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Children's LiteratureThis book in the "Major Inventions Throughout History" series acquaints readers with revolutionary inventions in the food arena. If Pilgrims arriving on the Mayflower did not have microwaveable pizza or breaded, precooked fish sticks, what did they eat? Students will certainly appreciate living today when they consider the rotten and miserable food on which many of their ancestors subsisted. They will undoubtedly thank food pioneers such as Nicolas Appert and Louis Pasteur for discovering food preservation techniques that make foods safer and longer lasting. Sections on refrigeration, genetically modified food, and the rise of the supermarket are packed with captivating tidbits of information. For example, when grocer Sylvan Goldman realized people would buy more if they could carry more items in a shopping basket, he invented the shopping cart on wheels. At first no one would use the strange-looking contraptions, so Goldman hired people to shop with them, and soon everyone wanted to use one. Inset boxes with additional information fill the edges of the book's pages, and a time line runs along the bottom of the pages. The book utilizes both drawings and photographs to make information clearer. Back matter includes a glossary, a selected bibliography, an index, and options for further reading and web research. This book would make a fascinating read for any student and could also be put to good use in history or food science lessons. 2006, Twenty-First Century Books, Ages 9 to 12.
—Ramirose Attebury Wendt