School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr 7 Up-Gear heads, physics buffs, and model builders are the potential audience for this book that's reminiscent of Popular Science magazine, but with small, poor-quality black-and-white photos depicting the steps to create various vehicles. Projects, including the creation of land, air, water, spinning, and "bizarro" machines, follow detailed opening chapters focusing on safety, materials, and basic circuitry. They also describe how to make switches, and how to wire batteries in serial and parallel configurations to construct a "roach" or a motor with a battery pack and a switch that will be used in projects throughout the book. The models are crafted out of materials such as Styrofoam, wood, film canister lids, wires, and brass fasteners, and, of course, magnets, batteries, tape, and hot glue. Boxed insets in each chapter explain the science behind the machines; trouble-shooting suggestions anticipate problems and suggest solutions. The author peppers the dense text with witty comments and asides, but it's clear this is a book for dedicated enthusiasts. The help of a knowledgeable adult will be necessary for most projects. An appendix of supply sources completes the package.-Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.