This fascinating book is a broad, general introduction to the chemical elements: their discovery, occurrence, and uses. You'll get to know your way around the Periodic Table by becoming familiar with the logic behind the arrangement of its columns and rows.
Gr 8 Up-Using the periodic table of the elements as a tour map, Newton leads readers through the discovery and contemporary uses of each of these fundamental building blocks of chemistry. Families of elements-halogens, alkali metals, etc.-are described and the genius behind the organization of the periodic table is evident. Some basic knowledge of chemistry will be helpful in understanding the text; the book will complement standard chemistry textbooks. An attractive insert of full-color photographs and prints show the periodic table and some selected chemicals, minerals, and chemical reactions. Technically, the book is fine, but aesthetically the mercantile approach often lacks excitement. Occasionally, an interesting fact about the discovery or use comes in, but the tour moves along quickly and doesn't dwell on the unique role of elements in living organisms, elements produced in supernovas, the predicted ``island of stability'' for super heavy elements yet to be created, the environmental problems of chlorine compounds, or the fascinating historical characters who first discovered various elements.-Alan Newman, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC