South Africa

South Africa

by Sheila Smith Noonan
     
 

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The beautiful terrain of South Africa is home to some of the most abundant wildlife in Africa. Each year million of tourists visit the country, hoping to catch a glimpse of elephant, lions, and other animals. Beneath the ground are great deposits of such minerals as platinum, gold, and diamonds.

Unfortunately, South Africa's history is less beautiful than its

Overview

The beautiful terrain of South Africa is home to some of the most abundant wildlife in Africa. Each year million of tourists visit the country, hoping to catch a glimpse of elephant, lions, and other animals. Beneath the ground are great deposits of such minerals as platinum, gold, and diamonds.

Unfortunately, South Africa's history is less beautiful than its landscape and its diamonds. For most of the 20th century, the state operated under a policy of apartheid, which separated racial groups and treated black Africans as second-class citizens. After years of discrimination, apartheid was abolished after the 1994 election of Nelson Mandela as president of South Africa. Today this highly diverse country continues to move beyond its troubled past, as it is one of the most stable countries in Africa both politically and economically.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Elizabeth Leis-Newman
Dwelling more on the history, economics and culture of South Africa than its natural environment, this is part of the “Evolution of Africa’s Major Nations” series exploring development in African countries. The chapters cover the basics of climate and geography; early settlers to apartheid through present day; the constitution and political parties; economics; ethnicity, religion, food and sports; Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Pretoria and townships; plus a map, chronology and glossary. Of note is a section featuring project and report ideas as well as the chapter covering the economy. The author notes how many South Africans live in poverty, post-apartheid economic policies and explains the mining and tourism industries. The author does a fine job of writing in an engaging, age-appropriate way that is not condescending, and the photograph choices are excellent. However, like other recent books on the country, teachers will need to update students on deaths of key figures such as Nelson Mandela and current political struggles. While it is unlikely any student would be drawn to this book without having a report or assignment to work on, it is a reasonable asset for a library. Reviewer: Elizabeth Leis-Newman; Ages 12 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-Colorful overviews of the geography, history, economy, ethnic and cultural groups, and the political situation in these countries. Corrigan presents an interesting and coherent account of Ethiopian history, focusing on crucial events in a logical narrative. Noonan provides an accurate, although brief, account of major historical events. Readers can gain a reasonably good sense of the policy of apartheid, but the book lacks an account of the events leading up to the release of Nelson Mandela and the unbanning of political organizations in 1990. In both titles, significant attention is given to events of the last decade. Ethiopia gives a better sense of the poverty of the majority of people, while South Africa tends to offer a cheerier, more tourist-oriented focus. The well-produced illustrations in both books do little to round out the picture of how real people in these countries live. Each title has a map showing the country's location in Africa and one of the major cities, but there are no visual aids that show the physical features. Without more detailed maps, much of the historical information about the Great Trek and the Afrikaner Republics of the 19th century in South Africa will be hard to follow. Shorter and less text-heavy than most of the series for this audience, these titles look as though they are for younger students. However, the economic and political concepts and the vocabulary are better suited for middle schoolers. Overall, the books' attention to detail and their currency make them adequate choices for reports.-Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781422221846
Publisher:
Mason Crest Publishers
Publication date:
09/28/2011
Series:
Evolution of Africa's Major Nations Series
Pages:
87
Product dimensions:
8.06(w) x 8.29(h) x 0.39(d)
Lexile:
1220L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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