Monday, August 27, 2012

Rau, Dana Meachen. The Northeast.

Rau, Dana Meachen.      The Northeast.    Scholastic/ Childrens Press   48p   $25.20      978-0 531-24851-5       elem      Series: A True Book (Scholastic/Childrens)      Average                      

This book offers an introduction to the eleven states that make up the northeastern region of the United States.  The Northeast provides a brief introduction to life in the northeastern states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.  The 48-page volume glosses over many details for some states and provides none for others.  For example, Delaware is mentioned only once (on page seven), in a listing of the northeastern states.  In the timeline, which only goes through 1820, Giovanni da Verrazano is credited with exploring the northeastern coast of America for France in 1524, but no details of his exploration are provided in the text. The information under "Climate" is very general.  In the "Important Terms" section, "continental climate" is highlighted and given a definition, but "subtropical climate" is not.

Topics that the text describes include a history of the region from the settlement of Plymouth Colony through Hurricane Irene in 2011; animals, landforms and climate of the region; and some economic factors. Overall, the choice of what is included and what is not included appears to be random.  For example, on page 43, the "True Statistics" section names the major rivers of the region as the Connecticut, Hudson, and Delaware.  However, the sole map of the region (on page 6) shows rivers, but they are not labeled.  This could be confusing, particularly in Pennsylvania, which has several rivers (including the Susquehannah River, a major source of water for the Chesapeake Bay). 

Readers who enjoy collecting facts about a variety of topics may enjoy this book.  However, unless your collection doesn't have a more in-depth treatment of this topic, this book is a peripheral choice.  Each volume of the A True Book series invites readers to read the book to discover which of two statements on the first page is true and which is false.     
                                                      -- Hilary Welliver

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