I Used to Know That: Geography - Will Williams
Released June 2011
Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth
My teens sat on the front deck with me as I started reading I Used to Know That: Geography. While my husband and kids are know-it-all's when it comes to geography, my days of a travel agent help me out some, but all of the Eastern European countries baffle me. I simply know too little about them to be even close to accurate at guessing their locations, capitals or physical features. This good is a godsend for anyone who struggles to know some of these important facts.
I Used to Know That: Geography is broken into helpful sections that include each continent, rivers, oceans, maps, population counts and other important facts. We spent hours drilling each other on the capitals of countries throughout the world or even those in the United States. We struggled to name the ten largest seas. While they guessed Black Sea, it is on the list but in the tenth spot, South China Sea is in fact the largest. I'm still not convinced that the Gulf of Mexico counts as a sea though. We also went into the nicknames of all the states to see who could match them.
It is the state nicknames where I lost a little faith and have something to teach the author and the book's editor/s or fact checkers. Vermont comes from the French words Vert + Mont = Green + Mountain. The state's nickname is NOT "The Great Mountain State," it is the GREEN Mountain State. I was disappointed that that mistake slipped through. In the end, it made me question if there are other inaccuracies within the book because with more than 750,000 copies sold, there are some people who are now either questioning what they learned in school or wandering around with incorrect information.
I would have loved to give this book high praise and tell everyone to rush out and buy it, but that slight doubt on how many other errors might be within the material bothers me. It's such a great book, but to have found an error of that magnitude is discouraging.