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Children's Literature"Fact Finders" books from Capstone now include "The American Colonies," a new series of social studies texts for elementary readers. Each title introduces students to the first peoples on the land, early settlers and their way of life and—briefly—to the achievement of statehood in the new United States. The American Indians then in North Carolina are quickly passed over to discuss the lost colony of Roanoke and land grants from Kings Charles I and II. The best chapters are about the colonists' lives, their work (most were farmers of one kind or another), and their religions. The Revolutionary War is treated as a series of quick facts ending with North Carolina's statehood in 1789. Illustrations include two maps, several paintings, and a number of historical prints, expertly colored. One, supposedly showing Quakers at "church," is obviously mislabeled since Quakers held meetings and did not have pulpits or ministers in robes with white bands. Teachers and librarians may question whether second or third graders would be at all interested in such information, especially about states not their own, and whether, considering the brevity of the text, enough information is provided for older students, no matter what their reading level. Perhaps the best use for this series of slim little books would be as a brief overview before field trips to appropriate sites and use of other, more in-depth sources for further research. 2006, Capstone, Ages 7 to 10.
—Barbara L. Talcroft