CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 15 . . . . March 16, 2007
Altitude Publishing originally released these two Canadian biographies in 2004 as part of their "Amazing Stories" series. Both titles have been edited and revised for the new "Amazing Stories Junior Edition" series aimed at a middle-grade reading level.
Roberta Bondar describes the childhood ambitions that led to a scholarly pursuit of the sciences for this influential Canadian. Bondar’s life onboard the NASA spaceship is detailed, along with information on space exploration in general.
In Pierre Elliott Trudeau, ten chapters examine the prime minister’s life and legacy. The overview of Trudeau’s political career includes information on the Official Languages Act, October Crisis and Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
When comparing the two series side-by-side, the general content and even the chapter headings remain the same. The main difference is in the writing style. Sentences are shorter in the Junior Edition and descriptive passages have been rewritten using more direct statements. For example, in the “Amazing Stories” edition, Sam Sauerwein writes:
In the Junior Edition, this passage reads:
The vocabulary in the Junior Editions is simpler: “puzzle” is used instead of “enigma” and “feelings” is used instead of “sensations.” Selected words are highlighted in the text and then defined in a glossary at the end. In Roberta Bondar, 22 words are defined, including "mission," "pharmacist" and "micro gravity." In Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the glossary provides short, concise explanations of conscription, foreign policy and War Measures Act.
The text is presented in a larger typeface with more white space on the page. Unfortunately, fewer photographs are included - only two in each book. Extra features that appeared in the earlier titles, such as time lines and bibliographies, have been omitted in the Junior Editions.
Altitude Publishing launched this new series of select “Amazing Stories” in response to feedback from educators. All the students in a class can read the same book, but at a level that best matches their ability. The very reasonable price makes it possible for libraries to own both copies.
Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.