Part of the "True Book: U.S. Regions" series, this book gives a more in-depth look at the western region of the United States. All books in this series invite young readers to discover the truths contained within by offering two statements on the first page: one true and one false. Children are challenged to read the book to discover which statement is the false one. This book is about the eleven states that make up the western region. Rau gives an overview of the history of the region, from the early Native American nations through the Lewis and Clark expedition and the California gold rush to the admission of Alaska and Hawaii as states. Rau also describes the varied animals, landforms and climates that make each section of this expansive region unique. She explains the economic factors that shape the western states and lists a few of the artists and inventors who call the western region home. Gorgeous, full-color photographs and simple text make the information easily accessible for young readers, while the challenge of discovering the one false statement will keep older readers turning pages. A list of resources, including books, websites and even places to visit, makes this book a terrific starting point for any child who wants to learn more about the western states. Rau also includes an index, as well as a glossary and a summary of the statistics covered in the book for easy reference. This series would be an excellent addition to any home or school library. Reviewer: Veronica Bartles
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—Similar to Crabtree's "All Around the U.S." (2011) and Cherry Lake's "It's Cool to Learn about the United States" (2011), this latest subset of the "A True Books" series does not disappoint. Five of the volumes cover a particular region's history, people, resources, and challenges. While these titles briefly introduce the geographical characteristics of the area, Landforms goes into greater detail. The welcoming format features bold, high-impact headings and large, colorful photographs or period illustrations on every page. Like other subsets in the series, every volume begins with two statements, and readers will be able to determine whether they are true or false by each book's end. The dynamic layout coupled with concise, accessible writing guarantees child appeal and usefulness.