Monday, February 04, 2008

NonFiction Monday: National Geographic Investigates

For Nonfiction Monday, here's a look at the National Geographic Investigates Series. I reviewed one book in this series, Ancient Egypt: Archaeology Unlocks the Secrets of Egypt's Past by Jill Rubalcaba; Janice Kamrin, Consultant, and now here is a look at two other titles in the series. Copies supplied by Raab Associates.

Ancient Inca: Archaeology Unlocks the Secrets of Inca's Past by Beth Gruber; Johan Reinhard, Consultant

Ancient Greece: Archaeology Unlocks the Secret's of Greece's Past by Marni McGee, Michael Shanks, Consultant

It's About: This series explains archaeology, the process, the finds, how there is always something new to be discovered or a new interpretation to be made. I like the photos; I like the time lines; I love the resources. And I like how there is something unique about each book.

The Good:

For the Inca book: Mummies! Love mummies. And I also liked learning more about Gupis -- the knots in colored string to record calendar and keep track of livestock "without anyone who can read the stories tied into the colorful strings, understanding the ancient Inca is a lot like solving a mystery."

I was also intrigued by how people with an interest in this -- people like me -- may be contributing to the destruction of archaeological sites, grave robbing, and the simple physical impact of the people visiting the sites. This has led to such virtual tours as the 2005-2006 Machu Picchu Display at the Yale University's Peabody Museum of Natural History.

For the Greece book: I loved the description of an archaeology site being like a crime scene. (I like crime shows and books, in addition to history books; I guess this shows the two have more in common than I thought.)

It's amazing to think of the discoveries still being made, as well as interpretations to be refined and changed. This also included the issue of ownership of ancient artifacts such as the Elgin Marbles.

The book also featured my favorite artifact that makes history real: the cup of Euripides. WOW.

A general note about nonfiction:

One of the reasons I like nonfiction, and so look forward to the sharing of books via Nonfiction Mondays, is there is so much great nonfiction out there. Schools can only teach so much in a given day; so having nonfiction books available to learn more or learn more in depth is great.


Andromeda Jazmon said...

You are right about the great nonfiction we have available. Our elementary kids gobble it up too. Many would rather browse and check out nf than pictures books any day of the week!

andalucy said...

Thanks for posting these great non-fiction reviews. It's easy to find great fiction for kids, but I don't have as much luck finding non-fiction. These books look wonderful.

Robin Friedman said...

Thanks so much for Nonfiction Mondays! I've always loved nonfiction, as a child, as an adult, as a reader, as a writer. I so appreciate your highlighting some of the wonderful nonfiction books out there.

Camille said...

and school librarians can base lessons on nonfiction books on subjects that the kids will never hear about otherwise.

You all are so right about kids' love of nonfiction. I did a quick count of the classes as they lined up to leave the library last week. At least 50% of the kids in line had checked out at least one nonfiction title. Most of them had two nonficton books.