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Prisoners of geography

Prisoners of Geography Our World Explained in 12 Simple Maps

Published: 31 Oct 2019

Hardback, 80 pages

Recommended for age 7+ , 9+ and 11+

By Tim Marshall

Published by Elliott & Thompson Limited

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How did the USA become a superpower? Why do people go to war? And why are some countries rich while others are so poor? Find the answers to these questions and many more in this eye-opening book, which uses maps to explain how geography has shaped the history of our world. Discover how the choices of world leaders are swayed by mountains, rivers and seas - and why geography means that history is always repeating itself. This remarkable, unique introduction to world affairs will inspire curious minds everywhere.

A stunning abridged and illustrated edition of the international bestseller Prisoners of Geography, by acclaimed author Tim Marshall.

Tagged maps

In this interview, Tim Marshall talks to Nikki Gamble about Prisoners of Geography and geopolitics

Reviewed by Roy James

Prisoners of Geography: Our World Explained in 12 Simple Maps is a treasure chest of knowledge which introduces children to how the shape of our world shapes our world.

The importance of geographical features to societies have remained absent from children’s books. However, it’s now an engrossing area I want to know more about. There are plenty of books which tell us how mountains form, but not how the mountains form us. For instance, China’s hold on Tibet is, so they have the natural, impassable border of the Himalayas to strengthen their defence against rivals India.

Tim Marshall’s experience of foreign affairs is extensive. For example, he’s been a journalist reporting from conflict zones and written for many major newspapers. This is a writer who knows what he’s talking about. Children deserve experts, whether it’s writing their books, or in their classrooms.

Each section has been clearly illustrated by Grace Easton and Jessica Smith, while Marshall’s text is succinct, informative and impartial.

Some of the best learning I’ve witnessed comes from spontaneous moments. And it’s the teacher’s general knowledge which is key to this. If you can link subjects, things start to make sense. We stand back and see that the world is far more complex, and fascinating, than we realised. That’s why this book will work so well in the classroom; it fills in the gaps to create the eureka! moments we all crave.

Information comes at children from multiple sources, all different pieces of a puzzle for which there is no picture. It’s the experts that hold up that picture, the Tim Marshalls, the teachers. Prisoners of Geography is one such picture that will be the perfect exploration text for children and adults.

I work as a librarian across two primary schools, and I tutor English Literature and Language at a secondary school. I was recently awarded a PGCert from Oxford Brookes University in Children's Literature.