An established juvenile writer surveys pre-Columbian people in North, Central, and South America in sensible yet energetic scientific style. Gallant not only gives a clear, discriminating account of the kind of life lived in each section of the New World, based on substantial and recent archeological reports; he also discusses the various conjectures concerning how long people have been in America since crossing the Bering land bridge. He explains how scientists interpret bones, stones, and carbon traces, and briefly describes the significance of major finds. Although some subjects get short shrift here (e.g., Eskimo living styles and tree-ring dating), Gallant packs a lot of fascinating information into his lively text. There is a tantalizing list of North American Indian ruins (the other Americas might have been included for the affluent young dreamer). List for further reading; glossary; index. Illustrated with drawings and photographs.