Adventure Awaits | Geography Series Nonfiction

The latest titles in the geography series center on wonderful landscapes and vibrant cultures around the globe.

The latest titles in the geography series center on wonderful landscapes and vibrant cultures around the globe. Readers will be introduced to continents, customs, and cuisines to gain a better understanding of everyday life, traditions, climate, and landforms in connection to geography. All of the titles below provide colorful photos or illustrations to engage readers with age-appropriate text. Many of the titles give further reading resource material and some even provide activities and critical thinking questions, all of which is listed in the reviews. The following 12 series offer readers the opportunity to experience new people, food, cultures, landscapes, and customs throughout the world.



Anthony, William. A Visit to England. ISBN 9798885090391.
––––. A Visit to Mexico. ISBN 9798885090438.
Mather, Charis. A Visit to Australia. ISBN 9798885090360.
––––. A Visit to Chile. ISBN 9798885090377.
––––. A Visit to China. ISBN 9798885090384.
––––. A Visit to Japan. ISBN 9798885090414.
––––. A Visit to Malaysia. ISBN 9798885090421.
––––. A Visit to New Zealand. ISBN 9798885090445.
Twiddy, Robin. A Visit to India. ISBN 9798885090407.
Wood, John. A Visit to South Korea. ISBN 9798885090452.
ea vol: 24p. (Country Explorers). Bearport/Bearpoty Books. Aug. 2022. Tr. $26.99.
Gr 2-4 –These country profiles give a current look at what it is like to live in different ­places. The table of contents shows that each section is two pages long, with vocabulary in bold. Small paragraphs with color photos and basic maps give younger readers a chance to take information in. “Fact File” page gives the capital, main language, currency, and flag. Famous landforms, celebrations, and pop culture, are described along with cultural cuisine, native animals, and athletics. There is a final “Before You Go” page that shows one last famous place, such as Gyeongbokgung Palace in South Korea. Little infographic bubbles throughout offer facts or questions for readers to consider. The back matter has a glossary and index. Although the profiles of each country ­offers minimal information, introductions to the different places, customs, and people around the world. VERDICT Introductory country profiles for beginning readers.

Gould, Sloane & Alicia Z. Klepeis. Brazil. ISBN 9781502663986.
Gould, Sloane & Sharon Gordon. Canada. ISBN 9781502663863.
Gould, Sloane & Ruth Bjorklund. China. ISBN 9781502664068.
Gould, Sloane & Kate Shoup. Egypt. ISBN 9781502663948.
Gould, Sloane & Andrew Coddington. ­Germany. ISBN 9781502664020.
––––. Peru. ISBN 9781502663900.
ea vol: 32p. (Exploring World Cultures). Cavendish Square. Aug. 2022. Tr. $30.93.
Gr 3-4 –This series covers countries and people around the world. A table of contents shows that each title has 12 chapters that are two pages long using colorful captioned photographs in a couple of paragraphs. Pages are colorblocked when there aren’t pictures and vocabulary words are in bold. Tabs or bubbles with facts appear throughout the text which covers a wide range of information, from history to food, the environment to fun and play, religion to lifestyle and ­native people, “About 30 million members of Native groups lived in Brazil before the Portuguese arrived. There is only a relatively small percentage of these peoples in Brazil today” (Brazil). The back matter has a glossary, how to find out more, and index. While the titles and sections are short, the topics highlight key aspects of each country, making it a good introduction to the country and the people who live there. VERDICT A colorful introductory read about countries for older elementary students.

Morey, Allan. Exploring Antarctica. ISBN 9781644877630.
––––. Exploring Space. ISBN 9781644877661.
––––. Exploring the Deep Sea. ISBN 9781644877685.
Rathburn, Betsy. Exploring Caves. ISBN 9781644877647.
––––. Exploring Mount Everest. ISBN 9781644877654.
––––. Exploring the Amazon. ISBN 9781644877678.
ea vol: 24p. (Dangerous Journeys). Bellwether/Torque. Aug. 2022. Tr. $26.95.
Gr 2-4 –Each series shows the dangerous adventures both on and off the planet Earth. Using colorful backgrounds that mirror the subject, each title starts with a short table of contents broken down by sections. Short paragraphs with vocabulary words in bold and another color are accompanied by full page pictures that are labeled. Each title briefly describes the history, technology, and the preparation/training involved in the dangerous journey with a highlight of a notable explorer. Side graphics of how to plan for the journey, scientific ideas, such as the Kármán Line, and what would happen without the appropriate gear or technology are used to add depth to the text. The back matter has a glossary, how to learn more, and an index. While many of these dangerous journeys require extreme dedication and study, titles may excite reluctant beginning readers and the format will not intimidate them. VERDICT A good series for reluctant readers who enjoy real adventures.

