With the intriguing idea of exploring what lies below the surface of the Earth as its broad theme, this fascinating book cleverly dices up the subject into small, more manageable pieces ready to be devoured by young readers, particularly boys. The basics are covered in detail, such as the physical properties of the Earth's crust (including its unusual features such as volcanoes and caves), as well as animals with underground habitats. There is a treasure trove of information on the uses humans have made of the underground --- from bunkers used during wartime, to burial sites, to the Paris Metro --- as well as possibilities for the future, even on Mars! What makes this book truly unique, however, are the less expected subjects it covers --- fully examining, for example, the subterranean city of Cappadocia, where early Christians hid from Roman soldiers; King Tut's tomb and its alleged curse; and the underground dungeons used for torture in medieval castles.
This is an extraordinary resource for earth science or social sciences lessons covering any number of diverse subjects, from paleontology to archaeology, from mythology to ancient civilizations and from engineering to agriculture. The format is conducive to browsing, with every topic covered on a two-page spread. The text by Jane Price is easy to read and accessible, and engaging illustrations by James Gulliver Hancock, along with many photographs, help to visualize the sometimes-complicated concepts. Boxes, fun facts and funny captions keep things lively and entertaining. A generous index helps with navigation.
Grades 3-6. This cleverly conceived book encourages kids to consider the mysteries to be found beneath their own feet. Price covers a wide range of topics in multiple disciplines, including geology, biology, archaeology, current events, and human geography. An introduction discusses the basics of tectonics and the layers of the earth’s crust, and an entire chapter is devoted to underground animals and their unconventional habitats. Then we move to even more interesting stuff. The tombs of Egyptian pharaohs are described alongside Qin’s army of terracotta soldiers. A veritable city below the streets of Paris is explored, complete with mass transit tunnels, a secret cinema, the infamous catacombs, and a WWII–era command bunker. With painstaking detail, Hancock’s illustrations take center stage on the pages dealing with underground Tokyo, a subterranean farm, a shopping center, and an underground temple. Future prospects for underground exploration are examined. Visual appeal, high-interest text, and a wide scope of information inspire young readers to dig deeper—literally.