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How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World — 7 Comments

  1. Great book for kids who are into learning new things and like science! This would be very beneficial for our 5/6th middle school teacher to incorporate into her class. It is a bit overwhelming, so by having the teacher use it, all children could be exposed. 4/5 stars.

  2. I LOVED this book. I was fascinated by extremely basic inventions leading to so many other inventions. I thought it was a quick, easy read that the kids would enjoy! Left me wondering, why can’t I think of that? 😉 5 stars.

  3. I did not enjoy this book as much as some of the other books. I thought that it read more like a textbook and was too dense. I enjoyed the connections the author made, but I think students would have a hard time getting through the whole book.

  4. This book definitely read more like an encyclopedia to me. While the facts about each of the six innovations were interesting, I think they went on a little long and students might lose interest if reading for pleasure. If they were reading with a purpose, like doing a report on one of the six topics, it would be better. I would have liked it more if there were more topics with shorter sections. I did, however, learn some fun facts and this book offers a great glimpse of the past and how six things that students may take for granted came to be. 3 stars.

  5. This book set out to challenge you to look at the innovations in glass, cold, sound, clean, time, and light with new eyes, and it certainly delivered. Although I’m not a history buff and don’t actively seek out history texts, I do enjoy learning about how things unexpectedly came to be. This book was filled with interesting stories that really put you in a place of awe to consider how different the world once was, and how different the world would be today had things played out differently.

    I would recommend this book to readers who have a passion for non-fiction reading, in-depth learning, and a decent scientific background. Although this is the young reader’s edition, I still found the text to be quite complex, both in terms of sentence structure and required background for understanding. In the classroom, I could also see using this book in conjunction with the PBS/BBC series and in guided reading groups. I think this book would be a great fit for using with readers by reading selections of each chapter while also working on various comprehension and fluency strategies.

    Overall rating: 4.5/5 stars

  6. How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World is a fascinating look at everyday things we take for granted. I personally learned a lot and was impressed by the courage innovators have to have in order to push forward their ideas. The author incorporated interesting personal bits about people’s quirks that made these historical figures seem more human and easier to relate to. A theme stressed is that there is much crossover in various science disciplines and when ideas converge big things happen. I found this book to be something of a crossover itself between the subjects of science, history and business. This book would be useful as a supplement to textbooks in the previously mentioned subjects. I would also recommend this to more mature students who prefer nonfiction. 4 stars.

  7. How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World is a fascinating book. I like how this book is written at an age appropriate level. I like how Johnson focused on just six topics and stuck to that. I feel anymore than six topics, kids would lose interest in the book very quickly. I do think this book could work in a science classroom studying/working on one specific topic. I do feel this book would get overwhelming if a student were expected to read the entire book. I would not recommend this book as a pleasure read for students but rather a good tool when discussing one of the six topics. I would rate this book a 2 for pleasure read but a 4 in a classroom setting that was studying one of the six topics.