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Bridges and Tunnels: Investigate Feats of Engineering with 25 Projects    by Donna Latham & Jen Vaughn Amazon.com order for
Bridges and Tunnels
by Donna Latham
Order:  USA  Can
Nomad, 2012 (2012)
Softcover
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Youngsters nine and older will find this very informative book not only a fascinating read but the hands on activities and projects offer the opportunity to do a little bridge building and tunnel digging as well.

There are chapters on the physics of bridges and tunnels, and amazing bridges and tunnels, as well as bridge and tunnel disasters. Specialized vocabulary such as dead load, corrode, bedrock, and abutment are set off in special Words to Know boxes as are interesting bits of trivia which appear in Did You Know? sections.

Among some of the amazing bridges and tunnels the reader will learn about are the Niagara River Suspension Bridge, the Ponte Fabricio built in Rome in 62 BCE, the 31-mile Chunnel that connects France and Great Britain, and the even longer Seikan Tunnel that connects the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido.

Activities include making a milk carton turbine, a liquefaction action experiment, constructing a bridge that will support 100 pennies with just a sheet of paper and five paper clips, and fashioning a geodesic dome out of marshmallows.

Although I thought the information on bridges and tunnels was excellent, I found the line drawings used to illustrate the book just average. The activities were also hit or miss some looked worth trying but others didn't get me too excited. For younger readers, though, this would be a good introduction to the basic engineering that goes into constructing both bridges and tunnels.

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