We received evaluation copies of Survive! Inside the Human Body: Vol. 1, Vol. 2, and Vol. 3 from No Starch Press. As soon as they arrived the books were unwrapped and perused, first by IrishKing then by our other children. From the quick look I took through them I can see why they were so enthralled. The comic book art is fantastic, they grab the reader’s attention and never let go. My children love Yu-Gi-Oh, so the manga style draws them in, and whilst they aren’t looking out for it, the books deliver a whole load of learning. Biology class was never this interesting before. I noticed that my youngest (IrishKing aged 9) was first through them, pretty much in one sitting, so in the interest of a fair an unbiased review of the books I posed some leading questions to him.
IrishDev: Tell me about the series, what happens?
IrishKing: Geo and Dr. Brain get shrunk and eaten by Phoebe. This story is about them going through her body in a special machine and finding parasites, worms and brain problems inside her. Dr. Brain’s helper Kay helps to get them out.
IrishDev: How long did it take you to read these books?
IrishKing: About half a day, but I’m a fast reader.
IrishDev: Did you read them straight through?
IrishKing: Yes, I kept wanting to know what would happen next when I finished each one.
IrishDev: What did you like about these books?
IrishKing: They are funny and the main character is stupid. The pictures are good.
IrishDev: What did you not like about these books?
IrishKing: They have lots of disgusting bits.
Survive! Inside the Human Body, Vol. 1: The Digestive System
IrishDev: Tell me about vol 1.
IrishKing: They find parasites inside the body.
IrishDev: What did you learn about the Digestive System?
IrishKing: The reason you get fat after eating is because the crumpled stuff in your tummy stretches out [I took this to mean that the reason you feel bloated after eating is that the digestive process in your intestines causes expansion, but the nine-year old view works too]
Survive! Inside the Human Body, Vol. 2: The Circulatory System
IrishDev: What did you learn about the Circulatory System?
IrishKing: Blood is really yellow, red blood cells are what makes it appear red.
Survive! Inside the Human Body, Vol. 3: The Nervous System
IrishDev: What did you learn about the Nervous System?
IrishKing: Touching some parts of the brain can make you punch stuff. When you are asleep you can still move your eyes and you can sleep with your eyes open very slightly.
So there you have it, my nine-year old read these cover to cover non stop. He was engaged throughout and wasn’t put out too much by the disgusting bits. My other children were equally enamoured with the series. The books get four thumbs up from us!