Underworld: Exploring the Secret World Beneath Your Feet

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Overview

With the intriguing idea of exploring what lies below the surface of the Earth as its broad theme, this fascinating book cleverly dices up the subject into small, more manageable pieces ready to be devoured by young readers, particularly boys. The basics are covered in detail, such as the physical properties of the Earth's crust (including its unusual features such as volcanoes and caves), as well as animals with underground habitats. There is a treasure trove of information on the uses humans have made of the ...
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Overview

With the intriguing idea of exploring what lies below the surface of the Earth as its broad theme, this fascinating book cleverly dices up the subject into small, more manageable pieces ready to be devoured by young readers, particularly boys. The basics are covered in detail, such as the physical properties of the Earth's crust (including its unusual features such as volcanoes and caves), as well as animals with underground habitats. There is a treasure trove of information on the uses humans have made of the underground -- from bunkers used during wartime, to burial sites, to the Paris M?tro -- as well as possibilities for the future, even on Mars! What makes this book truly unique, however, are the less expected subjects it covers -- fully examining, for example, the subterranean city of Cappadocia, where early Christians hid from Roman soldiers; King Tut's tomb and its alleged curse; and the underground dungeons used for torture in medieval castles. This is an extraordinary resource for earth science or social sciences lessons covering any number of diverse subjects, from paleontology to archaeology, from mythology to ancient civilizations and from engineering to agriculture. The format is conducive to browsing, with every topic covered on a two-page spread. The text by Jane Price is easy to read and accessible, and engaging illustrations by James Gulliver Hancock, along with many photographs, help to visualize the sometimes-complicated concepts. Boxes, fun facts and funny captions keep things lively and entertaining. A generous index helps with navigation.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/03/2014
This informative yet humorous guide examines the geology and biodiversity that lies beneath the Earth’s surface, while sprinkling in literary, historical, and archaeological information. Photographs, captions, sidebars, and cartoons discuss caves, fossils, mummies, underground transportation systems, clandestine uses of the underground (for example, Adolf Hitler’s concrete bunker), among other topics, including ancient beliefs that “caves, volcano craters and other holes led straight down to hell.” Readers who dream of spelunking or who simply want to dive into a well (of information) will find much to ponder—bats and naked mole rats get spreads of their own, as does the curse of King Tut and the 2010 Chilean mine collapse—in this lively and accessible exploration. Ages 8–12. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
03/01/2014
Gr 3–6—Lavish, colorful illustrations and photographs fill each page of this instructive volume. Divided into nine chapters, the book contains topics such as underground animals, tombs, catacombs, caves filled with crystals, subterranean cities, and futuristic underground farms and laboratories. Each chapter contains an introductory overview of the topic followed by several pages of related facts from the fields of geology, zoology, and history. Examples include artwork in the Lascaux caves, animals that live in the dark, tombs of the pharaohs, terra-cotta warriors in China, trench warfare of World War I, Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam, and underground Tokyo. This vast array of subjects will appeal to a wide variety of grade and reading levels. The informative text and illustrations are sure to hold the attention of readers and spark interest in further research of the topics.—Patricia Ann Owens, formerly with Illinois Eastern Community Colls., Mt. Carmel
Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-15
A scattershot but revealing dig beneath our planet's surface, illustrated with a mix of photos and schematic cutaways. The book opens with a cross-section of the Earth's crust showing multiple geological processes, from fossil-strewn continental plates sliding together to columns of rising magma (rendered, oddly, in magenta). The tour goes on past subterranean sights from prehistoric and Pompeian remnants to natural caves and cave life, tombs, urban infrastructure and underground cities, and other structures. Price adds introductory paragraphs and explanatory captions to each busy spread. The captions are numbered on some spreads, which compensates, at least in part, for the way the photos are often slapped down over or next to the drawings without much regard for visual unity or logical progression. Topical coverage and level of detail are likewise unsystematic—the naked mole rat gets one full spread while all other burrowing animals are crowded onto another, for instance. Of major city undergrounds, only those of Paris and Tokyo get a look, and a closing spread on the future of building beneath the surface suddenly moves…to Mars. Sheds plenty of light into dark places, but best for flip-through browsing, as the tunneling goes in arbitrary directions. (index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781894786898
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 4/1/2014
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 363,740
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1050L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 2, 2014

    I read this book cover to cover and enjoyed it immensely and eve

    I read this book cover to cover and enjoyed it immensely and even learned quite a few new things! I loved pouring over the 2 page
    illustrated spreads at the beginning of each chapter to see all the intricate and fun details as well as see what topics the chapter
    would cover. Each chapter has the perfect mix of illustrations and photos and text. The graphic design layout is fun and bright and
    draws you in — resulting in making you eager to read everything on the page and making learning fun! All the content was
    fascinating but I especially enjoyed chapter 2 (Holes in the Ground: Crystals and Cave Cities) and chapter 5 (Hide-and-Seek: Dig Deep
    and Keep Quiet). The chapters vary in length from 8 – 14 pages — the last three chapters were only 8 pages each and I do wish
    they were a bit longer.

    Overall, a wonderful book for curious kids of all ages. I’m an adult and loved it and I can definitely see the how kids
    8 – 12 years old (the publisher’s target audience) would love it too.

    My only quibble is that the book’s blurb on the publisher’s site (and online book retailers) mentions this is a book that is
    “…ready to be devoured by young readers, particularly boys.” All boys and girls, regardless of age, are curious about the world
    around them.

    isniffbooks[dot]wordpress[dot]com
    Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review.
    The opinions are my own.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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