Part of the "Science in the News" series for middle school students, this book looks at the science and the headlines that are driving the debate on how the world should address cosmetic surgery. The series says it looks at the facts behind the headlines, and for the most part, it succeeds stunningly. After a short history of how cosmetic surgery has been used in the ancient world, and then in modern history, Campbell discusses, among other things, the benefits of current surgery, the risks, the problems facing people who want surgery, and the reasons driving the desire to have surgery, such as the "extreme makeover" programs on television. Campbell writes, "Some people—including politicians, cosmetic surgeons, and health experts—are concerned that cosmetic surgery makeover shows do not fully explain the risks involved in surgery and can make the process appear easy." The book offers a brief overview of the science involved, so that the students can think and discuss the topic responsibly. Each topic is given two pages of discussion. Color photos and graphs are used to illustrate. Boxed questions also bring up new issues for readers to discuss. This book will work well with current events classes. Back matter includes a glossary, list of web sites, and an index. Reviewer: Amy S. Hansen
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9–A well-designed series that discusses current issues. For example, a chapter in Surgery discusses “The Beauty Myth,” one in Transplants covers stem-cell research, and the “Against the Flow” section of Climate Change addresses related skepticism. Treatments of controversial subjects such as evolution versus creationism (Genetics) and gay parenting (New Life) are handled in an evenhanded manner. The narratives move smoothly, occasionally pausing for the definition of a term. The books boast plenty of attractive photos, and a clean layout allows the information to be easily consumed. Many examples and individuals discussed–such as material on protests and dirty bombs in Nuclear Power–are drawn from Britain. This series provides the information that younger teens need on current scientific issues.