The Handy History Answer Book

, Jr. 3rd. ed. 560p. charts. illus. index. maps. photos. reprods. Visible Ink Pr. 2012. pap. $21.95. ISBN 978-1-57859-372-9.
Gr 8 Up—This update of the 2006 edition retains the question-and-answer format of previous editions, with answers ranging from a single paragraph to about a page in length. Topics are an interesting mix of events, people, and ideas, and chapters are arranged chronologically. Most topics are unchanged, but sports, which was formerly covered in "Culture and Recreation," now has a section of its own. New questions are added throughout, most of which fill gaps in information, provide more diverse coverage of ethnic groups and international topics, or discuss recent events-the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, for example. Some questions about ongoing controversies, such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, have been revised, and a few questions regarding obscure and dated topics have been removed. Changes include the addition of bullet points and lists to improve clarity, a smaller but still easily read font, and the removal of the chronology and bibliography. This edition also adds maps and replaces almost all of the black-and-white illustrations, but the new ones are small, dark, and minimally captioned and thus add little to the text. Although generally well written and succinct, this book offers little background and analysis and much of its information can be easily found in other sources, including online. There is not enough new material to justify replacement for libraries that hold the second edition, and, while the format may draw browsers, the material lacks the depth to be useful to researchers, making it additional even in libraries that lack the earlier work.—Mary Mueller, formerly at Rolla Junior High School, MO

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