Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: David Macaulay
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine Books
The human body is a fascinating specimen, and in this large and detailed book, David Macaulay takes readers on a step-by-step tour to explore the many facets of human physiology. He begins at the molecular level, explaining the cells that make up our bodies, and then delves into descriptions of the respiratory and digestive systems. After that, the book continues with an in-depth look at the brain and senses, the body’s incredible immune system, and all the processes that make movement possible. Last but not least is a section on human reproduction, bringing the audience full circle back to the molecular level.
The Way We Work will surely satisfy the curious mind. Macaulay’s explanations contain a wonderful balance of thoroughness and simplicity (with an added touch of humor), and even though some principles of physiology may go over the heads of young readers, it is nonetheless an excellent reference tool for learning about the human body. Presented in a large, durable book, each page contains a description of a body part or concept accompanied by a large, detailed illustration of that concept, complete with labels and often humorous inserts. Some of the illustrations are difficult to make sense of, either because of too much or too little detail, but the majority of them do a fabulous job of visually depicting what is described in the text. This book would be ideal for visual learners who are interested in human anatomy, either just for fun or for educational or career purposes, though it is worth noting that children in the target age range (10-14 years) may need additional help making sense of the words and concepts. All in all, this is a fascinating book that presents the human body as the amazing creation that it is.