STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

That’s Deadly ~ Fatal Facts

That's DeadlyThat’s Deadly: Fatal Facts that will Test Your Fear Factor
by Crispin Boyer
176 pages; ages 8-12
National Geographic Children’s Books, 2015

How can you resist a nonfiction book that opens with “Abandon hope, all ye who open this book”? Especially when it’s followed by, “Certain death awaits!”

Author Crispin Boyer brings us to the topic of death immediately by introducing us to our guide, none other than the scythe-wielding guy himself: Timothy. But before tossing us into deadly situations, this personable grim-reaper takes a moment to tell us how to use the book. Sorta like the intros you find in field guides.

So you’ll find the usual warnings (this stuff is deadly – don’t do it at home), a handy list of “terminal terminology”, and a Kill-o-Meter that rates the degree of deadliness from risky to run for your life.

The book is conveniently divided into chapters on the ways you may meet your end: plagues, things that bite, extreme sports, natural disasters…. too many to list, but you get the idea. Pages are filled with photos (it is, after all, National Geographic!) and there are enough sidebars and text boxes to fill a journalist’s heart with joy. Not only does Timothy include important stuff like official rules for dueling, but he sprinkles “fatal facts” throughout the chapters. Plus he answers the ultimate question: pirates or ninjas?

Tim the Grim Reaper also interviews folks, like Stephanie Davis who enjoys wingsuit skydiving. And for those of you thinking about future careers, he lists America’s most dangerous job. Then there’s killer toys, killer cars, and an entire killer continent. There is, of course, a killer “final exam” at the end, and a few Last Words uttered by famous people.

Caution: Read at your own risk!

STEM Friday

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Author: Sue Heavenrich

I write about science and environmental issues for children and their families.

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