________________ CM . . . . Volume XX Number 33 . . . . April 25, 2014


50 Body Questions: A Book That Spills Its Guts.

Tanya Lloyd Kyi. Illustrated by Ross Kinnaird.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 2014.
105 pp., trade pbk. & hc., $14.95 (pbk.), $22.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55451-612-4 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55451-613-1 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
Human biology-Juvenile literature.
Social medicine-History-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-7 / Ages 10-12.

Review by Daphne Hamilton-Nagorsen.

***½ /4



The inside of your lungs are like upside-down trees. Air flows in through your trachea, or windpipe, which is sort of like the trunk of the tree. That pipe splits into smaller branches called bronchi, and then even smaller ones called bronchioles.

Finally, air reaches the alveoli, or air sacs. There are about 700 million of these tiny, spongy sacs. They have super-thin walls that allow oxygen and carbon dioxide to pass in and out, replenishing your red blood cells.

Fit and healthy lungs can supply a lot of air. And with practice, some people can hold their breath for a looooooong time. For more than a thousand years, women on the South Korean island of Jeju have trained to be able to swim deep underwater without the aid of scuba equipment. They harvest shellfish and seaweed from the ocean floor.

Today, athletes who practice the sport of freediving can hold their breath for up to eight minutes!

50 Body Questions: A Book That Spills Its Guts takes a look at the human body and related topics, including internal organs, memory, smallpox, and physiotherapy.

      As with other books in the "50 Questions" series, each chapter has a particular theme, such as blood, bones and muscles, and the brain, which groups information on similar topics together. Every chapter ends with a related activity. Each theme is further broken down into specific topics or questions which are covered in about one page. 50 Body Questions has a lot of boxes of quick facts that add terrific information. There is more information covered in the introduction to each chapter. The excellent index will be of great use for anyone looking for specific information, and the glossary provides good definitions to all the terms presented in bold throughout the book. All of this is combined with an easy-to-read writing style and humourous illustrations which makes 50 Body Questions both fun and educational.

      The format of 50 Body Questions allows a lot of information to be covered, but only as an overview of each topic. However, the way the information is presented should encourage readers to find out more about the specific topics they are interested in.

      The "Further Reading" section is a bit limited, with only nine titles listed, but all the titles are good resources which will interest readers and will provide more sources of information. The "Selected Sources" provide a number of good references, but these sources are for interested adults, not young readers, as many of the sources are medical journals and similar materials.

      50 Body Questions provides an amusing and informative look at the human body and related medical topics. The writing style and humorous illustrations provide information in a way that will be appealing to a variety of readers while still allowing readers to use this book as a source for assignments.

Highly Recommended.

Daphne Hamilton-Nagorsen is a graduate of the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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