From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up—The history and evolution of the court and how it works are discussed in the first chapter. Thematic sections follow, covering such topics as free speech, privacy, and civil rights, with significant decisions included. The cases are arranged chronologically, giving readers a sense of how the court's opinions have changed over time. Throughout, interviews with a variety of people involved in Supreme Court cases add to the text. They include former attorneys general, politicians, lawyers, and litigants. Some of the interviews contribute a wider perspective on issues, while others give personal insight into the case and the time period. The variety and arrangement of photos, drawings, posters, and news clippings add interest and help to break up the text into manageable chunks. Some of the activities are of dubious value ("Be a Court Stenographer"—court cases are now recorded, not typed), and others may be too time-consuming for many of today's standards-based, high-stakes-testing classrooms (electing a class Supreme Court and holding mock trials). All in all, though, this a solid work that makes a complex and important subject accessible to students.—Anthony C. Doyle, Livingston High School Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This wide-format paperback presents the U.S. Supreme Court by describing some of its significant cases. Interspersed with discussions of legal issues and historical precedents are short interviews with dozens of individuals--among them Dick Thornburgh, Walter Mondale, Kenneth Starr, and Norma McCorvey. The book's arrangement is chronological within thematic chapters that explore cases in areas such as civil rights, freedom of speech, and the regulation of business. Panchyk's explanations are clear, and the interviews, appearing in sidebars, offer interesting perspectives. Drawings, portrait paintings, and photos reproduced in shades of blue and black break up the text. Varied in difficulty and usefulness, the activities range from making a "Supreme Court scrapbook" to holding a mock trial in the classroom. A list of Supreme Court justices and when they served, a glossary of legal terms, and an annotated list of recommended Internet sites are among the appended resources. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved