Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Before Columbus: The Americas of 1491 by Charles C. Mann

"In Fourteen-Hundred Ninety Two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue." And he found a "new world" and "new people." But was this world and its people really new? Of course not! And chances are that unless your history books in school were written by anthropologists, you most likely were taught incorrect or incomplete information about the Americas before Columbus arrived. In fact, that may have been glossed over completely, and Columbus's "discovery" of America may have been the starting point of American history for you.

In Before Columbus: The Americas of 1491, Charles C. Mann sets the record straight with a compelling look at the peoples of ancient America. Based on findings presented his book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, Before Columbus answers three questions:
  • How old was the "New World?"
  • Why did Europe succeed?
  • Were the Americas really a wilderness?
In answering these questions, readers are taken on amazing journey and learn some surprising facts. Stunning photographs, paintings, maps, and call-out boxes supplement the narrative and bring Native Americans and their stories to life.

This would make a perfect addition to a history class or home library. Highly recommended.

ISBN: 978-1416949008 | Reading Level: Young Adult | Publisher: Atheneum, 2009 |
Source: Cybils review copy from publisher

This book was nominated for a Cybils awards in the YA/MG Nonfiction category.

The links in this post are affiliate links. With every purchase you make through clicking on these links, you are helping support The Well-Read Child. All proceeds are used to buy brand new books for a local women and children's shelter.


  1. Hi Vanessa,
    It's marketed as young adult, but I think a high middle grade reader would have little trouble with it.