This first book in a new series, Creepy and True, is one of the most fascinating factual books I have ever read. Get ready to have your knowledge about ancient civilizations challenged. The author thoroughly researched each mummy presented in the book, and full color photographs accompany each selection. Some examples of mummies that are very unusual are the mummies of the Tarim Basin, dubbed Witches of Subeshi because they were dressed in outfits which match the description of our Halloween witches down to the tall pointy hats they were wearing, and they are called “myag” which means “magician” or “magi.”. The other one was a man, also discovered in the Tarim Basin. This place is in western China, but he is very European looking, round eyes, long nose, long arms and legs, and he is wearing pants and boots – not at all Chinese. Other mummies from around the world are covered and the history of their lives – down to the last meals they ate – can now be ascertained by scientific methods. The ancients are not to only mummies presented. The soap lady of Philadelphia who was discovered 1874, and the mummies of Lenin and Eva Peron are also discussed. Hollihan also has included delightfully informative “Factlets” in nearly every chapter. These tidbits add to the knowledge of the reader as he/she progresses. The book includes a glossary, chapter notes, a bibliography for each chapter which makes research on an individual mummy much easier. An index will conclude the book. The next two books in the series, Ghosts and Skeletons should prove to be equally thought-provoking. Readers of the supernatural and the macabre will be drawn to the title. They won’t be disappointed. I highly recommend the purchase of this book for middle and high school libraries.
The authors have provided the middle school to high school reader with a fascinating book of various experiments in all fields of learning – including Language Arts and Social Studies. Usually, books of experiments are limited to mathematics and/or science.
Each chapter begins with a topic to pique the interest of the reader. The “Content Area” and “Primary Skills’ being taught by the experiment, along with the “Mission Objective” begin each chapter. These sections are followed by “Learning the Lingo” in which the reader learns the terms pertinent to the topic at hand. Next comes the list of materials needed to perform the experiment, followed by the “Plan of Attack,” or the steps in the experiment. Finally each chapter ends with “Take it to the Max,” an attempt to get the reader to go beyond the given experiment and to discover more about the subject on his/her own.
This book is for younger readers, but it may well be used by a teacher or a homeschooling parent for extra activities. I recommend its purchase, but a librarian may have trouble cataloging it because of its broad range of subjects.
When I found this book available for review, I hoped that this might be a book about the flora and fauna of New Zealand, a place that has long fascinated me. I was mistaken. It is about how to make a journal of one’s own environment. The author informs the reader what to look for in his/her own neighborhood, and gives examples of the materials needed. She also give suggestions of how to enter the findings into a nature journal.
The artwork is done by the writer. It is mostly watercolor and pen and ink drawings. It is very pretty and welcomes the eye to explore the pages, even as it encourages the reader to explore the out-of-doors. It does have a glossary and an index to aid in research. I recommend this book for the elementary reader, ages nine through twelve.
Rarely do I find nonfiction books that troubles me. This is such a book. It certainly has made me think and should make any reader think. However, I am concerned because it is written for younger readers, and they might not have enough facts at their disposal to recognize the bias that this work presents.
Environmental protection is a high priority for most responsible people. How we accomplish this, is sometimes the topic of huge debates. This book, on the surface, proposes to examine all view points and to open the eyes of the reader to the situations and the proposed solutions. In reality it takes a very definite view of environmental issues and negates or, in some cases, fails to explain the opposing views.
The author takes the position that anyone who disagrees with his conclusions is wrong. He certainly has the right to his opinions and the right to publish them, but to voice those opinions to middle school and/or high school readers as the “real” facts and to make them think that, unless they “see” things his way, they are wrong, moves the book into a type of indoctrination.
I had a person who has a degree in Natural Resources read and review this book. He had some of the same concerns that I had. He went on to state that while the author quotes many sources, he is in actuality quoting the opinions of others. He is not analyzing data from environmental studies. So, the information being presented is a second hand opinion.
Fleischman is an acclaimed writer of fiction for children and young adults. He has also authored some nonfiction books, but they are not about extremely controversial subjects, as this one is. I would like to have seen a more balanced approach to the subject with some questions being offered for the reader to consider on each subject.
