The Panama Canal

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The Panama Canal is one of the most important structures in the world today. It was a tremendous feat of engineering skill. Twenty-thousand people died during its construction; many of these people died from tropical diseases. The slim chapter book is one in a series titled "Great Structures in History." Readers will learn what life in the canal zone was like, how the canal was constructed, and what the Panama Canal is like today. Period photographs reveal life in the canal and provide a look at the people and the awful conditions under which they had to work. Color photographs show the canal today and how the boats move through a series of gates that allow water to raise the boats as they proceed through the canal. Readers will also discover that it took over eleven years and one hundred thousand workers to build this mighty structure at a cost of over $370 billion. The canal opened in 1914 and became the world's most important waterway. End notes include a glossary, resources for further investigation, web sites to visit, an index, and an author's note. This is an excellent resource for the middle school media center. 2005, Thomson Gale, Ages 9 to 12.
—Sue Reichard
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Slim series titles that focus on how and why these early structures were built, construction obstacles, and cultural and practical significance. Restorations, and present conditions and uses are also examined. Information is presented in a straightforward manner with lots of description, but the writing is uneven. The one or two clear, captioned full-color photographs, diagrams, or computer-generated illustrations found on each spread are well placed and will aid understanding. Some descriptions would have benefited from visuals. Dimensions and measurements are given in the inch-pound and metric systems. The basic information is here, but lots of fine books already exist on these subjects. Libraries owning Elizabeth Mann's The Great Wall (2003), The Panama Canal (1998), and The Roman Colosseum (2003, all Mikaya) may not need these titles.-Kathleen Simonetta, Indian Trails Public Library District, Wheeling, IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Bonita Herold
Before the Panama Canal joined the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, ships had to travel around the southern tip of South American in the area known as the sailor’s graveyard. The voyage took an additional 7,872 miles and added at least two weeks to the length of any trip. As far back as 1520, King Charles had surveyors investigate the area, but they came up with the conclusion that building a canal would be impossible. Four hundred years passed before the dream of connecting the two oceans was realized! How could such a thin strip of land, known as the Isthmus of Panama, be such a physical challenge? What other types of challenges came to the forefront? Full of facts, photos, and excitement, this book is a great addition to the “A Great Idea Engineering” series, providing everything the reader would want to know about the building of the Panama Canal. With a glossary and a list of suggested websites, this guide is as perfect for the classroom as it is for the home. Reviewer: Bonita Herold; Ages 8 to 12.
School Library Journal
Gr 3–5—Blending specific information with dramatic storytelling, these accounts of some of the world's most ambitious construction projects all capture a sense of their awesome scale. The volumes recount massive obstacles, hazards, worker abuses, and environmental stresses. Other issues are also covered. ("The number of people who died building the Great Wall may have exceeded 1 million.") Authors highlight the ingenious, often unique, engineering that made each project possible. Enhanced by sidebars, color photos or period images, and helpful resource lists, these titles all make riveting reading.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780737715590
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 11/1/2004
  • Series: Great Structures in History Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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