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Maps and Geography: Ken Jennings' Junior Genius Guides    by Ken Jennings order for
Maps and Geography
by Ken Jennings
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

If you follow the popular Jeopardy! TV program you undoubtedly know that contestant Ken Jennings has parlayed his initial success on the quiz program into an entire career of encore appearances, books and motivational speaking gigs.

Jennings lasted 75 games before he was dethroned and he has collected well over two million dollars in winnings. Although his self-promotion has made him the program's most recognizable contestant, the self-assured Jennings still has been unable to best his nemesis, Brad Rutter, who just weeks ago took the million dollar prize in the Battle of the Decades. In fact, the champion's total Jeopardy! winnings now exceeds 4.3 million dollars.

Although he's lost some of his bragging rights to being Jeopardy!'s mega star and does not top the all-time winner list for the program, Jennings still has his books to fall back on.

Jennings has created the Junior Genius Guide series, that offers trivia about various subjects, aimed at eight to ten year olds. With his name splashed across the book's cover in orange ink, there's no question that the author wants you to know immediately who you are dealing with here. The sentence, Jeopardy! Champion and New York Times bestselling author, accompanies the author's name and advertises his claim to fame.

In smaller print at the bottom of the cover is the book's subject matter, Maps and Geography, and it is not until you get to the title page that you'll discover that Mike Lowery provided the numerous illustrations for the Ken Jennings' Junior Genius Guides - Maps and Geography.

Calling himself Professor Jennings in the book's introduction, the author encourages his young reader to take the Junior Genius Pledge before diving into the book. I'll spare you the actual pledge which is a bit over the top.

What's actually quite amazing, though, is that once you get into this book of facts you'll discover that it is quite interesting and very entertaining.

Even an older reader will find the material fascinating and worth noting. As much as I don't care for Mr. Jennings' demeanor and proclivity for self- promotion, I have to begrudgingly admit that this book is really a fun and worthwhile read.

So if you want to introduce a child to some interesting facts about maps and geography or want to brush up on the subject yourself, give this fun little book a try.

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