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Children's LiteratureThis entry in "The Human Body" six-volume series opens with a reader-friendly anecdote about a realistic system occurrence, a girl singing. The next four chapters are devoted to defining the respiratory system, and telling what happens inside the system or parts of the system. Chapters in this volume are devoted to the voice box, breathing, and the role of blood in respiration. The last chapter summarizes and adds further difficulties or health considerations, a feature echoed in the back matter in a section of additional information, "Did You Know?" Also included are a modest glossary, four or five questions and answers, and other sources for information such as books (both trade and reference work), websites verified by the publisher, and several addresses of national organizations. The illustrations are a mix of diagrams, photographs with multi-racial and cultural balance, and medical photographs (X-rays, MRIs, organs, skeletons, etc.) The information is concise. The vocabulary is defined in context, and then used within the text several times. And captions provide further information. It is a perfect series to accompany the human biology studies in middle school, and a good bet for elementary age readers who are curious enough to ponder and absorb the necessary terms used to discuss body systems. Each volume includes an aside anecdote which teachers might read aloud to interest readers in the information. In this volume, the aside is about what happens when you hiccup and the roles of the nose. This is fascinating science on a topic that fascinates us all—how do our bodies work? 2004, The Child's World, Ages 9 to 14.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.