Our Fragile Planet: Hydrosphere

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Ashcliffe and Thad Ashcliffe
This book is from the eight-volume set titled "Our Fragile Planet." In this review, we are speaking specifically about the volume from the set titled Hydrosphere. If the other volumes in this series are at least equal to this volume, this is a stellar series more than worthy of purchase in its entirety. Of the volumes from this set we have seen, all were uniformly well done, from the text to the charts, graphs, and sidebars to the drawings and photographs. Information was very current and well written. We especially liked the use of bolding new words/concepts for easy identification for the student reader. All bolded terms appear in a glossary, even though the content words are nicely defined in the text. The general organization of each volume, too, was student-friendly. The author started with the big picture/overview of the topic and the problems that we as a species have caused and, therefore, must address, even discussing seldom mentioned topics, such as the introduction of invasive species into an environment or the acidification of the oceans. In Hydrosphere, certain environmental principles are introduced to the reader and then expanded upon using terms from the introductory material. For example, the Prudence Principle and Burden of Proof are presented in this manner. As with the other books in this series, the initial chapter provides the reader with the basic science necessary to understand and absorb the material that is covered in the book. The author simplistically, but accurately, describes important scientific concepts such as the diagram of a water molecule on page 7. We love the sidebar on page 21 that illustrates the acidity and pH in two ways, usingsimple, concise, descriptive, and very accurate terms. With the charts, graphs, and illustrations, the author strips away non-relevant detail to make the point. Only one picture, on page 66, does not have an adequate legend. The book references historic and contextual aspects of the problems and our responses, including the Superfund and the Clean Water Act. One third of the book is devoted to pollutants, such as various forms of chemical run-off. While not light reading, this book should be required reading for all students and their families along with everyone else. It is a primer of environmental information that offers relevant knowledge that we all need to know to be informed citizens. The list of references and websites is top notch, and the index is thorough. The publisher sites these volumes as being appropriate for the sixth to twelfth grader; however, the nine to eleven year old contingent would find much to absorb in this set. The information is not simplified so a younger audience would find itself using these books on a topic basis rather than in their entirety. Although a textbook, this is the kind of set of nature books that many students, even those who are not normally interested in the subject, would find fascinating to browse for attention-grabbing topics, which is a wonderful way to peak interest in a subject. This book and the entire set is highly recommended. Reviewer: Mary Ashcliffe and Thad Ashcliffe
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816062157
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/19/2007
  • Series: Our Fragile Planet Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,146,882
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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