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Maps and Geography (Ken Jennings' Junior Genius Guides) [Kindle Edition]

Ken Jennings , Mike Lowery
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $6.83
You Save: $1.16 (15%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

Discover the fun facts about the world and become a master of geography with this interactive trivia book from Jeopardy! champ and New York Times bestselling author Ken Jennings.

With this Junior Genius Guide to maps and geography, you’ll become an expert and wow your friends and teachers with clever facts: Did you know that the biggest desert in the world is actually covered in snow? Or that Christopher Columbus wasn’t the first to think that the Earth was round? With great illustrations, cool trivia, and fun quizzes to test your knowledge, this guide will have you on your way to whiz-kid status in no time!

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5–8—Jeopardy legend Jennings scores a win with this title in his new middle grade nonfiction series. Chapters are divided up into parts of the school day ("First Period," "Recess," "Lunch," etc.), and though each is fairly long and covers a great deal of material, the book moves quickly because of the conversational writing style, bits of trivia thrown in among paragraphs, and humorous drawings. Lowery's sketches are a big selling point; the silly tone they evoke matches the lightheartedness of the text perfectly. One of the strengths of this book is that Jennings is able to sneak in important geography concepts through what will feel like a series of interesting facts. For instance, when he discusses the Dead Sea, readers may be surprised to learn not only that it is not the saltiest body of water in the world but also that there is enough gold in the ocean to give every person on earth five pounds of it, if it could be extracted. The book concludes with a fun final exam that would be an excellent and inconspicuous way to test reading comprehension, as well as some suggestions for how to keep learning about maps and geography in real life. A great addition to middle grade libraries, both school and public.—Trina Bolfing, Westbank Libraries, Austin, TX

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The new line of Junior Genius Guide books kicks off with a stellar collection of facts about climate, national flags, maps, and more, all in an engaging, arch tone. Jeopardy! champ and author Jennings, making his first foray into books for children, arranges the trivia in chapters that lightly satirize a school-day schedule, including a lunch period offering an ingenious and easy recipe for an edible map, a craft project in art class, and an official certification exam before the dismissal bell. Cartoon illustrations, inset boxes, and Jennings’ jokey patter break each fact-stuffed page into delicious wonder-bites, each as satisfying as the next: Papua New Guinea’s flag was designed by a 15-year-old; a fear of maps is called cartophobia; the largest country with no permanent lake or river is Saudi Arabia; and so on. This is no mere list, however: games, pop quizzes (including an encoded answer key and cipher to solve it), jokes, mnemonic devices, and even suggestions for field trips will pull in any young trivia fan. Lowery’s black-and-white spot illustrations help explain concepts, such as cartographic projections, and add the overall levity, making this a successful nonfiction package as well as pure reading fun. Published simultaneously with the second in the series, Greek Mythology. Grades 3-6. --Francisca Goldsmith

Product Details

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Stuff February 13, 2014
By Heather
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This arrived yesterday and my 9 year old son grabbed it and was reading it in bed when I went to tuck him in. He informed me that it wasn't Columbus who discovered the world was round--folks had figured that out long before, and it was Eratosthenes who, in the third century BC, calculated the circumference of the Earth within a few percentage points of the truth, extrapolating based on the length of shadows in different cities. Holy crap--I was smarter already, and I haven't even read the book.

Anyway, it's well laid out for a younger reader, contains fascinating information, and appears to go well beyond "trivia" to prompt thought including but not limited to scientific analysis, critical reasoning, and maybe even the value of mathematics. Not that your child should be aware of that unless you're a Tiger mom and are hitting them over the head with the "get ready for Harvard" mantra--normal folks can just take some delight that they're sneaking it all in via a fun read.

Nice work, Ken Jennings!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it! February 10, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My seven year old is eating these up, she wont put them down for anything. She is taking the oath very seriously :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it April 5, 2014
By M. Hess
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Granddaughter loved it...glad she was challenged and willing to read., she told me she enjoyed it and was glad I bought for her..MIke
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All President's up to present May 20, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Our grandson, 10 years old, read this book and learned a lot. He asked questions such as, What president had no formal education? How many presidents are still alive? How many presidents were killed in office? We were impressed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 10, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I got them for my greatgrandson.age 9. he loves them, will get more.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars July 26, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great for kids with inquisitive minds. Brought to their level with the cartoon interest.
Connie Keep
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More About the Author

Ken Jennings was an anonymous Salt Lake City software engineer in 2004 when he became a nerd folk icon almost overnight via his record-breaking six-month streak on the TV quiz show Jeopardy! In his 75 appearances on the show, Ken won 74 games and $2.52 million, both American game show records. Barbara Walters named him one of the ten most fascinating people of the year. The Christian Science Monitor called him "the king of Trivia Nation" and Slate magazine dubbed him "the Michael Jordan of trivia, the Seabiscuit of geekdom." ESPN: The Magazine called him "smarmy (and) punchable," with "the personality of a hall monitor," thus continuing America's long national struggle between jocks and nerds.

Since his Jeopardy! streak ended, Ken has become a best-selling author. His books include Brainiac, about the phenomenon of trivia in American culture, Ken Jennings's Trivia Almanac, the biggest American trivia book ever assembled, and Maphead, about his lifelong love of geography. His latest book is Because I Said So!: The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales, and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down Its Kids.

Ken currently lives outside Seattle, Washington, with his wife Mindy, his son Dylan and daughter Caitlin, and a deeply unstable Labrador retriever named Banjo. For more information, visit


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