School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 4-6-These books provide a good deal of information about the workings of the judicial and executive branches of the federal government. The system of checks and balances and the connection between the branches are also stressed. Both titles have interesting sidebars, black-and-white and color photos, and helpful diagrams that explain the organization of the government branches. Unfortunately, artwork and political cartoons are unattributed. Occasionally, Kowalski has sacrificed accuracy for simplification. She says, for example, "Civil cases usually involve conflicts among people or companies. But no one has actually broken the law." Civil cases do differ from criminal cases, but a law has been violated, and the case is judged accordingly. Also, the writing in Court is sometimes inconsistent in its level of sophistication. In one place, the author says, "The courts decide real cases." Elsewhere she states, "-a motion to dismiss says the plaintiff could not win even if the plaintiff's claims were the true facts," without clarifying the concept. Kay Cornelius's The Supreme Court (Chelsea, 2000) gives an excellent explanation of the Court and also discusses the types of cases heard by lower courts. Karen Spies's Our Presidency (Millbrook, 1996) is a little less technical and focuses on the office, without discussing the supporting departments within the executive branch.-Lynda Ritterman, Atco Elementary School, Waterford, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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