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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Review: How Do Hang Gliders Work?

How Do Hang Gliders Work? Jennifer Boothroyd Lerner Publishing Group
Who hasn’t dreamed of flying?  Jennifer Boothroyd’s How Do Hang Gliders Work? fulfills that dream vicariously and answers its title's question. I suspect the target age is K-3 with its simple sentences and large font, pointing out “The hang glider is high in the sky!”  Equipment vocabulary is listed without complication.  This pays off later when the text puts them into action.

Basic scientific terms like gravity and lift (including ridge and thermal) are introduced.  Concepts such as weight shifting the glider like a tire swing are brilliantly brought to the kid’s level, using objects kids are likely to have used or seen.

The appendix contains a diagrammed illustration, a glossary, an index, further reading (websites and books), and fun facts like hang gliders have flown for 400 miles.  Of course, I would have liked a little more explanation of lift (I suspect the higher end of the target grade levels could have handled it), but this book takes a technical subject and allows readers to feel they can go hang-glide immediately after.  Well done.

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