Library of Congress Country Studies
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's nothing inappropriate on this educational site, but the reading level is probably too high for younger kids.
What's it about?
The Library of Congress's COUNTRY STUDIES Web site contains simple HTML versions of books that were originally published in hard copy by the Federal Research Division between 1986-98. They cover history, culture, geography, and other key topics about several dozen countries from around the world. The site also has shorter, more up-to-date profiles of countries, presented in PDF format. Users can browse by country, choose a location from a map, or search by keyword.
Is it any good?
Country Studies is a useful alternative to textbooks for teens doing history or social studies research -- it's easy to navigate and find information quickly. Of course, since the books are 10-20 years old, they can't be used for current events projects. The Portals to the World section helps fill in that gap, providing a wealth of links to country-specific resources. Although Country Studies contains excellent information, the site is extremely text-heavy -- teens looking for an interactive educational experience won't find it here.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about doing research online. How do you know if a Web site has reliable information? What sources can you trust, and why?