A careful balance between the old ways and the modern ways that either blend or clash in the countries that make up West Africa has been maintained in a book for younger readers that, thankfully, does not have the sound of a tourist office pamphlet with a controlled vocabulary. These reports on Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, etc. are first hand accounts. The authors' enthusiasm for their subject translates to the pages, which read smoothly. The growing cities, the never distant jungle, the contrasts of tribal custom to an emerging educated population, the goods that support the various economies are some of the matters that the authors go into at introductory length. The illustrations are superb, catching the heat, pride and beauty of places and peoples.