Readers will learn some basic facts about sex differences, but it'll take some extra leaps on their parts to connect all the...

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GIRLS VS. GUYS

SURPRISING DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE SEXES

Bite-sized pieces of scientific research seek to illuminate the gender gap.

Taking a mostly humorous approach, Rosen examines the stereotypes that paint men as the ones who never ask for directions and women as the ones who talk all the time. Some of these stereotypes turn out to be rooted in biology and can be demonstrated scientifically, such as how room temperature affects how men and women learn. Others are more a product of society and culture, such as women smiling more than men due to sex roles in the media. Each stereotype is covered in a short, two-page spread, featuring full-color photos and well-written text that doesn't try too hard to be cool. In a few instances, Rosen doesn't make enough of a connection between nature and nurture, though—like not pointing out the societal impact of boys’ demonstrated tendency to equate girls with power tools when looking them at the beach. Without going deeper into these stereotypes, this title remains on the surface.

Readers will learn some basic facts about sex differences, but it'll take some extra leaps on their parts to connect all the dots to understand just what it all means. (source notes, selected bibliography, further resources, index) (Nonfiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4677-1610-9

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2014

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BLIZZARD!

THE STORM THAT CHANGED AMERICA

In the same format as his Newbery Honor title The Great Fire (1995), Murphy brings the blizzard of 1888 to life. He shows how military weather-monitoring practices, housing and employment conditions, and politics regarding waste management, transportation monopolies, and utilities regulation, all contributed to—and were subsequently affected by—the disaster. He does so through an appealing narrative, making use of first-hand accounts whose sources he describes in his notes at the end (though, disappointingly he cites nothing directly in the text). The wealth of quotable material made available through the letters of members of “the Society of Blizzard Men and Blizzard Ladies” and other sources help to make the story vivid. Many drawings and photographs (some of the blizzard, but most of related scenes) illustrate the text. These large reproductions are all in a sepia-tone that matches the color of the typeface—an effect that feels over-the-top, but doesn’t detract significantly from the power of the story. Murphy’s ability to pull in details that lend context allows him to tell this story of a place in time through the lens of a single, dramatic episode that will engage readers. This is skillfully done: humorous, jaw-dropping, thought-provoking, and chilling. (index) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-590-67309-2

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2000

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I WANT TO BE AN ENVIRONMENTALIST

This glossy, colorful title in the “I Want To Be” series has visual appeal but poor organization and a fuzzy focus, which limits its usefulness. Each double-paged layout introduces a new topic with six to eight full-color photographs and a single column of text. Topics include types of environmentalists, eco-issues, waste renewal, education, High School of Environmental Studies, environmental vocabulary, history of environmentalism, famous environmentalists, and the return of the eagle. Often the photographs have little to do with the text or are marginal to the topic. For example, a typical layout called “Some Alternative Solutions” has five snapshots superimposed on a double-page photograph of a California wind farm. The text discusses ways to develop alternative forms of energy and “encourage environmentally friendly lifestyles.” Photos include “a healer who treats a patient with alternative therapy using sound and massage,” and “the Castle,” a house built of “used tires and aluminum cans.” Elsewhere, “Did You Know . . . ” shows a dramatic photo of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, but the text provides odd facts such as “ . . . that in Saudi Arabia there are solar-powered pay phones in the desert?” Some sections seem stuck in, a two-page piece on the effects of “El Niño” or 50 postage-stamp–sized photos of endangered species. The author concludes with places to write for more information and a list of photo credits. Pretty, but little here to warrant purchase. (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-15-201862-X

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2000

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