- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Children's LiteratureSooners, cattle drives, oil rigs—it must be Oklahoma! 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 and Indian land, another charting major geographical features. Since the text consists of short, declarative sentences, fluent readers may find it less than appealing; illustrations are mostly clear color photos, adequate but not exciting. In this volume, the most striking show Native American dancers whirling at a festival, and the memorial for victims of the 1995 terrorist attack. Oklahoma's artists are given short shrift: where are authors Ralph Ellison and Scott Momaday, ballerinas Maria and Marjorie Tallchief, and artist Alan Houser? Better coverage is given to the suffering of the Indians and to African-Americans' struggle for civil rights. Middle readers will enjoy a sidebar featuring Will Rogers and, especially, a recipe for Indian fry bread, popular in Oklahoma, and offering a possibility for classroom cooking. 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 (or the musical, Oklahoma!) that might enrich understanding of the history and people of Oklahoma. 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