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African American Eras: Segregation to Civil Rights Times. 1-4144-3596-7. 960p.

AfricanAmerican Eras: Contemporary Times. Detroit: Gale Cengage Learning (UXL), 2010/2011. 1-4144-3704-8. $278.00 each set. Gr. 7+.
Each set provides a broad overview of African American history and culture—one from 1865 to 1965, and the other from 1965 through 2010. Chapters address broad subject areas and begin with chronologies, era overview essays, biographies of prominent African Americans, topical entries relating to major events, primary sources, research and activity ideas that will be extremely popular with classroom teachers and librarians. Unfamiliar terms are conveniently explained in sidebar glossaries. These two sets are exceptionally well organized and provide fascinating material not available in other sources. Content, images, and primary sources have been carefully selected for their curricular relevance. These sets would be a wise purchase for nearly every middle school and high school reference collection!
Joyce Valenza – Springfield Township High School
Hammond, Paula. The Atlas of the World’s Endangered Animals: Wildlife Under Threat around the World. New York:
Marshall Cavendish Reference, 2010, c2006. 978-0-7614-7872-0. 224p. $79.94. Gr. 5-Adult.
The Atlas of the World’s Most Dangerous Animals: Mapping Nature’s Born Killers. New York: Marshall Cavendish Reference, p2010, c2004. 978-0-7614-7870-6. 224p. $69.95. Gr. 5-Adult.
Atlas of the World’s Strangest Animals. New York: Marshall Cavendish Reference, 2011.
978-0-7614-7940-6. 224p. $69.95. Gr. 5-Adult.
Each volume in this beautifully illustrated collection presents a four-page profile of fifty different animals. Organized geographically, each profile contains key facts, comparisons to similar species, a habitat map and full-color artwork and photographs. An index is also included. Libraries that choose to acquire these books will want to display them prominently, as they have value for quick research, interesting reading or leisurely browsing.
Patricia Fischer, Edward Hand Middle School, Lancaster
Canterbury Tales. Jack Lynch, ed. Pasedena, CA: Salem Press, 2010/2011. 978-1-58765-723-8. 469p. $85.00. Gr. 9-12.
Critical Insights delves into the life of Geoffrey Chaucer and his Canterbury Tales both in print and online. There are many scholarly overviews of Chaucer, his work, and his career. Two new articles, Figmenta vs. Veritas and A Feminist Perspective on The Canterbury Tales, details the depiction of women and how much material the Tales offer for feminist readings. Resources include a Chronology of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Life, Works by Geoffrey Chaucer, and an Index.
BJ Neary – Abington Senior High
Hobbs, Renee. Copyright Clarity: How Fair Use Supports Digital Learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, 2010. 978-1-41298-159-0. 128p. $26.95 PF
A fabulous book about copyright that will dispel your confusion about copyright and inspire you to break free from the chains of restrictive “guidelines” referencing particular numbers of pages or percentages of a work. Hobbs clearly explains what copyright law actually says, and surprise, it’s not what you might think! Using The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education, Hobbs advocates an approach to using copyrighted materials that places responsibility on educators to make fair use determinations. Of course we also must teach students to go through fair use analysis as well, and this book provides examples and strategies for doing just that. It is so liberating to realize that we have the right to use copyrighted materials in education, even though some experts and interest groups would have us think otherwise. Back matter includes an outline for leading a staff development workshop on fair use and copyright, excerpts from copyright law, and endnotes. More resources, including educational videos and a fair use reasoning tool, can be accessed on __
Mary Fran Torpey—Friends’ Central School
Pons, Silvio and Robert Service, eds. A Dictionary of 20th-Century Communism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Press, 2010. 978-0-691-13585-4. 944p. $99.50. Gr. 10+.
This dictionary provides a comprehensive history on communism and its impact on the world through the 20th century. It contains over 400 articles discussing key figures, events, concepts, organizations, movements, and related topics. The essays are very readable and provide other recommended articles on the topics to help in the research process. Not only covers the Soviet Union and People’s Republic of China, but also different communist parties in Europe, the U.S, and other various countries. Over 160 scholars from around the globe contributed information. A list of acronyms/abbreviations and an index are provided.
Melissa Daugherty – Sharon Middle High School
Encyclopedia of Religion in America. Charles H. Lippy and Peter W. Williams, eds. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2010. 4vols.
978-0-8728-9580-5. $600.00. Gr. 10+.
The editors, two former presidents of the American Society of Church History, gather a wealth of multidisciplinary, scholarly, signed entries covering religion, religious history and culture in the United States, as well as inCanada and Mexico. While it offers no biographical entries, the scope is vast and inclusive and the articles offer depth. Under Religious Thought, for instance, separate entries are devoted to: African American, Gay Theology, Latino/a, Womanist, Lesbian Theology, Feminist Theology, Jewish, and much more. The set covers every denomination—with multiple subentries, as well as a vast array of themes. Each volume openswith both a traditional and thematic table of contents and offers a thorough index. This impressive and authoritative work belongs in large high school collections, especially in schools with religious focus. It will be useful for academic research.
