These imaginative books, Places in Time and Journeys in Time, are aimed at an older elementary audience, but they should do fine by younger YAs and they're sure to delight teachers as well. Each volume covers its topic in 20 chapters, built around an annotated map (Journeys) or place diagram (Places). Text takes readers through 10 or 12 annotated spots on the double-page stops. For instance, the Lowell Mill Town double page in Places has stops that discuss boarding house life and waterpower, among others; the stops on Journeys' pages are more obvious ones. Topics cover traditional and more contemporary historical approaches. We get the voyage of the Mayflower and founding New Mexico; we go to the Pacific with Lewis and Clark, take the Underground Railroad and leave Vietnam. In Places we go from Cahokia, Illinois to New Plymouth, Boonesborough and Ellis Island. The text is clear and interesting, and a notes section at the end of the books provides a wonderfully concise explanation of where information came from. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2001, Houghton Mifflin, 48p. illus. maps. notes. index., Levinson
This companion to Journeys in Time takes a snapshot tour of twenty varied United States' sites in a particular and important time in history. Very few of these sites are usual, for instance, Cahokia in 1200; a Pacific coast Makah whaling village in 1490; the Colonial city of Charlestown in 1739; Taos at the hacienda in 1823; and tenement life in New York in 1916. Each double-page spread lays out the crowded scene, showing people at work, children playing, important landmarks or people and the landscape at the time. Numbers in red squares identify key points to be elaborated upon in the border sidebars. Also on the page, four or five paragraphs give the reader some background information and a context for what there is to see. It is the kind of book that children will study and pore over so as not to miss a detail. There are authentication notes, many giving credit to people who helped, some revealing the researchers' challenges in getting the information right, and others telling what is happening on that site now. The challenge of how a teacher might use this in the curriculum as a reference is more than offset by a child's enthusiasm for reading the pictures as well as text. The index is almost entirely proper names or key words for the period (slavery, cattle towns, pioneers, Apache, tenements), which may help the child researcher with this fascinating overview. 2001, Houghton Mifflin, $15.00. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Susan Hepler
Gr 5-8-In the first book, a winning blend of facts, maps, and the drama of a well-written story results in an unusual and exciting view of this country's past. Some of the 20 individuals highlighted are well known, such as Daniel Boone, Ben Franklin, and Louis Armstrong. Others are more obscure, like Dame Shirley, a New England woman in the Gold Rush, and Venture Smith, an enslaved six-year-old African prince. Each double-page spread features an introduction, a story with numbered paragraphs relating to the map or illustration, a fact box, and colorful illustrations. All information is carefully researched and includes many primary resources. Any fictionalizing is marked with single quotation marks, while statements with actual historical evidence have double quotes. The second title uses the same format to present 20 sites in American history at the moment of their historical significance, beginning in 1200 (Cahokia) and ending in 1953. Places and times include New Plymouth-1627, Charlestown-1739, Saratoga-1777, Philadelphia-1787, Abilene-1871, and Chicago-1893. The detailed cutaway views of homes, forts, and mills are impressive enough to keep readers looking again and again. These fascinating slices of life stir the imagination and lead to questions and further research. Neither title has a bibliography, but scholars, historians, libraries, and museums are credited in the notes sections. While the books are perfect for individual perusal, educators will delight in the curriculum potential.-Pamela K. Bomboy, Chesterfield County Public Schools, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.