Gleebooks Education 

September 2012

Gleebooks Bookshop - Saturday, September 01, 2012

Hello from Mandy, and greetings from Australia for the new school year! We hope that you all had a relaxing and rejuvenating break and that the school year is off to a good start.  Welcome especially to all teachers starting at new schools.  Do let us know if your email address has changed and if there is anyone else who may also like to receive the newsletter.  Our Australian schools are nearing the end of Term 3 so, with only one term to follow, the end of the school year here is fast approaching.

Here in Sydney we are having absolutely beautiful spring weather. I love this time of the year, warm with blue skies and cool enough at night so you can still snuggle under the doona! And best of all, the flowers are blooming. The Sydney Biennale is drawing to a close, and I was lucky enough to get over to Cockatoo Island, a former shipyard and prison, which is the main venue for the Biennale exhibition. The island itself is fascinating to walk around, and even more so when there is so much amazing artwork on display. And it was a beautiful day to be on a ferry on Sydney Harbour. If you find yourself in Sydney at this time of the year, I highly recommend it.

I’d like to introduce you to Suzi McConaghy, who is assisting me for a couple of days a week. Many of you will have already had email contact with Suzi. She has worked in a number of bookshops over her 25 years in the book industry, and has worn many hats during her years with Gleebooks, most recently as manager of the Blackheath shop in the Blue Mountains for 4 years. Suzi still lives in the Mountains, and has opted for a quieter life working only a couple of days a week. It’s wonderful to have her on board, and I will be able to take a holiday for a couple of weeks in early October. Just lovely! Kate is still working with us from her home in the Adelaide Hills, but is reducing her hours. She hasn’t quite become a lady of leisure yet, but is working on it!

Since the Winners and Honour Books have now been announced for the books shortlisted for the 2012 CBC Awards (Children’s Book Council of Australia) we have again attached the list with reviews or annotations of all of the books.  We have indicated the Winners and Honour Books, and added to a few of the reviews for the books which we have now had a chance to read.  These Australian CBC Awards are chosen by one judge from each of the Australian states.  Each judge reads a large number of books and they all come together to discuss the shortlist and also to decide upon the winners.  More information about the Awards and also on CBC Conferences is available at their website  <http://www.cbc.org.au> 

As well as reading our way through the CBC shortlist, we have lots of other books to share with you.

Big Books:
There have been four welcome additions to our popular list of Big Books (please visit our website for the updated list):

Out of the Egg by Tina Matthews. Big Book 9781921720437 $44.95 (also available in HB 9781921150357 $24.95, and PB 9781921529559 $15.95) 
A clever twist on the original folk tale of The Little Red Hen, with its theme of the rewards of hard work and independence, this time with an added message about sharing and forgiveness. One day a Red Hen found a green seed, and tried in vain to recruit Fat Cat, Dirty Rat and Greedy Pig to help her plant it, water it, and dig out the weeds. They’re not the least bit interested, and would much rather be lounging in front of the TV, playing on the computer or riding around in Fat Cat’s sports car. Over the years, the tree flourished and Red Hen laid an egg in its shelter, and out of the egg hatched a little red chick. And then along came a little rat, a little cat and a little pig, begging to play under the tree. At first, Red Hen refused to let them, but the little red chick changed her mum’s mind and the little ones had a lovely day playing together. At the end of the day, Red Hen gave them each a green seed to take home. The mostly black and white Japanese-style woodcut illustrations, with splashes of red and green, are very striking and are a nice contrast to the traditional style of the text. New Zealand author/illustrator. MC

Hands Can by Cheryl Willis Hudson & John-Francis Bourke (photos)  Big Book 9780763658199 $44.95 (also available in Board Book 9780763632922 $14.95, with PB due Feb 2013 9780763663360 $15.95)
Hands can wave to say “hello”. Hands can touch things high and low. Hands can clap while voices sing. Hands can do all kinds of things.
Rhyming text with great photos on every page will encourage little ones to join in! A very simple but engaging book. MC

The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen. Big Book 9780763655938 $44.95 (also available in HB 9780763630904 29.95, with PB due Jan 2013 9780763655921 $16.95)
Told in jaunty, humourous rhyme, this is the story of a circus boat that sinks in heavy fog five miles off the coast of Maine. The greedy circus-owner browbeats the kindly captain into saving him and abandoning the animals to their fate. The fifteen animals swim to a small island where the disgruntled residents finally welcome them into their community when the tiger rescues a little girl from a burning shed. When the circus-owner comes to take the animals back, the locals hatch a cunning plan which sends him away empty-handed. If you look closely at the double-page illustration in the middle of the book you’ll see how the animals are cleverly disguised!
The illustrations are energetic and colourful, and the story affirms the bonds of friendship and community.  Inspired by the real story of a boat carrying a complete circus which sank off the coast of Maine in 1836. Unfortunately, the real event didn’t have such a happy ending. MC

