Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: A Beginner’s Guide to Immortality

Publish October 29, 2015

Readers looking for a quirky, fascinating tour of the human race’s quest for everlasting life will find it with debut author Maria Birmingham’s A Beginner’s Guide to Immortality: From Alchemy to Avatars. Humans have spent, well, forever trying to figure out how to live forever. From ancient potions meant to be the elixir of life, to current-day research into robotics, cloning, and cryogenics, Birmingham covers both the real and the imaginary. Wondering about the role of genetics? It’s here. Religious afterlife rituals? She’s got that covered, too. A Beginner’s Guide to Immortality even touches on famous Chinese folklore claiming eternity and recent research into lifestyle choices that may help you live longer—like getting a pet, eating watermelon, and flossing regularly—all through age-appropriate language, interesting facts and stats, and clever turns of phrase. Josh Holinaty’s colourful, lively illustrations depicting everything from naked mole rats and chromosomes to the illusive fountain of youth, add a light, whimsical feel, bringing the text to life and helping to reveal the ever-playful nature of human curiosity. A cornucopia of wise and wacky ways people have tried to achieve immortality, Birmingham’s witty book will appeal to even the most reluctant readers. And complete with a table of contents, sidebars, fact boxes, a map, a selected bibliography, and an index, this handy reference tool offers an endless bounty of possible cross-curricular discussion ideas and topics for teachers, including science, social studies, and history.

A Beginner’s Guide to Immortality: From Alchemy to Avatars

Maria Birmingham
Illustration EN: Josh Holinaty
Owlkids Books
ISBN 13: 9781771470452

Jennifer D. Foster
Jennifer D. Foster Jennifer D. Foster is a Toronto-based freelance editor, mentor, and writer, specializing in book and custom publishing, magazines, and marketing and communications. She loves kidlit, greyhounds, Japan, pumpkin pie and yard sales.  

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