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The Biography of Potatoes

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Part of the “How Did That Get Here?” series which includes titles from bananas and chocolate to wheat and vanilla, this handsome 32-page book is chock full of color photographs that enhance and expand the text, giving it reach way beyond the middle-grade reader who is its target audience. Chapters are short and cover topics including: “A Historic Vegetable,” “A Home Worldwide” (showing a map of major producers), “How Potatoes Grow” (including discussion of rhizomes, tubers, and mechanical pickers), “Ancient Potatoes” (detailing Andean growing practices that promote diversity), “The Potato Spreads” (chronicling its effects on European culture), “The Potato and Ireland,” “The Great Hunger,” “Back to the New World,” and “Diseases and Threats” (including a sidebar on organic potatoes). This also looks at “From Tubers to Fries” with potato lore, Frito Lay, and the multimillion dollar industry of starch production and “The Potato’s Future” with heritage potatoes, bioengineered potatoes, and the International Potato Center in Peru. Includes a brief glossary and an index. The content of the book is appropriate for middle school and high school, and it certainly does not speak down to young adults in agricultural studies, although older readers may skip this title--and perhaps even the whole series--as being “too babyish.” The discussion of genetically modified strains is certainly not anti-GMO. Reviewer: Gwynne Spencer
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780778725282
  • Publisher: Crabtree Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Series: How Did That Get Here? Ser.
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 7 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Table of Contents


A Historic Vegetable     4
A Home Worldwide     6
How Potatoes Grow     8
Ancient Potatoes     12
The Potato Spreads     16
The Potato and Ireland     20
The Great Hunger     22
Back to the New World     24
Diseases and Threats     26
From Tubers to Fries     28
The Potato's Future     30
Glossary and Index     32
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