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by Tami Deedrick

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Mesopotamia was one of the oldest civilizations in the world, featuring places that figure prominently in the Bible--Babylon, Nineveh, Assyria, Ur. There is a wealth of detail about government, daily life and culture in each of the "Ancient Civilizations" books, which also cover the Incas, Aztecs, West African Kingdoms and the Khmer Empire. Although the names of kings and dynasties may be lost on many young readers, they will also learn how many familiar activities the Mesopotamians started or invented. They wrote the first code of law, told the first epics and were the first to build libraries, to make glass, to use a wheel to make pottery, to travel by chariot and to farm to produce food. The books are written in large, easy-to-read print, with new words like "empire" and "mosaics" explained right in the text. However, it is difficult to imagine the context in which young children might read these books, except in diverse classes where students of Mexican, Cambodian, Middle Eastern or African heritage might enjoy learning about their roots; but the teacher may need to explain the origins and meaning of the term "B.C." The books are not written as stories but as straight nonfiction. Maps identify the old kingdoms without any overlay of modern names to give readers a reference point. There is excellent colorful photography in each book, especially temples or buildings that still exist, as well as religious statues and other arts and crafts. Each book also includes a glossary, index, useful addresses and Internet sites. 2002, Steck-Vaughn, $22.83. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Karen Leggett

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Ancient Civilizations Series
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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