Reviewed by CBC Reviewer
Mendeleev's periodic table jumps from the pages of this exciting reference for middle or secondary classrooms. Hydrogen explodes in the Hindenburg, steel towers rise over Dubai, Charles II's gold–encrusted, iron armor fills a double–page spread, as does a stunning photo of Marie Curie in her laboratory. The secrets of toxic elements in history provide enticing details: there was arsenic in Lucrezia Borgia's ring, lead in Beethoven's tonic, and mercury in Lincoln's little blue pills. Readers will even find fascinating uses for elements they might have thought of as rare or obscure—Galium in the Mars rovers, Cesium in an atomic clock, Rubidium in their cell phone or GPS.
More than a walk through the periodic table, this book explains the tremendous forces that create elements. Beautiful photographs and modern graphics make apparently ordinary substances, their extraction, and their reactions look extraordinarily interesting. Scholastic's big and colorful reference to the elements was named an NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for its exciting treatment of content that is almost always part of the middle and secondary curriculum. The book's modern (and complex) graphical organization is explained clearly in a preface "How to Discover More" that also explains the page structure and how to use the glossary and index. A digital companion book "Element Collector" is also provided. It's hard to imagine a class studying physical science or chemistry that wouldn't benefit from this reference. It's a book to browse, to use for research or inspiration, or to read cover to cover.
Review posted on 1/17/2013