Great News!  Big Book format for My Place by Nadia Wheatley and Donna Rawlins 
We have spoken for many years with great admiration for My Place by Nadia Wheatley and Donna Rawlins.   This is a sophisticated picture book which by moving backwards in decades from 1989, shows how a particular neighbourhood in Sydney has changed from a built up modern urban street to the farms of the first white settlements and even earlier to the time when the Aborigines lived there. The story is told through the eyes of the various children who lived there over the years.   It is an innovative book which inspires students to work on similar projects wherever they are in the world.  The Big Book format will make working on the book easier for teachers to use in the classroom and therefore opens up even more exciting possibilities.   KS
My Place Big Book 9781921977954  $44.95   Also available in hardback 9781921150708  $29.95  pb 9781921150654 $19.95

Books about Asia

Drawing from Memory by Allen Say hardback 9780545176866  $27.00
Allen Say loved to draw from a very early age.  His father didn’t approve but Say wanted to be a cartoonist and was fortunate to be accepted at the age of thirteen as an apprentice of Japan’s leading cartoonist Noro Shinpei.   This sophisticated picture book is a tribute to this man who became Say’s spiritual father.  It explores the master/disciple relationship between Say and his sensei, while giving an absorbing account of how Say developed to become a highly skilled cartoonist and artist.  The story seems at times part memoir, part graphic novel and part narrative history.   The range of different illustration styles adds so much interest to the telling of the story.  At the age of fifteen, Say went with his father and his new family to America. An Author’s Note gives more information about his sensei and their meetings in later years.  It is a beautiful and fascinating book so rich in its description of a young boy’s aspirations and hopes, the skill and kindliness of his sensei and beautiful in its range of illustrations and their use in telling this story.  (9 years up)     KS

Tomo:  Friendship Through Fiction – An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories  edited and with a Foreword by Holly Thompson  pb  9781611720068  $18.99
This collection of short fiction came about after the terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan of March 2011.  Holly Thompson has lived for many years with her family in the seaside town of Kamakura which in 1498 suffered a similar earthquake and tsunami, and she wanted to bring teenagers round the world closer to Japan and to contribute to the long-term recovery of the region.  This collection contains fiction in verse, prose and also graphic art created by authors and artists from round the world but all have a deep connection to Japan.  I often feel frustrated with short stories and feel that their brevity prevents me from being able to become as involved as I would like in the characters and their background.  However it was interesting that as I read further into this collection, I felt that I was learning and understanding so much more about different aspects of Japanese life, culture, of its young people, of gaijin (or foreigners in Japan) and perhaps in particular of children who are half Japanese (with a Japanese and a foreign parent.)  These are entertaining stories on a wide variety of topics.  Some stories are translated from Japanese, some are about Japanese communities in distant countries.  There are stories about family, war, science fiction, mystery and ghosts.  Some deal with earthquakes and tsunamis while others deal with the very modern youth of Japan.  It is a well chosen and satisfying collection and teachers will find a wealth of stories here which help students to better understand Japan.  Proceeds from sales will go to earthquake recovery efforts.  (11 – 16 years)   KS

Indian Summer by Pratima Mitchell pb 9781406308174  $16.95
Set in India in the lower Himalayas, the novel involves Sarla, a young teenage girl who is Indian but lives in England with her single mother, a high-achieving journalist.   Sarla feels an outsider but when she goes to stay with her mother’s grandparents in India over the summer, she realises just how much more difficult other lives can be.   Bina is a young Indian girl brought up by her grand parents who are also much loved servants of Sarla’s grand parents.  Bina wants to be a doctor but is always under threat of being married off.  This is an engaging and at times humourous novel with interesting and eccentric characters.  The plot allows the introduction of many aspects of Indian society and culture.  It touches on the position of women, the poverty of villagers, and the disparity of wealth.  The book dramatises the predicament of many young girls in India and also shows how many girls are changing and demanding the right to make their own way.  (11 – 16 years)  KS

