The Handy Answer Book for Kids (and Parents) 2nd Edition by Gina Misiroglu

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Stars: **** [Edit Jan 21/10 – changed to 4 stars from 5 stars]

Published by Visible Ink Press (October 2009)
Paperback, 352 pages 

Reading level: Ages 9-12

Summary: Ever want to know the answers to questions about your world? Why do dogs bark? Why is the sky blue? Why do people speak different languages? How does Nuclear Energy work to make a city work? What types of Government are there in the world? What is a disability? Why is a bird’s beak important? You can find the answers to these and even more questions in this book. 

The second edition is updated to reflect the times and as such you will find questions such as What is a smartphone? and What is a test-tube baby? You will also find questions like What should I do if a find a gun? Should I tell my parents if I’m being bullied? and What happens when we die?

The answers are straightforward, easy to understand and not prejudiced in any way. For example the What happens when we die question doesn’t talk about life after death or heaven but focus on what happens to the body as each organ shuts down. The What is God question doesn’t say that one belief is better than another but those who would prefer to teach their children that there is a God (or one God) without teaching that some people believe other things might not like the answer. Personally I like it as it’s honest and explains that different people believe different things.

This is not a sit down and read book which then gets passed on or put away. It’s one that your children and you will refer back to each time one of you has a question. I especially liked that the answers weren’t childish in anyway and so I enjoyed learning new things too. There is lots in the book I either didn’t know at all or wasn’t sure about.

Here are just a few things I learned:  That it’s possible to stand in four states at the same time, why many barns are painted red, why the ocean is salty, how an ear thermometer reads body temperature and more. There is so much to learn that in a few days I probably will forget the explanation and will need to reread it a few more times before it sinks in.

The only problem I have with the book is that it’s written from an American point of view instead of a world, or at least a North American point of view. You can really see this in the Politics and Government section. However I think the pros outweigh the cons in this book’s case.

Thanks to Lisa Roe, the Online Publicist for the chance to review this book.

Other Reviews: A Reader’s JournalBookfoolery and Babble, Cheryl’s Book Nook, We Be Reading, Lesa’s Book Critiques, Cafe of Dreams,

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.