Dewey Guide: 900s (Geography)

Subjects Listed in This Directory


Dash, Joan.  THE LONGITUDE PRIZE.  Illus by Dusan Petricic.  New York: Foster/Farrar,
    2000.  200p.  0-374-34636-4;l hb., $16.00   97-044257   Gr. 6-12     681.2

    In the eighteenth century it was easy to chart a ship’s latitude, North/South positions) but there was no method of calculating longitude.  Britain’s Parliament offered a prize of 20,000 pounds and the substantial prize remained untouched for 50 years.  This is about a village carpenter, John Harrison, and his travails in getting his invention accepted.
    There were several reasons why the Board of Longitude was not interested in Harrison’s clock: the Royal Astronomer preferred lunar reckoning and a celestial clock, the idea was unconventional, and Parliament changed the rules for the prize in 1765.  Also Harrison was not of noble birth, had little personal funds, was a stubborn man, found it difficult to articulate his findings, and was not on cordial terms with the Astronomer Royal or members of the royal Academy.  Politics was alive and well in the 18th century.
    Harrison’s clock had a set of oscillating bars controlled by coiled springs instead of a pendulum and was counterbalanced so it could survive the ship’s motions.  After a trial on the HMS Orford, the ship’s master made out a certificate describing how, for the first time, a professional navigator acknowledged that a machine could outdo his personal reckoning.  But since this was sponsored by the Royal Society instead of the Board of Longitude and since little changes in longitude operated to test the clock’s ability, it was not accepted   Besides learning about Harrison and his invention, other interesting facts emerge.     Readers learn about the Nautical Almanac, first published in 1767 which was first time that the meridian of Greenwich was used to calculate longitude.  One of the most interesting facts to come out in the book is information about Captain Cook’s voyages to the South Pacific and his involvement with the trials of the clock or watch.  Similarities between Cook and Harrison’s station in life are interesting.   Pierre Curie and Ben Franklin also have cameos in the book.
    Eventually Harrison was offered the prize if the money was divided into two parts, the first half after delivering, under oath, the drawings from which the silver swatch was made along with a written explanation of those drawings.  Harrison did not want to take the watch apart under the eyes of experts and answer questions.  The second half of the money would only be given if other at least two other timekeepers were made that worked as well as the watch.
    Harrison’s invention is one of machines that came to be called marine chronometers.  Navigation is safer because of Harrison.  Today, a high-precision pendulum clock (accurate to within three seconds a year) a quartz clock (accurate to a hundred to a thousand times greater than the pendulum clock) , and the atomic clock (less that one second in 100,000 years) are cousins of Harrison’s silver watch.  However, Harrison would not recognize the GPS, the Global Positioning System, today’s longitude tool used to guide troops through missiles and satellites out in space.  The GPS give off pulsed radio signals which computers calculate as latitude and longitude.  Harrison’s contribution was major but it will take a special reader to read the book cover to cover.  Others will use the index to glean information for reports.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director, Superiorland Preview Center
    Editor's Note:  This title is an Honor Book for the  Sibert Informational Book Award
  Illus. by Giulio Maestro.  New York:  Lothrop, 1999.  48p. 
    0-688-14548-5; hb., $16.00  0-688-14549-3; lib.bdg.  98-21305    Gr. 3+   909.83

      Maestro asks the questions many are asking about the new millennium "What is all the fuss about?"  "A millennium is a very long time in human history but only a short time in the history of our planet and universe."  Maestro explains how time has been measured over the centuries by other cultures besides those marking time from Christ's birth.   Information included about other calendars include: Hebrew; Muslim;  Chinese;  Mayan;  Julian; Gregorian; and Dionysius Exiguus's Julian calendar.  Interesting information is given about astrology, the zodiac; replacement of a lunar calendar with a solar one, obelisks, sundials, water clocks, hourglasses, candle clocks, watches, atomic clocks, and  time zones.  Where the first sunrise of the new millennium will be and the meaning of once in a blue moon are discussed.   Especially interesting is a table showing 7 calendars and the years for Jan. 1,2000 and Jan, 1, 2001. The calendars are:  Gregorian; Islamic; Hebrew; Julian; Persian; Ethiopian; and Coptic (Egyptian).   End of book sections that add valuable information are: "Other Interesting Facts About Time and Calendars;" "Common Divisions of Time;" "Different Meanings of Time;" "The Year 2000 and Computers;" and "The Names of the Days of the Week;"  (English, Latin, Saxon, French, Italian, and German).  This is a timely purchase that has information that will last into the next millennium.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

