CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 8 . . . . October 21, 2011
When I first saw these books, I thought, “Wow, what a great series for boys!” From the graphically appealing covers that appear almost three dimensional to the enticing titles, these books beg to be read. These books provide a basic introduction that left me wanting more information. But maybe that is the point. This trio of books is a great introduction to hi tech topics that may encourage readers to learn more. The three books in this series are comprised of 32 pages and include a table of contents, index, a glossary called “Need To Know” words, a page of “Did you know facts” and on line resources to find out more. Each book starts with an introduction and includes 12 topics each on an easy to read two-page spread. The titles for each topic are framed in red, green or blue (depending on the book). The information is concise and laid out in visually appealing text boxes accompanied principally by photographs and a few computer generated pictures.
Starting in ancient times and continuing right up to present day and beyond, Code Breakers introduces readers to different codes. Several pages deal with different codes, such as Enigma and Navajo Indian codes, that were used during World War II. The book then describes CAPTCHA codes in use today. CAPTCHA codes are the website codes of random wavy letters that ensure people, not computers, are entering the information. Code Breakers ends with a glimpse of the future with Quantum computers. The on line resources listed give readers a chance to try code breaking.
Cool Stuff introduces readers to actual products in a range of topics from household to science fiction. The household topics include a camera that shows a dog’s eye view, robot pets, moving alarm clocks phones built into watches and an entire wireless computer and music system built into a sofa. The pages on skateboards, cool wheels and getting up and down introduce interesting ways to get around. The book ends with an interesting view of a shark submarine. The on line section lists sites to find out about the newest gizmos and gadgets.
High level Security is all about the present day. This book offers a glimpse into security measures for the home and abroad. Home security, panic rooms and credit card security measures show how we are protected in our everyday lives. Biometrics, airport security and imaging show how we are protected abroad. For those needing the highest security, bodyguards, spy planes and surveillance are discussed. The book ends with information on Fort Knox and the Beast, the vehicle that protects the President of the United States. The websites listed in the online section include the U.S. Secret service and a kids’ homeland security site.
A great nonfiction series for boys.
Dr. Vikki Houston is an elementary teacher with the Durham District School Board in Oshawa, ON.
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