DuTemple, Leslie A. The Great Wall of China. Lerner Publications Company, 2003. ISBN 0822503778. $27.93. 80 pp. Reviewer: AnnMarie Hamar Reading Level: Primary Rating: Outstanding Genre: Non-fiction; Subject: Emperors--China; Great Wall of China—History—Juvenile literature; Books—Reviews; The Great Wall of China stretches more than 4,000 miles across the Chinese countryside. The wall is actually made up of several smaller walls dating from the Warring States Period, 425-221 BC, originally built to keep foreign invaders out and ordinary Chinese citizens in. It was erected entirely by hand, using a method the Chinese call "hang tu," a technique of constructing walls out of packed earth. Over the course of several centuries, various emperors added towers, guard posts and several miles more of wall, creating what would eventually become the most visited and famous site in China. DuTemple's engaging book describes the process of building the wall and offers a brief glimpse into Chinese history. The obsession with constructing such a massive wall led to the deaths of over one million workers and brought the government to the verge of bankruptcy. Sidebars offer information on Chinese history and culture, illustrations consist of color and black-and-white photographs, and a glossary is included.
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