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Machines and Technology

Television by John GrabowskiGrabowski, John Television
High school   112 pp. Lucent 2011
Hillstrom, Laurie Collier Global Positioning Systems
High school   96 pp. Lucent 2011
Kallen, Stuart A. iPod and MP3 Players
High school   104 pp. Lucent 2010

Technology 360 series. After brief histories behind their title technologies, these books provide thoughtful discussions of the appeal, markets, risks, and social implications of their subjects; for example, environmental effects of discarded iPods and security concerns with social networking sites. The books seem to be as up-to-date as possible for print. Photos, sidebars, and other visuals, as well as documented quotations, strengthen the presentations. Reading list, timeline, websites. Glos., ind.
Subjects: Machines and Technology; Television; Communication; General Knowledge; Computers; Internet; Writing; Music

Ambulances in Action by Anne E. HansonHanson, Anne E. Ambulances in Action
Gr. K–3   24 pp. Capstone 2011
Olien, Becky Police Cars in Action
Gr. K–3   24 pp. Capstone 2011
Schaefer, Lola M. Semitrucks in Action
Gr. K–3   24 pp. Capstone 2011

First Facts: Transportation Zone series. These slim volumes pack in a good amount of information on their title topics. Car and truck fans may be drawn to the brief texts, including historical background and contemporary examples; they may also find some challenging vocabulary. The many photographs are well labeled. Each volume includes an activity (e.g., “Make a Siren”). Reading list. Glos., ind.
Subjects: Machines and Technology; Vehicles—Ambulances; Vehicles—Trucks; Police officers; Vehicles—Automobiles

Earth-Friendly Buildings, Bridges, and More by Etta KanerKaner, Etta Earth-Friendly Buildings, Bridges and More: The Eco-Journal of Corry Lapont
Gr. 4–6   64 pp. Kids Can 2012

Illustrated by Stephen MacEachern. Fictional Corry travels worldwide with her engineer parents for a year collecting postcards, information, and examples regarding skyscrapers, bridges, tunnels, domes, dams, levees, etc., with some doable experiments to illustrate principles. Accurate, accessible information about the multiple engineering challenges of such structures is enriched with numerous photos and drawings; the tone is light, but the subject is treated seriously. Glos., ind.
Subjects: Machines and Technology; Architecture; Buildings; Engineering; Environment—Ecology

Forensic Technology by Ian GrahamGraham, Ian Forensic Technology
High school   46 pp. Smart Apple 2011
Graham, Ian Robot Technology
High school   46 pp. Smart Apple 2011
Oxlade, Chris Gaming Technology
High school   46 pp. Smart Apple 2011
Ross, Stewart Sports Technology
High school   46 pp. Smart Apple 2011

New Technology series. This up-to-date series examines how technology drives, changes, and otherwise influences the title subject areas, from exponentially increasing the accuracy and speed of forensics to enhancing sports statistics and protecting athletes. The texts are readable (at a fairly high level), with photos, charts, and drawings clarifying and extending them. Sidebars enhance the volumes and offer important ethical pros and cons. Reading list, websites. Glos., ind.
Subjects: Machines and Technology; Sports; Forensic science; Robots; Computer games; Video games; Computers

The Stourbridge Lion by Karl ZImmermannZimmermann, Karl The Stourbridge Lion: America’s First Locomotive
Gr. K–3   32 pp. Boyds 2012

Illustrated by Steven Walker. Zimmermann relates the story of America’s first steam locomotive and how it came into being. Manufactured in England and brought to Pennsylvania in the 1830s, its purpose was to transport coal on a sixteen-mile rail track to canal barges for the journey to New York City. Walker’s oil paintings add depth to the succinct narrative. An addendum extends the text. Bib.
Subjects: Machines and Technology; Vehicles—Trains; Railroads; Pennsylvania; Transportation; History, American

From the January 2013 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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