As a young student growing up in the 1980's, I was charged with writing any number of essays and reports. Of course I always needed a solid source for these assignments and of the two "names" in encyclopedias; my first choice was always World Book. Now that I am a homeschooling mother, nothing much has changed and I am still reaching for the World Book Encyclopedia set! Until recently I had a much older set and that served us well for many years, but since they sent in a gorgeous 2008 Spinescape Binding set, we are using them even more!
In this age of immediate information available on the internet, you might ask yourself if something like this is useful for the $999 price tag. Here in our home we use books and lots of them. Certainly we use the internet too, but the quality of the information is always questionable and sometimes just not available in the timely fashion we need. It is rare that we pick up the World Book and cannot locate what we are looking for and often a whole lot more! The quality of their work is also excellent. With more than 3,800 contributors that are experts in their fields working together with the World Book editors and researchers, they ensure that the information is up to date and relevant. There are also more than 27,500 photographs (most in full color), drawings, graphs, and charts to help flesh out the information. They also regularly update their books so that new information is not left out.
The twenty-two book set covers topics in alphabetical order for easy location; and the hardback format provides sturdy use by many small hands. The writing style is engaging and you will likely find yourself reading more than the topic you were searching for. It would not be unusual to find yourself reading about Mars for your solar system unit and end up also reading about marbles and mammals! I have to say that at $45 a book, this is a worthwhile purchase that will last for many years through all one's children. The beauty of it is that we were using a very old set that was still quite helpful after many years. Certainly I prefer the most up-to-date version as things change all too fast in our world, but I love knowing that this reference will be around in our family for a very long time. I highly recommend this resource.