Growing Up With Science

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9780761475057: Growing Up With Science

A seventeen-volume, alphabetically-arranged encyclopedia contains approximately five hundred articles introducing key aspects of science and technology.

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From Booklist:

*Starred Review* Gr. 6-9. As we read all the bad press about the state of science knowledge among American students, it is heartening to see such a colorful and useful encyclopedia available for middle-school readers. This is the age at which so many young people discover the exciting mysteries of science and yet become overwhelmed with its complications. This set, the third edition of a title last published back in 1990, explains many of the most complicated aspects of science and technology, such as how laser disks and computers work, in clear and precise language with the help of beautiful color photographs and drawings. The illustrations are large enough to see details, and the captions add information to the text, rather than repeat it.

Students will not be intimidated when they first see the set, because each volume is slim. More than 500 articles are arranged in alphabetical order, and there are about 30 articles in each of volumes 1-16. Each article is several pages long, with colorful illustrations and photographs, box features, and cross-references. What is covered is important, current, and well presented. Wherever possible, there is historical information on the topic. For example, the entry Cells starts with the work of Robert Hooke in the seventeenth century and takes the reader on a journey to the discoveries by 1991 Nobel Prize winners Erwin Neher and Bert Sakmann. Although numerous scientists are mentioned within entries, there are just 34 biographies, and only one woman (Marie Curie, of course) is included.

The first volume begins with an explanation of how to use the set, specifically, what the color coding means. Content falls under six broad categories: "Earth, Space, and Environmental Sciences"; "Life Sciences and Medicine"; "Mathematics"; "Physics and Chemistry"; "Technology"; and "People." Each area has its own color, which is used to highlight article titles and introductions. Also in volume 1 is the list of major contributors with brief descriptions of their qualifications. This is followed by a complete list of article titles by volume with the appropriate page numbers. Next is a list of contents arranged by the six area of interest and including volume and page numbers.

Volume 17 has a periodic table of elements (in black and white--disappointing after all the other color illustrations). Several charts of weights and measures with a concise explanation of the metric system (or Systeme International d'Unites) follow. The bibliography is organized in sections by type of material (book, magazine, Web sites, museums), then subdivided into groupings that coordinate with the color-coded areas of interest, further subdivided by narrower branches of science. This is followed by a time line beginning with Gutenberg's invention of movable type, in 1452, and ending with 2003, when two NASA spacecraft landed on Mars. A geologic timescale, a glossary, several thematic indexes, and a general index complete the set.

Content and reading level are appropriate for the designated middle-school audience. Although teen readers might be put off by the juvenile-sounding title, high schools that have vocational programs will find the set especially helpful because of the many diagrams of technical equipment like jackhammers, motors, computers, aircraft, and other items. The standard New Book of Popular Science (Grolier, 2006) offers more detail and also has the advantage of coming out every two years, but it doesn't match the visual appeal of Growing Up with Science, which is highly recommended for school and public libraries. Robin Hoelle
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8–This update of Growing Up with Science: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Invention (Marshall Cavendish, 1990; o.p.) gathers basic information under six broad areas into approximately 500 articles. Ranging in length from one spread to five, the articles are presented in a single alphabet; each one opens with a brief thematic overview, closes (where appropriate) with several see-also references, and in between treats its topic in quick but specific detail–enhanced by boxed Did You Know? asides and unusually sharp, well-chosen color photographs. Topics vary widely in scope from, for example, Biology to Bread Making and Astronomy to Electrophoresis. The final volume includes multimedia resource lists and a comprehensive index. Aside from some superfluous features–including a nearly invisible system of subject color coding, a perfunctory time line, and several specialized indexes–this is a meaty, relatively easy-to-use resource, with more to offer young researchers than the less substantial Exploring Technology (Marshall Cavendish, 2003). Consider Science as a replacement for the earlier edition, or as a companion for such similar sets as Jenny Tesar and Bryan Bunchs Blackbirch Encyclopedia of Science and Invention (Gale, 2001).–John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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