Guides to Nutrition, Math, and Careers | Reference Reviews

Whether you’re looking for guidance on math, advice on food, or advice on careers, this month’s reference titles have you covered.


Barnes-Svarney, Patricia & Thomas E. Svarney. The Handy Nutrition Answer Book. 400p. appendix. bibliog. glossary. illus. index. photos. Visible Ink. 2015. Tr $21.95. ISBN 9781578594849; ebk. ISBN 9781578595532.

Gr 8 Up –Readers will find information on a plethora of topics in this one-stop source for all things nutrition: vitamins, food allergens, what foods were eaten in different historical periods, preservation methods, DNA vs. RNA, food labeling, artificial sugars, gluten sensitivity, and more. The authors offer the latest scientific evidence and theories available and point users to helpful online resources, such as The handy index makes looking up specific subjects easy. VERDICT A useful book, ideal for high school, college, or even adult sections public libraries.–Jane Hebert, Glenside Public Library District, Glendale Heights, IL

Careers: The Graphic Guide to Finding the Perfect Job for You. 320p. chart. glossary. illus. index. DK. 2015. pap. $19.99. ISBN 9781465429735.

Gr 6 Up –A typical library’s collection of career books can quickly become dated or out of touch. Enter this manual. With simple graphics, bright colors, and a vast compendium of information, this guide will engage teens who are wondering, “What now?” Each page contains a job description, information on related careers and salaries, and a skills guide. The book explains precisely how to go from dipping a toe into the waters of a particular job to the highest positions within the field. The index is well organized, and the entries are nicely cross-referenced. The material can be dry or a bit vague at times, especially for readers who would be interested in discovering real-life applications. However, it should be useful for students, and the wide scope of knowledge will keep it current for longer than many comparable titles. VERDICT This strong addition will be fun for browsers as well as for those selecting college majors and making job decisions.–Erinn Black Salge, Saint Peter’s Prep, Jersey City, NJ

Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance. 16th ed. 5 vol. 4220p. ebook available. glossary. index. photos. Ferguson’s. 2014. Tr $249.95. ISBN 9780816085033.

Gr 9 Up –This steadfast reference continues to provide reliable information on basic career skills, industries, and employment trends. The bulk of the set is comprised of more than 820 job descriptions in 120 fields, expanding the previous edition by 50 new jobs in 15 new career fields. The first volume offers a step-by-step guide to choosing a career path, including an interest inventory, a personality assessment, and standardized testing, all linked to authoritative websites. This relevant introductory material also defines vocabulary such as apprenticeship and service learning, describes the myriad degree programs, and explains how to navigate emerging trends, including a social media resume. Articles on different jobs are arranged alphabetically, using title designations of the U.S. Department of Labor, are largely updated to late 2013, and offer easy-to-read narratives that are broken down into overview, background, structure, and outlook sections. Many entries feature extras such as “Words to Know,” “Career Ladder,” “Movers & Shakers,” and “On the Cutting Edge” (which discusses the latest activities, research, or technology in a given field). The impact of digital technologies pervades many of the entries. Jobs requiring specialty certification or licensing note the specific requirements, and most entries follow up with resources or related organizations. Each volume features an extremely helpful index, and students will be able to distinguish main entries in bold. VERDICT A solid career reference.–Vicki Reutter, State University of New York at Cortland

Fitzgerald, Theresa R. Math Dictionary for Kids: The Essential Guide to Math Terms, Strategies, and Tables. 4th ed. 272p. chart. illus. index. notes. Prufrock Pr. 2014. Tr $13.95. ISBN 9781618211675. LC 2014016765.

Gr 4-8 –Divided into seven main chapters for topics such as “Measurement,” “Algebraic Ideas,” “Geometry,” and “Problem Solving” in addition to chapters dedicated to reference guides, manipulatives, and formulas to name a few, this text is a strong guide for school and public libraries. Listed alphabetically within each chapter, mathematical concepts are presented with straightforward explanations accompanied by color images and examples when necessary. This edition includes more than 40 new entries—a combination of new words with their definitions that are related to (and perhaps more familiar than) those previously defined. The inclusion of more simple terms and concepts such as equal, fewer, and greater makes this guide appropriate for younger students as well. A lengthy “Quick Reference Guide: Problem Solving Step by Step” details a variety of ways to solve word problems and encourages students to discover individualized approaches. A “Common Core State Standards Alignment” spread explains the standards for grades four through eight. While illustrations sometimes make use of fun objects like ice-cream cones, cars, or pieces of candy, the images won’t deter older students. Concepts such as those presented in the “Measurement Conversion Tables” chapter make this offering relevant for studies other than just math. VERDICT A useful offering for STEM collections.–Meaghan Darling, Long Hill Township Public Library, Gillette, NJ

Renard, John. The Handy Islam Answer Book. 130p. chron. further reading. glossary. index. photos. Visible Ink. 2015. pap. $21.95. ISBN 9781578595105; ebk. ISBN 9781578595440.

Gr 9 Up –Renard, a professor in the Department of Theological Studies at Saint Louis University, clearly knows his subject, but that knowledge does not receive its best presentation in this primer on Islam. Renard succinctly covers the life of Muhammad as well as other important personages, historical and current events, and theological, cultural, and practical questions. Students searching for a specific piece of information on Islam may find it here if they can follow the extensive table of contents to the relevant question or questions. On the other hand, readers looking for a broader understanding of Islam will have some difficulty, as the question-and-answer structure of the book necessitates a good deal of repetition. Major concepts like Sufism and legal traditions are used in answers early in the volume but are only described later. Throughout, Renard debunks misconceptions held about Islam that are common in the West, but at times his answers shift from the factual toward emotional defenses of the faith. Scattered throughout are questions that feel out of place in an introductory text, such as those about a specific Islamic conference held in 2005. VERDICT There is useful information here, but students may have an easier time using other sources to find the basic facts on Islam hidden in these pages.–Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI

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