Review Blog

Sep 23 2013

What makes you you? by Gill Arbuthnott

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A & C Black, 2013. ISBN: 9781408194065.
(Reading Age: 11-13) Highly recommended. Subjects: Genetics, Evolution, Cloning, DNA.
What Makes You You is an excellent introduction to the science of genetics. Gill Arbuthnot's explanations are expertly written in easy to understand style that is engaging for a younger audience. From Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, the importance of Mendel's experiments to the development of DNA photography in the 1950s up to the latest developments in 2012, the history of genetics is explored. The reader gains insight into the men and women scientists who have been instrumental in researching DNA, human genomes, stem cells and cloning. From mice growing human ears to saviour siblings and the future of genetic engineering, this is a fascinating insight into the past, present and future of genetics.
Double page spreads with bold coloured backgrounds underpin the information presented in a more inclusive, conversational style. The use of cartoon illustrations, diagrams, tables, flow charts, photographs and speech bubbles compliment Arbuthnot's text.
A step-by-step experiment to extract DNA from fruit provides the reader with the opportunity to further explore this area, adult supervision is needed. A timeline, glossary and a Find Out More page is included.
This is an excellent book suited to readers from 11 -13 years and is also an excellent resource for Science and Health lessons.
Rhyllis Bignell

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