These collections of thrilling, real-life stories are billed as "leveled, high interest" books, and the minimal texts and abundance of photographs should make them accessible to reluctant readers. With only one or two paragraphs devoted to each entry, these are recreational reads rather than sources for reports. Unfortunately, selected words are in bold and defined on the bottom of the page, and this pedantic addition turns a light read into a tedious vocabulary lesson. The layouts are fussy and gimmicky, with irritatingly tilted texts and a typeface that frequently changes size. The recommendations in the "Want to Know More?" sections suggest more satisfying titles, such as Mary Packard's Ripley's Believe It or Not!: Amazing Escapes (Scholastic, 2002).
Lisa GoldsteinCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.