Gr 7 Up-- A valuable source of information, this effort is characterized by scholarship, clarity of exposition, and succinctness. The book is organized into seven chapters which briefly discuss the historical background and origins of the Constitution, the Constitutional Convention, each article of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution as a ``living document,'' and what the future may hold. Ritchie's text reinforces his view that, ``Americans study the Constitution because it is vitally important for all citizens to know their Constitutional rights and refuse to surrender them.'' Ritchie manages more than adequately to introduce such sources of controversy as the meaning of the term ``original intent,'' the right to privacy, abortion, women's and minority rights, the rejection of Supreme Court nominees, judicial review, war powers, and ``checks-and-balances.'' The text is illustrated with black-and-white photographs and art reproductions; the text of the Constitution, Amendments, selected references, and an index are appended. The work would supplement well Mabie's The Constitution: Reflection of a Changing Nation (Holt, 1987). --David A. Lindsey, Lakewood Junior/Senior High School, Wash.