There is an excellent chapter on How to Weigh Information which I actually used in considering the credentials of this author. He tells the reader to check out the references and the author – which I did. The sources he used, and those he recommends, are extensive.
I suppose I am more than a little put off by his attitude that the consumers are stupid and only more government regulations will save us from our stupidity. However, I recommend it for the high school library, with the caveat that opposing viewpoints exist and should be recognized. This book is also available in ebook format and in audio.
If you have read this book, I do welcome your comments
Finding a way to engage children and teens in the understanding the dangers of drugs is always a challenge to parents and to teachers. This series offers eye-catching information on a very necessary subject in an easy-to-read format.
Rosa Waters is the author of this series; but she worked with Dr. Joshua Borus, a pediatrician at the Harvard Medical School on the series. The series is designed to attract younger readers and to help them understand quickly exactly what each drug can do to their bodies.
An answer to one pertinent question is found in each two-page spread. The author has included excellent color photographs, artwork, and charts to go along with the text. Words that may need defining are underlined, and those definitions are found in the glossary at the end, as is a bibliography of other sources of information, both print and electronic, that the reader may find interesting or useful.
The introduction, which takes up two and one fourth pages of the 48 pages, is identical in each of the books in the series. If the substance being discussed is able to be overdosed and become deadly, the author has included a paragraph about what to do if someone has overdosed on that particular drug. This paragraph, which takes another page, is verbatim in all books.
Titles include: ADHD Medication Abuse, Alcohol & Tobacco; Caffeine, Energy Drinks, Coffee, Soda and Pills; Dangerous Depressants & Sedatives; Doping:Human Growth Hormone, Steroids, & Other Performance-Enhancing Drugs; Hard Drugs: Cocaine, LSD, PCP & Heroin; Marijuana Legal & Developmental Consequences; Methamphetamine & Other Amphetamines; New Drugs, Bath Salts, Spice, Salvia & Designer Drugs; Over the Counter Medications; and Prescription Painkillers: Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, & Other Addictive Analgesics.
I imagine that some of these titles have the same information in them, and they could actually be verbatim; however, I still feel that the works are valuable resources. I would recommend the purchase of these books for upper elementary and middle to high school students. It might even be worthwhile for pediatricians to put them in their office waiting rooms.
Although this reviewer saw only the paperback version of the books, they are available in hardback and in e-book formats. While the books are not cheap, they are not cheaply made. The covers are high quality paper. The glue in the paperback format is very strong. The paper that is used is of very high quality and is coated to help improve the sharpness of the print and reduce the degradation of the paper itself. It is a little easier to purchase an expensive paperback if it will not crack apart at the first use or easily curl from moisture.
I was only given two books in the series to review: Everything Mythology and Everything Dinosaurs. However there are others titles available: Everything Ancient Egypt, Everything Big Cats, Everything Sharks, Everything Castles, Everything Rocks and Minerals, Everything Dolphins and Everything Weather.
While Blake Hoena is the main author of the series, he works with National Geographic experts and/or authors to create the series. These books are colorful, full of information and well-bound. Each book is packed with beautiful photographs and drawings. Each has a very good index, a list of videos, movies, books and other places where the reader may want to look at to learn more. Along with those learning aides is an interactive glossary (a type of quiz that allows the reader to check what he/she knows about the unusual terms used in the book).
Each book, or course, is only an introduction, but the author has taken great pains to pique the interest of the reader into learning more. I like the flaps both in the front and in the back of the paperback books. They allow the reader to hold their place when interrupted, or when checking out something in the back of the book. These flaps appear to be sturdy enough to take many readers handling them.
The books are also available in reinforced library binding. I did note that the word “reinforced” was misspelled in each book as “reinfored.” I did not notice misspellings in the texts, but I may just not have been aware that they were misspelled. It does bother me though, that something that obvious had slipped though the editing process. Still, this series definitely has a place in elementary libraries and public libraries. Those of you purchasing for Christian school libraries need to know that they take a secular view in the content, but you might use them for discussions of the differences of opinion.