Friday, November 26, 2021

Review: Colossus by Colin Hynson

Today's review hits a direction, which I don't see very often in the kidlit realm...and was thrilled to get my hands on. Engineering hits the spotlight to give young readers a glimpse at all sorts of possibilities. This book is for the middle grade audience and takes a look at all sorts of feats around the world. It's fully illustrated and well organized. 

Off we go! 

The World's Most Amazing Feats of Engineering
by Colin Hynson
Illustrated by Giulia Lombardo
Candlewick Press
Middle Grade Non-Fiction
80 pages
ages 8 to 12

Colossus explores some of the greatest feats of engineering in history, from ancient pyramids to enormous bridges to towering skyscrapers.

Have you ever wondered how it's possible for the tallest buildings in the world to stay standing through the most severe earthquakes? Or how a prehistoric civilization managed to build something as impressive as Stonehenge? Discover the engineering that has led to the most innovative buildings, bridges, and monuments on the planet, from towering skyscrapers to energy-creating dams to underground tunnels miles long. Learn how people have historically turned to engineering to build higher, farther, faster, and greener into the future.



With a wide view on everything from the ancient pyramids in Egypt to space stations, and from past to possible future, these pages bring the most amazing engineering accomplishments into focus.

With a clear and understandable Table of Contents, these pages open up to a wide variety of engineering feats. Many of these are ones reader's will recognize (or, at least, have heard of). Others will be new. Each one is briefly explained in its purpose (when known), it engineering uniqueness, and then, accompanied by various facts and interesting points. It's a book, which not only raises the respect and awareness of engineering, but also hits a bit upon history, cultures, and the needs of life, in general.

I was surprised at the wide span of engineering areas, which this book covers. While hitting well-known accomplishments such as the Eifel Tower and the Great Wall of China, it also hits upon others such as The Kelpies in Scotland and Nan Madol in Micronesia. Engineering objects in these pages include not only structures such as buildings, but reaches into canals, statues, space shuttles and more. Plus, it covers topics from history to future possibilities. 

The chapters are well laid and give a good overview. First, a general explanation is given before more specific examples are listed. Each of these receive a short description, which explain where they can be found, when they were created, their sizes, building duration, and any other interesting facts. Extra points are placed around the well-done illustrations, which point out more facts and interesting tidbits. Then, to add to the fun. a circle with a general fact about the theme is presented, too. While there could be more facts, these didn't overload the reader and still, leave a general handle on what's going on.

Engineering, history, and construction fans are going to find a wealth of information and variety in these pages. The information is presented in an age appropriate way, which doesn't talk down to the reader. While there are many facts, the writing style isn't dry but manages to remain a bit more relaxed. At the end, there is a glossary and index to round everything off and make this a great resource for general information. 

1 comment:

Heather N. Quinn said...

I'm excited about this one! My hubby has his PhD in coastal engineering, and has worked on fascinating projects around the world. I'll get this book for the grandkids. Thanks!