Each of these titles highlights a specific, and often obscure, invention from the past decade that is making, or has the potential to make, a real difference in the world. With a mix of scientific terminology and accessible sentence structure, the books effectively describe how the ideas took shape and were put into practice by the scientists involved. Students are generally intrigued by robots and will find Nexi Robot of particular interest, though the author is careful to explain the limitations of what this robot currently can and cannot do. Seed Vault explains the need to preserve endangered plant species and how they are collected and protected. Sunscreen for Plants shows how early attempts at protecting crops from overexposure to the sun were either ineffective or somehow harmful to the plant, and how a few individuals worked together to devise a product that was both effective and ecologically sound. Bionic Hand is a fascinating look at how biology and technology are being used to create more useful prostheses for those who have lost a limb. In all of the books, color photographs are included on every page and provide a visual complement to the texts. Small “Did You Know?” boxes appear on nearly every spread and offer up short, interesting facts. Current, relevant Web sites are appended. Librarians looking to beef up science or inventions collections may find these solid additions.
School Library Journal, March 2010
Wilson's Core Collection, 2009
Grade Level 3-6. The development of the seed bank in Norway has been in the news, but the reader will learn about seed banks dating back to 6700 B.C. and all the various types of food banks over the years including those for specific types of crops. This would be an excellent resource for a report or science fair project. Glossary, index, and list of other sources are included.
Book Buzz, February 2010