Joyce Valenza – Springfield Township High School
F. Scott Fitzgerald. Don Noble, ed. Pasedena, CA: Salem Press, 2010/2011. 978-1-58765-693-4. 376p. $85.00. Gr. 9-12.
Critical Insights delves into the life, works, and legend that is F. Scott Fitzgerald in this comprehensive print and online resource. Both old and new essays have been included to detail Fitzgerald’s life, his influence and the American Dream and critical insights on his many works of literature. Resources include a Chronology of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Life, Works by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and an Index.
BJ Neary – Abington Senior High

NOTE: All author and title editions in this series were highly reviewed by the Committee!
Financial History of the United States: From the Subprime Crisis to the Great Recession (2006-2009). Armonk, NY: Sharpe, 2010/11. 978-0-7656-2431-4. 2 vols. $250.00. Gr. 10+.
We live in extraordinary financial times and nothing in my collection, on- or offline, covers this period like these two volumes. The 5th and 6th volumes in this fine series can easily stand alone. They begin with the Enron scandals and culminate with the subprime crisis, government intervention, and proposals for reform. Each volume offers a list of abbreviations, notes, a selected bibliography, and thorough index. Markham’s writing is sophisticated, yet clear, engaging, and readable. He makes the complicated understandable and offers critical insight and context necessary for understanding current events. Buy these high-quality volumes if you offer high school economics or business classes or if you have student or faculty interest. They belong in the academic high school collection.
Joyce Valenza – Springfield Township High School
Gale Encyclopedia of American Law. 3rd Ed. Detroit: Gale Cengage, 2011. 141443684X. 14 vols. $1604.00. Gr. 9+
This new, comprehensive set replaces West's Encyclopedia of American Law, and includes up-to-date content on 5,000 legal topics, with 60 new entries and 2,000 revised articles. Entries include biographies of notables who have been influential in creating and shaping law, legal terms, important issues, full text of documents and legal forms. The set includes a variety of visual aides: timelines relevant to many of the entries, maps, document facsimiles, sample forms, and both color and black and white photos. High school teachers will appreciate the In Focus Essays accompanying articles that offer details and arguments surrounding controversial issues. The writing is highly accessible and appropriate for laymen (and high school students!). Volumes 11 and 12 present Milestone Cases in the Law, discussing landmark cases the reasoning of the judges, and arguments of the attorneys in substantial detail. The ten cases include the heavily studied Gideon v. Wainwright, Roe v. Wade, and Brown v. the Board of Education (Topeka). Volume 13 is packed with critical primary sources. Our history teachers were impressed with the variety of this volume, in fact, they loved the whole set. Volume 14 includes a comprehensive Dictionary of Legal Terms, and thorough Case and General Indexes. This is an expensive purchase, but it truly functions as more than one reference. It is a kind of Swiss army knife for American law. Buy for high school collections if you can.
Joyce Valenza – Springfield Township High School
Islamic Beliefs, Practices, and Cultures. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2010. 978-0-7614-7926-0. 352 p. $79.95. Gr. 8+.
With emphasis on the global nature of the Muslim world, this well-organized and visually appealing volume offers a comprehensive study of a “dynamic and multidimensional” religious/cultural group.
The book traces the history, religious beliefs and practices of Muslims and gives an overview of holy days, festivals, and holy places. Over a third of this book covers Muslim contributions to visual arts, architecture, literature, media, philosophy, and science. A glossary and list of book sources are included; noticeably absent is a list of related web links. Nonetheless, for developing a greater understanding of the Muslim world, this book is outstanding.
Ro Becker – Springfield Township Middle School
Balliett, James Fargo. Issues: Global Perspectives. Global Perspectives Series. Armonk, NY: Sharpe Reference,
2010. 5 vols. 0-7656-8097-1. $249. Gr.8+.
This valuable reference set consists of five volumes: Forests, Freshwater, Mountains, Oceans, and Wetlands, and offers a much-needed international perspective. The goal is to share how human population growth and behavior have changed the world’s natural areas, especially in negative ways, and how modern society has responded to the challenges the changes present. Each title is divided into three parts: an introduction to the ecosystem, in-depth case studies of seven geographically diverse locations, and the impact of cumulative levels of pollution and aggressive resource consumption on each biome on a global scale. Though each volume covers a different system, it is clear that they face common human-induced pressures. Each attractive and clearly written volume contains selected websites, a glossary, suggestions for further reading, charts, maps, and black and white illustrations. This set makes a perfect addition to the high school collection and will be welcomed by science and social studies teachers. The case studies are perfect fodder for classroom reading and discussion.
Joyce Valenza – Springfield Township High School
Knights in History and Legend. Buffalo, NY: Firefly, 2010. 978-1-55407-755-7. 304 p. $29.95. Gr. 7+.
This magnificent volume beautifully portrays the rich history and cultural legacy of medieval knights. Almost every page includes high quality art reproductions featuring every aspect of knights’ lives and creating a rich tapestry for study. The reference section offers a timeline, a list of monarchs, an extensive bibliography of book sources by topic, a glossary, and a detailed index. A must purchase to support medieval units.
