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Changing China
ISBN: 9781432912178
Author: Block, Marta Segal
Publisher: Heinemann Educational Books
Published: July 2008
Retail: $31.43    OUR PRICE: $2.99
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Binding Type: Library Binding
Annotation: Discusses how China's government and economy are evolving as well as the country's increasing importance in world affairs.
Additional Information
Physical Information: 0.50" H x 11.10" L x 8.60" W 48 pages
Bargain Category: Reference, Non-Fiction, Middle School, History, Geography
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring)
[cf2]Modern China[cf1] provides a historical overview, emphasizing the period since 1900; [cf2]Changing[cf1] looks at shifts--in government, economy, daily life, and China's global role--occurring during that time. [cf2]Culture[cf1] surveys past and present arts, media, beliefs, etc. Given the complexity of their subjects, these books only scratch the surface, but with their plentiful, pleasing photographs and prints, they are accessible introductions. Reading list, timeline, websites. Glos., ind. [Review covers these China Focus titles: [cf2]Changing China[cf1], [cf2]Modern China[cf1], and [cf2]Chinese Culture[cf1].] Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2008 November)

Gr 4–6—Block skips back and forth through China's history since 1900 to spotlight various events and developments (SARS, the One Child Policy, the Four Modernizations) that have led to change. Due to the breadth of the subject, the discussions are lacking in contemporary and historical context. Large, quality photos and somewhat poorer graphics do little to clarify matters. Modern China devotes eight pages to China before 1900, which seems a poor use of space when other books in this series cover that time period in greater detail. The "China Today" section includes a map that shows provincial borders, but nowhere are the provinces and autonomous areas listed by name. Especially vexing is the section on China 1900–1949, in which the author doesn't inform readers of the motives of the Boxers, the name of the Empress Dowager, or the circumstances of the Emperor's death in 1908. There is no explanation as to why demonstrations had been declared illegal in Tiananmen Square in 1989, or what the demonstrators were protesting. Covering roughly 10,000 years of history, Changing China reads like exam notes. Illustrations (and in at least one case, text) recycled from other Heinemann publications create a cobbled-together feel. National Geographic Investigates: Ancient China (2006) offers a more nuanced look at the topic. In Culture, food, religion, art, music, opera, literature, Chinese medicine, ethnic groups, festivals, and sports are explained in a paragraph or two. Large, clear, pertinent photographs enliven the text, but it is hard to imagine that there is enough here on any particular subject to satisfy curiosity or even write a report.—Paula Willey, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, MD

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