From the depths of the Hoover Dam to space stations 240 miles above Earth, the latest entries in the Engineering Wonders series examine human-made marvels. Fusing vibrant full-page photos and educational diagrams with info-packed text, each installment explores an invention's origin, evolution, modern-day applications, and future. Elevators documents the pulleys and stone cylinders of ancient civilizations, Elisha Otis' 1854 steam-powered breakthrough, and the computer controlled creations of today. Maurer also stresses the role of the elevator in legendary landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building. In International Space Station, readers learn of the research facility's roots—a 1975 U.S.-Soviet spacecraft union—and its 13-year-long assembly process. Likening the football-field-length station to readers' own homes, Larson additionally spotlights space food, toilets, and "thermostats," also known as multigas monitors. Telescopes chronicles the transformation of the lens, from Galileo's refracting telescope and Sir Isaac Newtons reflecting telescope to Karl Jansky's groundbreaking radio telescope. Today, instruments like Chandra, a space-based x-ray telescope, offer astronomers a glimpse at otherwise invisible objects, including brown dwarfs and interstellar gas. Complete with glossaries, reading-comprehension questions, online resources, and—in Elevators and International Space Station—timeline, these comprehensive titles are a stellar resource for space-crazy or engineering-inclined middle-grade readers.
-Booklist, November 2017