By: Jennifer A. Miller
Publisher: Lerner Publications
Publication Date: January 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: February 2010
It's always interesting to learn about other countries, especially if you know someone who has relatives there or is of that particular national descent. South Korea is a country in Asia on the Korean peninsula, a land mass that holds North Korea as well. The surrounding waters include the Yellow Sea, the Sea of Japan and the Korean Strait. If you look on the map in this book you can easily spot where Seoul, its capital city is, where the mountains and plains are and in the inset map you can see where South Korea is in relation to other Asian countries. There are "more than one thousand islands [that] lie off the peninsula. You will learn a bit about the islands of Ulleungdo and Jeju as well as South Korea's mountain ranges.
About 30,000 years ago people may have begun to inhabit South Korea. It is known that "Central Asians moved to the Korea Peninsula about five thousand years ago." Archaeological digs have taught us a lot about these people. In this book you will get a well-rounded overview of the country. You will learn about its people, the geography, family life and values, you'll learn about their religions, their special holidays, the foods ("rice is the main course"), the importance placed on education, you'll learn about their sports, crafts, clothing, traditional and modern music, where the people live and much more.
This is a comprehensive overview of South Korea that will nicely introduce the student to the country, its culture and people. I liked the vibrant layout and the numerous full color photographs scattered throughout its pages. This is a simple introduction to the country for the 9 to 12-year-old student and is not meant to be encyclopedic. The author did a wonderful job in trying to touch on many of the most important facets of this country’s history and peoples. There are many interesting sidebar materials that include fun things like the mud baths and a more serious glimpse of the Demilitarized Zone. In the back of the book is a section of "Fast Facts," an index, a glossary, and additional recommended book and website resources.
Quill says: A good, solid introduction to South Korea for the pre-teen market.