"The American Colonies" series is aimed at lower elementary grades' Social Studies programs and uses straightforward, large-type, readable text geared toward Reading Level 3. This title includes maps of both the colony of Maryland and the greater pre-Revolution era Thirteen Colonies, setting them nicely in context. It also includes colorfulmostly periodillustrations, and a closing "Fast Facts" summary, time line, glossary, index, and basic internet and bibliographic directions. Emphasis is placed on Maryland's distinction of being a colony based on religious tolerationa distinction shared with Rhode Island, but not mentioned. Algonquian Indians are introduced, as is the concept of indentured servants, which makes for a neat segue into the importation of slaves for expanding tobacco fields. Young readers can further follow the lapse of colonial idealism as religious tolerance is legislated out of existence. And then comes the American Revolution. There are many new ideas to grasp, but they are presented by the author with no-nonsense simplicity. It is a good start. 2006, Capstone, Ages 6 to 9.
Gr 2-4-Basic historical overviews. Each title looks at "First People" (Native Americans who lived in the area), "Early Settlers," "Colonial Life," "Work and Trade," "Community and Faith," and "Becoming a State." The information is presented in large type and short paragraphs, making it accessible to emergent readers. The format is inviting, making good use of color and illustrations without being overly busy. Each book has a link to publisher-selected Internet sites, and three titles for further reading. For depth of information, these titles cannot compete with the more detailed and longer treatments in the "Life in the Thirteen Colonies" (Children's Press) or "The Thirteen Colonies" (Facts On File) series. However, for younger students needing a brief introduction to the topic, these books are serviceable additions.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.