School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 4-8-With a straightforward and fairly conventional approach, these titles provide analysis and overview of important post-Revolutionary events. The focus of each book is America's tenuous, often contentious relationships with other countries and their eventual resolution. The short, simple sentence structure is geared toward middle-elementary students, but the in-depth discussions of the social and political motivations are more appropriate for slightly older readers. All four titles re-create the political climate in the early days of the new nation and offer up a host of details about people and places, but the sometimes-clumsy writing makes it hard to see the big picture. An examination of the discord between Spain and America over the borders of Florida in The Pinckney Treaty becomes quite confusing when details about the 31st versus the 32nd parallel are presented without a map. The issues surrounding the treatment of Native Americans and the role they played in the country's history are covered superficially, giving an incomplete feel to the books. While the reproductions of some primary-source material, such as treaties, old maps, and lithographs, are interesting additions, some are too small to read. Students will be able to glean important facts from the writing, but may need help to fully understand all that is being presented. The "North American Historical Atlases" series (Benchmark) is a better choice for librarians looking to expand their U.S. history collections.-Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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