VOYAAn excellent new series focuses on major theories in science, ideas that have withstood rigorous testing over a number of years. Well written, with a historical progression of discoveries, these two books convey some of the excitement and controversy that come with important advances in the understanding of the world and the universe. Generating the suspense of a well-written mystery, Plate Tectonics will help students of geology understand why the physical world is as it is. The earth's landmasses are not static, as was once thought, but are broken apart and reformed by the slow movement of plates. Where plates collide, earthquakes are frequent, mountains are thrust up, and deep sea rifts are created as one plate slides under another. Plate tectonic theory came after much arduous and sometimes fatal research in many corners of the globe, from ocean depths to polar icecaps. First among many researchers was Albert Wegener, a brilliant German scientist who died in Greenland still collecting material to support his astonishingly accurate hypothesis. Splendidly written, this slim book will thoroughly engage any student (or teacher) who is remotely interested in the topic. Evolution investigates a topic that still generates controversy in the United States. Early explanations for the diversity of life involved creation. Many people, however, were puzzled by anomalies that creation could not explain. Charles Darwin's five-year collecting voyage on the Beagle gave him material for a lifetime of research, from which he developed his ideas on the evolution of species. Working independently, Alfred Wallace came to identical conclusions. An immediate uproar has not quite died down, butevolution is now the foundation of modern biology. Fleisher explains carefully exactly what Darwin's ideas were and how further research has added to it and answered objections. Readers should know that the book implies that the meteor that ended the age of dinosaurs wiped them out completely, but in fact birds certainly evolved from a group of dinosaurs. In all other respects, the book presents a thorough, non-confrontational, useful discussion of a crucial tenet of biology. Additional titles, The Big Bang and Genetics, are also recommended although they contain science that will be beyond younger students. Also in the series are Germ Theory and Relativity. (Great Ideas of Science). VOYA CODES: 5Q 2P M J S (Hard to imagine it being any better written; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2006, Twenty-First Century/Lerner, 80p.; Glossary. Index. Illus. Photos. Maps. Biblio. Source Notes. Further Reading. Chronology., PLB . Ages 11 to 18.