Gr 9 Up-Pascoe offers great insight for both serious students of Asian studies and those just beginning to explore the region known as "the Pacific Rim," referring to the countries that comprise East Asia (Japan, China, Taiwan, the Koreas, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines). The author begins with the adventures of American trading ships and far-venturing missionaries, followed by a readable, interesting history of each country, its current situation in the world, and future projections. A thorough index includes such topics as "economy and trade," "politics," and "population," enabling readers to compare and contrast information from the different countries. Current color photographs with pertinent sidebars enhance the book. An area map is included before the first chapter; however, the smaller maps preceding subsequent chapters are only rough sketches with little use. Nevertheless, students will find this book an asset when trying to unlock the mysteries of this part of the globe.-Alida F. Given, Fairhope Intermediate School, AL Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.