Brains On! Presents...It’s Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus Among Us

Little, Brown. Sept. 2020. 160p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316428293.
Gr 4-7–The creators of Brains On!, a science podcast for kids, offer a nonfiction book about biology. Each chapter provides a broad overview of the primary subjects, which include plants, animals, humans, and microworlds, followed by a deeper dive into ideas or facts. For example, the chapter discussing humans examines the main body systems, then takes a closer look at the digestive system. The main text is lengthy and assumes some basic knowledge of science and biology in particular, so this title is best suited for older elementary and middle school children. Sidebars, diagrams, and occasional comics break up the text, as do recurring features, including mystery photographs, “Moment of Eww” sections, and “Mega Matchup” battles that inject humor and detail into each chapter. While far from comprehensive, this fact-filled resource is very readable.
VERDICT The Brains On! creators know their audience. Science and humor come together to create a title that will be picked up again and again.

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