Reviews for Slavery in America

School Library Journal Reviews 2012 January

Gr 3-5--These volumes provide a simplified overview of the circumstances and people surrounding the Civil War. The print is large and the books have plenty of white space and at least one illustration or photo on every page. Slavery has the best writing; teachers may appreciate Confederate States of America since few books at this level solely address this topic. There is overlap in both text and pictures (the same map showing the Confederate and Union States appears in the three Benoit books), and there is some concern with layout. Some illustrations have an additional caption in larger print with an arrow pointing to the picture, but it is often ill placed and unnecessary (the arrow on the cover of Civil War is pointing to a fence but the caption discusses guns). Civil War has several errors, including a mistake in the numbering of the chapters on the contents page. In addition, the book states, "The idea of nullification was developed by…" but nowhere does it define nullification--readers have to go to Confederate States to find it. These volumes may be helpful in a classroom setting with struggling students or report writers, but there is little in them to involve readers.--Stephanie Farnlacher, Trace Crossings Elementary School, Hoover, AL

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