NONFICTION

The Magna Carta

. 9781508103943. ea vol: 32p. (Let's Find Out!: Primary Sources). further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Britannica. Jan. 2017. lib. ed. $24.45.
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Gr 3–5—The significance of key primary source documents is adeptly explored. Each title begins by defining the term primary source. This segues into the backstory of the featured document, with a description of the social and political injustices that prompted people to seek change through legislation and formal declaration. Major players are mentioned, as are the lasting effects of the primary sources. The writing is concise, and the information is presented cogently. Brightly colored sidebars and sleek font headings complement backgrounds made to look like aged paper. The visual contrast underscores the importance of past actions on the present day. "Think About It" questions ("Think about what rules you have to follow at home and school. Which rules make you safer? Which rules would you change if you could, and why?" in Magna Carta) encourage critical thinking. With the exception of the featured primary document, sources are not cited.
VERDICT An attractive, enlightening package with an emphasis on civics.

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