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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Geology Rocks!

The Wonders Inside the Earth by Jan Stradling

A short while back I absolutely ripped apart an introductory geology book because, well, I didn't like it. That is not the case this time around.

The Wonders Inside the Earth explores everything from the external forces of weather and planetary rotation to the geology and hydrology that has shaped the world. Each page spread covers a single concept, breaking it down through images and specific examples and diagrams, almost like a large, expanded glossary. See-through page layers give this book an interactive feel and help to expand the understanding of some terms. The illustrations are large and colorful, utilizing images as well as diagrams of processes to engage the reader. Images of animal life and human interaction—penguins, antelope, clams plus surfers on the waves, sunken ships on the sea floor—give some depictions a fun touch, allowing kids to relate to what they’re seeing. A series of chapters on human relationships with the earth, such as oil and coal usage, is straight forward and non-judgmental—issues such as pollution and global warming are clearly not the intended focus of this book.

Now to the important part: The Wonders Inside is interesting enough to capture the attention span of most students, which is no easy feat. By breaking down concepts so thoroughly, breaks in reading should not create confusion or a loss of comprehension, and terms that students may be fuzzy on are easy to relocate. The facts are accurate and clearly stated in plain language while still utilizing the new terms introduced, and the flow of information is rational. A complete glossary and index are located in the back.

The only flaw, in my humble and non-judgmental opinion (ha!), is a lack of a timeline for earth’s history, though it's a minor complaint as the age of the earth is mentioned in several sections.

I definitely recommend this book for classrooms and libraries, especially for units studying the earth’s systems and geology. Beyond that, though, it would be a great book to keep around the house if interests sway that direction, maybe on the shelf next to The Way Things Work. Definitely a solid addition to the non-fiction library!


Age 8-12
Copyright April 2010
ISBN: 9781571459503
Images from www.silverdolphinbooks.com

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