When I requested a review copy of this book I expected a book on the story of evolution – Charles Darwin, his finches, the idea of variation and natural selection. But I did not expect this book to cover such a broad range of topics and link them to the idea of evolution, I never imagined they would include things like how fossils are formed, the layers of rock, co-evolution or genetics. However even though I was not expecting those things to be covered, now that I have read it I feel like it makes sense, these topics that we often think of, as separate ideas really are intertwined and it makes sense to look at them all together.
Billions of Years, Amazing Changes the story of evolution – is an introduction to evolution, and it covers the topic beautifully, it gives background and context and it explains how evolution is linked into other topics eg rock formation and genetics.
The age recommendation for this book is ages 8 – 12. But I feel that might be a bit misleading. The book is written with quite long detailed paragraphs so 8 or 9 year olds who are not strong readers might struggle with it (they also do not shy away from using proper words so some kids may need help with the vocabulary used, although that being said I LOVE that you include the proper words). In fact if I had an eight year old who wanted to read this I would probably read it with them (but that is just my personal opinion). It is not what I would consider an easy read but it is a very informative and worthwhile read but really I would say it is geared for the older kids, in fact I would go as far as saying more of the 10+ ages, if they are reading it independently. And I would say lots of kids over the age of 12 will still benefit from reading this (I will totally admit that this adult learnt quite a bit from reading it).
When my son read it, I suggested that he break it into chunks. He is an advance reader but I wanted him to read it, think about it and then read some more later once he had had time to digest it all. So he read it over a week, doing a bit every day. And I must admit even when I read it I broke it down into chunks.
They have taken a very broad look at evolution, by that I mean they really have thought about all the different things that are linked to it. I liked that aspect of this book. I like it when books surprise you by extending the topic into areas that you were not expecting. And that is exactly what this book did to me, it surprised me and made me think of this topic in a whole new light.
I must also say that they have included some stunning photographs in this book, but then my son and I always love beautiful photographs of animals, and these photographs are clear, detailed and the colours are exquisite.
I would definitely say this book is aimed at the older kids and at kids who find this topic interesting because it does go into quite a bit of detail and I think kids not interested in this topic may find it a bit long and a bit too detailed.
Admin – I did ask for a review copy of this book because it is a topic that my son finds interesting and one that I really do not know that much about.
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