- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Children's LiteratureSilver mines, Hoover Dam, gambling casinos—it must be Nevada! Capstone's "Land and Liberty" series (about the 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C.) covers the usual topics—geography and climate, state history and government, the people and their culture—but the slender volumes offer an overview rather than an opportunity to delve into the differences that make each state unique. Maps are restricted to two, one showing cities, the other charting major geographical features. Since the text consists of short, declarative sentences, fluent readers may find it less than appealing. Illustrations are mainly color photos (better in this volume than in other books in the series). One especially striking photograph is of an ancient bristlecone pine. Teachers may be glad the author touches lightly on Nevada's chief industry—gambling—but might prefer more attention to the state's alarming environmental problems, including a water shortage and nuclear waste disposal. Sports at Lake Tahoe, the Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and the Basque Festival get minimum space; ghost towns are not described, nor will middle readers discover that Mark Twain got his start as a journalist here. They can, however, enjoy a recipe for chocolate nuggets, a favorite of former governor Bob Miller. Special features include an Almanac (facts about the state), a short timeline, a glossary, and a bibliography, which, unfortunately, does not list works of fiction that might enrich understanding of the history and people of Nevada. Compared to some others, the price of this series is modest, but so is its usefulness. 2004, Capstone, Ages 9 to 13.
—Barbara L. Talcroft