The catchy title makes this appear to be about the recent phenomena of electronic social networks. However, the subtitle is a clue that the scope includes so much more. The whole scope of the American history of socializing is covered, beginning with the Iroquois and their method of weaving beads into wampum belts. Early religious groups, colonial coffeehouses, broadsides, secret gatherings of slaves, circuit riders, telegraphs, mail orders, and groups such as the YMCA and NAACP are profiled as examples of social networking. Today’s online communities (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, e-mail, etc.) are touched upon with the supposition that face-to-face socializing is still important. The solid information will make this useful for reports, while the pleasing design set off by touches of blue, as well as the sufficient black-and-white archival photos placed throughout, make this plenty appealing for browsers. Grades 5-8. --Randall Enos
About the Author
Francesca Davis DiPiazza grew up loving the smell of books, but as soon as she saw a computer, she thought, 'Terrific! More ways to share more words with more people!' A blogger since 2002, she still uses a 1970s rotary-dial phone. One of her books for Twenty-First Century Books, Zimbabwe in Pictures (Visual Geography Series), won the Society of School Librarians International Book Award.