Reviews for World Made New : Why the Age of Exploration Happened and How

Booklist Reviews 2007 September #2
This visually rich presentation challenges readers to see the year 1492 as "the whole world, coming into contact" with people, plants, animals, and even bacteria soon traveling back and forth among Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Setting the stage, the first section of the book introduces civilizations in the Americas and in Europe before Columbus' voyage. The middle section looks at significant European explorers between 1492 and 1586, introducing six explorers on double-page spreads that include brief texts, detailed time lines, excellent maps, and several well-captioned, period illustrations. The intriguing third section discusses the consequences of "a world joined." In the conclusion, the authors challenge readers to imagine that to those living in the Americas in 1492, the arrival of Europeans was as startling as the sighting of space ships would be today. A large map, a biographical dictionary, lists of sources, and lists of recommended Web sites are appended. A fine addition to history collections, the book offers a welcome, global perspective on the Age of Exploration. Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2007 July #1
Unlike old-school textbooks that portrayed the Age of Exploration as advanced European civilizations exploring primitive worlds, Aronson and Glenn take a global view, seeing 1492 as the pivotal date in human history--"the first encounter between advanced civilizations that had developed an ocean apart." Though the Americas suffered from disease, malnourishment and abuse and lost as much as 90 percent of their population, the long-term effect of this contact between societies was "the beginning of the modern age of worldwide connection," a new global world, in which foods, ideas, religions and fashions were exchanged. The text is full of fascinating ideas and speculations and is enlivened by maps, engravings, prints, photographs and other illustrations. Readers with some amount of existing knowledge of the period will benefit most from the volume. Add this to Aronson's growing body of fine historical works that are changing how young readers think about history. (biographical dictionary, glossary, sources & websites, index) (Nonfiction. 10+) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2007 August

Gr 4-6-- This highly pictorial, readable overview provides significant depth of coverage to the melding aspects of the European discovery of the Western Hemisphere. "Causes" discusses the European explorers and American civilizations. The roles of religion, competition, wealth, and glory are considered, and the Aztec and Inca empires and the civilization of Cahokia are described, not as primitive societies but as burgeoning, complex social networks. Next, the "What Happened" section discusses Columbus's voyages and the campaigns of Cortes, Pizarro, Cartier, De Soto, and Drake. Finally, "Consequences" looks at diseases, plants and animals, mingling and elimination of populations, migration, the force gold exerted, and the spread of ideas and lifestyles. The illustrations, most in full color, make ample and appropriate use of period prints as well as contemporary illustrations and photographs. The result is a visual feast that fleshes out the slightly dry, but remarkably evenhanded, narrative. Time lines are used frequently in both the second and third chapters to delineate life events or the spread of diseases or animal populations, for example. A place-finder map and a biographical dictionary (with illustrations) complete this attractive overview. A step up from the more lighthearted coverage in Nancy Winslow Parker's Land Ho! (HarperCollins, 2001), it's an excellent starting point for students.--Ann Welton, Helen B. Stafford Elementary, Tacoma, WA

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