    Boston:  Little,  2000.  231p.  0-316-81589-6;  hb., $25.95.  00-32877   Gr. 5-12+   909.82

    Each decade of the 20th century includes an article written by an outstanding young adult or children’s author:  Katherine Paterson (1900-1913), Jane Yolen (1914-1919), Avi (1920-1929) Robert Cormier (1930-1939), Lois Lowry (1940-1945), Patricia and Fred McKissack (1946-1963), Jerry Spinelli (1964-1975), Gary Paulson (1976-1992), and Cynthia Rylant (1993-1999).  Usually when numerous people write separate chapters of a book, the book has an uneven quality but this book is a unified product. What is especially interesting is that most of the articles are told in the first person and the authors provide their own feelings and experiences.
    Even if kids read only the captions to the black and white or color photos on every page they will learn about the last century.  Typical of coverage is the double page spread about the Titanic which includes two color photos, one is on Ballard’s videotape of the original prow of  the ship on the bottom of the Atlantic and the other is of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet standing on the prow of the ship in the 1997 movie.  The three black and white photos include one of Mr. and Mrs. Straus, owners of Macy’s Department store who chose to go down with the ship together, and one of Capt. E. J. Smith.     The Requiem photo at the end of each section is of an outstanding person who died that decade.  The last one includes a picture of Princess Diana talking with Mother Teresa.  Others on the double page spread include Arthur Ashe, Caesar Chavez, Wilma Rudolph, Jerry Garcia, and John F. Kennedy, Jr.  A brief biography of each YA author at the end of each section is a bonus.  This is a very readable history of the last century that will be read by kids and adults.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

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Robson, Pam.  PEOPLE AND PLACES. Illus. Tony Kenyon. Brookfield, CT:  Copper
    Beech Books, 2001. 32 p. 0761324232; $16.95 hb.  2001028820   Gr3-6    E

    Robson is a teacher with pizzazz!  If she teaches her classes in the manner in which she has written this book, no doubt her grade would be A+.  Obviously, Robson's objective in authoring this book was to make geography fun, and fun it is.  The author incorporates card games, board games, the making of paper among other clever devices to prove to kids that learning does not have to be boring. It definitely can be motivating and stimulating.  Subject matter included between the covers ranges from countries, continents, maps, transportation, natural phenomenen, social issues and the like.  On each double-spread subject is a text box with informational trivia which together with appealing photographs and eye-catching graphics all add up to one cool book!
    Patricia Fittante; Children’s Librarian, Escanaba Public Library, Escanaba, MI

Yorinks, Arthur.  THE ALPHABET ATLAS.  Illus by Adrienne Yorinks.  Letter art by
    Jeanyee Wong.  Winslow, 1999.  64p.  1-89000817-14-7l hb., $19.95  Gr. 2-7+    912

    This book imparts a feeling of textures from the padded cover to the quilt illustrations for each letter of the alphabet.  Even the individual letters look like quilting.  Beginning with Australia and Brazil and ending with Yemen and Zimbabwe, the book provides a sentence about each country.  For the observant, more information is provided through the pictures in the vibrantly colored quilts that appear on the opposite page.  In this alphabet, Q was not a problem because of Qatar and X was handled skillfully by interjecting Xianggang (Hong Kong).  Although this could be used as a primary grade alphabet book with or without studying other countries, it could be used up through middle school as a pattern for students to make their own alphabet book regardless of subject.  Public librarians should make quilters aware of this one.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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915 ASIA

 Boston:  Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002.  unp.  0-618-08364-2  
    hb.; $16.00    All Ages    915.1

    Alexandra David-Neels was the most famous woman of her time in France.  As a child, she preferred travel and adventure books and a globe to dolls. She developed a life-long interest in Asia and Buddhism.  Even after marrying, her wanderlust led her to traveling at the age of forty-three.  In her search for old Buddhist books and manuscripts, she treked through India to Tibet where she became a student of a scholarly hermit for a year living in a cave.  Disguising herself as a beggar, she traveled with a young companion, she later adopted, to Lhasa - the forbidden city where few European men had visited and no non-Asian women had ever gone. The book describes Alexandra's joys and hardships along the way to Lhasa. The author's note in the back provides the basic story of Alexandra's life which covered 101 years.  The pen and ink and watercolor illustrations add to the beauty of the story.  An excellent book for all ages to promote discovery of adventurous women.
    Jolene Hetherington, Teacher, Munising Public Schools; 12 years of teaching experience

