School Library Journal - Modern Perspective Series
Gr 6-8–Eight historical topics are presented through fictitious accounts in this “alternative viewpoints”–type narrative aimed at stimulating critical thinking skills. From the very first page, readers are reminded that the same event can look very different based on personal opinions and are then given three contrasting perspectives of each. Although online and print sources are listed for further reference, the facts of each event are never clearly spelled out and must be inferred from the narratives. Concrete resolutions are also not offered, as problems arising in the aftermath are summed up. Appropriate photos with informative captions accompany the text, as do discussion questions. Despite some incidents seeming slightly dated, this has many useful educational applications in critical thinking and debating skills, making it a good precursor to such assignments prevalent in many high school curricula. It is also a strong tool for teaching empathy, tolerance, and respect. VERDICT An intriguing take on current events that encourages active reader engagement. Consider to stimulate conversations with students.