Gr 4-6-These introductory titles offer current, factual information in an eye-catching, hi/lo format. Although chapters and sentences are brief, the texts are politically balanced. Maps and photographs are clear, colorful, and up-to-date. In Conflict, historical, religious, political, and geographic factors contributing to the separate identities of Israel and Palestine are presented. International peace efforts and continuing hostilities are described. In Oil, well-drawn, basic charts depicting oil reserves, production, consumption, and prices enrich chapters on how oil is formed, its importance, international dependence on oil, the role of OPEC, and conflicts over oil since 1970. Women discusses the impact of religion, politics, and customs on the status, rights, and roles of women in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. As the world focuses on the turmoil and challenges in the Middle East, students will find basic questions answered and an understandable overview of complex political, economic, and cultural issues in these accessible books.-Gerry Larson, Durham School of the Arts, NC Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.