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TIME Great Discoveries: Explorations that Changed History

TIME Great Discoveries: Explorations that Changed History

By: Editors of Time Magazine
Publisher: Time 
Publication Date: October 2009 
ISBN: 978-1603200837 
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld 
Review Date: October 2009 

The editors of TIME, noted for putting out a slew of quality books on various educational topics such as America: An Illustrated History, Abraham Lincoln: His Life and Times, and The Middle East: The History, the Conflict, the Culture, the Faiths, have outdone themselves with their newest offering, Great Discoveries: Explorations that Changed History. This visually appealing book takes a look at 30 different discoveries that every schoolchild should study.

The topics covered within Great Discoveries are quite varied and include a look at China’s clay army, the bog bodies, Lewis and Clark’s adventures, Yellowstone, Indonesia’s ‘hobbits,’ comets, and the mapping of Mars. Broken down into four main sections, exploring the past, exploring planet Earth, exploring life on Earth, and exploring the solar system, it is easy to flip the pages to find a topic of interest. Each topic is accompanied by numerous photographs, most in color with a few in black and white. Indeed, it is likely that youngsters reading this book are apt to pick their favorites by the beautiful, vibrant pictures that accompany each article. (This reviewer found the full page photos of Saturn and Jupiter particularly stunning.) But once on a particular topic, the clear, concise writing will keep the reader’s attention.

Readers have probably heard about all (or most) of the discoveries covered in this book, however, the editors have done a wonderful job of including the most up-to-date information on each as well as adding little known facts. For instance, did you know that a tyrannosaur was recently found with feathers? That the fingers of one of the “bog bodies” was so well preserved that scientists were able to get fingerprints from them? What about the reason(s) the Pueblo “cliff dwellers” abandoned their now famous cliff homes? You’ll have to get a copy of Great Discoveries to read the current theories on what happened!

Quill says: A coffee table book that should be on every coffee table!

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