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Discusses the geography, peoples, history, and economy of the different regions of Mexico.
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Gr 3-5--Economic development is the theme of this series and the focus of these two titles. Both books are lavishly illustrated with full-color photographs that show the people, the natural resources, and the scars left by unchecked development and pollution. The tone is usually objective albeit occasionally judgmental. Both texts are marred by generalizations, especially in the historical overviews. For example, Parker states, "In 1532 the Spanish arrived in Peru and quickly took over the running of the country...," with no mention of the struggles and fierce fighting waged by the Incas. Information is often introduced without enough explanation. On page 9, Lewington states that fewer than 300 Mexicans now speak Seri, but it is not until page 29 that readers learn that the Seri Indians of the Sonora once numbered many thousands. Readers are told that in the gulf and southeast regions of Mexico, "Many agricultural workers...work for close to the minimum wage of 16.5 pesos (about $3) a day," but there is no context for the cost-of-living specifics. Full- or half-page text boxes describe related topics; these summaries are often oversimplified. The lack of attention to detail detracts from the usefulness of these books.
Frances E. Millhouser, Chantilly Regional Library, VA
Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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