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Review: 50 Body Questions: A Book That Spills Its Guts (Kyi, Kinnaird)

AUTHOR: Tanya Lloyd Kyi
ILLUSTRATOR: Ross Kinnaird
SERIES: 50 Questions
PUBLISHER: Annick Press
PUBLICATION DATE: February 6, 2014
ISBN: 9781554516124
PAGES: 105
SOURCE: NetGalley
GENRE: nonfiction; science; anatomy
GIVE IT TO: upper-elementary, MS

 SUMMARY: Scientific answers to 50 humorous questions about the human body such as: Are there aliens inside you?, What is the best bug barrier around?, and What’s IQ to you?

REVIEW: Oh my goodness, what a beautifully-illustrated and well-written biology book for kids and teens! I love the folksy language that will easily draw-in upper-elementary and middle school readers. Scientific terms and explanations are presented in a way that young readers can relate to. It’s interesting! There is a recipe for synthetic snot, simple scientific experiments to try at home or school, colorful timelines, and tons of interesting facts and captions.

50 Body Questions is nonfiction done RIGHT. Illustrations are clean and colorful without overwhelming the text. Paragraphs are not simply long chunks of information; here, the facts are broken up by anecdotes, illustrations, and lots of color. The illustrator uses the entire page with beautiful, interesting, and varied layouts. Preteen readers might not even realize they are reading factual information about science.

I strongly recommend 50 Body Questions for all elementary and middle school libraries. There is much to learn from this engaging and beautiful nonfiction title. I was previously unaware of this series of five books, and I just added all five to my next book order. The other four titles include 50 questions about fire, poisons, climate, and underwear.


  • SCIENCE: Endless possibilities for elementary and middle school science classes. Simple experiments such as “Balance Buster” (p. 65), “Red Brain, Blue Brain” (p. 71), “Reflex-ology” (p. 91), and four others could be done right in the classroom in minutes.

THE BOTTOM LINE: A must for elementary and middle school libraries.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: On order, along with the other 4 titles in the series.

READALIKES: You Wouldn’t Want to Be a… series (various authors); Seeing Red: The True Story of Blood (Kyi/Rolston)

Presentation & layout: 5/5–colorful, excellent use of space

Quality of information: 5/5–Lots of information presented in an easy-to-read format

Photos/illustrations: 5/5–colorful cartoons that compliment the text and tone perfectly

Documentation of sources: 5/5–Sources are broken down by the book’s seven chapters into three pages of sources. Multiple references included for each chapter. Sources include academic journals, websites, a radio program, and two newspapers.

Front and back matter: 5/5–Includes colorful and illustrated TOC, a 4-page glossary (colorful, includes a few illustrations), and Further Reading (all nonfiction titles for middle grade readers), 3-page index, and an About the Author & Illustrator page

Engrossing: 5/5–Very easy to read and understand. Perfect for browsers and reluctant readers who like science.

Writing: 5/5–Funny, conversational, interesting.

Appeal to teens: 5/5–Especially useful for browsers and reluctant readers.

Appropriate length: 5/5–Chapters are of similar lengths. Lots of illustrations and colorful captions help break up the text.

CONTENT: No worries about content for younger readers.

  • Language: none
  • Sexuality: none
  • Violence: none
  • Drugs/Alcohol: none
  • Other: none

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