China: A History
China: A History
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Annotation: Traces the seven-thousand-year history of China, from pre-history and the dynastic period to the modern nation today, detailing how religion, politics, and economics shaped the traditions and dynamic changes of China.
Genre: World history
Catalog Number: #169476
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 163 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-419-72121-6
ISBN 13: 978-1-419-72121-2
Dewey: 951
LCCN: 2017046786
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Making expansive illustrative use of the collections belonging to the Field Museum in Chicago, this cultural history of China covers thousands of years. Covering so much in a juvenile nonfiction work of less than 200 pages is a daunting endeavor, but Bardoe, a former senior projects manager at the museum, does her best to give a broad overview encapsulating high points of the region's accomplishments. Dynastic government systems, art, trade, and technological advancements are compared and contrasted with Western civilizations, offering readers a broader view of the world today and its roots. "Imagine Being" sections are windows to the past, giving an idea of what it would be like to be a Chinese scholar, farmer, and even an empress. A time line links highlights of different periods to simultaneous events in other parts of the world. Illustrations include not only artifacts and maps but also photos of archaeologists in the field. Highly recommended as a way to introduce historical diversity to all collections.
Kirkus Reviews
Leveraging the rich collections of the Field Museum, Bardoe paints a broad history of China from the Stone Age to the present.This ambitious project opens with an assertion that further challenges its mission: "There is no single China." From the outset, the author acknowledges the great diversity of people, governance, and geography that make up what readers may understand as China. Yet over millennia, China's rulers forged an empire that lasted through the 20th century, with cultural traditions that persist even today. Across this huge span of time, the author gathers the central threads of Chinese history, including innovations in ceramics and metal work in the early days, the trying work of empire-building, the development of major schools of thought, and China's uneasy engagement with the rest of the world. Notwithstanding its vast scope, the narrative, supported by expertise and artifacts from the Field Museum, offers focus and insight. Each chapter concludes with an opportunity for reflection ("Imagine being Empress Dowager Cixi…"), bringing readers into the text. Readers may wonder at the extremely cursory mention of recent history, but, despite the book's title, the author is fairly clear about her intention to focus elsewhere.A bit dry for casual readers but nonetheless an excellent resource and a beautifully presented, nuanced introduction to pre-20th-century Chinese history. (timeline, source notes, selected bibliography, image credits, index) (Nonfiction. 10-adult)
School Library Journal
Gr 48 As rich as the history it relates, this book is thoroughly illustrated with artwork, maps, and photographsmost from the Field Museum Collection. As in Bardoe's other works, the writing is lucid and thoughtful, though the pace is very rapid; hundreds of years can pass in a paragraph. From the start, Bardoe stresses that there are "many Chinas." Five chapters cover prehistory (while introducing archaeological practices), early dynastic China, philosophies (Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, folk religion), interaction with other countries (14th to the 20th centuries), and China's future. Among the most attractive features in the book are the regular invitations for readers to imagine themselves living a specific cultural moment or role: in a Neolithic village, as a scholar-official, a nun, or a resident of Guangzhou during the Opium Wars. Politics (before the 1900s) and economics, agriculture and technology, are all given weight. Along the way, Bardoe describes the many contributions of China to culture and civilization, including several pages on opera, as well as acknowledging roles for, and restrictions on, the non-noble classes and women. VERDICT An excellent primer on an important world power. Most middle school and YA collections will want to consider. Patricia D. Lothrop, formerly at St. George's School, Newport, RI
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (12/1/18)
Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (11/1/18)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Wilson's Junior High Catalog
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 4-7
Guided Reading Level: Z
Fountas & Pinnell: Z

Discover the history of one of the world's most influential civilizations. Based on the Cyrus Tang Hall of China exhibit at The Field Museum, China: A History traces the 7,000-year story of this diverse land. Full-color maps, photos, and illustrations of the people, landscape, artifacts, and rare objects bring the history of this nation to life! Young readers learn about prehistoric China, follow the reign of emperors and dynasties, and come to understand how China became the world power that it is today. The book also explores the role of children and women in everyday life as well as how religion, politics, and economics shaped the deep traditions and dynamic changes of modern China. This book stands alone from the exhibition and is a go-to resource for young readers looking to learn more about this powerful nation. It includes a timeline, bibliography, and index.

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