A thought-provoking breakdown of the real cost of all our cheap stuff.

READ REVIEW

FOLLOW YOUR STUFF

WHO MAKES IT, WHERE DOES IT COME FROM, HOW DOES IT GET TO YOU?

Where does your stuff come from? That question is answered for five items in this chatty book.

The creative duo behind Follow Your Money (2013) team up again to create a book that takes common items in the Western world—a T-shirt, an asthma inhaler, a cellphone, eyeglasses, and, cleverly, this book itself—and follows each from raw material to finished product. Beginning with the seed planted in China to grow the cotton for the cloth woven in Guatemala, through the cutter and seamstress in India as well as the printer in Mexico and finally to the store at the North American mall where the T-shirt is bought, Sylvester and Hlinka demonstrate how globally and humanly intertwined it is. Aspiring authors will be particularly fascinated at what it took to make the book they are reading. Each item’s economic and physical journey is presented in a fact-based format with a lively design of dialogue bubbles, text, and illustrations (showing racially diverse kid consumers as well as workers from around the globe). Sidebars prod readers to think about the real cost of goods as they present facts about low wages and unsafe working conditions in developing nations, global environmental stresses, and other concerns, effectively challenging readers to consider what their money supports.

A thought-provoking breakdown of the real cost of all our cheap stuff. (references, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 10-16)

Pub Date: April 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-77321-254-8

Page Count: 100

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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A slim volume big on historical information and insight.

COME ON IN, AMERICA

THE UNITED STATES IN WORLD WAR I

A wide-ranging exploration of World War I and how it changed the United States forever.

Students who know anything about history tend to know other wars better—the Civil War, World War II, Vietnam. But it was World War I that changed America and ushered in a new role for the United States as a world political and economic leader. Two million Americans were sent to the war, and in the 19 months of involvement in Europe, 53,000 Americans were killed in battle, part of the staggering total death toll of 10 million, a war of such magnitude that it transformed the governments and economies of every major participant. Osborne’s straightforward text is a clear account of the war itself and various related topics—African-American soldiers, the Woman’s Peace Party, the use of airplanes as weapons for the first time, trench warfare, and the sinking of the Lusitania. Many archival photographs complement the text, as does a map of Europe (though some countries are lost in the gutter). A thorough bibliography includes several works for young readers. A study of World War I offers a context for discussing world events today, so this volume is a good bet for libraries and classrooms—a well-written treatment that can replace dry textbook accounts.

A slim volume big on historical information and insight. (timeline, source notes, credits) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2378-0

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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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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