- Maps, charts, and graphs created expressly for Watts Libraryô
- Sidebars highlighting fast facts, quick biographies, and other extracted information
- Timeline (in all social studies titles)
- "To Find Out More" (books, organizations, websites, films/videos, audio)
- "A Note on Sources" (a note from the author describing his or her research materials and processes)
11/1/05 Library Media Connection
Presenting a particular Native American culture in each book, this series is both a good introduction to and a nice beginning research series for upper elementary and middle grade students learning about these people groups. Titles reviewed cover the Apache, Maya, and Wampanoag. Each volume covers the history of the group and their present lives in well-done text and nicely chosen illustrations. The Apache and Maya books include a creation story from the culture and give the likely details of their arrival in the Americas. All the volumes cover the life of the group, including such items as family life, leadership structure, and more. The arrival of European explorers and American settlers is discussed, with the problems they brought given with some sympathy toward the native cultures. Side notes, set apart by font and graphics, give further details on the idea being covered. The end material is helpful and includes a timeline, glossary, index, and places to find out more information. A table of contents and notes on the author's sources are also in the volume. As some of the volumes' information is based on archeological evidence, a good project for students might be to check the biological sources for the latest word from the field. The entire series is well worth checking out.