Spanier, Kristine. Explore New England. ISBN 9781636907208.
––––. Explore the Midatlantic. ISBN 9781636907147.
––––. Explore the Midwest. ISBN 9781636907178.
––––. Explore the South. ISBN 9781636907239.
––––. Explore the Southwest. ISBN 9781636907260.
––––. Explore the West. ISBN 9781636907291.
ea vol: 24p. (Regions of the United States). Jump!/Pogo Books. Aug. 2022. Tr. $26.99.
Gr 2-4 –A short series about the various regions of the United States. The books open with ideas for educators and caregivers for before, during, and after reading followed by a table of contents with three to four chapters of varying lengths. Each region’s history, location, geography, wildlife, and daily life are describe in a short paragraph on a colorblock, bold vocabulary, and corresponding with a captioned picture. Info bubbles appear throughout the text with fun facts and questions for readers to ask themselves, such as “Do you know what plants grow near you?”. An infographic is used at the end of each title to show the popular industries from each state. The back matter has a quick facts page, glossary, an index, and how to learn more. There is enough information to introduce the states of each region for elementary readers, although some of the color blocks take up a large portion of the page, cutting off pictures in odd places. VERDICT A good introduction to the regions of the United States for elementary readers.

Vonder Brink, Tracy. Africa. ISBN 9781039660502.
––––. Antarctica. ISBN 9781039660519.
––––. Asia. ISBN 9781039660526.
––––. Australia. ISBN 9781039660533.
––––. Europe. ISBN 9781039660540.
––––. North America. ISBN 9781039660557.
––––. South America. ISBN 9781039660564.
ea vol: 32p. (Seven Continents of the World). Crabtree/Crabtree Crown. Sept. 2022. Tr. $30.60.
Gr 3-4 –This series explores the seven continents of Earth. Titles start with support for caregivers and educators with before, during, and after reading questions and prompts. The table of contents has up to six chapters that cover getting to know the continent, landforms and climate, natural resources, plants and animals, countries and cities, culture and people. Small paragraphs with bold vocabulary words are paired with full page ­pictures. Info bubbles with facts about the continent appear throughout the chapters, such as “Most Colombian emeralds are mined in the eastern Andes mountains” (South America). The back matter has a glossary, index, and comprehension questions that connect to the text. Although there is not a lot of text and the font is small, this makes the titles less intimidating while remaining introductory. VERDICT A good choice for older elementary readers learning about the continents.


Upper Elementary to Middle School

Toumu’a, Ruth. Tonga. ISBN 9781684507467.
Va’afusuaga, Jane. Samoa. ISBN 9781684507474.
Vunidilo, Tarisi. Fiji. ISBN 9781684507504.
Watson-Sproat, Trisha Khaulani. Hawai’i. ISBN 9781684507498.
Werry, Philippa. New Zealand. ISBN 9781684507481.
ea vol: 48p. (Voices From Around the World). Norwood House. Aug. 2022. Tr. $30.60.
Gr 4-6 –This series centers the rich and diverse Pacific Islands. Starting with a table of contents each title has four chapters of varying lengths. Readers are welcomed first in the language native to the island country and given a pronunciation guide. Multiple paragraphs of text are accompanied by infographics, art and photos on the backdrop of designed pages. Important boxes of information appear throughout the text and highlight facts, such as “In villages, a conch shell is blown each evening at sunset. This lets people know it is time for family prayers” (Samoa), important objects and symbols in the culture, famous people, and how to respectfully visit the area. The back matter includes a native language glossary, English glossary, more reading suggestions, and index. The series is a fantastic example of using authors from the area and consultants who are descendants and raised in the culture to make sure the country is described and represented correctly. VERDICT A great series that explores the countries and culture of the Pacific Islands.


