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Oliver's well researched biography of Mansa Musa reads like an exotic tale of gold greatness and adventure During his long reign as Mali's emperor Mansa Musa led his empire into its Golden Age presided over a spectacular 60000 person 9000 mile pilgrimage founded a university in Timbuktu and helped revolutionize architecture across the Sudan Oliver does not allow Musa's story to get bogged down in detail by seamlessly weaving a lot of history into his narrative and by supplying curious readers with an extensive GlossaryMany of the African ancestors of today's African Americans came from West Africa From 700 1600 A D one after the other three great black commercial empires dominated West Africa They were powerful prosperous complex stable and large At its height the Empire of Mali was the size of all of Western EuropeWell crafted and fast paced Oliver's book is enhanced by a liberal sprinkling of enjoyable drawings clear and helpful maps and interesting photos Not only are Mansa Musa's triumphs and dilemmas clearly portrayed but so are the lives of the people of medieval Mali FROM BACK COVER Oliver's debut about one of West Africa's most powerful and charismatic leaders delivers a vibrant mix of history and historical fiction for young adultsThe book introduces the medieval empire of Maliand soon narrows its focus to the compelling life story of the emperor Mansa Musa who ruled Mali in the early 1300s This enjoyable work smoothly blends historical text with memorable anecdotesphotos and sketchesand well drawn maps The book moves at a fast pace and the author's clear straightforward style is likely to appeal to young adults Oliver always strives for historical accuracy even his fictional account of a young sandal makercontains period appropriate language and scenery also includes a length glossary that is amply illustratedA thoughtful engaging historyKirkus Review It's not just good it's a classic I've looked and looked for something like this Sarah Peterson Fulbright Scholar Middle School TeacherThis compelling biography provides an intriguing introduction to one of the three stable and prosperous merchant empire that dominated West Africa before colonialism and the horrors of the slave tradeCatharine Gill Co founder of Pacific Collegiate School teacherOliver's well researched biography of Mansa Musa reads like an exotic tale of gold greatness and adventure During his long reign as Mali's emperor Mansa Musa led his empire into its Golden Age presided over a spectacular 60000 person 9000 mile pilgrimage founded a university in Timbuktu and helped revolutionize architecture across the Sudan Oliver does not allow Musa's story to get bogged down in detail by seamlessly weaving a lot of history into his narrative and by supplying curious readers with an extensive GlossaryMany of the African ancestors of today's African Americans came from West Africa From 700 1600 A D one after the other three great black commercial empires dominated West Africa They were powerful prosperous complex stable and large At its height the Empire of Mali was the size of all of Western EuropeWell crafted and fast paced Oliver's book is enhanced by a liberal sprinkling of enjoyable drawings clear and helpful maps and interesting photos Not only are Mansa Musa's triumphs and dilemmas clearly portrayed but so are the lives of the people of medieval Mali FROM BACK COVEROliver's debut about one of West Africa's most powerful and charismatic leaders delivers a vibrant mix of history and historical fiction for young adultsThe book introduces the medieval empire of Maliand soon narrows its focus to the compelling life story of the emperor Mansa Musa who ruled Mali in the early 1300s This enjoyable work smoothly blends historical text with memorable anecdotesphotos and sketchesand well drawn maps The book moves at a fast pace and the author's clear straightforward style is likely to appeal to young adults Oliver always strives for historical accuracy even his fictional account of a young sandal makercontains period appropriate language and scenery also includes a length glossary that is amply illustratedA thoughtful engaging history Kirkus Review It's not just good it's a classic I've looked and looked for something like thisSarah Peterson Fulbright Scholar Middle School TeacherThis compelling biography provides an intriguing introduction to one of the three stable and prosperous merchant empire that dominated West Africa before colonialism and the horrors of the slave tradeCatharine Gill Co founder of Pacific Collegiate School teacherOliver's well researched biography of Mansa Musa reads like an exotic tale of gold greatness and adventure During his long reign as Mali's emperor Mansa Musa led his empire into its Golden Age presided over a spectacular 60000 person 9000 mile pilgrimage founded a university in Timbuktu and helped revolutionize architecture across the Sudan Oliver does not allow Musa's story to get bogged down in detail by seamlessly weaving a lot of history into his narrative and by supplying curious readers with an extensive GlossaryMany of the African ancestors of today's African Americans came from West Africa From 700 1600 A D one after the other three great black commercial empires dominated West Africa They were powerful prosperous complex stable and large At its height the Empire of Mali was the size of all of Western EuropeWell crafted and fast paced Oliver's book is enhanced by a liberal sprinkling of enjoyable drawings clear and helpful maps and interesting photos Not only are Mansa Musa's triumphs and dilemmas clearly portrayed but so are the lives of the people of medieval Mali FROM BACK COVEROliver's debut about one of West Africa's most powerful and charismatic leaders delivers a vibrant mix of history and historical fiction for young adultsThe book introduces the medieval empire of Maliand soon narrows its focus to the compelling life story of the emperor Mansa Musa who ruled Mali in the early 1300s This enjoyable work smoothly blends historical text with memorable anecdotesphotos and sketchesand well drawn maps The book moves at a fast pace and the author's clear straightforward style is likely to appeal to young adults Oliver always strives for historical accuracy even his fictional account of a young sandal makercontains period appropriate language and scenery also includes a length glossary that is amply illustratedA thoughtful engaging history Kirkus Review It's not just good it's a classic I've looked and looked for something like thisSarah Peterson Fulbright Scholar Middle School TeacherThis compelling biography provides an intriguing introduction to one of the three stable and prosperous merchant empire that dominated West Africa before colonialism and the horrors of the slave tradeCatharine Gill Co founder of Pacific Collegiate School teacher