Wednesday 18 August 2021

Book review - How It All Works by Adam Dant and Brian Clegg

I received a copy of this book to review. Amazon links are affiliate. 

This week Harry and I have been reviewing a fascinating book by Adam Dant and Brian Clegg - How It All Works - All Scientific Laws and Phenomena Illustrated and Demonstrated.

This large hardback book shows us as readers how science in action affects our daily lives. The book reveals how the most interesting and complex scientific laws and phenomena crop up in everything that we see around us.

How It All Works book cover

Each chapter begins with an illustration, beginning in the kitchen before zooming out to twelve other locations. We start close by with the House and the Garden, then continue on to places found on the same street like the Hospital. We then travel much further afield, including among other places the Coastline, the Earth and the Solar System, before concluding with the Entire Universe. 

Adam Dent's large illustrations are incredibly detailed. Each location covered is one that you can relate to, and has many things to spark your interest. Hidden within each illustration are 46 different laws and phenomena, and when you spot an interesting detail you are eager to find out more.  

How It All Works book illustration inside

Turning the page you can find a selection of close ups taken from the original illustration accompanied by a description by science writer Brian Clegg of the law or phenomena which is being shown. The descriptions are simple and quite brief, but make a great jumping off point for further research on the topic. 

How It All Works book review with inside picture

As Brian Clegg says, "What these illustrations and their short descriptions will show is the way that in everything we do, in everything we experience, we are witnessing and taking part in scientific phenomena, guided and linked by scientific laws. Science is not just something we do at school or that professionals undertake in laboratories, it is at the heart of how everything works." 

Harry is 12 and is used to reading non-fiction books aimed at adults, and as I expected he loved this book. He enjoys books that he can browse through as and when, and this one fits the bill perfectly. You can either start at the beginning and work your way through it, or you can flick through until something catches your eye that you want to know more about. 

Although the principles covered are undoubtedly complicated, the descriptions are simple and easy to understand. If there's something that particularly catches your eye then you can easily do some further research to find out more about the topic.

I'd definitely recommend this book for adults and teenagers alike, and even younger children would enjoy looking through the illustrations and hunting for the details that are hidden in the larger picture.

How it All Works: All scientific laws and phenomena illustrated & demonstrated (Amazon affiliate link) will be published on 28th September 2021.

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