1493 for Young People: From Columbus's Voyage to Globalization (For Young People Series) Hardcover – January 26, 2016
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“In this sweeping world history, Mann chronicles the spread of globalization, examining the mingling of the world's ecosystems through travel, trade, colonization, conquest, and migration, from its beginnings in the 15th century to its continued impact in the present day. Adapted by Stefoff for teen audiences, this riveting account shows how the complex, interconnected economic and environmental consequences of the European "discovery" of the Americas shaped many unexpected aspects of the modern world. The collision of unfamiliar flora, fauna, and microbes produced unforeseen wealth, conflict, exploitation, disease, misery, and social upheaval. Mann examines such fascinating subjects as the connections between malaria and slavery, how silver mined in Bolivia funded economic development in rural China and wars waged by the Spanish empire, how the rubber plant enabled industrialization, and how the potato plant fed millions of Europe's poor for centuries and then caused the deaths of millions. All of these fascinating stories are woven together in a clear, compelling narrative. The complex subject matter is impressively handled with deftness and wit. A provocative, gripping account. (photos, maps, timeline, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)” --Kirkus Reviews
“A fascinating story of how our modern world came to be. Globalization isn’t the recent phenomenon we thought—follow the breadcrumb trail of something as innocent as a potato and discover how it led to colossal change worldwide. Watch with horror the domino effect caused by greed for silver, and find out how something as tiny as a mosquito changed the world. A captivating mosaic of game changers that shaped modernity.”—Jill Rubalcaba, author of Every Bone Tells a Story, Finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
“An engrossing history of almost everything—ecology, botany, politics, economics, disease, and anthropology—since Columbus’s arrival in and departure from the Americas, 1493 for Young People will inform and engage its audience. Charles C. Mann’s original acclaimed work has been ably and entertainingly reduced for younger readers, who will appreciate his mind- and world-expanding ideas and knowledge.”—Cynthia Levinson, author of We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March, Winner of the IRA Young Adult Nonfiction Award
"This is a book of big ideas and grand movements in human history, told through engaging stories about explorers, mountains of silver, deadly mosquitoes, and much more."—Steve Sheinkin, author of Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon, a Newberry Honor Book and Winner of the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
About the Author
REBECCA STEFOFF has devoted her career to writing nonfiction books for young readers. Her publications include histories, literary biographies, an encyclopedia of maps, and numerous books on science and environmental issues. She has also adapted a number of landmark works in history and science: Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, Jared Diamond's The Third Chimpanzee, and Charles C. Mann's bestselling 1491.
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This book was definitely a challenge for him at the beginning of the year because it approaches history very differently than most children's history books. Most books present history as a series of narrative events -- short stories, if you will. This is a very compelling way to teach history and I love that for most of our history texts! 1493, in contrast, does a lot more synthesis to help draw connections between seemingly disparate events that happened all around the world during the post-Columbus era — for example, the role of mosquitoes and malaria in the use of African slaves in the southern colonies of North America. At first, my son had a very hard time wrapping his head around the vastness of the discussions (and especially how to "tell back" or "narrate" those to me as part of our school day), but he persevered and by the end of the school year he declared this one of his favorite books of the year!
We both loved the Big Picture look at the world. I especially appreciated learning more about other key players in the era, including China. I really didn't grasp the connections between Spanish silver (mined in South America) and China's economic woes.
There's so much more in this book too. As the title says, this book is about the evolution of globalization — the transfer of ideas, flora, fauna, trade materials, and peoples all around the world. What a huge shift in history's "flow"! I appreciate this book being made accessible to younger readers, and I highly encourage adults to read it too if they find the original Mann version too thick for their tastes!