Children's LiteratureWho owns information? How can a copyright be enforced on music that is out on the Web? And how can information be stored so that future computers will still be able to decipher it? As part of the "Science Issues" series, Stoyles and her colleagues address some difficult questions. The series attempts the Herculean task of looking not only at the basic science and technology that drives our society, but at the moral, safety, and logistic issues surrounding them. In that regard, this series is unique and should be applauded. Not all science and engineering that is possible should be pursued. This particular book does quite well with its task, partly because the concept of computers and the Internet should be familiar to most of their readers, so there isn't a great deal of time spent on background. Instead, the book offers debates, pro and con, on such issues as electronic data storage and safe use of the Internet. These debates are purposely not resolved, leaving the reader room to make up his or her own mind. It is a good practice, though I would have liked a line inviting the reader to do more research, as well. The illustrations of photos and graphics are adequate, although weak in their lack of diversity when pictures include people. The backmatter includes a summary of the issues and arguments, a glossary, and an index. 2004, Smart Apple Media, Ages 8 to 12.
Amy S. Hansen