Kubla Khan The Emperor of Everything by Kathleen Krull illustrated by Robert Byrd hardback 9780670011148  $24.95
Normally we read about Kubla Khan only in the context of books on Marco Polo’s amazing journeys and his prolonged stay at Kubla Khan’s court.   Kathleen Krull admits that she tries to make sense of the known facts about Kubla Khan’s life.  (In fact much of what we know about Kubla Khan comes from Marco Polo’s writings and we are not really sure how reliable this information is.)  However Kathleen Krull succeeds in giving a vivid and interesting description of Kubla Khan’s amazing life as well as background to the Mughal Empire, beginnning with Genghis Khan.   Kubla Khan’s empire stretched through Russia, Korea, Tibet, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and much of Turkey and he also extended his territory into China and managed to hold this enormous empire together for 34 years.  What I found most surprising was that once the bulk of the fighting was out the way, Kubla Khan ruled the Empire well and improved agriculture and education and also encouraged trade and welcomed foreigners (including Marco Polo) to court.  Kubla Khan could read and write and was interested in new inventions, medicine and also theatre and art.  One of the reasons that he wanted to bring China into his kingdom was that he considered them so civilized.  Robert Byrd’s beautifully detailed illustrations show us many aspects of the culture and events and the life of this man and his people.  (9 – 14 years)   KS

The Elephant’s Friend and Other tales from Ancient India  by Marcia Williams hardback 9781406335231  $29.95
From the wealth of traditional Indian folk tales Marcia Williams has selected eight simple animal tales that she retells simply and illustrates with her idiosyncratic cartoon style illustrations.  The text is pared down to its simplest but the meaning is expanded through the lively and colourful illustrations bringing much warmth, humour and vitality to these engaging animal stories.   (5 -9 years)  KS

The Stone of Destiny: Tales from Turkey by Elspeth Tavaci pb 9781847802798 $13.95
Elspeth Tavaci is a skilled storyteller.  Here she tells a story about a stonecutter who discovers a wondrous red stone and while taking the stone to a jeweller in Istanbul he travels with a young boy he meets on the way.  As they stop at various caravanerasi along the way, the stonecutter tells traditional tales to the other travellers, always to great acclaim.  Extra suspense is provided in the story by two scheming merchants who are plotting to steal the stone.  The weaving of these traditional tales within the main story opens up a fascinating world of travellers from many countries making their way along the ancient Silk Road, of different eating places, of bath houses and bazaars as well as a world of princes and princesses and exotic foods.   Charming black and white illustrations by Paul Hess give additional insight into this world.  (8 – 11 years)  KS

Our World Divided series  by Cath Senker and Philip Steele  hardback $35.99 each 
Published in 2011, this series provides an introduction to the very many complex relations between a number of countries at present in conflict.   The books discuss the many contentious issues affecting these areas and try to examine the political, social and economic divisions between the countries as well as the military tensions often threatening the stability of the whole region.  They try to present differing views through short extracts from articles or letters or speeches.  Case studies give examples of real-life experiences from a variety of sources.  Timelines, fact boxes and maps help to put the complex events into context.  The five books in the series are:
Afghanistan: From War to Peace?  by Philip Steele  9780750265737  
Iran and the West by Philip Steele 9780750265720
Israel and the Middle East by Cath Senker 9780750265713
North and South Korea by Cath Senker 9780750265843  
Sudan and Peoples in Conflict by Philip Steele 9780750265850   (10 – 14 years)  KS
    
Picture Books

Ten Scared Fish by Ros Moriarty illustrated by Balarinji pb 9781742379128  $12.99
Bold colourful illustrations in an Indigenous style give much vitality to this simple counting book which begins with 1 turtle by the waterhole and ends in the sea where 10 fish are scared by a big shark.  For preschoolers. KS
Kangaroos Hop by Ros Moriarty illustrated by Balarinji  pb 9781742379159 $12.99
Similarly Kangaroos Hop uses bold colours and a traditional Indigenous style to illustrate the simple text describing how birds fly, echidnas shuffle, goannas climb and frogs jump on the river bank where the big fat crocodile is sleeping.  Preschoolers will enjoy the repetition and rhythm of the appealing text with its accumulating rhythmic climax.  (3 – 6 years) KS

