Reviews provided by Syndetics
School Library Journal Review
Gr 6-9-A well-researched and engaging account of one of humankind's most fascinating engineering feats. DuTemple traces the history of the Great Wall, and sets it within the context of China's varied political history. The structure is actually the aggregate of a series of walls built over time, and is symbolic of the culture's desire to both insulate and protect itself. Details include how and by whom the walls were constructed. Sidebars and other offset sections provide additional information on Chinese civilization. Full-color photos, diagrams, as well as reproductions of ancient illustrations are plentiful and enliven the presentation. This is an excellent addition even if Tim McNeese's The Great Wall of China (Lucent, 1997) is already on your shelves.-Carol Fazioli, formerly at The Brearley School, New York City (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr. 4^-7. Books in the Great Building Feats series explore structures that "posed a unique set of engineering and geographical problems" and examine the impact the structures had and continue to have on society. In existence for nearly 100 years, the New York subway system has a checkered history, filled with financial problems, political wrangling, and nightmares related to the construction itself. DuTemple does a fine job of covering it--from idea and the opening of the system, to its renovation and, finally, the damage wrought by the collapse of the World Trade Center. Even more complex is the history of the Great Wall. DuTemple explains the construction and the impact the structure (actually structures, as there are many walls built over thousands of years) had on Chinese civilization and culture. The series design is exceptionally nice. Photos (some cleverly served up as background to the text), sidebars, maps, and archival material work beautifully together to supplement the information. These are fine resources for report writers as well as for children who simply like to read about history; they take fascinating subjects and give them a human face. --Stephanie Zvirin
Horn Book Review
DuTemple details the history of wall building in ancient China, Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi's tyrannical insistence on a Great Wall, as well as what improvements, expansions, and deterioration subsequent rulers allowed. This well-written account, illustrated with reproductions and modern photos, should fascinate budding architects and historians. Maps, reading list, timeline, websites. Bib., ind. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.