaps the latter is not as important legally as others omitted). Lawson's style is clear and polished, and the transitions between cases are very well handled. He also includes a list of Supreme Court justices, an extensive bibliography, and an index. But for a complete picture of the place of the Supreme Court in history, students should also read a more comprehensive work like Ann Weiss' The Supreme Court (Enslow, 1986). Once they have a good understanding of the Supreme Court's importance, they can much better appreciate the significance of these cases. Thus Lawson's book is recommended as a supplement. Jonathan Betz-Zall, Sno-Isle Regional Library, Lynnwood, Wash.
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