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Children's LiteratureHighlighting the unique qualities of each of our fifty states, the reader is led through the formation of our nation with exquisite quilt pieces and succinct text. This chronological journey begins with a quote from the Congressional Quarterly's Desk Reference on States describing the steps necessary for admittance to the Union, and a brief "Historical Introduction" explaining the process of arrival of European settlers, the abuse of Native Americans, the early wars with Britain, and the writing of the Constitution. Each state is then presented in the order in which it was admitted to the Union. A two-page spread features a quilt design with the map shape of the state showing the state capital and appropriate emblems, such as major crops, wild and domestic animals, fish, trees, flowers, and landmarks. A paragraph of pertinent information written by a librarian from the state provides facts about the history of the state and its admittance to the Union. States and territories are grouped into historic eras, such as the original thirteen states in 1790, the Louisiana Purchase, the Missouri Compromise, and the Mexican War. Each addition to the country is depicted in a quilted map, as is the division of the states during the Civil War. The final quilt piece shows the United States as it exists today in one color. Canada, Mexico, and Cuba are shown in contrasting colors. Endpapers include facts for each state, notes about the librarian contributors, a note from the author, and an index. An attractive addition to collections about U. S. history. 2005, National Geographic, Ages 7 to 14.
—Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.