Ten Tiny Things by Meg McKinlay & Kyle Hughes-Odgers (illus). HB 9781921888946 $24.99
Mum drives Tessa and Zachary to school every day in air-conditioned comfort in their shiny, swift, splendiferous machine. One morning the machine won’t work and they have to walk. Their bags were heavy, their legs hurt, they huffed and puffed, for it was such a long way. Then Tessa noticed a tiny, tiny, red, sparkly thing, and Zachary saw another, smooth and blue and secret. With their eyes wide open and the sun warm on their backs, they saw many secret somethings and hidden happenings. From that day forth, they walked to school and every day they looked for ten tiny things. I love this book! The text is full of rhythm, alliteration and wonderful words, the illustrations unusual and really striking. The book was inspired by a game Meg McKinlay devised with her daughter, called “Things We Would Never Have Seen If We Had Been Driving”. Australian author and illustrator. (5-8 year olds) MC 

It’s a Book by Lane Smith HB 9781596436060 $18.00
In this delightfully playful, slightly subversive story, a book-loving monkey patiently shares the simple, unplugged pleasures of reading with a tech-savvy jackass. At first the jackass just doesn’t understand, wanting to knowhow do you scroll down?, where’s your mouse?, can it text?, does it need a password?. But once he settles down with the book in a comfy chair, he becomes engrossed, the hours fly by and the monkey can’t get his book back! (4-7 year olds) MC

Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw HB 9780805088482 $24.00
Two little boys, Elliot and Kailash, are pen-pals who live in very different worlds. Through their exchange of drawings and simple letters, they discover that they both live with their families, catch the bus to school and love climbing trees; there’s too much traffic in both their cities – in one the streets are full of taxis, buses and cars, while the other has few cars, but you will find elephants, oxen, chickens, bicycles, carts and people carrying all manner of things on their heads. Same, same but different! The cultural differences in their everyday lives in America and India can be discovered in the details of the boys’ drawings. (4-7 year olds) MC

Louise Builds a House by Louise Pfanner pb 9781921977756 $16.95
First published in 1987, it’s wonderful to see this Australian picture book back in print. The text is simple and the intentions clear, starting with Louise’s straightforward declaration “I am going to build a house”. And so she does, page by page, adding a different feature each time: a tower to watch the planets and comets from, a moat for her boat, a garden to grow vegetables and lots of beehives because she likes honey. Most unexpectedly, when her creation is finished, she gives it to her sister! I love the playful illustrations on plain white backgrounds, with Louise’s creative outfits perfectly reflecting the activity she’s engaged in and giving her a whimsical, slightly eccentric air. (3-5 year olds) MC
Also available, Louise Builds a Boat pb 9781921977763 $16.95 Louise builds a boat to sail around the world and visit all her friends. On the first page are drawings of the international maritime signal flags, and you can decipher the messages on the flags flying on Louise’s boat throughout the book. 
(And yes, this is our very own Louise, author and illustrator of picture books, who works part-time in the children’s section at Gleebooks and occasionally contributes reviews to Austral Ed)

Fiction

The Secret of the Swords: Book 1 Sword Girl series by Frances Watts & Gregory Rogers (illus) PB 9781742377285 $11.99
Thomasina, better known as Tommy, is a kitchen girl at Flamant Castle, which belongs to Sir Walter the Bald and Lady Beatrix the Bored. She dreams of becoming the first girl-squire ever, and with diligent practice she hones her swordfighting skills. When Tommy defeats the arrogant bully, Reynard, in a mock sword fight, Sir Benedict offers her a job in the armoury as keeper of the swords. Then Sir Walter’s sword goes missing and Tommy enlists the help of Lil the castle cat, Pigeon and Crocodiddle to find it, just in time for the big inspection, and is rewarded with swordfighting lessons from Sir Benedict. Lots of fun, with talking animals, a feisty heroine, and black and white illustrations throughout. This is the first book in a new series from an award-winning Australian author and illustrator. (7-9 year olds) MC
Also available in the series, $11.99 each: 
The Poison Plot: Book 2 Sword Girl 9781742377926
Tournament Trouble: Book 3 Sword Girl 9781742379890
The Siege Scare: Book 4 Sword Girl 9781742379906

Rosanne Hawke
Taj and the Great Camel Trek pb 9780702238772  $16.95
The most famous explorers in Australian history are those like Burke and Wills who died a tragic death as a result of their journeys.  Explorers like Ernest Giles who, it could be argued, were better organized and knowledgeable, are less well known.  Rosanne Hawke has told this fascinating story of Ernest Giles’ second attempt to travel west from South Australia to Perth across the Australian desert through the eyes of 12 year old Taj.  Much of the factual background for the story has been taken from the diaries of the explorers.  Taj is accompanying his Afghan father and helps to look after their camels which provide the key to their chances of succeeding in this very dangerous journey where the shortage of water is of constant concern.   This is a convincing and very interesting account of the dangers of the journey and also of the relationships between the English explorers and Taj and his father and a young Aboriginal tracker whose skills in finding water were also essential for the success of the journey. (9 – 12 years) KS

