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Children's LiteratureThe largest river in the United States is the Mississippi River. This book gives a brief history of the Mississippi River and its importance to the United States. Included in this study of the river are many facts, a map, and lots of pictures of the environment around the Mississippi River. The parts of the river are described and named. Broader science topics are brought in with references and explanations of the water cycle and its importance to the Mississippi River. Wildlife along different parts of the river, explorers of the Mississippi River, and books set on the Mississippi River, such as Mark Twain's, are introduced in brief. The Mississippi River is compared to other major rivers in the world on a map and chart. The music, food, people, and other cultural artifacts that have emerged from areas around the river may be familiar to students. A recipe for a Cajun dish is even included. This book is part of the "Natural Wonders" series, which presents ethical questions concerning the topic. In this book, the pros and cons on humans controlling the flow of the river through dams, locks, and levees are laid out for students to make their own decisions. Pictures, charts, maps, a timeline, a quiz, a book list, website list, and glossary are also features. Highly recommended for classrooms and libraries. 2004, Weigl Publishers, Ages 8 to 12.
—Marcie Flinchum Atkins