Thursday, September 12, 2019

Book Review: Almanac 2020

Anything National Geographic does, I want to be a part of it. I've been lucky enough to be on a few of their review tours before (and I have a few more coming up!!) but when I saw Almanac 2020 up, I had to get on it because one of my favorite things to mindlessly page through is an almanac.

Almanac 2020 - National Geographic

The latest dynamic annual for the 21st century, featuring high-energy pages packed with facts, photos, infographics, time lines, and maps that capture today's world. Perfect for ages 12 to 112.

An almanac like no other, this book offers everything you need to know about the world in 2020--from science and nature to history, world cultures, and the environment. Filled with exquisite National Geographic photography, informative infographics, illustrated time lines, and authoritative maps, this striking new edition will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with practical tips for improving your own sustainability habits.

The book begins with trending topics in science, technology, and culture, then moves into fascinating chapters on travel, exploration, earth and space, biology, culture, and history. Recurring features include inspiring quotes, revealing facts, photos from National Geographic's Instagram, and a Quizmaster trivia feature. With new discoveries on every page, this cutting-edge book brings you the world, no matter what your age.

I should tell you that if you want to encourage even a reluctant reader to pick up a book, have a National Geographic book on your table. If you've never perused the NatGeo online store you are missing out because you could probably get all of your Christmas shopping done right there. In Almanac 2020 there is a flamingo picture on page 195 that my daughter is obsessed with (flamingos are her favorite animal of all time) and she wants it as a poster or something for her room.


Almanac 2020 will make you feel equal parts dumb (because there is so much we don't know) and smart (because you will finish this knowing so much more information about a huge variety of things), and that's the best part about the book. The book is sectioned out as follows:

  • Trending 2020
  • Exploration & Adventure
  • This Planet & Beyond
  • Life on Earth
  • The Science of Us
  • Yesterday to Tomorrow
  • Our World
Throughout the book they have a "quizmaster" page and it's a list of questions you think you know the answer to (spoiler, you most likely won't) and tells you which page you will find the answer on. My favorite section was Exploration & Adventure because our family is trying to make a state by state bucket list so we have a starting point for future road trip planning. (Bonus? I found a road trip playlist in the book!)

Fun Fact: Lake Superior stretches across 31,700 sq miles of the US and Canada making it the largest lake by surface area. (I already knew this because Lake Superior is only five blocks away from my house!)

My son really liked the section on fossils because the idea of something forever preserved in a rock is bizarre to him. My oldest daughter liked the page with animal tracks on it, she goes on "woods walks" with Grandpa (who worked with the DNR so he already knows this stuff), but she has been trying to identify what she sees out there. Same with the caterpillar and butterfly pages, our backyard becomes a caterpillar nursery for a good chunk of the summer and it's a serious enterprise they have going out there.

Also, there is a really FASCINATING section on understanding gender.There is actual science to that and I had no idea and didn't really understand it before but it was very cool to learn about. 

Not counting the index, it's 381 pages of JAM PACKED information. If you are a school librarian or even a classroom teacher, pick this one up and have it for that reluctant reader. The short sections and facts might be enough to keep them turning the pages. Also, if you home school your child(ren) this might be a great resource to have on hand. Every year these are so full of information and I wonder what they will include the next year and it continually blows me away. Not to mention the photographs are stunning, as usual, but I'm telling you, I made it through this book in just a few hours. My kids have been picking it up every time they sit on the couch. People who have come over automatically pick it up and learn something. It's a very cool book to have out.

Also, on page 316-317 it shows all of the variations of the American flag. Did you know the United States has had 29 versions of the flag? Each image shown lists the dates in which that flag was used and some are incredibly... interesting. All but one is the stars and stripes theme, but the design of the stars area has changed pretty radically over the years and that was pretty interesting.

I could go on and on with information in this book but I'll end this with telling you this is absolutely a 5 star read, no question. It's well organized, the information throughout the book is relevant to topics we see on the news but also just incredibly interesting. I think you'll really enjoy it!

A huge, huge thank you to National Geographic and TLC Book Tours for sending me a beautiful copy of this book for review! This post also contains affiliate links. 

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