School Library Journal
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Gr 6-8-Kicking off the upper end of the three-level "Discover More" series, this visually dense survey is aimed at middle school ("Expert") readers. Arranged in single-topic spreads grouped in five chapters based on sections of the Periodic Table (plus a chapter on the history of chemistry and technology), the presentation highlights either selected single elements or related groups. The layout includes color photos, digital diagrams and images, fact boxes, explanatory captions, and other text in a variety of sizes and weights. Occasional spreads on, for instance, the Hindenburg disaster or Marie Curie provide verbal and visual changes of pace. Like other volumes in the series, a downloadable ebook supplement (Mac or PC) extends the overall topic-here with an interactive "handbook" for youngsters bent on gathering a complete collection of physical (or for rarer or more dangerous examples, photographic) specimens of every element. Though occasionally too compressed (".at room temperature" needs to be added to a statement that "Only bromine and mercury are liquids," for example) and also nearly devoid of leads to sources for further research, this broad introduction is current enough to include mention of Element #117 (probably observed in 2010) and chock-full of basic information cranked up with a generous admixture of "gosh-wow" facts about our universe's building blocks.-John Peters, Children's Literature Consultant, New York City (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

It's amazing what a bold font choice can do. Each chapter announces itself with huge text spread across two pages, and just like that, you perk up, wondering if this will outshine your typical nonfiction book about the elements. Indeed it does. Filling the oversize pages with eye-popping photos, sidebars, and factoids coming at you every which way, this entry in the three-tiered Discover More series (this volume is for the expert readers tier) is like a trip to a museum every reader will find at least a few things worth poring over. Each well-trod topic and organizational device receives a fresh, revitalized consideration. Examples: the table of elements is followed by a photographic version, impressive numbers are stretched for all they're worth across page bottoms, and so on. Best of all, a unique code allows downloading of a digital companion volume of similarly interesting content.--Kraus, Daniel Copyright 2010 Booklist