Biology Matters

ISBN 13: 9780717259809

Biology Matters

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9780717259809: Biology Matters

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This set presents the fundamentals of the life sciences in a clear format and is best suited for students in upper-elementary or middle school. The volumes each cover a broad topic, including Cell Biology (volume 2), Plants (volume 5), and Evolution (volume 9). Volumes contain between six and eight articles in 80 pages, and each could serve as a stand-alone title, introducing its subject, presenting a brief history, and covering many aspects of its current study and applications.

The set makes use of many different types of boxed areas to highlight supplemental information. For example, "Try This" boxes present simple science experiments (although the experiments are simple, some will require adult supervision). "Hot Debate" boxes discuss selected scientific topics about which there is some dispute concerning theory or practice. "Applications" boxes show how biological knowledge enhances daily life, and "Red Herring" boxes summarize failed theories. In addition to the boxed material, each article features clearly annotated illustrations. The text is large and easy to read, and the writing is straightforward and should be accessible to young adult readers. There is cross-referencing within and among the volumes.

Each volume concludes with a "More Information" section listing books and Web sites, a glossary of terms unique to that volume, and a set index. One nice touch is the Web site annotations, which indicate how the sites might best be used. There are some errors; for example, in the table of contents for every volume, "More Information" and "Glossary" are listed in the wrong order, with the wrong page numbers.

This title provides a simpler overview than Macmillan's Biology (2001) and would be a useful addition for public and school libraries, especially as there is little on this topic for students in grades 5-10. Maren Ostergard
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8–This set includes Introduction to Biology, Cell Biology, Genetics, Microorganisms, Plants, Animals, The Human Body, Reproduction, Evolution, and Ecology. Each slim volume introduces its subject, examines the history of people's understanding of the topic, and explores aspects of modern thinking. For example, Ecology includes mini-chapters on cycles of nature, climate, ecosystems, human impact, and conservation. All of the volumes include plentiful color photos, charts, tables, diagrams, and maps. While some of the photos are simply filler, the other illustrative material will be useful for reports. Sidebars and boxes are numerous, often two to a spread, and add a considerable amount of information. They offer glimpses of life long ago and the scientists that study the past; controversies and mysteries; simple experiments; specific questions to reflect on; and more. In each volume, the table of contents lists the wrong page numbers for the glossary and "More Information" sections. Each volume includes a set index. Despite flaws and an occasionally preachy tone, the set provides an adequate introduction to the field and includes some simple ideas for related projects and papers.–Shauna Yusko, St. Monica School, Mercer Island, WA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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