BUILDING BLOCKS OF THE UNIVERSE
The Chemicals of Life and Inside the Atom were Mr. Asimov's first ventures into non-fiction for the teen ages after his firm establishment as an s-f writer. This third volume maintains the balance of accuracy and simplicity which marked the other two and presents a fascinating chapter by chapter explanation of the elements, as one learns about them in a high school chemistry course, only in condensed and very readable form. Oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, helium, carbon, silicon, the halogens and so on- by weight, family, relative prevalence, social importance and special characteristics- up to yttrium and uranium- all are explained and accounted for. Though the book suggests nothing of method and gives its facts away free, without payment exacted by lab work, it makes a definitely satisfying review and may serve as a stimulus to students who are having a hard time with their class work.