From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up—The first 12 volumes in this impressive set cover two to eight countries apiece, grouped geographically. Each book details the geographical features and climate of the entire region, along with an overview of the history and movement of people in the area. This overview is followed by in-depth coverage of each country (dependencies and the Russian Federation are included), focusing on particulars such as statistics, culture, government, economics, symbols, and national history. A 13th volume offers comparative statistics as well as thematic set indexes. A plethora of maps, showing everything from geophysical features to location of linguistic groups to region-specific information, along with charts, tables, and chronologies will help to deepen readers' understanding. Quality captioned color photos and clear fonts contribute to the clean layout. With copious resources offered for further research and a meticulous index, this set is an ideal resource for geography, history, and social-studies assignments.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD
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This latest in a series of appealing and well-organized sets offers a plethora of facts and other information introducing researchers to the 51 countries, states, and dependencies of Europe. The first 12 volumes cover different geographic regions (Central Europe, volume 7, for example, spotlights Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Liechtenstein, and Slovakia). In each volume, introductory pages describe the region’s geography, climate, and history. Current and relevant demographic and economic statistics are provided, as are colorful time lines, maps, photographs, and other illustrations. Following the regional treatments are entries for each country, with several pages of statistics and other facts preceding a discussion of the country’s government, modern history, culture, daily life (which includes one or two pages on each of the country’s major cities), and economy. Lush color photographs, maps, and sidebars (“Folk Music,” “Housing”) are plentiful, breaking up the text. Volumes 1–12 conclude with a bibliography and index. In addition to extensive thematic indexes for the set, volume 13 contains a glossary and more than 30 pages of comparative tables. The “Further Research” section is a bibliography of print titles, periodical articles, nonprint media, and electronic resources. Best suited for high-school students, this thorough reference set is highly recommended for systems that purchased the previous World and Its Peoples titles or for those needing to update their collections. The extremely attractive covers—mostly featuring head shots of older teens—should lure even the most reluctant of researchers to peek inside. Grades 9-12. --Cheryl Ward