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: Book II in The Story of the World series, by M. B. Synge, "The Discovery of New Worlds" relates the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, the middle ages in Europe, the rise of Islam and the Crusades, and finally the age of exploration, and the establishment of trade with the Far East. The book concludes with the discoveries of Columbus and the Spanish settlements in the New World. Suitable for children ages 10 and up to read to themselves and for children as young as 7 as a read-aloud. The Story of the World series, by M. B. Synge, comprises a set of five volumes, written at a middle school reading level, that cover all major events in the history of Western Civilization, from earliest recorded history to the close of the nineteenth century. With fifty or so short chapters in each volume, the series links the great eras in time and place together by a chain of stories of individuals who played principal parts in the events related. While statesmen and military commanders figure heavily in the narrative, stories of explorers, scientists, artists, authors, and religious figures are also presented. The author writes in an engaging fashion, using dialog frequently to bring scenes to life. She juxtaposes events happening at the same time in different parts of the world in a style reminiscent of the books of Genevieve Foster. This series is an excellent introduction to world history for adult readers as well as for children.