Children's Literature - Amy S. HansenPart of the "Science in the News" series for middle school students, this book looks at the science and the headlines that are driving the debate on how the world should address organ transplants. The series says it looks at the facts behind the headlines, and for the most part, it succeeds stunningly. Campbell offers a brief history of organ transplants and then moves into modern day dilemmas: How can the medical community serve all the people who need transplants? Which is better, organ donation cards or presumed consent? Should poor people be allowed to sell their organs? "Some people argue that the organ trade is all about cooperation: one person gets a new organ while another makes some much-needed cash. But activists against the trade say it exploits the poor and seriously threatens their health." Each topic is given two pages of discussion. Color photos and graphs are used to illustrate. Boxed questions also bring up new issues for readers to discuss. This book will work well with current events classes. Back matter includes a glossary, list of web sites, and an index. Reviewer: Amy S. Hansen
School Library JournalGr 6-9–A well-designed series that discusses current issues. For example, a chapter in Surgery discusses “The Beauty Myth,” one in Transplants covers stem-cell research, and the “Against the Flow” section of Climate Change addresses related skepticism. Treatments of controversial subjects such as evolution versus creationism (Genetics) and gay parenting (New Life) are handled in an evenhanded manner. The narratives move smoothly, occasionally pausing for the definition of a term. The books boast plenty of attractive photos, and a clean layout allows the information to be easily consumed. Many examples and individuals discussed–such as material on protests and dirty bombs in Nuclear Power–are drawn from Britain. This series provides the information that younger teens need on current scientific issues.
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