Reviews for Tools Of Navigation : A Kid's Guide To The History & Science Of Finding Your Way

School Library Journal Reviews 2006 April

Gr 5-8 -The first book is acomprehensive, well-organized account that ranges from star charts to satellites and focuses not only on the tools of navigation but on the pioneers in the field as well. From the jungles of Africa, with Livingstone and Stanley, to Hillary's Everest, and to the poles with Scott, Peary, Amundsen, and Shackleton, the book provides an intriguing and informative look at how humans have managed to find their way across the globe. Easy-to-understand activities, linked directly to the information provided in the text, such as how to make a simple astrolabe, are included in many chapters. Unfortunately, many of the projects use the imperial system of measurement, which puts readers who are schooled in the globally used metric system at a disadvantage, and the index is incomplete. Timekeeping is an ambitious effort that succeeds in making sense of an often difficult-to-understand concept. Using straightforward language, this resource traces the history of how humans have attempted to calculate time. Technologies used in modern timekeeping are also included and the coverage of the individuals involved is excellent. The book includes timekeeping history from Asian, African, European, and North and South American cultures. Hands-on activities enhance the understanding of each topic. All of the instructions are easy to follow and require readily available materials. The illustrations and diagrams are used effectively to support the text. Two informative resources.-Robyn Walker, Elgin Court Public School, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada

[Page 153]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

VOYA Reviews 2006 February
These books combine science history, biography, and hands-on activities in a slim, attractive format for middle and junior high students. On each general topic, information ranges from early scientific discoveries to modern implementations, such as highways, atomic clocks, and global positioning satellites. The key to using them effectively will be in locating the desired information within a format that varies from a lively text to boxed activities, side topics, biographies, and definitions. For libraries seeking science activity books, the books provide good examples of brief activities made possible with common household materials including making an astrolabe, creating a clock from a burning candle, and creating different types of maps. Brief biographies on scientists are boxed within the text but have confusing titles, making it difficult to skim for information. Key words are defined at the bottom of each page and highlighted when used in the text, and a glossary at the back makes a handy resource for reading. Some illustrations are too small to be effective, such as the maps in Tools of Navigation, but they give the general idea of visually reinforcing the concept being illustrated. Whether the illustration is reinforcing something in the text or is meant to be viewed on its own with the caption to bring another point to the discussion can at times be confusing These books are supplementary purchases for libraries seeking variety in how science is presented along with simple activities for students.-Hillary Theyer Copyright 2006 Voya Reviews.