Many modern technologies now taken for granted were born in the nineteenth century. The various books in this series provide a history of these inventions and the inventors behind them. The two volumes about Henry Bessemer and Auguste and Louis Lumiere mix biography and science, including not just the lives of the main inventors but also brief looks at others who contributed to these advancements and the historical events that influenced their production. Auguste and Louis Lumiere created the cinematographe, one of the first motion picture cameras. They also started the commercial public showings of movies. Henry Bessemer pioneered a method for making steel cheaply, quickly, and in large quantities. Both inventions profoundly changed the world. These short books provide a decent amount of information for their size, and they are eye-catching enough to prompt browsers to pick them up. They also provide good, if simple, explanations of some of the science behind the discoveries. The context provided for the discoveries helps to explain why they came about the way they did. Because the details are limited by space, the further reading, including Web sites, is helpful. Also useful are the two chronologies, one for the person(s) and another for the development of the invention. These books will be most useful for students looking to quickly find information for school assignments. Other volumes focus on such pioneers as Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Charles Darwin, Florence Nightingale, and the Curies, along with many other notables.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-These books are full of information on the scientific advancement being explored. As biography, however, they offer only limited personal information. Each title includes full-page "FYInfo" boxes on related topics. For example, Lumiere includes headings such as "The First Movie Mystery," "Thomas Edison," and "The Dreyfus Affair." Some are more relevant than others, but all offer added insight into either the time or the topic under discussion. Plentiful photographs and reproductions enhance the texts, which are straightforward, if somewhat dry. The font used in all of the titles may be challenging for some readers. Additional purchases.-Deanna Romriell, Salt Lake City Library, UT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.