Book Review: Afghanistan to Zimbabwe

Reading Level

Ages 9-12

Also on This Subject

• The National Geographic Student Atlas of the World
• Geography

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The folks at National Geographic tend to publish excellent book after excellent book, improving an already stellar reputation. This book is no exception. This book is Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Its author is Andrew Wojtanik, and its subtitle is this: "Country Facts that helped me win the National Geographic Bee."

Its paperback format and easy-to-handle size make it a natural for every child's backpack and/or bookshelf. The introduction by Andrew, who was an eighth-grader when he won, is topical and typical, both informative and indicative of a boy his age.

The real stars of the show, however, are the facts therein. The book is a huge collection of amazingly relevant facts about the many countries of the world, and it's not limited to geography. The definition of geography is expanded a little to include political, economic, and even religious information. As always, top-notch and seriously up-to-date maps accompany the words. A helpful glossary completes the presentation.

Having trouble remembering the names of countries' capital cities? They're in here. Want to learn the names of the countries that contain part of the Sahara Desert? Look no further. Want to know all the mountain ranges in the United States? They're in here, too.

In short, this is one of those big bulky atlas books in the shape of a fun-to-read fiction adventure. It is aimed at a younger audience, but the facts and figures are good for adults to know as well.

Be sure to read the introduction and dedication, too, to discover who really wrote the book.

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