NONFICTION

Why Not?: Over 1,111 Answers to Everything

224p. index. photos. National Geographic. Aug. 2018. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781426331916.
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Gr 4–7—Did you ever wonder why islands float? Why you can't quit bathing? Why we can't bring dinosaurs back to life? Well, maybe not those questions exactly, but upper elementary and middle school minds can come up with some pretty awe-inspiring and head-scratching questions—probably more than the 1,111-plus included in this almanac of answers to everything. From the absurd (vampires and coffins) to the serious (vertigo and phobias), this book takes a scientific approach to relevant questions that will elicit laughs, "awws," and "ewws!" With the publisher's trademark stock photos and readable layouts, this title offers valuable information, and even the goofiest of questions receive respectful, accurate responses. But there's plenty of fun, too, such as in the "silly question, serious answer" sidebars. Chapters cover animals, the planet, history, the body, technology, the universe, and pop culture, so readers will find plenty to interest them—and even stumble onto other compelling questions.
VERDICT An absurdly fun reference book for upper elementary and middle grades.

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