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February 1, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Sci-Tech Books for Youth
From the anniversary of the Wright brothers’ famous flight to the celebration of the man who discovered a way to determine longitude, this year saw an unusually rich assortment of science and technology books for youth, especially for older readers. Below you’ll find the best (reviewed in Booklist from December 1, 2002, through November 15, 2003).
Capuzzo, Michael. Close to Shore: The Terrifying Shark Attacks of 1916. 2003. Crown, $16.95 (0-375-82231-5).
Gr. 7-12. A relentless pace and sheer physicality bring readers up close to the story Capuzzo tells in this trimmed version of his adult book, which, like its predecessor, demonstrates a novelist’s flair for drama and a scientist’s attention to detail. A selection of fascinating photos illustrates a compelling combination of social history and biology.
Collins, Mary. Airborne: A Photobiography of Wilbur and Orville Wright. 2003. illus. National Geographic, $18.95 (0-7922-6957-8).
Gr. 4-8. What sci-tech list would be complete this year without a book about the Wright brothers? This one is particularly noteworthy as it not only looks closely at the brothers themselves but also gives exceptionally clear explanations of the technology behind their celebrated invention.
Greenstein, Elaine. Ice-Cream Cones for Sale! 2003. Scholastic/Arthur A Levine, $15.95 (0-439-32728-8).
K-Gr. 2. Greenstein makes clear what’s fiction and what’s fact in this spirited history that introduces the various contenders for the title of inventor of the ice-cream cone. The sweet eatables in the gouache-and-ink pictures remind one of delicious rainbow sherbet.
Halls, Kelly Milner. Dinosaur Mummies: Beyond Bare-Bones Fossils. Illus. by Rich Spears. 2003. Darby Creek, $17.95 (1-58196-000-X).
Gr. 4-6. Halls’ unabashed enthusiasm for dinosaurs speaks loudly to kids, who will get a good view of six dinosaur mummies, complete with photos, speculative drawings, and information on how paleontologists do their work.
Lasky, Kathryn. The Man Who Made Time Travel. Illus. by Kevin Hawkes. 2003. Farrar/Melanie Kroupa, $17 (0-374-34788-3).
Gr. 3-5. Using a picture-book format dressed in dramatic artwork and humor, Lasky tells of the eighteenth-century clockmaker who unraveled the technical puzzle of longitude.
Lauber, Patricia. Who Came First? New Clues to Prehistoric Americans. 2003. National Geographic, $18.95 (0-7922-8228-0).
Gr. 5-10. For reading alone or using in class, this magazine-style amalgamation of geology, archaeology, anthropology, and genetics calls respected theory into question as it reconstructs the fascinating story of the first peoples’ arrival in America. A science book that will make kids think about the definition of words like fact and proof.
Murphy, Jim. An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793. 2003 Clarion, $17 (0-395-77608-2).
Gr. 6-12. Using firsthand accounts to personalize the science, Murphy takes readers back to eighteenth-century Philadelphia, where a tiny mosquito nearly toppled the seat of a fragile American government. Stark, informative, and relevant to public health issues even today.
Sayre, April Pulley. Secrets of Sound: Studying the Calls and Songs of Whales, Elephants, and Birds. 2002. Houghton, $16 (0-618-01514-0).
Gr. 4-7. A veteran science writer once again proves how fascinating science can be by zeroing in on three enthusiastic individuals who study animal communications. Solid science, simple biography, career insight, and a plea for environmental awareness.
Schwartz, David. Millions to Measure. Illustrated by Steven Kellogg. 2003. HarperCollins, $16.99 (0-688-12916-1).
Gr. 1-4. Beginning in prehistoric times and continuing into the present, Schwartz imparts the basics about linear, weight, and volume measurements, as Kellogg provides visual merry madness to enliven the educational content and help children better absorb the information. Appended are some worthwhile tips on “thinking metric.”
Sloan, Christopher. Bury the Dead: Tombs, Corpses, Mummies, Skeletons and Rituals. 2002. illus. National Geographic, $18.95 (0-7922-7192-0).
Gr. 5-9. Reader-friendly, fact-filled text, a fascinating topic, and amazing photos that have the quality expected from National Geographic work together to provide a superb introduction to some very different burial customs.
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