1411 The Rookie 1611 Supersonic Speedster 1811 Stunt Driving 2011 Follo
Children's Literature - Barbara L. TalcroftHere is another series, “On the Edge,” about the ugliest creatures, most extreme sports, most dangerous jobs, or anything publishers believe will attract reluctant readers, especially boys. Brief text, garish covers, lots of pictures and far-out details are designed to draw them in. In this volume, the author highlights historic and present explorers who travel for the thrill of adventure. From the past, readers meet the Venetian Polos who traveled to China overland in the thirteenth century (taking seventeen years for the trip) and nineteenth-century missionary David Livingstone, who braved hippos, fierce mosquitos, and an attacking lion to cross Africa. Closer to our time, scary journeys also attract women, like Sarah Outen (age 24), who rowed a small boat solo across the Indian Ocean, nearly drowning when her boat capsized near Mauritius. Tales of extreme environments include mighty Mount Everest (six dangers listed) and the frigid Antarctic, challenged by modern explorers in wind sleds, as well as the 1911 race to the South Pole during which Scott’s English expedition failed, resulting in his death, while Norwegian Amundsen made it to the Pole. The most puzzling trip was Dave Cornthwaite’sin 2007, this 26-year-old decided to cross miles of Australia on nothing but a skateboard. (There were roads, but no trees along his route.) Most interesting is an interview with archaeologist Ranulph Fiennes, very diffident about his accomplishments, but who managed to unearth an ancient buried city in the Omani Desert; it would have been interesting to hear more from him. All the spreads offer very brief accounts, stressing the dangers, along with color photos where possible. It’s to be hoped some intrigued readers might want to discover more. A bibliography, a glossary, and a “Daring” quiz are included. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft; Ages 9 to 12.
Children's Literature - Hazel BuysAs the science of robotics has developed, it has formed a symbiotic relationship with other sciences and with medical research. The result is many practical applications that ease the work of doctors and nurses, provide training opportunities and perform routine tasks such as gathering medical supplies. Robots can excel at some things like hearing sounds below 10 db (decibels) which people can't hear, sounding an early alert when traffic is approaching or aircraft is flying high overhead. Crash test robots help us understand what happens to the human body at impact from accidents or explosions. Companion robots have been developed to help people disabled by medical problems or who are home-bound and at risk of depression and other issues arising from isolation. The future of robotics in medicine may include remote surgery and treatment for injured soldiers who need a consult with specialists far from the war zone. Parker condenses complex information into two-page spreads, each spread presenting a scientific or medical application, and the robots developed to work in it, with clarity and imagination. Detailed captions accompany color photographs and expand on the information in the text. Sidebars in contrast colors present interesting information on specific aspects of the robots or the medical/scientific community. This book, part of "Robot World" series, concludes with a glossary, a list of further reading, a list of websites and an index and is recommended as a resource in upper elementary or middle school classes on robotics and the role of technology in society. Reviewer: Hazel Buys
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