- Books In This Series
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Series Abandoned Places Reading Level Grade 3 Interest Level 3-7 ATOS 3.6-4.0 Lexile 640-740 Guided Reading Level Q Copyright Year 2018 Dewey 900-Geography and History ISBN 900138 Author No Artwork Photography Publisher Bellwether Media Imprint Torque AR Quiz No Review Source No Pages 24 Trim Size 6.5" x 9" Book Format Hardcover Reading Counts Points No
The Abandoned Places series takes readers to historical and more modern locales that, though once occupied, have been deserted. Each volume opens in second person, plunging readers into these often-eerie new worlds, before continuing on to discuss why each place was originally inhabited and eventually abandoned. The focus is primarily economic: most of these towns were founded on industry. Battleship Island takes readers to the so-called Ghost Island of Hashima, off the cost of Japan, where workers endured terrible living conditions and mined coal from the seabed; demand increased during WWII, causing the mines to dry up. Similarly, Bodie explores a California town that sprung up during the gold rush; unfortunately, the town was plagued by bad luck, and the gold mines shut down. Mystery surrounds the ancient Incans, who had no written language, and Machu Picchu speculates about the creation and eventual abandonment of these mountain ruins. The nuclear city featured in Pripyat sprang up for economic reasons - to support the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant - but was deserted after unstable nuclear reactors rained devastation upon the city. Crisp photos pop against brightly colored backgrounds, while brief, clear text makes this accessible for younger readers. Timelines help students contextualize the events, and open ending prompt discussion about the places themselves and the circumstances surrounding their fates.
School Library Journal
Photographs are the standout element in this set, which takes readers to the ghostly remains of deserted places. The images include both panoramic shots and detailed close-ups. Each chapter is about five pages in length, and introduces the topic location, how and why it was settled, an account of its heyday, reasons for its eventual abandonment, and contemporary efforts to understand and/or preserve it. Some locations are well-known, but most will be new to readers, which is a plus. This set taps into people's ongoing fascination with the remains of the past and shows readers the often fleeting nature of settled locations. VERDICT: For all elementary and middle schools. HIGHLIGHTS: Bellwether's outstanding "Abandoned Places" explores why people are so fascinated with the remains of the past and should be available to all upper elementary and early middle school readers.
Pennsylvania School Library Association
This informative series checks all the boxes of a good nonfiction book: Table of Contents, Glossary, To Learn More, and Index. Some of the best features in this series are the maps showing where the site is located, and the timelines that are in each book. The full-color modern pictures with interspersed historical ones provide a good viewpoint for young learners. THOUGHTS: The reinforced library binding makes this series worth its cost. I liked all the features, and it's a series that won't be quickly outdated, so will have a long shelf life.