National Geographic Almanac 2021

National Geographic. Sept. 2020. 400p. pap. $19.99. ISBN 9781426221552.
Gr 6 Up–Constructed along the same lines as the National Geographic Almanac 2020 but so heavily recast that only a few maps and passages of text remain, this survey lets its massive sheaves of preternaturally sharp, bright, top-quality photographs take the lead in presenting select glimpses of our planet, its past and future, its residents, and its cosmic vistas. The book opens with looks at five themes judged “trending”—notably a roster of infectious agents headed by a close-up, though pre-pandemic, introduction to COVID-19 and the coronavirus family. Ensuing sections cover geophysics and astronomy, the biosphere, human anatomy and society, and world and U.S. history. Though the photos take center stage throughout, they are accompanied by easily digestible blocks of captions and commentary, and are also supplemented by diagrams, time lines, maps of many different sizes and sorts, and even pages of challenging quizzes. (Accompanying page references in tiny type point to the answers.) Even the closing gazetteer, which features information about countries of the world, has been lightly reworked since the previous edition so that, for instance, side notes on the continental maps are all fresh. Readers with a need for comprehensive overviews or in-depth information will need to look elsewhere, though once they’ve peeked they may be hard pressed to tear their eyes away.
VERDICT Largely if not completely new, this edition of a wide-ranging assemblage of eye-widening facts and photos offers rewarding browsing for readers from middle school on.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing