Gr 9 Up-This series celebrates the popularity of National Geographic during the early part of this century and highlights major historic and cultural discoveries reported at that time. This title is comprised of a collection of articles written in styles that range from entertaining travelogue to scholarly essay. It provides insight into the theories and knowledge of the ancient Aztec and Mayan cultures and the prevailing attitudes toward indigenous peoples at the time they were written. The black-and-white reproductions of archaeological sites, ruins, and scenes of early 20th-century life in Mexico and Guatemala vary in clarity, but remain integral to the texts. The introduction points to the advances made in the deciphering of Mayan writing since 1922 and to discoveries made in the 1980s that refute earlier theories about the civilization. While there is useful material here, it is not easy to procure specific facts. Also, there is the possibility that former theories could be mistakenly taken as current if the introduction is not read. The value of the book lies in enjoying the readable style of the articles and appreciating the work of the scholars, adventurers, and explorers in the accounts. R. Conrad Stein's The Aztec Empire (Benchmark, 1995) and Carolyn Meyer's The Mystery of the Ancient Maya (McElderry, 1995) are more useful and enjoyable titles.-Cynthia M. Sturgis, Ledding Library, Milwaukee, OR Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.