- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
VOYABeginning with the period 2,400,000 to 8000 BC, when the "Big Idea" was the cooperative hunt and stone tools, and when animal-fat lamps, cave painting, and fish traps were cutting-edge technology, this book explores humankind's groundbreaking inventions, discoveries, and ideas through the ages. Each era gets a two-page spread with lavish, colorful, and comic illustrations. Clear textual material in thumbnail format describes each era, its Big Idea, its major political/sociological events, its key inventions, and its important inventors and thinkers. For example, in the Renaissance (1415-1565), the Big Idea is the printing press; major events include the fall of Constantinople and the zenith of the Inca Empire; inventions incorporate the globe and the graphite pencil; and, Gutenberg is the highlighted inventor. In the current age, from the year 2000 onward, tissue engineering is the Big Idea; events include the collapse of Antarctica's Larsen B ice shelf; fingerprint and optical scanners are listed among the inventions; and, an American, Ann Tsukamoto, co-patentee of a process to isolate the human stem cell, is the highlighted inventor. Stewart's juxtaposition of scientific breakthroughs with political and cultural events makes this volume more than a mere chronology. Interested readers will enjoy ferreting out connections between necessity and invention and learning about men and woman of science whose pioneering accomplishments are generally unheralded outside scientific circles. The flamboyant format will attract elementary school readers and could turn off older readers. Nevertheless the content is substantive and the book is a fun read that with pushing will appeal to middle schoolreaders, especially boys. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P M (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2005, Barron's, 64p.; Glossary. Index. Illus., Trade pb. Ages 11 to 14.
—Mary E. Heslin