Upper Middle School to High School

Aspen-Baxter, Linda. Africa. ISBN 9781791145361.
––––. Antarctica. ISBN 9781791145408.
––––. Asia. ISBN 9781791145439.
––––. Australia. ISBN 9781791145460.
Banting, Erinn. North America. ISBN 9781791145521.
––––. South America. ISBN 9781791145552.
Findlay, Galadriel. Europe. ISBN 9781791145491.
ea vol: 32p. (Exploring Continents). AV2/AV2 Nonfiction. Jun. 2022. Tr. $34.27.
Gr 6-8 –A series about summarizing each of the seven continents. A table of contents shows each section is one-to-two pages in length with vocabulary words in bold. ­Colorful photos, sometimes with captions surround a few long paragraphs of text along with infographics. A broad overview of the continent is covered quickly: geography, land and climate, plants and animals, natural resources, tourism, industry, goods and services, Indigenous Peoples, exploration, settlers, population, politics and government, ­cultural groups, arts and entertainment, and sports and recreation. There is also a mapping activity and quiz for readers that connects to the text. The back matter includes a glossary and index. Although the content covers a lot of information in a short amount of time and does have sections devoted to cultural groups and Indigenous Peoples, it fails to mention much of the atrocities of colonization both past and present while also highlighting figures of early settlers and explorers. Brief sentences, like “Aboriginal Australians were pushed off their traditional lands,” are not inaccurate, but are also not better explained for ­readers. VERDICT A broad overview about each continent for middle grade readers.

Barghoorn, Linda. Focus on Mexico. ISBN 9781039663169.
Hudak, Heather C. Focus on South Korea. ISBN 9781039663282.
Hyde, Natalie. Focus on South Africa. ISBN 9781039663176.
Rodger, Ellen. Focus on Haiti. ISBN 9781039661226.
ea vol: 48p. (Focus on Geography). Crabtree/Crabtree Forest. Sept. 2022. Tr. $33.27.
Gr 6-9 –Each title in the series focuses on the people of a country in relation to geography. The table of contents shows each title has 4-5 chapters with an introduction to the country today, the land and how it became the current nation, life today, the vibrant culture, and the future ahead. Several paragraphs of text are paired with smaller captioned color photos and infographics along with vocabulary in bold. Each chapter has at least one “Closer Look” and ancient history section to provide context from the past and present. The back matter has a glossary, a list of books and websites for further reading, and an index. The series is not afraid to discuss challenges like supporting senior populations in South ­Korea, climate change, slavery in connection of colonization, COVID-19, etc. While the amount of text may be overwhelming for some, the amount of information covered would be good for a school project. VERDICT A comprehensive country profile series, good for older students.

Denton, Michelle. Indonesia. ISBN 9781502666185.
Horning, Nicole. Colombia. ISBN 9781502666345.
Kennon, Caroline. Brazil. ISBN 9781502666307.
Keppeler, Jill. Argentina. ISBN 9781502666284.
––––. India. ISBN 9781502666161.
Morlock, Rachael. Chile. ISBN 9781502666321.
––––. Malaysia. ISBN 9781502666222.
Nevins, Debbie. Japan. ISBN 9781502666208.
––––. Mexico. ISBN 9781502666369.
––––. Singapore. ISBN 9781502666260.
––––. Venezuela. ISBN 9781502666383.
Poolos, Christine. Myanmar. ISBN 9781502666246.
ea vol: 144p. (Cultures of the World). Cavendish Square. Aug. 2022. Tr. $48.50.
HighSchool –A series of country profiles that are comprehensive and textbook-like. The table of contents shows 13 chapters per title and gives a brief summary for each. The “Welcome” section introduces readers to the country using longer two-column paragraphs with a captioned color photo. Each profile includes geography, history, government, economy, environment, the people, lifestyle, religions, languages, arts, leisure, festivals, and food such as the diet in Myanmar where “Rice makes up about 75 percent of the diet and is accompanied by curries and other stewed dishes” (Myanmar). Each chapter has infographics that show a point of interest, a common phrase in the native language, ancient sites, travel tips (even mentioning COVID-19) and links to learn more. The final pages offer activities, such as recipes, a topographical economic, and cultural maps with a list of points that can be found on it, and a timeline of the country mirrored with the world. The back matter has a glossary, further information, bibliography, and index. While the series may be overwhelming with the sheer amount of information offered, the text can be used for the activities or projects for older students. VERDICT A comprehensive series that features in-depth country profiles and activities for older readers.

