Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Your Brain: Understand It with Numbers.

Waldron, Melanie.  Your Brain: Understand It with Numbers.  Capstone/Heinemann  2014  48p  $32.00  ISBN 978-1-4109-5980-5      ms  series: Your Body By Numbers  Nonfiction  VG-BNS
With middle-school readers in mind, author Melanie Waldron chose to focus on some interesting content, and her organizational skills are impeccable.  She also executed a nearly perfect layout for such a wide variety of information.  Perhaps the strongest feature of Your Brain is her use of numbers in relaying information to young teenagers.  Who wouldn’t be fascinated by comparing a computer to the human brain?  With 500 gigabytes in the average computer’s memory, students will be amazed at the 100,000 gigabytes in the human brain!  Students can either pore through the entire book or open to one section and learn amazing statistics such as these.  Waldron’s book also thoroughly covers information on the senses, movement, respiration, control, the nervous system and the aging brain.  The eight chapters are followed by a post-reading test, a glossary, a list of sites for continued research and an index.  A suggestion for future editions might be the inclusion of a description of the brain lobes with an enumeration of their jobs.  A study of the brain in its entirety is impossible, of course, but students would be fascinated to learn about the frontal lobe and its peculiar jobs.   

Your Body by Numbers includes books about the digestive system, skin and bones, respiration and circulation, and the brain.  Each volume provides a plethora of related information, all tied to statistics and other facts.  A post-test, glossary and index round out each volume. 

Summary: With middle-school readers in mind, author Melanie Waldron focuses on some interesting information about the human brain, with a special emphasis on statistics and other numerical facts. 

Human brain                                     --Martha Squaresky

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