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*Everything You Need to Know about the Human Body* by Patricia Macnair - middle grades book review
Everything You Need to Know about the Human Body
by Patricia Macnair
Grades 8-14 160 pages Kingfisher June 2014 Paperback    

This nonfiction book about the human body is informative and covers a wide scope of topics.

It begins with an introduction to the cells and tissues and organs that make up our bodies. The author talks about what we can do physically and emotionally, and what happens to our body when we get sick or need an operation.

The next chapter focuses on growth. There are facts about genes and discussion on how babies are made. Sections include Boys and Puberty, Girls and Puberty, Adulthood, and Aging.

The chapter on digestion includes information about the organs involved in digestion, healthy eating, oral health, and foods and medicines that can be poisonous. The chapter on the brain and our senses contains information about our nervous system, our eyes and ears, mouth and skin (including reflexes). The last chapter is called Structure and Movement and describes our skeleton, muscles and joints and how they help us do a variety of activities (sports, walking, playing and eating).

Each of the five chapters ends with a one-page summary of highlights from the chapter (i.e. Although bone is very tough, it is a living tissue. If a bone breaks, the tissues can join up and heal again). Back material includes a comprehensive five-page index. A table of contents and directions about how to use the book are located at the beginning of the book.

On every page, there are boxes of supplementary material such as vocabulary words that have been defined (i.e. bacteria, antibodies, hormones), amazing facts, circles with questions and answers (Do babies get cold? Small babies cannot control their temperature, so they can easily get too cold or too hot. They should be dressed in several layers of clothes), “Can you Find” tests, interactive activities (draw a picture of your dream house) and Internet links.

The chapters are color-coded, and headings and subheading divide the information into manageable amounts. This all helps with organization. The color photographs look modern, but the drawings and clipart look dated. On page 105, there is even a picture of an old cell phone. The dated artwork surprises me, because the cover looks attractive and current.

Although there is no bibliography, Dr. Graham Neale served as a consultant on this book, and Wendy Burford from the Science Museum of London is thanked in the acknowledgement section.
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