Children's Literature - Jackie FultonIn just one day and night a magnificent city thought by many to have been technologically and culturally advanced for its time disappeared into the ocean. Or, at least that is what some believe. Skeptics think that Atlantis is nothing more than a myth while other have scoured the Atlantic and Mediterranean seas hoping to find the great lost city. After reading the author's brief accounts of the popular theories surrounding Atlantis, young readers can decide if they believe that a city so great and powerful could have existed and disappeared without a trace. In lieu of the timeline included in many of the books in this series the author has created a list of possible locations for the city of Atlantis. Perfect for reluctant readers, "Torque: The Unexplained" series combines high interest subject matter with vibrant full-page illustration and brief blocks of text. Each book is divided into three short chapters following the same basic format: Chapter One entices the reader with an account of the phenomena, Chapter Two defines the phenomena, and Chapter Three presents various theories and explanations. Near the end of each chapter a colored box highlights a fact related to the subject matter. Vocabulary words are bold and defined in the glossary at the end. Books in this series also contain an index and suggestions for further reading. These books could certainly appeal to struggling readers as Hi-Lo material. Unfortunately, at only twenty-four pages they may not be lengthy enough to keep readers engaged. Reviewer: Jackie Fulton
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 3�9—Designed for struggling readers, this series combines accessible writing, dynamic illustrations, and high-interest topics. Snazzy covers and an abundance of glossy, full-color illustrations provide appeal. With one paragraph per page, the writing is succinct but informative, as in Doft's outline of the famous mystic: "Nostradamus died in 1566. It is said he knew which day he was going to die. The predictions he left behind live on to this day." Theories, historical references, and viewpoints from believers and skeptics give the material substance. For example, Helstrom explains that when an elaborate array of crop circles was found to form a mathematical pattern, "many believed that aliens were trying to use math to send a message. Others thought the crop circles were a hoax." Form and function are solid partners in this engaging series.
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