One of the earlier reviewers seemed to think that this book was written with an agenda, and I feel it's necessary to dispel that notion so that people don't miss out on a perfectly good vocabulary resource. Each lesson has a reading section near the end, which utilizes that lesson's vocabulary words in regards to a specific topic. The reviewer lists a number of names/topics which are of concern, and lists them in a way that might make you think the reading sections are specifically ABOUT those names/topics. Nothing could be farther from the truth, however. Most of the names the reviewer lists are only to be found in an example sentence here and there as the words are being defined at the beginning of each section. Can we really complain, for example, that the sentence "Bill Clinton assumed office on January 20, 1993." (to demonstrate the meaning of "assume") was placed there in order to foist a liberal agenda off onto our innocent 5th graders? I hardly think so. In the interests of clarifying, here is a list of the reading section topics: seeing-eye dogs, the history of cocoa beans, the last dinosaurs, the Mayflower voyage, climbing Mount Everest, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Penguins, The First Thanksgiving, first attempts at flight, Harriet Tubman, taking flying lessons, Frida Kahlo, Crocodiles, Thomas Edison, earthquakes, the last queen of Hawaii, the people and landscape of the Sahara, Walt Disney, Pompeii, and an Aesop fable.
In reading through some of the selections, I would say that I found a few small examples of the typical evolutionary or global warming viewpoint (penguins and the Sahara, specifically). Those ideas, however, were quickly dealt with through a conversation with my daughter, and we were still able to benefit from the lesson as a whole. I think it's good to be careful what we allow our children to read and watch, but there is no need to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. This book is a very useful tool and I will continue to use it.