A recognized linguist whose Story of Language is already a well known book in the adult field aptly presents much of the material here for a younger audience. Informed and free from pedantry, his style captures the fascination of the subject. His material is clearly organized and moves logically from aspect to aspect, from the basic role of language as a means of understanding to exploring the need for a universal tongue. He explains too, the growth of speech from primal grunts through pictures and to writing as symbols. Then as he follows the developments of the great language branches, and more particularly English, he conveys much of the philosophy of semantics- in the exploration of the causes for change and of language as an exhibition of national feeling. Excellent for class studies, this lends itself to reading for pleasure too.