Roy Long’s review of We are the weathermakers: The history of climate change by Tim Flannery and Sally Walker

51d6aq8ff0l-_sx338_bo1204203200_In this compelling story, Tim Flannery explains the history of our climate in a simple, concise method that anyone can understand. He explains both natural processes and human impact, which is significantly altering the former. The book ends by discussing successful communities that have curbed their carbon footprint – and how they can be a model for all of us.

In the era of global climate change, it is important to understand both the science and the politics of the issue. The book is especially well written by the scientists, because the clarity makes it an agent of communication between the scientific community and everyone else.
The book is also well written in science. Discussed topics range from the Milankovitch Cycles to the rise of carbon in the Anthropocene. In short, this makes a great science book.

Roy rates this book 4.5/5

Tags: Nonfiction, climate change, science, politics, human impact on nature

Paul’s review of The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming

the-family-romanov-candace-flemingSurrounding the mystery of the shooting of the last Romanovs, this book delves into the personal and political background of the Czar Nicholas II’s family’s murder in 1918, and beyond. Written almost like a diary with daily entries of important events, Fleming follows the daily life of the Russian royal family, their activities, interests, personalities, and problems, using multiple sources including people who actually worked for them. In addition to a description of the pivotal events of the Russian Revolutions of 1917, the major social causes are documented, showing the desperate situation of the peasants and city workers in imperial Russia, as well as the disastrous involvement in the Great War. Even to this day, scholars continue to figure out what happened to the last Romanov family, but this book brings some sense of closure to their case.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great historical mystery, and a detailed description of the Russian Revolutions and seeks a greater knowledge of the Romanov family, as this book only covers a few years in depth, including many images. It is quite helpful in understanding what happened and why. I was quite surprised how the author was able to paint a detailed picture of the shooting, even explaining who died when and where, showing the collaboration with forensic scientists. This book is actually quite an easy read because of its story- and journal-like structure, so there is no need for a degree in history to comprehend the language used in this book.

Paul rates this book 5/5

Paul’s Review of The Smartest Kids in the World by Amanda Ripley

51okpowdwbl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Written by a bestseller journalist who embarks on a trip around the world, this book explores different viewpoints countries have on education. Centered around three American exchange students to Finland, South Korea and Poland, some of the highest performing nations on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test, Ripley follows these students and does some research of her own to understand why these rising (or risen) countries have been so successful in comparison to the United States. Furthermore, she delves into the driving factors and effects of the current system on the students and the society as a whole, as well as the lesson that we can take away from each other.

This book personally resounded with me very well, and I believe should be very insightful to anyone who dares to check it out. Ripley makes a very well structured, but flexible report and analysis, beginning with an explanation, utilizing evidence and statistics, and finally making her personal statements. I feel that her essay may prove to be a reality shock, but can extend to more than these three countries and the US, as she does refer to other nations and departments, not just education, making this book more applicable to multiple aspects of global society. I would definitely recommend all students and staff to read this book located at 370.9 in the nonfiction section of the Lynbrook Library.

Paul rates this book 5/5

 

Joshua’s review of The Titled Americans by Elisabeth Kehoe

51edxpxgj8l-_sx330_bo1204203200_The Titled Americans follows the life of three American sisters who use their wealth to marry into British nobility. Yet, due to lavish partying and high expenses, they were almost always short of cash (aka: terrible credit score). Their stories parallel to the larger movement of the time, in which many recently wealthy Americans wanted to add a title to their name.

If you’re a history buff (like me), this is a book you’ll want to read. It analyzes a trend that typically gets little attention. Whereas World Wars and international crises are the focal points to countless writings and papers, the American urge to marry into nobility is something that many do not know about. I will note that while the analysis to very thorough, the language is rather dry.

Joshua rates this book 3.5/5

Getting Gamers: The Psychology of Video Games and Their Impact on the People Who Play Them by Jamie Madigan

51qh8ost0fl-_sx331_bo1204203200_This book is split into four parts: who plays video games, who makes them, who sells, and the games. Through a funny, down-to-earth voice, the author illustrates much of the psychology behind video games.

Bold titles, a summary at the end, and interesting content all captured my attention. Although I had first borrowed it because I wanted to understand why brother liked video games so much, I soon became captivated by the book, mostly because it was also quite funny. A lot of the scenarios and experiments were familiar along with the psychology behind it. If you enjoy a light read and nonfiction, you would definitely like this as well.

This reviewer rates the book 4.5/5

Full Body Burden, by Kristen Iversen

New books arrived at the library and this and one about Chernobyl caught my eye. I was twelve years old living in the Netherlands during the Chernobyl crisis of 1986. I knew that the radiation from the fallout moved all across Europe, and we were all susceptible. It was a crazy time. It’s so much crazier to get a glimpse into the US nuclear business through the eyes of Kristen Iversen, who grew up near Rocky Flats, Colorado. I read the book right through, and was at first a bit put off by the repetition of facts and statistics related to the Rocky Flats nightmare. I now feel like the repetition serves as an alarm signaling imminent, disastrous consequences of the arms race for our planet.

I definitely recommend this book for high school students. You need to know why nuclear energy can NEVER EVER be clean energy.

4/5  stars

Submitted by Mrs. Ashworth