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Children's LiteratureDid you know that in ancient Rome soldiers were paid in salt? Or that liquid water is not a mineral but frozen water is? These and other interesting facts are in this book, part of the "Science Matters" series. Do not let the book's size fool you. A wealth of information is packed into its mere twenty-four pages. Readers will learn the basics, like how to identify minerals, what they are used for, their value and why they are important to our lives. They will also learn how to grow crystals and pan for gold. The information is presented in clear, well-written, yet spare language, and is accompanied by colorful photographs and drawings. All the elements of a good nonfiction book are here: table of contents, index, glossary ("Words to Know") and where to find further information (Surfing Our Earth), but this series goes a step further to include a "Science in Action" section—in this case panning for gold and other minerals—which gives students some hands-on opportunities to apply and expand what they have learned. It also includes a "What Have You Learned?" section which helps reinforce the information by asking readers ten simple questions on the material presented in the book. This book is a must have for elementary science students and their teachers, and would be a great addition to a home-schooling parent's library. 2005, Weigl Publishers, Ages 8 to 12.