Ro Becker – Springfield Township Middle School
Mammals of the Southern Hemisphere. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2010/2011. 978-0-7614-7937-6. 206p. $59.95. Gr. 5-8.
This book presents thirteen different mammals using clearly written text, well-organized fact boxes and diagrams, attractive photographs and illustrations. The information on each mammal is extensive and includes key facts presented in sections: profile, anatomy, habitat, behavior, and survival. Eye-catching layout will entice researchers as well as animal-loving browsers.
Ro Becker Ro Becker – Springfield Township High School
Masterplots. Laurence W. Mazzeno, ed. Pasedena, CA: Salem Press, 2010/ 2011. 12 vols. 978-1-58765-568-5. 6,144p.
$1,200.00. Gr. 9-12.
The Fourth Edition has 438 newly written essays that extend to the year 2007. Contemporary literature has infused the original essays with cultural perspectives, women’s works, and new titles written in a language other than English. A definite plus is the easy, online access that is now provided with each Salem Press title. Additional new features include the Genre Index, and the Themes & Issues Index located in Volume 12 with the other comprehensive indexes. This latest edition is a very valuable resource and must have for students and teachers in their literary research projects.
BJ Neary – Abington Senior High
Milestone Documents in African American History: Exploring the Essential Primary Sources. Paul Finkelman, ed.Dallas: Schlager, 2010. 9781935306054. 4 vols. $395.00. Gr. 8+.
I love the Milestone Documents series! This four-volume set, focusing on the African American experience, offers 125 chronologically organized speeches, letters, personal narratives, proclamations, legal cases, petitions, and more, covering 400 years. Each teacher/student-friendly entry presents an overview, context, timeline, author information, analysis, audience information, impact, questions for further study, further reading suggestions, essential quotes, text of the documents, and a glossary. Coverage begins with Rolfe's 1619 correspondence regarding “20 and odd Negroes” delivered off a Dutch ship and ends with President Obama's speech to the 2009 NAACP Centennial Convention. For my AP history students, this set greatly enhances the primary source coverage offered by Annals of America. For my history teachers, this is a critical resource for lesson planning. Seriously consider this excellent resource for anyhigh school collection. (Also consider: Milestone Documents in American History,Milestone Documents of American Leaders,Milestone Documents in World History.) Available as an e-book.
Joyce Valenza- Springfield Township High School
Bonhomme. Brian, ed. Milestone Documents in World History: Exploring the Primary Sources That Shaped the World. Dallas, TX: Schlager Group, 2010. 978-0-9797758-6-4. 4 vols. $395.00. Gr. 9+.
This four volume set is modeled after the Schlager group’s award winning Milestone Documents in American History series. It provides key documents from ancient civilization to today featuring all world cultures, including ancient Near East, ancient Egypt, Greek and Roman empires, medieval Islam, Renaissance Europe, and modern Africa and Asia. The documents feature speeches, letters, constitutions, acts, treaties, and legal cases. This set is very useful for teachers and gives lots of resources to extend lessons, such as questions for further study, essential quotes, further reading, document texts, many pictures and teacher activity guides that are aligned with the national history standards. Each set purchased also gives a free, unlimited subscription to the online Salem History database. Very useful for AP World History students.
Melissa Daugherty – Sharon Middle High School
New Cultural Atlases. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2010. 192 p. $69.95. Gr. 6+.
The New Cultural Atlas of Egypt. 978-0-7614-7877-5.
The New Cultural Atlas of the Islamic World. 978-0-7614-7879-9.
The New Cultural Atlas of the Greek World. 978-0-7614-7878-2.
These broad overviews present a wealth of cultural information organized geographically and historically. The books are visually appealing with one- and two-page color photos and numerous maps. The bulk of the Atlas of Egypt is covered in the chapter Journey on the Nile giving a perspective to the book. Chapters in the Greek World are organized by historical age. The Islamic World volume begins with a timeline, an introduction, and a table of rulers of the Islamic world. A brief chapter traces Western attitudes toward Islam since the Middle Ages. Excellent coverage of Muslim history, religious practices, and religious influence on the arts make up the bulk of the book but it is the coverage of Muslims worldwide, particularly in regions such as Southeast and Central Asia, Africa, and China, that add value to this work. Each of the three volumes includes a glossary, a list of sources for further reading, and a detailed index. A noticeable omission—web sources. Nonetheless, these reference books are highly recommended.
Ro Becker – Springfield Township High School
Nutrition and Fitness. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2010/2011. 978-0-7614-7939-0. 208p. $59.95. Gr. 6-8.
This appealing reference book presents 125 articles on topics ranging from acupuncture, to yoga, to sport injuries. It contains helpful diagrams, illustrations, and sidebars with questions and answers on specific topics. The book was edited by a biomedical writer and editor. The articles provide a starting point for students who are conducting research on a nutrition or fitness topic. I recommend it highly.
Wendy Hopf, Springfield Township Middle School