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    Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills, 1992; 2000.  48p . 1-56397-878-4 pb. $9.95     Gr.3-5    917.98

     The book begins with a map placing the Yukon Territory next to Alaska and showing where the Arctic Circle runs through both.  Another map shows Whitehorse, Laberge, Shipyard Island, Five Finger Rapids, Fort Selkirk, Dawson, and Bonanza Creek.  The book is divided into these geographic locations.  A selection from Canadian poet Robert Service appears at the beginning of the book.  This first person account of the author's  460 mile canoe trip down the Yukon River from Whitehorse to the Arctic circle, follows the route of the gold rush.  The travelogue of the territory  includes information about the gold rush that made it famous.  This book would appeal to canoers and persons interested in the gold rush, Alaska, or the Canadian Yukon.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 49855
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Berger, Melvin and Gilda.  BRRR!  A BOOK ABOUT POLAR ANIMALS.
    Hello Reader, Science, Level 3.  New York: Scholastic Cartwheel, 2001. 40p.
    0-439-20165-9; pb., $3.99  00-020823   Gr. 1-4    591.7

     A memo to families is that this series helps readers "learn to read by remembering frequently used words like "the," "is," and "and;" by using phonics skills to decode new words, and by interpreting picture and text clues."  There are four or more suggestions for readers before, during, and after reading the book.   The animals in the photos are in bold print in the text to help readers identify them.  The book is totally illustrated with color photos that appear in appealing patterns on the pages.  There is enough information about the Arctic and Antarctic and the animals that live there to make this book useful to classes that are studying the poles and this book can be used for readers above the recommended grades.   There is no question about the value of this book.  The only question librarians will ask is whether it should be shelved with easy readers or science books.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 49855

Gibbons, Gail.  POLAR BEARS.  Illus by author.  New York:  Holiday, 2001.  32p.
    0-8234-1593-7; hb., $16.95.  00-054075    Gr. K-4     599.786

    Besides learning about polar bears, readers learn about the Arctic and the animals who live
there.  There is a mp showing the Arctic and besides full page drawings, there are close-ups;
labels for parts of the bear, the bottom of the paw, and underfur.  Readers learn about the bear's
amazing sense of smell, communication, keeping warm, size, food, dens, cubs, and dangers.  The
last page shows some additional facts about polar bears. This life cycle book is great for emerging readers of all ages.  The illustrations are up to Gibbons' quality standards and can be enjoyed even without the text.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 49855

Green, Jen.  POLAR REGIONS.  Saving Our World series. Brookfield, CT:  Copper Beech/Millbrook, 
    2001.  32p.  0-7613-2162-4; lib.bdg., $21.90    Gr. 4-6     333.7

    The maps, photos, and drawings spread artistically throughout the pages of this science book add interest to the text.   Some topics covered are polar regions, animal life, damage to the area, including ozone holes, greenhouse effect, and global warming, protecting life. Added features are the review at the back of the book, environmental addresses and projects, a glossary, and index as well as questions and answers disbursed throughout the book.  This utilitarian nonfiction book about the poles will be a useful additon to general knowledge in public libraries and curriculum support in school libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 49855

Leroux-Hugon, Helene.  I CAN DRAW POLAR ANIMALS.  I Can Draw Animals series.
    Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens, 2001.  40p. 0-8368-2840-2 lib bdg., $21.27    Gr. 2-5      743.6

    The author begins by giving directions for drawing and touches on observation and practice in this title which was originally published in French.  The drawing by steps is reminiscent of the many books by Lee Ames which begin DRAWING 50… (Doubleday).   After a list of drawing instructions, the author shows readers in three steps, using ovals, how to draw the following animals: polar bears, seals, walruses, musk ox, wolf, reindeer, penguins, sea elephant, albatross, whale, and narwhal.  The first three animals are identified as coming from the Arctic or North Pole in a paragraph that accompanies a picture of all of the animals.  The next three animals are in a group picture with an explanation of the Tundra.  Having seen reindeer in the Tundra, this one looks slightly out of proportion.  The next three are located in the Antarctica and the last two are from the oceans at both poles.  The explanation of the geographic areas is better explained and integrated into this book than in the other books in the series.  It also translates better to Americans, probably because the poles are not part of either country.  This book will work well where classes are studying the poles.  A bibliography of six books, two videos and two web sites, a glossary/index complete the book.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

