Authors: Mark H. Bockenhauer and Stephen F. Cunha
Series: National Geographic
Genres: Science, Geography, Reference, NonFiction, History
Short summary of the story: This book is written specifically for people to become acquainted with the fifty states of the United States of America, plus Washington D.C. It's divided into regional sections, The Northeast, The Southeast, The Midwest, The Southwest and the West, with notes about U.S. Territories. It's filled with facts and figures, and has many good illustrations. Each state is given a 'special' photo of something which is supposed to represent it. The year it became a state, the capital, largest city, total area, land area, population, population density, major racial/ethnic groups, industry, agriculture, bird and flower are listed along with diverse facts of the history of that state. The later part of the book features the flags of all the areas/states, along with the history of earlier flags and why they were made and why they were replaced, along with the symbology of what is shown on the flags.
Good points / bad points: This is a book I read for the BookBingo - 'features flags', and it fits within the criteria for HOL appropriate. Thing is, it seems it was written to be politically correct, as however politically correct is determined to be for the time it was published. There is so much which isn't addressed, and would be of much more interest to me. For example, for the state of California, which is suffering water shortages, there is very little mention of that, but does include a statement that Lake Tahoe has enough water in it to flood California to a depth of 14 inches. I don't know a lot of the history about many of the states, but the write-ups about the ones about which I have a little knowledge lead me to wonder about the accuracy of the rest of the write-ups. It sort of 'glosses over' so much, or touches upon data which obviously must be broached, but in a singularly 'correct' way.
At the same time, there is much that is new to me and I appreciated learning about the history of the flags of the state of California and other states. I think it is a very good reference book, albeit I think it needs to be read with a grain, or glass, of salt.
Goodreads has a remarkably short write-up:
Format: Hardcover Publication Date: 10/1/2004 Pages: 240 Reading Level: Age 10 and Up
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by National Geographic Children's Books
National Geographic Our Fifty States
0792264029 (ISBN13: 9780792264026)