School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 5-8 These books cover a wide range of information through a wealth of illustrations and a minimum of text. At best, they would serve as basic introductions to the topics or as good sources of pictorial material, as all photos, drawings, and diagrams are in full color and carefully detailed. The text demands some background knowledge from readers, but the writing is clear and appropriate, employing small details and items of interest to convey the larger idea. The brevity of the text allows for only a few sentences on each topic, and sometimes results in a single treatment of subjects that are only slightly related, such as dentistry and surgery. The volumes themselves follow a chronology of sorts. The Human Body presents the body's systems and functions, plus some basic advice on health. The Human Race details the evolution of man and civilization, with information on religion, the Third World, the Industrial Age, and the High-Tech Age. Life on Earth looks at the balance of nature, with explanations of ecosystems and the need for conservation. Origins of Life outlines the process of evolution and touches on extinction, genetics, and heredity. Each title closes with a chart that sums up the contents, plus a glossary and full index. These would probably best be used by a teacher, as some of the ideas illustrated are quite complicated (i.e., DNA) and would require some support discussion, or by students looking for illustrations to accompany reports. Denise L. Moll, Lone Pine Elementary School, West Bloomfield, Mich.
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