Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Maris Wicks
Publisher: First Second
Have you ever wondered why you have to get shots at the doctor’s office? Or why your friend is allergic to peanuts but you aren’t? How about what happens when you break your arm? What about how your heart works? Luckily, kids and preteens have a great resource in Maris Wicks’s Human Body Theater. The book is presented as a comic book style “nonfiction revue” where each chapter dives deeper into a body system or organ, presented by a personable skeleton. Topics covered include the skeletal, muscular, respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, excretory, endocrine, reproductive, immune, and nervous system; as well as a basic look into cell biology. If kids just can’t get enough of anatomy, a list of recommended readings is included along with a comprehensive glossary and bibliography.
Human Body Theater is a lighthearted expedition through the human body. Through Maris Wicks’s witty, entertaining dialogue and engaging, sometimes goofy, comic-book-style drawings, anyone with an interest in human anatomy will be excited to read this book. Wicks juggles fact with entertainment seamlessly, leaving kids wanting to read and reread this book to make sure they didn’t miss anything. Wicks also does a wonderful job simplifying complicated concepts without making them seem glossed-over. Sensitive topics (i.e. puberty, sexual organs) are treated factually and with respect, although might be better understood by older children and young teens. This great anatomical resource will be a welcome addition to upper elementary and junior high nonfiction bookshelves.