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The Gulf Coast: A Literary Field Guide (from the Stories from Where We Live series) Review by Amy O'Quinn

Edited by Sara St. Antoine
Milkweed Editions
Open Book Building, Suite 300
1011 Washington Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55415-1246
800-520-6455 ext. 560

If you're looking for an alternative to the usual dry, dull, factual textbook-type book to learn about the Gulf Coast region of the United States, look no further! The Gulf Coast: A Literary Field Guide, from Milkweed Editions' Stories from Where We Live series, is an excellent resource for anyone who enjoys both literature and the natural world.

Edited by Sara St. Antoine and designed for ages nine and above, this handy anthology is a treasure trove of stories, poems, essays, maps, recipes, and historical accounts of the Gulf Coast region, which extends in an arc from Texas to south Florida. This diverse region encompasses many geographic wonders (e.g., the Everglades, beaches, coral reefs, bayous, and river deltas) and has a multitude of amazing animals and natural resources.

This book is divided into five sections: Adventures, Great Places, Reapers and Sowers, Wild Lives, and the Appendixes (Ecology of the Gulf Coast). As the guide states, the literary accounts "showcase the region's diversity and tell how life has been led here, past and present."

I really liked the literary approach of this award-winning anthology! What a fascinating way to learn more about Gulf Coast critters, weather patterns of the area, fauna, flora, and folklore. The stories, legends, and historical accounts in the book certainly give the region a distinct personality and flavor that I found delightful. In fact, I enjoyed my "sampling" so much that I plan to get the other books from the Stories Where We Live series.

Each field guide in the series retails for $10.95, and other titles include The California Coast, The Great Lakes, The Great North American Prairie, The North Atlantic Coast, and The South Atlantic Coast and Piedmont. You can visit the Milkweed website for more information about these books.

Product review by Amy O'Quinn, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February 2007