NONFICTION

A Royal Ride: Catherine the Great’s Great Invention

Margaret K. McElderry Bks S. & S./. Jul. 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481496575.
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PreS-Gr 3–Russian ice slides originated in the 1400s but prospered each winter as a fun form of entertainment for the country’s citizens. Each spring, when the slides melted, Catherine the Great was very dismayed, so she decided to work with Russian engineers to build a slide that would last year-round. When it was finally completed, they had built the first-ever roller coaster that was 40 feet high with a bejeweled carriage. The author explains how Catherine created the Hermitage Museum, went to war, wrote a book, started the first school for girls, and so much more. The book also contains a time line and list of how roller coaster is pronounced in different languages. The illustrations are cutesy and modern with a whimsical feel.
VERDICT Although this book is illustrated to catch the eye of younger readers, it contains a lot of information. A surprisingly jam-packed and fun work of nonfiction.

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