Reviews for South Africa

School Library Journal Reviews 2005 April
Gr 5-7-Colorful overviews of the geography, history, economy, ethnic and cultural groups, and the political situation in these countries. Corrigan presents an interesting and coherent account of Ethiopian history, focusing on crucial events in a logical narrative. Noonan provides an accurate, although brief, account of major historical events. Readers can gain a reasonably good sense of the policy of apartheid, but the book lacks an account of the events leading up to the release of Nelson Mandela and the unbanning of political organizations in 1990. In both titles, significant attention is given to events of the last decade. Ethiopia gives a better sense of the poverty of the majority of people, while South Africa tends to offer a cheerier, more tourist-oriented focus. The well-produced illustrations in both books do little to round out the picture of how real people in these countries live. Each title has a map showing the country's location in Africa and one of the major cities, but there are no visual aids that show the physical features. Without more detailed maps, much of the historical information about the Great Trek and the Afrikaner Republics of the 19th century in South Africa will be hard to follow. Shorter and less text-heavy than most of the series for this audience, these titles look as though they are for younger students. However, the economic and political concepts and the vocabulary are better suited for middle schoolers. Overall, the books' attention to detail and their currency make them adequate choices for reports.-Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.