A tour (de force) through the human body that’s eminently understandable and entertaining and even often quite funny.

50 BODY QUESTIONS

A BOOK THAT SPILLS ITS GUTS

From the 50 Questions series

Anatomy and physiology presented in a readable, comprehensible and entertaining format.

One of the 50 Questions series, this effort presents a tour of the systems of the human body through the use of chapter-heading questions. Most questions imbue a level of humor to the presentation: “Is [the heart] a pump or a love machine?” or “Is there snot in your stomach?” These might irritate the most serious students, but many more will be intrigued enough to read further. Detailed information is presented in a conversational style. Ample, accurate scientific details are broken into short sections that make the complexity of the human body more comprehensible and may inspire more in-depth research. The inclusion of brief, illuminating historical anecdotes—for example, a fur trader who had a hole shot in his stomach in 1822 and lived to tell the tale—provides a context for our current understanding of the human body. Occasional references to recent technology, like an implanted microchip to control building electronics, are sure to awe readers. A smattering of experiments, including one to make synthetic mucus, offer yet another dimension. Kinnaird’s quirky, generally silly, cartoonlike illustrations pepper the pages, adding flavor and flair. End material, particularly the outstanding sources used for chapter notes, elevates this offering even further.

A tour (de force) through the human body that’s eminently understandable and entertaining and even often quite funny. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: July 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-55451-613-1

Page Count: 108

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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An interesting, engaging collection of snapshot profiles that will encourage readers to explore further and perhaps pursue...

TRAILBLAZERS

33 WOMEN IN SCIENCE WHO CHANGED THE WORLD

With STEM now the hot trend in education and concerted efforts to encourage girls to explore scientific fields, this collective biography is most timely.

Swaby offers 33 brief profiles of some of the world’s most influential women in science, organized in loose groupings: technology and innovation, earth and stars, health and medicine, and biology. Some of the figures, such as Mary Anning, Rachel Carson, Florence Nightingale, Sally Ride, and Marie Tharp, have been written about for young readers, but most have not. Among the lesser known are Stephanie Kwolek, the American chemist who invented Kevlar; Yvonne Brill, the Canadian engineer who invented a thruster used in satellites; Elsie Widdowson, the British nutritionist who demonstrated how important fluid and salt are for the body to properly function; and Italian neuroembryologist Rita Levi-Montalcini, who made breakthrough discoveries in nerve-cell growth. Swaby emphasizes that most of these scientists had to overcome great obstacles before achieving their successes and receiving recognition due to gender-based discrimination. She also notes that people are not born brilliant scientists and that it’s through repeated observation, experimentation, and testing of ideas that important discoveries are made.

An interesting, engaging collection of snapshot profiles that will encourage readers to explore further and perhaps pursue their own scientific curiosities. (source notes, bibliography) (Collective biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-55396-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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An important perspective on our changing climate.

MELTDOWN

DISCOVER EARTH'S IRREPLACEABLE GLACIERS AND LEARN WHAT YOU CAN DO TO SAVE THEM

Glaciers on this planet are vanishing—learn how we know, why we should care, and what we can do.

The author of Itch (2018) and Rotten (2019), both illustrated by Gilbert Ford, turns her attention to another underappreciated part of the natural world: glaciers. With a foreword by glaciologist Jill Pelto and an introduction laying out the problem, Sanchez prepares her readers for the cold hard truth to come. Chapter by chapter, she explains the important roles glaciers play in our world, how we know they are melting, and why that’s happening—clearly explaining climate change. She shows how ice cores reveal climate history, introduces animals and plants that thrive in glacier country, and describes what the future might bring. Sanchez concludes with suggestions for action, personal and communal. At several points, she brings in Indigenous points of view. The author addresses readers directly with compelling evidence for her thesis that this is yet another manifestation of climate change that will wreak havoc on the world we know. Unfamiliar words are bolded and defined in context as well as in a glossary. Encouraging readers to take action, Sanchez includes in the backmatter a long list of science specialties concerned with glaciers. There are occasional photographs, helpful diagrams, and artistic depictions of glacial scenes throughout, breaking up the text and adding appeal; people depicted in Padula’s illustrations are diverse.

An important perspective on our changing climate. (author’s note, additional resources, select bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5235-0950-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2022

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