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School Library Journal11/01/2014
Gr 5–8—Modern-day conveniences, such as cell phones and toilets, and the ingenious ways that people in the past made do without them are explored in this engaging series. Filled with bite-size facts and humorous, cartoon illustrations, the books take readers on a journey through history, showing them how science and technology have made life easier, safer, and more comfortable. Time lines chart the inventions' major developments and discoveries, providing a solid background for each subject, while brief yet interesting historical examples will appeal to even the most reluctant reader. The "ick" factor and potty humor in Toilets and Antibiotics are sure to entertain many, and interactive elements, such as the hands-on activities in "You Can Do It!," encourage experimentation and critical thinking. The books are packed with so much information that the lack of a pronunciation guide in the glossary can certainly be overlooked.