Gr 7 Up Part of a series that aims ``to convey the special appeal of the island,'' this British import fails dismally to create any excitement about a potentially fascinating place. The obligatory topics in this kind of survey such as early visitors and later inhabitants; the flora and fauna of the archipelago; the formation of the islands and the explorations of Charles Darwin, the area's most famous visitor, are discussed in a style only one step removed from a textbook. Repeated exhortations to look things up in ``your atlas'' and to answer questions by interpreting amateurish maps, charts, and diagrams reinforce this impression and create impatience because of their continual interruption of the text. Horwell is overly reliant on the use of the generic ``man'' and seems to have difficulty settling on a tone, which varies between the authoritarian style of a text, the exclamation point-laden style of a brochure writer, and the informal voice of a recent visitor. The quality of the black-and-white photographs is exceptionally poor. Instead of inspiring awe and respect for a unique ecosystem, Galapagos deadens curiosity. Ellen Fader, Westport Public Library, Conn.