Reviews for Release of Nelson Mandela

Booklist Reviews 2004 April #1
Reviewed with Fiona Macdonald's The First "Test-Tube Baby."Gr. 6-12. Books in the Days That Changed the World series do a fine job of combining a close-up view of an earth-shattering event with what led up to the drama and a sense of the event's impact on the future. In Mandela, Beecroft presents lots of detail, historical and contemporary, about the long anti-apartheid struggle, including information about other important leaders, Mandela's Robben Island prison, his release, and the Nobel Peace Prize. He also takes an honest look at South Africa's continuing problems. Test-Tube Baby focuses on both the science and the ethics of in-vitro fertilization. Macdonald discusses DNA, egg collecting, fertilization, and implants (there's one error: cell division numbers are incorrect), as well as the debates about morality and the dangers of genetic engineering. The series design is ideal for browsing; pages are packed with information broken up by colored screens, varied typefaces, and fully captioned photos, including several showing fetal development and one of a newborn with its umbilical cord still attached. The occasional use of tiny type over colored pictures is the only distraction. A glossary, a bibliography, and a Web site list are appended to each volume. ((Reviewed April 1, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2004 July
Gr 5-8-These attractive series titles introduce students to turning points in history by explaining how the events of a single day can create enormous and permanent changes. All four books open with a short introduction. These overviews are followed by chapters that provide background and historical information about the circumstances leading up to the events, and then the world-changing days are covered on an hour-by-hour basis (except for "Test-Tube Baby," which broadly covers Lesley Brown's treatment and pregnancy). Concluding sections examine the resulting social and technological developments and speculate on what the future holds in each field. The authors are objective about their subjects, and they place events into context so that readers can gain an understanding of why these occurrences were so important. There is at least one photo on each page; maps and charts help readers understand technical or political concepts. Quotes and sidebars also appear throughout, which leads to a somewhat busy page layout. While these books do not have the detail found in Nathan Aaseng's The Space Race (Lucent, 2001) and Jeffrey B. Symynkywicz's Germany, United Again (Dillon, 1995), they do offer good introductory information and are engaging enough to attract general readers.-Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.