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The Best Nonfiction for Beginning and Struggling Readers • All titles available as ebooks

Fall 2023

Cities Through Time

Series of 8 titles

Would you like to travel to ancient Rome? What about visiting Manhattan before there were any skyscrapers? This fun series takes readers on a journey through different eras in the history of some of the world’s biggest cities. Narrative text shares historical facts while colorful illustrations show off buildings and people from the time period. Thought-provoking questions, bonus facts, and a timeline add even more to make this series a real trip!

Title   ATOS Format Qty
Cover: Mexico City Mexico City New! Fall 2023
Cover: New York City New York City New! Fall 2023
Cover: Rome Rome New! Fall 2023
Cover: Tokyo Tokyo New! Fall 2023
Cover: Athens Athens New! Spring 2024
Cover: Baghdad Baghdad New! Spring 2024
Cover: Delhi Delhi New! Spring 2024
Cover: London London New! Spring 2024
Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 3
Reading Level Grade 2
Category Leveled Readers, Nonfiction
Subject Geography
Copyright 2024
Publisher Bellwether Media
Imprint Blastoff! Missions
Language English
Publication Date 2023-08-01
Dewey 937-974.7
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Lexile 480-510
Guided Reading Level N
Features Glossary of key words, Index, and Table of contents


SLJ Review of Cities Through Time

These titles survey the history of ­cities from ancient to modern times. Seven important dates are highlighted, each with a few sentences of information in colorfully illustrated spreads. A cartoon character adds a fun fact on some pages. Coverage spans over 1,000 years, so the seven dates can offer just snippets of history, which can be hard to follow without context or background knowledge.

We learn that India rebelled against British rule in 1857, for example (Delhi), but are not told how the British came to power there. The changes at a page turn can be abrupt: in one spread, tanks and soldiers are invading Iraq in 2003, while the next section jumps to a cheering crowd at a soccer stadium in 2022 (Baghdad).

VERDICT: While the illustrations are appealing, covering such wide time spans with sparse information limits usefulness for young readers.