Title: Through Time: New York City
Author: Richard Platt
Illustrator: Manuela Cappon
Concepts: trade, economic development, resources, poverty, wealth, innovation, discrimination, slavery, economic role of government, immigration
Review: New York City has an international reputation as an enormous city of opportunity and excitement that never sleeps. How did it grow into this brazen reputation? Richard Platt and Manuela Cappon explore New York City’s complex history with a series of detailed historical narratives and panoramic cross sections dating back to 1600 when the Delaware people called Manahatouh Island their home. Not long after, European explorers took an interest in what they called New Amsterdam and its valuable resources, especially beaver furs. By the early 1700s, flourishing trade with Europe and the Caribbean had led New York to become a bustling merchant town.
New York City’s face has changed remarkably since then as the city transformed into one of the world’s largest centers of finance, commerce, culture, immigration, and tourism. As documented in the book’s sweeping historical account, the city had its growing pains as well, including dangerous race riots, institutionalized discrimination, crime, and, most recently, the 2001 attacks on the Twin Towers. Throughout these changes, readers can see visually how the city’s landscape changed as economic, social, and political forces constantly pushed its inhabitants to innovate and improve the quality of life.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children