THE CLOCK

TURNING POINT INVENTIONS

This brief history of time and the instruments used to record it begins with the ancient Babylonians and moves forward to more sophisticated devices. Touching on sundials of ancient Egypt, the Heavenly Clockworks of ancient China, and water clocks of the Dark Ages, it concludes with a fascinating discussion on the development of the clock. The text is at times difficult; for example, the careful but complicated description of the verge escapement, anchor escapement, and level escapement will leave most readers behind. But the author tells a good story, weaving in history, invention, and important personalities like Galileo and Huygens, as well as the lesser known—such as John Harrison, inventor of the chronometric clock. This is the first in the Turning Point Inventions series, which “focus on the important inventions we often take for granted.” Historical photographs are used throughout; they are a handsome, excellent addition to the text. The glossy paper and broad white borders make this an attractive work, though picture captions and index are set in a pale gray Futura type so small that a magnifying lens would be helpful. A promising debut for an elegant new series on inventions for older readers. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: May 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-689-82814-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2000

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This can’t be the last we ever hear of the Legendary Alston Boys of the purely surreal Logan County—imaginative,...

THE LAST LAST-DAY-OF-SUMMER

From the Legendary Alston Boys series , Vol. 1

Can this really be the first time readers meet the Legendary Alston Boys of Logan County? Cousins and veteran sleuths Otto and Sheed Alston show us that we are the ones who are late to their greatness.

These two black boys are coming to terms with the end of their brave, heroic summer at Grandma’s, with a return to school just right around the corner. They’ve already got two keys to the city, but the rival Epic Ellisons—twin sisters Wiki and Leen—are steadily gaining celebrity across Logan County, Virginia, and have in hand their third key to the city. No way summer can end like this! These young people are powerful, courageous, experienced adventurers molded through their heroic commitment to discipline and deduction. They’ve got their shared, lifesaving maneuvers committed to memory (printed in a helpful appendix) and ready to save any day. Save the day they must, as a mysterious, bendy gentleman and an oversized, clingy platypus have been unleashed on the city of Fry, and all the residents and their belongings seem to be frozen in time and place. Will they be able to solve this one? With total mastery, Giles creates in Logan County an exuberant vortex of weirdness, where the commonplace sits cheek by jowl with the utterly fantastic, and populates it with memorable characters who more than live up to their setting.

This can’t be the last we ever hear of the Legendary Alston Boys of the purely surreal Logan County—imaginative, thrill-seeking readers, this is a series to look out for. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-46083-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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WEATHER

Remarking that ``nothing about the weather is very simple,'' Simon goes on to describe how the sun, atmosphere, earth's rotation, ground cover, altitude, pollution, and other factors influence it; briefly, he also tells how weather balloons gather information. Even for this outstanding author, it's a tough, complex topic, and he's not entirely successful in simplifying it; moreover, the import of the striking uncaptioned color photos here isn't always clear. One passage—``Cumulus clouds sometimes build up into towering masses called cumulus congestus, or swelling cumulus, which may turn into cumulonimbus clouds''—is superimposed on a blue-gray, cloud-covered landscape. But which kind of clouds are these? Another photo, in blue-black and white, shows what might be precipitation in the upper atmosphere, or rain falling on a darkened landscape, or...? Generally competent and certainly attractive, but not Simon's best. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-688-10546-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1993

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