LLanas,Shelia Griffin. WHO REACHED THE SOUTH POLE FIRST? Stevens Point, WI
      Capstone Press, 2011.  32p. ISBN: 978-1-4296-3344-4   Gr. 2-5   j919.8
      This book takes the reader on an historical journey with Roald Amudsen and Robert Falcon Scott as they race across Antarctica toward the South Pole. The book is divided into four chapters which cover the preparation for the  journey, their arrival in Antarctica on january 14, 1911, setting out with the sled dogs in October, and finally the day that Amundsen reaches the pole. He has beaten Scott's team, and soon returns to tell the world of their accomplishment. Scott's team also reaches the South Pole almost a month later, but their return trip is not as promising.  The book is filled with historical pictures, maps, a timeline and also includes a glossary.  It is an entertaining book about a great historical event.
      Joyce Hoskins,  Teacher- L'Anse School Public Library L’Anse, MI

Love, Ann and Jane Drake.  THE KIDS BOOK OF THE FAR NORTH. Illus by Jocelyne Bouchard.  
    Niagra Falls, NY: Kids Can, 2000.  1-55074056308 lib.bdg., $15.95.    Gr. 3-8    j 909.09

    Maps, prehistory, landscape (ice and permafrost), plants, animals, birds, and people are the substance of this book.   Ancient and modern peoples are: Saami (Laplanders), Evenki, Nganasan, Paleo-Eskimos, Nenets, Inuit, and Inupiat.   Sidebars abound with the “Eco Watch” being the most frequent.  Printed on a pale blue background, the watch discusses information about ecological concerns.  Other sidebars are charts and tables.   Some sidebars are bounded with black line, one of which is a particularly gruesome version of  “Sedna, the Sea Spirit.”  If the polar regions are part of the curriculum, then this book is a good choice for school or public libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin, director, Superiorland Preview Center

Martin, Jacqueline Briggs.  THE LAMP, THE ICE, AND THE BOAT CALLED FISH:
    BASED ON A TRUE STORY.   Illus by Beth Krommes.  Boston:  Houghton, 2001. 48p.
    0-618-00341-X; hb., $15.00   99-35303   Gr. 1-4   919.804

    This is a handsome nonfiction book.  The scratchboard illustrations are an excellent match for a survival story that is based on a Canadian Arctic Expedition boat that became stuck in the ice for eight months in 1913.  Besides the main story, there is an Author’s Note that includes the information that an Inupaiq family did bring a seal oil lamp with them.  There is a bibliography, list of passengers, crew, and animals as well as photos of the Inupiaq family and other survivors.  Another aid to understanding is the phonetic spelling of words within the text.  A prose poem called “The Seal Oil Lamp” appears in italics before and after the main text of the book which is poetically arranged.
    The boat was the Karluk which means fish in Aleutian.  The expedition included the captain, an Inupiaiq family, scientists, crew, a black cat, and forty sled dogs.  The boat was stuck on an ice floe for several months until the ship was  abandoned before it sank into the sea.  Eventually the captain and Kataktovik walked 200 miles across the ice to Siberia to get help.  The adventures of those left behind provides the body of the book.
    The story unfolds with just enough drama to keep the interest of readers who will also be fascinated with the illustrations.  In areas where there are sled dog races, this title  The story unfolds with just enough drama to keep the interest of readers who will also be fascinated with the illustrations.  In areas where there are sled dog races, this title will we a welcome addition to those bibliographies.   School and public libraries should purchase this perfectly crafted nonfiction picture book regardless of the climate in which they live.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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     Photos by William Munoz.  New York:  Clarion, 2002.  118p.
     0-395-91415-9; hb., $18.00   2001-042200  Gr. 4-9+  917.804

    Beginning with a map of the Lewis and Clark’s Expedition from 1804-1806, readers learn why the expedition was organized, where it went, and what the explorers learned about animals.  The photos of animals they found along the way are exceptionally clear and colorful.  Phrases from the diaries occur throughout the book.  Four web sites appear at the end of the book along with books in a section called “To Learn More.”  The most unique part is seven-page  “Chronology of Animal Discoveries New to Science,” a list of 121 new species of animals identified on the expedition and recorded in the journals.   The date, name, and place is given for each animal. An index concludes the book.  There are lots of books about the Lewis and Clark Expedition but none focuses solely on the animals.  This is an outstanding science and history book.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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