Things a Map Won’t Show You: Stories from Australia and Beyond  edited by Susan La Marca and Pam Mcintyre  pb 9780143565314  $24.95
It’s a good title for this collection of short stories, poems and stories told in cartoon format shows us the diversity of cultures and ways of life from within Australia and of Australians overseas.  The stories were selected for their appeal to Years 7 and 8.  The stories reflect both rural and urban life and also the importance of the ocean in Australian life.  It is a very varied collection dealing with day-to-day life and also past times, with Indigenous culture as well as voices from Asia and the Pacific.  Some of the stories are humorous and this includes my favourite, a spoof from Chris Wheat called “Better Kissing for Australian Teens”.  It is meant as a guide from the government to all International Students and recent Arrivals.  It includes some very funny information about kissing round the world and about the peculiar customs of kissing within Australia.   (10 – 13 years)  KS

Tussock by Elizabeth Pulford  pb 9781921529450  $16.95
Written by an award winning New Zealand author, the book is set in beautiful mountainous countryside which provides the evocative atmosphere for the story.  Kate’s family live on a station in the high mountains near very rugged bushland.  Her father and a friend have failed to return in their small plane and are missing.  Much of the tension concerns Kate’s and her younger sister’s worries about their father.  However additional anxiety (and interest) is provided when Kate meets a troubled boy Troy who is on the run from his father.  It is an engaging novel, well written with believable and appealing characters and a surprising twist to the ending.  (10 – 13 years)  KS

Bullying

Beating the Bullies  How Did Ben Help Himself? by Dr Lucy Blunt illustrations by (her daughter) Chloe Osborn  pb  9780987227539  $18.95
This was a surprise.  Books about bullying are normally not at all pleasurable to read.  However this one is written as an innovative guide for 7 – 11 year olds.  Ben is the young narrator and the book is written as a chapter story.  Ben describes how his parents found out that he was being bullied at school and what they and the teachers then did about it.  Ben sees a psychologist called Teresa and she works out a six-part action plan which is described in detail.  This plan is very positive and quite amusing and includes  # 2  Learn the Tough Talking Game, # 3 Use your Personal Force Shield, # 4 Learn to Walk Away and # 6 Try New Games and New People.  She and Ben take turns in acting out the Plan.  Ben enjoys talking tough and even enjoys acting out being bullied with Teresa though he dreads going back to school and acting it out there.  Ben describes what happens when he goes back to school and puts the action plan in to action.  It wasn’t easy but it did work.  Presenting the book as a story in chapters enables children to read the book and to get advice and tips on what to do if they are bullied themselves but it also is very helpful for parents and for teachers.  There are additional resource guides for parents and also for teachers (with class specific questions and activities.)     For children 7 – 11 years and also for parents and teachers.  KS

Non-Fiction

Just a Second: A Different Way to Look at Time by Steve Jenkins. HB 9780618708963 $24.00
You will be amazed at what can happen in one second – a bat can make 200 high-pitched calls, a hummingbird beats its wings 50 times, a very fast human can run 39 feet (12 metres). And in one minute, a hungry horned lizard can eat 45 ants, one at a time. And did you know that Mount Everest rises half an inch (1.25 cm) in one year? Packed with bite-sized fascinating facts, each accompanied by an illustration in Jenkins’ usual cut-paper collage style, this book takes an unusual look at how time passes and how we measure it. In the last few pages, you’ll find a spiral diagram depicting the history of the universe, a graph showing Earth’s human population from 1750 projected to 2050, a timeline with the average life spans of plants and animals, and a brief history of time and timekeeping. There’s also a short list of additional reading. All the measurements are in both imperial and metric. (5-8 year olds) MC

