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Summary: First published in a hardbound edition in 2006 this paper edition has been updated to reflect the most recent political developments in the area. After looking at the religion, resources, history, politics and cultural affairs of the Middle East the author then provides two-page spread on each county in the region. There are also Websites and books listed for those who wish more information for a detailed investigation of the topics discussed. This is an illustrated oveview of the contries comprising the region known as the Middle East
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading
Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 10; read yourself: 9 to 13
Interest Level: 9 to 12
Age of Child: Read with a group of fifth graders.
Young Reader Reaction: I asked a former colleague to share this book with her 5th grade class and the overall reaction was very positive. A few of the children asked to take it home and use the book for reports.
Adult Reader Reaction: I liked the overview this book offered to an area that is so much in the news right now. I think it is an excellent way of introducing youngsters to the Middle East and its culture.
Pros: The material the author presents offers a good starting point for further discussion on the region and its history and place on the world stage. The book makes excellent use of maps and pictures.
Cons: Don't expect a lot of detail. This is just the starting point from which to launch a much more intensive study.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. For home use, this is a book I'd rather get at the library than purchase.
Educational Themes: This is a reference book about the Middle East. It is engaging and offers contextual (political) and visual information for a middle-grade audience.
Notes: Bob Walch, Monterey, California, sent us this review. Bob's reviews appear in the Salinas Californian, Watsonville Register-Pajaronian, Aptos Times, Ride/Western Times and Coast Views Magazine. His online are at MyShelf, Roundtable Reviews, Parent Click, Midwest Book Review, and I Love a Mystery.