Reviewed by CBC Reviewer
This NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book introduces middle or secondary readers to the world of Temple Grandin, who uses her unique perspective on the world to help improve the lives of animals. Grandin, who has been diagnosed as autistic, has worked most of her life to improve the treatment of animals raised for food. She has also been associated with efforts by McDonald's to enforce humane practices on ranches, feed lots, and slaughterhouses.
Grandin's emphasis on her abilities will inspire any reader—and especially those whose learning styles are much different than those of their peers. In a first–person introduction, she describes hours spent designing kites and other devices as a child. "I had to learn to use my abilities to do work that was useful to other people." Ultimately, the differences in the way she perceived sight and sound helped her understand the aspects of the ranch environment that terrified animals, and helped her design structures and methods to minimize them.
This book offers both a view of science in action and a glimpse into the world of those who are on the autism spectrum. It also offers a different view of engineering, "Humane by Design," that will encourage would–be engineers to broaden their view of what they might do to contribute.
Review posted on 1/18/2013