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Children's Nonfiction General

10 Rivers That Shaped the World

by (author) Marilee Peters

illustrated by Kim Rosen

Annick Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2015
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2015
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2015
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
  • Reading age: 9 to 12


Navigate the fascinating twists and turns of rivers that have molded our history.

Rivers can be extraordinarily powerful, and not just because of their fast-flowing currents. They can make civilizations rise or crumble, divide cultures or link them together, and even provide crucial clues to where we came from.

Dive into these 10 surprising stories about the power of rivers through the ages, including:

• How the “lucky accident” of the Nile’s unique flooding patterns allowed the culture of Ancient Egypt to flourish in one of the hottest, driest places on earth;
• How medieval robber barons seized—then lost—control of the Rhine;
• Why the Amazon helped scientists discover how species evolve;
• How Livingstone's ill-fated exploration of the Zambezi changed Africa forever;
• Why you can trace just about every hit song back to the Mississippi River;
• How the massive Three Gorges Dam displaced over one million Chinese in the Yangtze River Valley;
• Why people in India have gathered to bathe in the Ganges for thousands of years;
• The crucial roles of the Awash, the Thames, and the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in human history.

Compelling storytelling, striking original art, and colorful photos take readers on a unique journey across time and place.

About the authors

Marilee Peters is a former librarian who over the years has written about politics, theater, the environment, parenting, farming, and health, among other topics. She is the author of Patient Zero, 10 Rivers That Shaped the World, and Making it Right. She lives with her family in Vancouver, BC.

Marilee Peters' profile page

Kim Rosen has illustrated for magazines and newspapers including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, TIME, The Washington Post, and The Globe and Mail, as well as corporate clients including Starbucks and American Express. She illustrated the three previous books in the World of Tens series. Kim lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Kim Rosen's profile page


  • Nominated, Silver Birch Award, Ontario Library Association
  • Runner-up, Green Book Festival Award
  • Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre

Editorial Reviews

“Accessible and lively . . . A well-turned, involving introduction”

Kirkus Reviews, 04/29/15

“An accomplished, well researched volume . . . a must have in school and public libraries.”

CM Reviews, 09/11/15

“A brilliant way to teach middle readers and keep them engaged in nonfiction.”

Smart Books for Smart Kids, 02/26/15

“With a colorful, engaging layout and a unique approach to its topic, this approachable title is a solid entry point to both geography and world history.”

Booklist, 07/08/15

“Compelling and memorable . . . The design is striking, while also being entertaining and very accessible . . . a terrific resource.”

Sal’s Fiction Addiction, 06/14/15

“With a nice balance between the big picture and the personal, this book provides an intriguing look at how the natural world influences human history.”

National Reading Campaign, 09/11/15

Other titles by Marilee Peters

Other titles by Kim Rosen