MINING by Jane Drake


Age Range: 7 - 10
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This America at Work entry features cartoon illustrations of a smiling family on a trip “out east” to a Junior Miners’ hockey tournament. The mother works in a molybdenum mine, the father works in a steel mill, and parental offers to take their twins to work meet with great approval. Even readers unfamiliar with the series may surmise, rightly, that this is going to be a wordy ride through material that may or may not be useful in writing school reports. Cutaway charts intended to support the hackneyed premise do little to clarify the goings on in an underground mine; two miners in hard hats who are “making the roof safe,” for example, shore up a shaft with what appear to be automatic weapons with tiny flying buttresses set on the shaft’s floor. The topic-driven trip includes visits to a steel mill, an airplane ride, an oil well, a toxic dump, a picnic in a park that was once a coal pit, and ends in a hockey arena, with the kids asking all the right questions to keep the facts flowing. They count things made from steel or oil in an “interactivity” befitting the automaton-like nature of progeny who actually let their mother get away with lecturing, “At a smelter, the bits of molybdenum ore are heated and refined to form a powder of pure molybdenum.” (index) (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 1-55074-508-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Kids Can
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1999