CLC Reviews Matters of Opinion and Tech Bytes

May 1, 2017

Matters of Opinion (Bullying, Cell Phones, Obesity, School Violence)

Each book in this series introduces a topic and presents three controversial issues related to it. The issues are then covered by looking at two differing opinions on the matter and pointing out the writing technique used in the opinion pieces—cause and effect, emotional appeal, testimonials, bias, etc. At the end of each book, readers are encouraged to write an opinion essay on the topic using a point from the book and are provided with six steps to follow when writing an essay. Each book includes informative graphs, color photographs, highlighted section breaks, and distinct sections for the different opinions. I was not impressed with the writing in Cell Phones—poor sentence structure and vague ideas—but overall, the series could be useful for acquiring factual information, learning about various issues, teaching point of view, and writing opinion pieces. The issues are hot topics and students on a variety of reading levels could benefit from using these materials, though it is definitely not an essential resource. Bibliography. Glossary. Index. Table of Contents. Timeline. 



Tech Bytes (3-D Printing, Artificial Eyes, Self-Driving Car, Wearable Robots) 

This STEM-focused series presents information about hot topics for middle grade readers or low-level upper grade readers. Each book features a visually appealing book design that organizes information in a user-friendly way. Bold, crisp photographs make up a good portion of these short books, each with a caption that is supportive of the text. Chapters are labeled for understanding, and each chapter is printed on a different color paper to aid young readers in recalling information. The font is large but not so big to feel babyish, and the text is challenging but not overly so. Text features include bold-type words that refer to a glossary with pronunciation key, subheadings, pull-out boxes with interesting facts, and sidebars. These books include information useful for inquiry projects, careers research, or leisure reading for science and tech-minded young people. The topics include the latest in technology and are a good edition to elementary collections. Additional Resources. Bibliography. Index. Table of Contents. Websites.