Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: 10 Rivers that Shaped the World

Publish September 11, 2015

From the very beginning of the history, the mighty rivers of the world have been vital to human civilization and sustenance. A river provides both water and food, but it can also inspire spiritual beliefs. Ancient Egyptians built a powerful empire on the banks of the fertile Nile, whose annual floods brought life to the dry lands. The Ganges draws millions of Hindu pilgrims to wash away their sins in its waters every year. Humans have tried to change the course of rivers to suit their own purposes, by digging canals and building dams, but the great rivers of the world flow on, bringing life and sometimes destroying it. In 10 Rivers that Shaped the World, Marilee Peters has chosen ten rivers to explore. Some of them are very long (the Amazon at 6265 km) and some are relatively short (the Thames at 376 km), but they have all played crucial roles in the economic and cultural development of our world. With excellent research, maps, and photographs, Peters discusses the geographical, historical and ecological importance of each river. Peters finds interesting details to pique the interest of young readers. She points out that Dr. David Livingstone was often ill and feverish with malaria, but it didn’t stop him from exploring hundreds of miles of the Zambesi by canoe. And she tells a chilling tale about a stone tower on an island in the Rhine where (rumour has it) a tyrant was eaten by an army of mice. With a nice balance between the big picture and the personal, this book provides an intriguing look at how the natural world influences human history.

10 Rivers that Shaped the World

Marilee Peters
Illustration EN: Kim Rosen
Annick Press
ISBN 13: 978-1-55451-738-1