by Kari Bodnarchuk
Grade 8 Up-This excellent series entry provides a brief background to the geography, peoples, and cultures of the region, then gives an overview of the ethnic conflict that has ensued and its major players. This introduction is followed by an in-depth, informative text covering the historical roots of the Kurds' struggle, and the situation as it is today. Bodnarchuklooks at the effect the continuing fighting has upon the nations most involved: Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. The presentation of the positions held by different governments, as well as the opposing Kurdish factions, is valuable. The final chapter discusses actions that have been and are being taken to find a solution to the conflict. The mostly full-color photos are appropriate if unexciting. Also, the statement in the introduction that "The Kurdish territory in Iraq includes an autonomous region, where Iraqi Kurds are free to celebrate their culture and practice a certain level of self-rule," seems to contradict the rest of the text.