The land of Iraq was the cradle of civilization for many people over thousands of years. This book gives insight into the nation that is largely unknown for anything other than war. Brief chapters and brilliant photos move the reader from topics such as the wildlife, to the crops, and oil trade. More detail is given about the geography of the land: mountains, plains, rivers and the ancient cities built along the Tigris and Euphrates river banks and then buried in layers of mud. Text boxes on the side highlight other bits of information such as how Kurdistan, the northern region, was divided among several countries, including Iraq, in 1923 and then in 1974 was given more rights as the Kurdish Autonomous Region or Iraqi Kurdistan. The city of Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, is the center of learning culture for the country and has a port of international significance. Perfect for a current events, geography, or social studies class, this title is a good addition to a library or curriculum. Reviewer: Shelly McCoy
Gr 3-6-It's difficult to write about a country in the midst of a devastating war that is changing its history, its land, and the daily life of its people. These books present a look at Iraq as it once was but do not provide enough reminders that things are changing rapidly. As readers look at people going about their daily lives and work, there should be the nagging thought, is this still true? While there is some necessary repetition among the titles, each one provides an overview of its subject and a good sense of the rich history of this country and the many peoples who have settled there and added to its culture. The photography is crisp and clear and the language, with an additional glossary for difficult terms, is direct. In contrast, the discussions of the various groups who settled the area and the many conflicts for control are not clear because of the lack of maps and time lines. These books provide plenty of information for reports about pre-invasion Iraq but may already be outdated.-Edith Ching, St. Albans School, Mt. St. Alban, Washington, DC Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.