According to legend, an ancient island civilization flourished 12,000 years ago. Once powerful and rich, in just one night and a day, this luxurious kingdom sank into the sea. Without the existence of ruins to prove Atlantis existed, we can only rely on stories passed down from generation to generation and written accounts by one man, Plato, the famous Greek philosopher. Plato contended that the Atlanteans became greedy and corrupt, enslaving many. Because of this, Zeus, the king of the gods, according to Greek mythology, taught the Atlanteans a lesson by destroying the golden land. Was Plato's account fact or fiction? The debate, begun fifty years after Plato's death, still continues. Donnelly's theory supported Plato's with the "new sciences" of zoology and geology. Others suggested Atlantis was destroyed by a giant meteorite. Even the study of eel migration and the ancient pyramids shed interesting light on this subject. Various archaeologists accept the existence of Atlantis, but argue over its location. Continental drift and volcanic eruptions are other possible theories as to how Atlantis disappeared and where it may have been located. This book offers a well-balanced view of the possibilities behind Atlantis' existence and disappearance with many opportunities for readers to think and question. Also motivating is the use of before, during, and after reading strategies such as vibrant pictures, fact bubbles, bolded vocabulary (glossary included) and questions. 1999, Heinemann Library, Ages 10 to 14, $22.79. Reviewer: Leslie Julian—Children's Literature
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Using straightforward language, Oxlade examines the variety of designs and theories connected with the strange, beautiful, and harmless phenomena called crop circles, circular patterns that inexplicably appear in crop fields. While most recent formations have been admitted hoaxes or works of art, the older, simpler ones are attributed to natural occurrences such as electrically charged air currents, wind vortices, and underground magnetic or electromagnetic forces. Perhaps the biggest Mystery of Atlantis is how such a fantastic, widespread legend could grow from just one short account written by Plato some 24 centuries ago. Evidence has been sought and stories have been told in all parts of the world. Wallace presents a variety of theories about the island's existence, location, and destruction, each examined in light of recent scientific and archaeological discoveries. Wendy Stein's Atlantis (Greenhaven, 1989; o.p.), a more detailed book for slightly older readers, includes a world map indicating the supposed sites of the lost island. Large, colorful photographs and illustrations in an open layout make both of these explorations a pleasure. Bolded terms in the texts are defined succinctly in a glossary. Both volumes present evidence clearly and without bias, allowing and encouraging readers to draw their own conclusions.-Ann G. Brouse, Big Flats Branch Library, NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.