Rating: 1-5: 4
What did you like about the book? In chapters of six pages or less, the authors pose nearly eighty thought-provoking questions, such as, “What if you could teleport?” and “What if dinosaurs hadn’t gone extinct?” Though a notice on the back of the book says, “Warning! This book contains no answers,” the authors actually do use logic and quote experts to indicate how things would be different if the situation in the question existed. Text boxes provide short answers to the same questions by school children as well. There are four major sections: history, people, stuff, and nature. The colors aquamarine and gold are used throughout for the text, text boxes, and illustrations which appear to be computer-generated graphics. There are extensive footnotes and resources for readers curious to continue their exploration. The aim is to inspire “active curiosity” – viewing the world around us with fresh eyes and thinking about what could be rather than just accepting what is. An admirable effort.
Anything you didn’t like about it? Though the cover uses colorful photos to draw in readers, the graphics inside are sparse and simple. More, better graphics would have been nice.
To whom would you recommend this book? Upper elementary and middle school science teachers could use the questions to inspire students to think about the world around them and ELA teachers could use the questions as writing prompts. Recommend also to upper elementary and middle school students who like to question the assumptions of those around them.
Who should buy this book? Appropriate for purchase in elementary libraries, middle school libraries, and public libraries.
Where would you shelve it? Shelve in 031.
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Not necessary.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Mary Melaugh, Marshall Middle School Library, Billerica, MA
Date of review: 7/25/16