The Games: The Extraordinary History of the Modern Olympics by Carole Wilkinson  pb 9781742032221  $18.95  (This book was published in 2012 before the successful staging of the London Olympics.)  
To my surprise I found this book so interesting that I read it from cover to cover and found myself chuckling at various events.  Carole Wilkinson writes in a very entertaining manner and knows how to tell a story.  She goes back to the very beginning of the Modern Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896 with only 241 male athletes, mainly from Europe.  Women were at least able to watch, which was an improvement on the original Games held in Greece when women were banned.  Much of the interest lies in the very different Games that various countries organized and how the various traditions of the Modern games developed.  Also fascinating is the description of how the Games were affected by the politics of the times such as the Cold War and USSR’s invasion of Hungary.  Additional interest is provided by short vignettes written in the first person giving a fictional insight to the thoughts and feelings of various athletes.   There are no glossy colour photos, just a few black and white ones but the entertaining text conjures up various incidents for us more vividly than a coloured photo could.  Two of the bizarre moments which enliven the text are the runner who revealed that he had hitched a ride for quite a number of miles just as he was about to receive the Gold Medal for the marathon in the 1904 Olympics in Atlanta.  And the wrestling match that lasted 12 hours in Stockholm in 1912.   Wilkinson also discusses how technological advances have led to many changes in the running and organization of the Olympics.   (9 – 15 years)  KS

Understanding Roman Myths (Myths Understood series) by Robin Johnson pb 9780778745150  $15.95
This series describe how myths helped ancient peoples explain the world around them.  It features important myths and describes the roles and relationships of the gods that were the foundations of their religions.Understanding Roman Myths gives detailed background about the history and culture and everyday life of Rome as well as a wealth of information about Roman myths.  The book combines history, culture and everyday life in Rome with brief retellings of a number of Roman myths.  There are many photographs of extraordinary Roman mosaics, sculpture and architecture.  It also includes a Time Chart, Glossary and Index.  A very informative series.  (10 – 15 years) 
Also in the series are
Understanding Chinese Myths  pb 9780778745129  $15.95
Understanding Egyptian Myths  pb 9780778745136  $15.95
Understanding Greek Myths pb 9780778745143  $15.95               KS

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True (Illustrated Edition) by Richard Dawkins & Dave McKean (illus). 
HB 9780593066126 $39.95 (PB due Nov 2012 9780857531940 $34.95)
The main premise of the book is that reality as we experience it when explained by science is just as wonderful and satisfying as any religious or mythological explanation, and when you understand the basics of science and how the scientific method works, often more so.  This book, however, is not just for younger people. Many adults who have perhaps baulked at Dawkins’ hefty and often dense tomes such as The Selfish Gene or The God Delusion, may find this book an easy-to-understand introduction to many of Dawkins’ ideas, both scientific and philosophical. 
Beautifully illustrated by Dave McKean (who has illustrated a number of Neil Gaiman’s picture books). (Suitable for 12+ year olds) MC

3-Minute Einstein: Digesting his life, theories and influence in 3-minute morsels by Paul Parsons hardback  9781743361443  $19.99  (2012)
This is an intriguing and inviting book.  Parsons divides the book into bite-sized pieces so that each segment can be absorbed individually in sequence or by browsing.  There are three parts to the book.  The first chapter deals with Einstein’s fascinating life.  (This I must admit was the part that I could understand and found of most interest but then I am no scientist.)    The second chapter looks at Einstein’s theories of relativity and also his many less well known but major contributions to science.  The third chapter describes the legacy of his many discoveries and how these have led to further important discoveries.  The book is very clearly structured and set out with a wealth of photos, diagrams and drawings.  Short summaries on each page enhance our understanding and the lively text is made even interesting through the use of many witty sharp quotes from Einstein himself such as “To punish me for my contempt of authority, Fate has made me an authority myself.”   (13 years up)  KS

30-Second Theories: The 50 most thought-provoking theories in science, each explained in half a minute Editor Paul Parsons  hardback 9781742661803  $19.99  (2011)
This book is in a similar format and is even more challenging in that it aims to present the 50 most significant and intriguing scientific theories succinctly and using non-technical language and simple images.  There are eight contributors, all expert in their fields and their challenge is to give to the reader some understanding of these complex theories in two pages (300 words and a picture.)   The theories are organized into seven pillars of understanding:  Macrocosm, Microcosm, Human Evolution, Mind and Body, Planet Earth, The Universe and Knowledge. Each theory is described in several paragraphs and additional thoughts such as its legacy or other implications are also given. There is also often a short biography of the major scientists involved as well as a full page, thought-provoking illustration which can shed further light on the theory.  Finally there is constant reference to the way a particular theory is linked to other theories.   I think that teachers of Middle Years Programme of the International Baccalaureate would find these two books extremely helpful in their teaching of scientific theories and the way they are linked.   (13 years up)   KS

Kate Shepherd and Mandy Clarke

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If you would like to order any of the books reviewed in this newsletter or in the accompanying list, send orders to Austral Ed by email:   austral@gleebooks.com.au 

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