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Who Really Discovered America?: Unraveling the Mystery & Solving the Puzzle (Kaleidoscope Kids Books (Williamson Publishing)) Paperback – June, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-7-A lively guide that teaches how to investigate history while it explores and explains various theories about the discovery of America. Short sound bites of information are grouped in loosely organized chapters that illuminate 10 theories about the "discovery" of America, e.g., the Land-Bridge Theory, the Multiple-Migration Theory, the Woden-lithi Theory, etc. But hard facts are only half the story here. Interspersed are a hodgepodge of ideas, suggestions, and projects that invite readers to think, question, search, and uncover the truth for themselves. Exercises and activities cover general topics-friendly versus unfriendly ways to disagree, the place of "wild" ideas in research-as well as specific ones-making maps, plaster-casting footprints, and more. Hart and Mantell often remind students of the importance of remaining fair and open-minded. Ultimately, they leave it up to readers to use the techniques in the book to decide which of the theories seems most likely to be true "for now." A final reminder notes that the question of who really discovered America will remain open in the future since "new information is always being uncovered." The volume has a workbook look with oversized pages bordered in black and gray designs and illustrations consisting of black-and-white cartoons, sketches, maps, and photographs. A useful and thought-provoking tool.

Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: Kaleidoscope Kids Books (Williamson Publishing)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Williamson Publishing Company (June 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1885593465
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885593467
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #673,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
Your assumption might be that a book entitled "Who Really Discovered America?" would be one that makes the case for the discovering of the Americas by the Vikings rather than Christopher Columbus, but those are only a pair of the possibilities here. The complete title of Avery Hart's Kaleidoscope Kids Book is "Who Really Discovered America? Unraveling the Mystery & Solving the Puzzle" and if there is one thing you need to know before diving into this book it would be that you are not going to get the answer as the end. That is because the point here is to present young readers, ages 7-14, with all of the opinions and theories that make up the evidence for this particular historical puzzle. The goal is not to answer the question as to who really discovered America but rather to instruct readers on the mysterious ways in which history reveals itself to inquiring minds.

Recognizing that truth tacking is not easy, Hart provides his young readers with a five-point "Star Guide" to allow them to weigh the merits of the ideas they come across in this book. The idea is that each point on the star (or each finger on your hand) represents a particular point for which you can award 0 to 5 points for each theory: (1) Start with what you know: how does the new theory support the facts as you know them? (2) Throw out old opinions: Is your mind really open or do you secretly want a particular idea to be true (or untrue)? (3) Review the theory evidence: what specific evidence supports the theory and how reliable is it? (4) Use intuition: what does you gut say about the theory? (5) Put it all together: overall, does the idea make sense and fit with the other puzzle pieces? If you believe a theory is absolutely true it would score 25 points.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jenna Z. on February 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is not your grandmother's activity/history book. It asks students to look deeper and challenges all of us to question our assumptions; disagree civilly and make a case for ourselves; and aim for objectivity overall. It also invites the reader to be a participant along with the authors, taking their own journey, as it were, to discover the truth. Best of all, it doesn't talk down to kids - it talks to them and with them. If you have kids, teach kids or know kids - I recommend this book.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Evelyn on January 23, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is very leading!
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