Bound To Stay Bound

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Booklist - 07/01/2017 *Starred Review* In 100 fact-crammed but surprisingly zippy pages, nonfiction graphic novelist extraordinaire Brown covers 14 billion years of Earth’s development. From the big bang to our planet’s origin to landmass formation to the appearance of life, Brown and scientific consultant Perfit provide an astonishingly comprehensive overview and manage to humanize it with witty asides from the woodchuck and worm who serve as surrogate teacher and student, as well as quick visits with important historical scientists. Brown’s art—loose, easy lines but clear, vivid representations—also strikes a necessary balance between friendly accessibility and accurate portrayal. Comics are not a form naturally inclined to delivery of hard facts, and the speed with which information is conveyed here doesn’t make it ideal for, say, supporting a long-range science curriculum. But comics have always held a strong suit in high accessibility for young readers, and this could serve as a good beginning research source and will be a nifty opportunity for burgeoning geologists or anyone looking for a deeper way to explore the real world. A word of warning, though, that between climate change, gradual landmass upheavals, and the eventual cooking of the planet by the sun, things don’t wrap up on a particularly hopeful note. Appended with three helpful illustrated diagrams and extensive source notes. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 09/01/2017 Gr 3–6—To a wisecracking worm (and readers), a groundhog recaps in graphic panels the history of our planet from the big bang to the present, and beyond. It's a heavy dose of information, but along with the worm's interjections ("Basalt? Does that go with Ba-Pepper?"), Brown's informal drawings and diagrams effectively lighten the load. At times, though, things get a little too casual. An observation that continents "come and go like pizza deliveries" is obscure, and the statement that "Apples don't fall from trees but are drawn to the ground by gravity" is a difference without a distinction. Still, amid entertaining repartee, clear accounts of notable occurrences such as select extinction events ("Earth had a VERY BAD DAY!"), plus explanations of geologic processes such as continental drift, join side profiles (dubbed "Deep Time Comix") of notable geologists to impart a lucid, coherent picture of what our planet's been up to and how we found out. Back matter includes a geologic "clock," source notes, a generous bibliography, and a final graphic featurette that will fill readers in on human-caused climate change. VERDICT Despite a few bobbles, this is a worthy work of graphic nonfiction for earth science units.—John Peters, Children's Literature Consultant, New York - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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