Why Humans Build Up: The Rise of Towers, Temples and Skyscrapers

Orca. Sept. 2022. 96p. Tr $29.95. ISBN 9781459821880.
Gr 5 Up–Craigie’s latest walks readers through the evolution of sky-high monuments. In the beginning, these buildings were erected for safety and religious purposes. Now the focus is to build tall towers for population booms. Some newer skyscrapers are even built to reduce pollution and help battle climate change. Each chapter explains this progression from safety to sustainability. The author anchors the readers’ learning by citing well-known high-rise structures, such as the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Eiffel Tower, and the Empire State Building. In addition, Craigie stretches readers’ knowledge by discussing other lesser-known structures. These include the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Shanghai Tower, Hong Kong High-Rise, and the Manitoba Hydro Palace, just to name a few. Both the illustrations and the photos included enhance the text and assist tweens in understanding the content. The language is clear, and a glossary is included. Consequently, it is a valuable resource for striving and reluctant readers. This would serve as an excellent contemporary companion to David Macaulay’s older books, such as Cathedral, Castle, and Pyramid.
VERDICT Recommended as an asset for both school and public libraries. Students who are fascinated by history and architecture will especially enjoy this book.

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