Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Paula Grey
Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers
Explore the history of ingenuity at its most dynamic through A History of Travel in 50 Vehicles. Spanning hundreds of millennia, Grey tackles the ins and outs of transportation from cultural, economic, social, and environmental perspectives. The book discusses the ethics of human, animal, motor, and elemental powered vehicles. It also considers the ramifications of international communities and unchartered spatial territories in new developing technologies. From rickshaws to jet-packs, bicycles to segways, the ingenuity of mankind is celebrated in this book of fifty milestones in human transportation.
Grey takes an international perspective of transportation innovative history, but she admittedly includes more detail about US-based inventions and scientists. It is unclear whether this focus is due to the historically innovative culture of the United States or due to the author’s neglect to research the progress made in other countries. The blatant lack of information about African vehicles leaves a gap in reader knowledge. These questions might be answered by a thorough perusal of the veritable smorgasbord of an appendix. The glossary, endnotes, and index are well structured and provide a jumping-off point for further research. A History of Travel in 50 Vehicles is a great piece of middle-grade nonfiction for any home or school library.