Children's Literature - Linda SweitzerZzzzap! Electricity can be very dangerous, but people have relied on it for more than 200 years. A form of electricity, called static electricity, was first discovered in 600 BCE.). Have you ever wondered how different life would be without electricity? You couldn’t watch television, call friends, or grab a slice of cold pizza from the refrigerator. It could take days to visit family who lived far away, clothes were washed by hand, and kids couldn’t play video games for entertainment! Life would harder, colder or hotter depending on the season, slower, and even more dangerous. With his well-presented arrangement, Graham takes us from the first inklings of electricity and explains exactly what it is, where it comes from (including from trash!), and how inventors throughout the ages have put electricity to work. From its first uses in lighting and heating to motors and as a fuel, this book covers a wide range of topics and issues; a perfect source for a science report. Graham includes a short but important timeline just inside the front cover. Throughout the book are “How It Works” textboxes and simple “You Can Do It” experiments, as well as useful advice found in the “Top Tip” portions. In the back of the book are a good-sized index, short biographies on a couple discoverers, and more. With Walker’s comic-style illustrations, this is a fun way to get children to read about science and history. This is a wonderful addition to the “You Wouldn’t Want to Live Without” series, and should be included in every library. Reviewer: Linda Sweitzer; Ages 6 to 12.
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.
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