Monday, February 26, 2018

History's mysteries by Kitson Jazynka

From cryptozoology to UFOs, there's something here for everyone. In National Geographic's History's Mysteries, there's an exciting variety of odd occurrences, including the latest findings and tantalizing hints at future evidence to come.

Seven chapters include vanished civilizations, deaths and disappearances, cryptids, strange phenomena, ancient monuments, codes and dead languages, and hidden treasure. Some of the featured mysteries are familiar and some are more esoteric. Stonehenge, Amelia Earhart, Anastasia, yetis, and flying saucers are all included. There are also older mysteries less well-known these days like the Mary Celeste and the lost colony of Roanoke. Then there are newer mysteries - a giant structure under the Sea of Galilee, modern codes, and the most recent discoveries at the "white city" in the Honduras.

Each spread is full of photographs, clips from original documents, and historical notes and interesting facts. There is a final interview with Chris Fisher, an archeologist involved in the discoveries in Honduras surrounding the "white city", and index, and credits.

While sometimes a little overly dramatic, this is a good variety of mysteries and secrets, including not just Western civilizations. In some cases (like the Kongamato), there is a bias towards Western "explorers" experience, rather than local knowledge. There are gaps in some cases where only white perspectives are discussed or mentioned.

Verdict: Good browsing material for kids who enjoy National Geographic's fact books and a start for kids who want to dig deeper into the subject. This is going to be a series, so I'll be interested in seeing what future titles cover.

ISBN: 9781426328718; Published November 2017 by National Geographic; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

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