National Geographic’s ‘Family Reference Atlas of the World, Fifth Edition’ Offers Parents Homework Help During the Age of Distance Learning [REVIEW]

Discover the secrets of the known universe in National Geographic’s new Family Reference Atlas of the World. (Photo courtesy Canva)

The kids are distance learning. They have a report due about which countries have access to the internet. Where do you look? Or they need to write about ocean life and want to know how many species scientists have identified in the depths of the sea. How do you find that information? Search no more. A parent’s best new resource is here and National Geographic has got you covered with their fifth edition of the Family Reference Atlas of the World.

National Geographic's Family Reference Atlas of the World, Fifth Edition
National Geographic

So many of our friends have found themselves in a situation they never imagined. They are now responsible for home schooling their children. Sure, they have always helped with homework, but never to the degree they are now in the midst of a pandemic! And many of them have bemoaned how difficult it is to keep their children’s young minds engaged and interested. These parents aren’t trained educators, after all, so it’s truly testing their knowledge!

That’s why I love this huge new book from National Geographic. As some of the world’s leading explorers, they know how to put together phenomenal resource material, and they’ve done just that with this fully reimagined, thoroughly researched volume jam packed with more than 650 photos, maps, and graphics. Divided into 12 sections, it covers every nation from all seven continents, and even has additional parts about the changing planet, wildlife and wild places, the human journey, oceans, and space. It is simply amazing how they were able to cram so much information into one 400-page book!

Being an atlas, there are of course loads of maps. And not just physical maps outlining national borders, either. Here you’ll also find political, thematic, and regional maps. Then there are others which showcase population density and climate. Finally, there are those that dig so deep, they show how much of the world has access to the internet, what power sources countries have, and which nations have access to trade and food stuffs the world over.

One of my favorite aspects of this book are the Snapshots boxes for each section. They provide facts and features in easy-to-digest bullet points, but even in their brevity they are wonderfully enlightening. For example, do you know which rail line is the longest in North America? Or which airport is busiest? Find the answers on page 83. Ever wonder how much of the world’s oceans are actually protected or where you’d find the longest underwater mountain range? Look on page 243 to find out. Finally, where in the known universe will you find the highest mountain or the most volcanic activity? Discover the answer on page 259.

I remember once watching Ellen DeGeneres interview a young boy who knew the flags of every country. Where would he learn this information? Although I’m not sure where he picked up his skills, he could very well have looked in this volume which features each country’s flag, as well as information about every nation’s population, what their capitals are, which religions are practiced there, and how many languages are spoken. Imagine if your little wiz kid memorized all that? Look out next YouTube sensation!

As I mentioned before, there are maps of the whole world here. And I do mean the whole world. We’re not just talking surface area here, folks. No, Nat Geo does one better and dives under the surface of the world’s oceans to reveal their topography, showing us that mountains, valleys, canyons, and more exist even where we can’t see them, fathoms below. These maps totally intrigued me. I’ve always had a fascination with the sea, and I loved how these touched that part of my imagination.

But this is why this book was born. As the editors write on page eight of this book under the heading “About This Atlas,” they say:

We hope this atlas will open many family conversations about our planet, its inhabitants and life-forms, and how its rich, diverse, and remarkable geography continues to shape the human story.

Editors, National Geographic

The Family Reference Atlas of the World is a must-have for every home. It doesn’t just tease your brain, it blows the doors off your imagination and immerses you in all the fantastic, wondrous details we never knew we always wanted to discover about our planet and solar system. It nurtures the minds of future biologists, anthropologists, astronauts, and more. It teaches us what we can do to ensure the lasting stability and health of our ecosystem and even serves as the chronicle of how our climate has changed over the years. This is the book you and your family will return to time and again, delving into other cultures, picturing all the places you want to visit on this magnificent gem of a planet we live on when the pandemic is over. This is the stuff dreams are made of, grand aspirations based on fact, but ones which are always open to countless possibilities and are only limited by the size of our imaginations.

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One of the world’s leading nonfiction publishers, National Geographic has published more than 1,700 titles, featuring such categories as history, travel, nature, photography, space, science, health, biography, and memoir.

A portion of its proceeds is used to fund exploration, conservation, and education through ongoing contributions to the work of the National Geographic Society.

To find out more about Nat Geo, visit, like them on Facebook, or follow them on TwitterInstagram, and Snapchat.

By National Geographic
400 pp. National Geographic. $75

TLC Book Tours Tour Host

Purchase Family Reference Atlas of the World, Fifth Edition direct from Jathan & Heather’s Beach Reads Book Shop or from one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, or Target.

Family Reference Atlas of the World, Fifth Edition is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

2 Responses to National Geographic’s ‘Family Reference Atlas of the World, Fifth Edition’ Offers Parents Homework Help During the Age of Distance Learning [REVIEW]

  1. Pingback: National Geographic's Family Reference Atlas of the World, 5th Ed., on tour October 2020 | TLC Book Tours

  2. Sara Strand says:

    Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

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