Thursday, January 24, 2008
Who Was First?: Discovering the Americas
Freedman, Russell. 2007. WHO WAS FIRST?: DISCOVERING THE AMERICAS. New York: Clarion. ISBN 9780618663910 [Suggested Grade Levels 5-9]
In enumerated chapters, Freedman chronicles the various groups of people who may have first “discovered” the Americas. Using well-documented sources he shares information about Columbus’s journeys to the Indies, explores the ideas that the Chinese may have arrived in the Americas prior to Columbus, describes the Vikings expeditions to North American and the unearthing of their settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada, describes the civilizations of the indigenous peoples whom the European explorers met on their journeys, and shares various theories of how humans arrived in America in the first place. Color and black and white photographs, archival illustrations, and maps enhance the text. Backmatter includes source notes, a selected bibliography, and index.
Information contained in the book may conflict with conventional history textbooks. Students may wish to discuss Freedman’s research and his decision to include the various theories contained in the book. Compare with current and previous thinking about dinosaurs and how information has changed in that area.
Other books with “new” theories about who discovered America:
Lauber, Patricia. WHO CAME FIRST: NEW CLUES TO PREHISTORIC AMERICANS. ISBN 0792282280
By Donna Woody