Friesen, Helen Lepp. India. ISBN 9781791140731.
Goldsworthy, Steve. Brazil. ISBN 9781791140793.
––––. Canada. ISBN 9781791140700.
––––. China. ISBN 9781791140762.
Kopp, Megan. Saudi Arabia. ISBN 9781791140854.
––––. United States. ISBN 9781791140649.
Marshall, Deb. Russia. ISBN 9781791140670.
Matthews, Sheelagh. South Africa. ISBN 9781791140823.
ea vol: 32p. (Countries of the World). AV2/AV2 Nonfiction. Aug. 2022. Tr. $34.27.
Gr 8 Up –This series gives a detailed profile about countries around the world. The table of contents shows sections between one-to-two pages long using fully designed pages with a longer paragraph of text paired with color captioned photos and infographics. Starting with a general overview, which includes a map, population, and famous cities and landforms; vocabulary terms are bold and used throughout the text. Each title has a wide range of topics, such as: land and climate; plants and animals; tourism; industry; goods and services; Indigenous Peoples; exploration/colonization; settlers; current population; politics and government; cultural groups; arts and entertainment; and sports. While the series offers a wide range of information and even has a section called “Indigenous Peoples” from each country, it does not give much about different native groups or explain much of colonization other than that it happened. This feels unbalanced by the other sections including the ones devoted to specific people involved in early exploration and settlers. Back matter contains a map activity, quiz, key words, and index. VERDICT Country profiles with a wide range of information for late middle to early high school readers.

Havelka, Jacqueline. Afghanistan. ISBN 9781422244319.
––––. Asia: Facts & Figures. ISBN 9781422244104.
––––. Bangladesh. ISBN 9781422244739.
––––. India. ISBN 9781422244326.
––––. Pakistan. ISBN 9781422244333.
ea vol: 96p. (Asian Countries Today). National Highlights/Mason Crest. Aug. 2022. Tr. $26.95.
HighSchool –A series about the history and development of Asian countries and their futures. A table of contents shows that there are about six to seven chapters per title and key icons to look for throughout the text. Sidebars of text on color blocks and long paragraphs with corresponding captioned color pictures and graphics are used throughout, although the marbleized background makes the text difficult to read in places. Each title then has a “Facts and Figures’’ and QR codes that lead to videos. ­Every chapter has the vocabulary words listed and defined at the beginning and in the text they are in bold and in a different color. Title chapters cover geography and landscape; government and history; economy; citizens, culture, and customs; famous people from the country; the future of the country; and food, including a recipe, festivals, and holidays, such as “The nine-day Navaratri commemoration honors the mother goddess Durga and celebrates the defeat of the demon king Ravan” (­India). The back matter includes a glossary of key terms, a chronology of the country or countries, further reading and internet resources, an index, and organizations to contact. While the series has a lot to offer, the information comes across as imbalanced with many negative features of countries described over positive ones. VERDICT A descriptive resource of Asian countries for older readers, should not be used as a single source of information.

The 12 series above provide a broad range of places and people to visit. With more than one adventure to be had on each continent, readers will experience customs and cultures new and perhaps familiar with so many different titles. Reluctant readers will be intrigued by adventures on Earth and in space in “Dangerous Journeys” (Bellwether). Many series focus on country profiles for a variety of ages such as “Country Explorers” (Bearport) for younger readers and “Cultures of the World” (Rosen) for high school readers, while the “Voices From Around the World” (Norwood House) series about the Pacific Islands stands out for its respect and authenticity. Several series are specifically about geography in relation to people past and present. like “Regions of the U.S.” (Jump!), “Focus on Geography” (Crabtree), “Exploring Continents” (Cavendish Square), and “Seven Continents of the World” (Crabtree). Though some series are less broad in topic like “Customs, Culture, & Cuisine” (National Highlights), each series offers readers of every level a look into life, no matter their geographic location.

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