The story of New York City from the Ice Age to the Freedom Tower makes for an adventure packed with memorable events and people.
Here is Peter Stuyvesant, who ruled New Amsterdam with an iron hand until he was forced to surrender to the English. Here is a city of many religious sects, all able to flourish in a spirit of tolerance (or perhaps indifference). Occupied by the British in the Revolution, the site of the infamous Civil War draft riots, and constantly buffeted by economic highs and lows, the city is always reinventing itself. The richest and poorest people live in uneasy juxtaposition, displaying the best and worst of humanity. Disasters and triumphs abound, and the city survives it all. Organizing the subject chronologically in eight chapters, Panchyk manages to work several centuries of history into a manageable account that reads like an action thriller. Each section is given a clear and straightforward title, is written in equally clear and concise language, and contains several informative sidebars. Copious illustrations in the form of historical photographs, maps, diagrams and drawings are appropriate, though not in color. There are also 21 activities that purport to enhance understanding but are quite complicated and call for many, often expensive, materials.
A compelling history of the city that never sleeps (just skip the activities). (timeline, bibliography, places to visit) (Nonfiction. 10-14)