Before Columbus: The Americas of 1491

Note: I occasionally accept review copies from the publisher. Posts written from review copies are labeled. All opinions are my own. Posts may contain affiliate links. I may receive compensation for any purchased items.

For the young adult reader, Charles C. Mann’s Before Columbus: The Americas of 1491 (Atheneum, 2009) provides the same information about pre-Columbian, Native American Indians as does the adult book 1491 (Vintage, 2006). The difference between the two books is that the young adult book leaves out the extensive quotes from archeologists, anthropologists, and others. It also provides photographs and sidebars for a young adult reader to better access the same information as that in 1491.

In fact, in a testament to the readability of 1491, I’d say that the majority of Before Columbus is the same wording exactly. All the changes in Before Columbus relate to the design of the page and succinctness of the text. As such, I’d highly recommend Before Columbus for any reader (including adult reader) that may simply be less interested in original sources of Mann’s information. All the facts in these volumes is important for learning about the pre-Columbian Americas.

Reviewed on August 29, 2012

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

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