The Science of Air


32 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Index
ISBN 1-896990-48-7
DDC 553.51





Reviewed by Steve Pitt

Steve Pitt is a Toronto-based freelance writer and an award-winning journalist. He has written many young adult and children's books, including Day of the Flying Fox: The True Story of World War II Pilot Charley Fox.


The word “science” encompasses an enormous range of topics, and the
Living Science series tackles this problem by breaking science down into
24 manageable one-book bites. The publisher released the first six books
in the series in 1999, and 18 more in 2000. A teacher’s guide is
planned for the near future. Each volume in the series follows the same
format. The book begins with the question “What do you know
about...?” and the text is built around an extended answer. The text
is augmented on every page by bright, eye-catching photographs,
easy-to-read charts, and informative illustrations. To make the learning
process fun, numerous hands-on activities and “puzzler ”quick
quizzes appear regularly throughout the text. A glossary, an index, and
a list of pertinent Web sites are included in the back of each book.

The Science of Magnets identifies the most common, yet least
understood, phenomena on Earth. The Science of Plants notes the
importance of Earth’s flora to all living things, animal and
vegetable. The Science of Soil points out how important soil is, and
what happens when humans do not take care of it—readers get the dirt
on the ground beneath their feet, so to speak. The Science of the Sky
explores everything in the universe from the clouds up. The Science of
Fire answers burning questions about humankind’s oldest form of
harnessed energy and highlights fire safety for youngsters. The Science
of Sound elaborates on the big noises of nature, from ultrasonic bats to
exploding volcanos. The Science of Air presents fascinating facts about
the world’s most precious commodity. The Science of Energy, one of the
primal forces of the universe, breaks down the concepts for easier
understanding. In The Science of Light and Color, light, shadow, color,
and camouflage are just a few of the fascinating topics. The Science of
Underwater Life describes every type of water creature, from tadpoles to
sharks; ecology and humankind’s impact on Earth’s environment are
also discussed. The Science of Senses reveals some interesting facts;
readers may be surprised to learn that they have nine or more senses.
The Science of Birds features dozens of fowl creatures and a few good
eggs. In The Science of Insects, the largest animal family on Earth
poses for a group shot. The Science of Reptiles examines the amazing
world of our cold-blooded cousins where creatures can change color, see
heat, smell with their tongues, and hear with their bellies. The Science
of Water carries a strong environmental message; readers learn about the
Earth’s most commonly used and abused resource. The Science of Weather
deals with rain, sleet, and smog. The Science of Animals looks at all
things that swim, crawl, fly, or slither. In The Science of the Human
Body, readers learns about what makes people tick and talk.

Because the publisher manages to maintain first-rate quality throughout
all 24 volumes, the Living Science series is an excellent choice for
school, public, and home libraries. Highly recommended.


Dann, Sarah., “The Science of Air,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 18, 2024,