Saturday, November 10, 2012

Benoit, Peter. Immigration.

Benoit, Peter.    Immigration.      Scholastic/ Childrens Press   64p   $30.00  978-0-531-23057-2           elm/ms      Series: Cornerstones of Freedom (Scholastic/Childrens)            VG-BNS

This volume traces the history of immigration to the United States, from the earliest settlers to current controversies, utilizing documents, photos, important people and links to additional material.     This well-researched and nicely laid out volume will certainly appeal to middle-grade readers, for browsing and research.  The historical information is presented in a straightforward manner and highlighted with many additional features.  Text boxes that begin with the words “spotlight on” give additional information about the Triangle shirtwaist fire, Paul Revere, border patrol, and other topics.  “Today’s Perspective” presents current topics in immigration law.  “Yesterday’s Headlines” presents important historical developments in immigration.  Other features are “View From Abroad” and “First Hand Look”, which directs readers to the back of the book for a list of URLs leading to additional information or primary-source documents.  This feature may prove cumbersome to younger readers, as the reader must correctly copy the URL to access the information.  And, for older readers, the URL might have been more useful imbedded in a text box.

The strangely blurry colored illustrations sometimes detract from the overall quality of the volume.  However, supplemental features such as a glossary, timeline,
list of influential individuals, bibliographical references and a comprehensive index are well done and add much to the volume.  A good resource for grades 4-8, this volume is part of the third series in the Cornerstones of Freedom.  There are 40 volumes in the series at this time, introducing important topics in United States history in an engaging format for middle-grade readers.

This book is recommended for upper-elementary and middle-school history collections.  This volume will be accessible to most middle-grade readers.  

Immigration – United States                                                                                    --Pat Naismith          

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