Gr 4-7-Bial displays his trademark clear, enthusiastic narrative coupled with outstanding photos and archival prints. Here, illustrations by Eric Sloane are an additional bonus. The author shows great respect for his subjects and repeatedly emphasizes and explains the backbreaking labor and ingenuity necessary for survival in the New World and on the frontier. In pursuing the dream of building a life in a new country, the settlers adapted their old ways, borrowed from others, and applied incredible creativity to achieve their goal. Their efforts and the lasting results are vividly described. The technology explained is practical and often complicated but the clear explanations are accompanied by enlightening diagrams or photos. All illustrative material is credited and Bial's photos are reminiscent of paintings by Edward Hopper in their use of light and shadow. These titles are akin to Leonard Everett Fisher's "Colonial Craftsmen" series (Benchmark) and the classic books by Edwin Tunis such as Frontier Living (HarperCollins, 1976). The quotes in each volume are not footnoted but they generally provide color rather than essential information. The titles provide narrative and visual delights and will be valuable for school use and for browsing.-Marlene Gawron, Orange County Library, Orlando, FL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.