Absolutely Everything!: A History of Earth, Dinosaurs, Rulers, Robots, and Other Things Too Numerous To Mention

illus. by Andy Forshaw. 352p. glossary. illus. index. note. What on Earth? Bks. Oct. 2018. Tr $21.99. ISBN 9781999802837.
Gr 4–8—The history of Earth, from the big bang to the Black Lives Matter movement, in a little over 300 pages. That's the premise, anyway, of this attempt at an overview of just about everything. Organized chronologically, with pithy chapter headings such as "Meanwhile, in the Americas" and "Medieval Misery," this title features a lot of text to churn through, with only occasional drawings and captions. That said, the writing is engaging and thoughtful, providing plenty of information, humor, and opportunity for deeper thinking as Lloyd makes connections to things happening across the globe. He takes a surprisingly deep dive into the various prehistorical eras. Human conflicts throughout history share equal time with important inventions and the arts, though individuals are infrequently mentioned—the focus is on groups of people and events. An extensive glossary, a list of further reading, and quote sources are appended, along with a note from the author about his research process.
VERDICT Most libraries will want to have this lengthy, detailed volume for students looking to beef up their general knowledge.

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