Knowing why something costs so much might make you appreciate it, and the people who get it to you, more—and, perhaps, to...

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FOLLOW YOUR MONEY

WHO GETS IT, WHO SPENDS IT, WHERE DOES IT GO?

Ka-ching! The sound says it all, but it is only the end of a long journey, as Sylvester and Hlinka explain.

You buy a baseball hat. Easy enough: You mowed the neighbor’s lawn, they gave you $5, and you gave that $5 to the store for the hat. But there is a lot more going on behind the scenes—the harvesting of the cotton for the hat, its construction (domestic, foreign), the cost of getting it to market, advertising, storage, etc. It’s a web of economic connections that Sylvester and Hlinka spell out with clarity in this primer on how your money gets divvied when you slap down that fiver. For any kid paying attention, this book will be a shocker. Sylvester and Hlinka build from fundamentals: What is value and worth, what is a salary (from the Latin for salt, when wages were paid in salt), what are costs, what is that thing called tax, and what does it buy? Sylvester and Hlinka are not out to overthrow capitalism, but simply by explaining how a credit card works or why energy companies make a dollar on seemingly every transaction, they spur readers to wonder about transparency and the ownership of natural resources.

Knowing why something costs so much might make you appreciate it, and the people who get it to you, more—and, perhaps, to act on that knowledge. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: July 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-55451-481-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2013

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Far from comprehensive but visually arresting and, at times, provocative.

HUMAN BODY

From the Information Graphics series

Stylized graphics rendered in saturated hues set this quick overview of body systems apart from the general run.

Arranged in tabbed and color-coded sections, the tour covers familiar ground but often from an unusual angle. The tally of human senses at the beginning, for instance, includes “proprioception” (physical multitasking), and ensuing chapters on the skeletal, circulatory and other systems are capped with a miscellany of body contents and products—from selected parasites and chemicals to farts and sweat. Likewise, descriptions of a dozen physical components of the “Brain Box” are followed by notes on more slippery mental functions like “Consciousness” and “Imagination.” The facts and observations gathered by Rogers are presented as labels or captions. They are interspersed on each spread with flat, eye-dazzling images designed by Grundy not with anatomical correctness in mind but to show processes or relationships at a glance. Thus, to show body parts most sensitive to touch, a silhouette figure sports an oversized hand and foot, plus Homer Simpson lips (though genitals are absent, which seems overcautious as an explicit section on reproduction follows a few pages later), and a stack of bathtubs illustrates the quantity of urine the average adult produces in an average lifetime (385 bathtubs’ worth). There is no backmatter.

Far from comprehensive but visually arresting and, at times, provocative. (Nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7123-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Big Picture/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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An arbitrary, loosely organized logjam of discoveries and successes, swept along on currents of relentless optimism.

THE HUMAN BODY

THE STORY OF HOW WE PROTECT, REPAIR, AND MAKE OURSELVES STRONGER

From the Invention & Impact series

An exploration, festooned with period images, of the ways medicine and medical technology have historically healed, restored, and strengthened us.

Newquist kicks off the Smithsonian Invention & Impact series with a blindingly sunny picture of medicine’s advance: “Truth be told, science has done a pretty good job of repairing just about everything in our body.” As cases in point he traces the histories of prosthetics, aids, and transplants for six body parts from eyes to limbs. He then highlights the benefits of soap, aspirin, and antibiotics—but not vaccines, which are considered in a rather arbitrary third section along with old-time surgical practices and the invention of medical devices from microscopes to MRI scanners. The author juices up his inspirational tales of progress with anecdotes about such researchers as Jenner and Semmelweis who were ahead of their times, as well as plenty of gruesome references to amputations and injuries. (Some of the many photos and old images, such as a close-up of stitches in an eyeball, are likewise memorable.) But along with occasionally contradicting his own claims, he leaves promising topics from X-ray mania to gene therapy unmentioned, as well as such flies in the ointment as the limited durability of artificial joints or the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

An arbitrary, loosely organized logjam of discoveries and successes, swept along on currents of relentless optimism. (resource list, index) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-451-47643-2

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2015

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