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Children's LiteratureThe mysteries of the muscular system are made not-so-mysterious in this title from the "Early Bird Body Systems" series. Johnson first explains how different muscles control different movements, such as swallowing, tying shoes, and making the heart beat, all by contracting. After describing how muscles are made of cells and how the muscle fibers interlace, Johnson describes how the brain controls muscles via the nervous system. The muscles are then divided into two groups: "muscles you move," such as hands and face, and "muscles that move themselves," such as the heart, stomach, and blood vessels. There are also tips on keeping muscles healthy, such as eating well and exercising. Various study aids such as a diagram of the muscular system, a "word detective" section, and a glossary help explain difficult terms. There is also a "Note to Adults" section that contains ideas for parents reading the book with their children. The numerous pictures of children doing different activities (all made possible by the muscular system), diagrams of muscular structure, and microscopic pictures all aid understanding of this important body system. 2005, Lerner Publications, Ages 8 to 12.
—Amie Rose Rotruck