Sunday, September 7, 2014

Review: Hello from 2030: The Science and Future of You (Schutten)



AUTHOR: Jan Paul Schutten
SERIES: none
PUBLISHER: Aladdin/Beyond Words
PUBLICATION DATE: October 7, 2014
ISBN: 9781582704746
PAGES: 224 
SOURCE: NetGalley 
GENRE: nonfiction; science 
GIVE IT TO: upper-elementary, MS, HS  
SUMMARY: Examines possibilities for earth's future in the year 2030. Specifically focuses on scientific advancements including artificial intelligence, environmental concerns, and human lifestyle.

REVIEW: This book reminds me of a ride at Epcot Center in Disneyworld Orlando. The ride, inside the iconic Spaceship Earth (the giant "golf ball" structure), takes riders on a 15-minute tour of the history of human technological advancements. Traveling from cavemen huddled around a fire through Walt Disney's imagined city of the future, Spaceship Earth is a ride that every Disney enthusiast needs to visit at least once.

Hello from 2030 looks at possible future inventions that will help make our future lives easier, cleaner, and healthier. The book pays special attention to environmental concerns such as food and water shortages, global warming, disease, and deforestation. I like how Schutten addresses these issues honestly but without being overly gloom-and-doom. The "scarier" issues of the uncertain future focus more on causes and prevention than on a "sky is falling" mentality. Rather than scaring younger readers, I think this look at the future will motivate them to become more energy-conscious and aware of their own roles in conservation.

USES FOR TEACHERS/LIBRARIANS:
  • ART/ARCHITECTURE: Design a room or home of the future. Lots of math applications for this as well.
  • SCIENCE: Conservation efforts. What can you do to help conserve water, curb pollution, grow new food, etc.?
  • ENGLISH: Write a letter from yourself in 2030. What is the world like? What do you do all day? Do you have a family? What are the problems and possible solutions?

THE BOTTOM LINE: An interesting look at technological and environmental possibilities in the year 2030.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: On order.

READALIKES: Robotics: Discover the Science and Technology of the Future (Ceceri)

Presentation & layout: 5/5--colorful and varied, lots of white space

Quality of information: 5/5--Not alarmist; no obvious agenda beyond conveying information about the future

Photos/illustrations: 5/5--colorful photos and/or drawings on nearly every page; pages are clean and white, but many pages have colorful background art (does not impede or distract from text)

Documentation of sources: 5/5--Author thanks six college professors for their input but does not specify their fields of expertise or give any information besides their names. Extremely thorough "Notes" section at end gives references and links of interest--it is 35-pages in length and broken down by chapter. Index section is planned but not available at the time of my review.

Front and back matter: 5/5--Includes TOC, 35-pages of Notes, Acknowledgements, Index (not viewed)

Engrossing: 4/5--Very easy to read and understand. I wasn't always riveted, but it was interesting enough for me to complete in one sitting.

Writing: 5/5--Love the conversational tone, which will draw readers in.

Appeal to teens: 5/5--Who isn't interested in the not-so-distant future?

Appropriate length: 5/5--Interesting enough for me to read in one sitting. Though it has 224 pages, lots of colorful illustrations and ample use of white space break up the text nicely.

CONTENT:
  • Language: none
  • Sexuality: none
  • Violence: none
  • Drugs/Alcohol: none
  • Other: none
Hello from 2030 refers to Watson the Computer's "Jeopardy" competition against two humans. Here is the 19-minute video of that competition. Very cool!




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