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Now Available! The SB&F Searchable Database of Reviews

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The SB&F Reviews page is updated regularly with new reviews. See our featured reviews below. Check back often for the latest science book reviews from SB&F.

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Featured Children's Book Review

Wenzel, Brendan. Hello Hello.(Illus.) San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books, 2018. 48pp. $17.99. 2017047775. ISBN 9781452150147. C.I.P.

K, EP

Rating: **

This children’s book has illustrations of many animals from around the world. The text uses simple and repetitive language that is ideal for young readers. After a kindergartener read the book while sounding out many of the words and was asked what she thought of the book, she replied, “I liked it. It was a little bit hard.” Groups of animals are presented as in various ways such as contrasts (“Hello Stripes Hello Spots” or “Hello Giant Hello Not”) or by features (“Hello Tongue, Ears, Hands, and Nose”). Near the end of the book, A Note from the Author discusses how many of these animals are threatened and encourages readers to write a letter. The last pages of the book include a key to the animals in order of appearance and notes whether they are near threatened, vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered.--Tiffany Yanez Zapata, Ecotoxicology and Risk Assessment Laboratory, Florida International University

 

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Featured Young Adult Book Review

 

Agrawal, Roma. Built: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Structures. New York, NY: Bloomsbury, 2018. 300pp. $28.00. 2018000409. ISBN 9781635570229. Index; C.I.P..

YA, C, T, GA

Rating: **

Built is an informative, entertaining, well organized, and easily understandable journey through the history of a variety of engineering projects from around the world. Chapters deal with skyscrapers, bridges, sewer systems, steel, brick, concrete, and eight other topics. It’s all of this as well as an engaging and inspirational personal encounter with an articulate woman structural engineer. Through stories about her professional and personal life, we feel like we are inside today’s engineering processes as well as part of her own discovery process, finding wonder in materials like concrete and steel, and admiration for the creative problem solving of past heroes of engineering. The author clearly explains design problems and challenges with easy to understand explanations and very simple illustrations. She demonstrates key engineering principles and structural solutions by offering simple experiments using familiar materials that the reader can mentally or even physically construct on their own. This book could be a cover to cover read or specific chapters could be selected to support study of a particular historical era, design problem, type of structure, or engineering hero from the past. Because the author makes her enthusiasm for engineering so accessible while at the same time making the world of materials, structures, and design principles so understandable, this book could be influential in the career choices of future engineers. For the rest of us, it’s a great travel guide to the world of structural engineering.--Laura Williamson Doyle, Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Otis, OR

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Featured Adult Book Review

Olson, Deanna H., and Beatrice Van Horne (Editors). People, Forests, and Change: Lessons from the Pacific Northwest. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2017. 350pp. $45.00. 2016962434. ISBN 9781610917674. Index; C.I.P.

C, T, GA

Rating: *

In People, Forests, and Change: Lessons from the Pacific Northwest, editors Deanna H. Olson and Beatrice Van Horne worked together with various scientists to highlight the importance of forests. They make it a point to emphasize how to best balance the needs of forests as ecosystems as well as the needs of the communities tied to these forests. Despite the fact that the coniferous forests of the US Pacific Northwest seem to be the main focus, many of the principles can be applied to challenges in forest management and conservation in various different regions and even countries. Broken into four sections, the book manages to highlight the importance of forests by providing timber used for construction, drinking water, the oxygen in our air, as well as emphasizing the socioeconomic ecological context. It also makes it a point to consider new possibilities in science for forest management and ecology as well as considering what these forests and the human communities associated with them would look like under different circumstances if nothing is done to better the conservation and management of them. Instead of bombarding with numbers and facts, the book does a good job of combining ideas from various scientific fields, such as science policy, conservatism, natural resource management, and academia to educate its audience and the communities that depend on these ecosystems.--Tiffany Yanez Zapata, Ecotoxicology and Risk Assessment Laboratory, Florida International University