Children's LiteratureThis book is one of the titles in a "Growth and Influence of Islam in the Nations of Asia and Central Asia" series. The vivid color photograph of praying Muslim men on the cover of this book would intrigue students to pick it up and browse through the pages. Brilliant full-color photographs are appealing to readers of all ages, and the informative captions make it easy to grasp the focus of the book. A small map is included with the first chapter, but a world map would have been better to show students the relative location. Most students would not even know that Uzbekistan is a country. The bordering countries are also unfamiliar. Uzbekistan is a fairly new country "cloaked in the secrecy behind the Soviet Union's iron curtain. It declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991." Chapter headings include "The Land," "The History," "The Economy," "Politics," and "Religion." The book is filled with factual research information and interesting specifics, which are highlighted in bright lime green boxes. The writing style makes this easy reading. Unfamiliar words are shown in bold italics and are listed in a glossary. Other useful resources are the "Chronology" and a very thorough index. It is crucial that American students get a clear picture of Islam, truly a world religion, and the growth and influence of Muslims in Asia and Central Asia. Although labeled for readers 9 to 12, this book would also serve older students as an excellent resource for current affairs. 2005, Mason Crest Publishers, $ 25.95. Ages 9 to 12.