Reviewed by Adah Stock
Master Teacher and a Science Education Consultant
This series of nonfiction books for young adults focuses on scientists both past and present, whose work furthered knowledge in a particular area of science. The biographical information highlights their contributions in the context of their cultural and historical background. All six volumes contain 48 pages. The layout of each page is designed to capture the interest of students in upper elementary to middle school grades. Each volume ends with one page sections that include a timeline, short quiz, glossary, index, and a reference section that includes books, websites and places to visit. Each page layout is bright and colorful without being too distracting. Quotes that add interest to the text are strategically placed. Bold print indicates words in the glossary and underlined material represents important information and definitions. There are interesting graphics that are appealing to the eye and include photos, charts and diagrams that supplement the text. More importantly, scientists are equally represented by gender, ethnic backgrounds, and countries of birth.
Medicine has come a long way from the times when treatment was given by barbers and magicians. Through the years, our understanding of medical science has grown and with new knowledge come the new advances described in this book. We learn that Anton Van Leeuwenhoek built and used microscopes to discover the world of microorganisms (1670). Topics in this volume include the discovery of new drugs, such as vaccines, and how they have helped people, surgery advances, such as artificial limbs, and how public health efforts, both historically and of the present, help to provide clean water to everyone on the Earth. We learn about specialty areas of medicine such as sports medicine and kinesiology. We learn how the neonatologist helps babies born before their due dates to survive and live a full life. We learn that groups of doctors, nurses, and health professionals such as "Flying Doctors" are reaching around the globe to bring medicine to the underserved. The last chapter is about the future of medicine. Readers are asked if they would like to pursue a career in medicine and the chapter ends with a subtopic called robotic surgery followed by a question mark. It is like a calling card to the reader to become part of the future. This volume leaves the door open for further exploration. The high interest topics selected will certainly delight young readers.
Review posted on 4/19/2011