Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Non-Fiction
Built To Last

Built To Last

Fall 2010 Non-Fiction
Ages: 10 & Up
Author: David MaCaulay
ISBN: 978-0-547-34240-5
Hardcover Price: $24.99

David Macaulay has made an impressive career of explaining devices as simple as levers and demystifying entities as complicated as the World Wide Web. Here, he combines and updates three of his books about buildings designed to endure the test of time-"Cathedral" (1973), "Castle" (1977) and "Mosque" (2003). This new and improved, three-in-one version features revised text, new illustrations, and the details, history, insight and wit readers have come to expect from this gifted author.

Each section traces the buildings from their start in back-breaking labor and simple tools to their completion as amazing architectural accomplishments. It becomes apparent that the designs these civilizations built continue to reflect those people and their times. Macaulay's first section, on castles, begins in 1272 with King Edward I's castle-based plan to unify Britain, Scotland and Wales. The plans set the design for castles to come and created a strategic style of architecture built to survive attacks and centuries. The Cathedral section begins in 13th-Century France, where the Church constructed magnificent halls for worship. Finally, the mosque section starts with the 16th-Century Ottomans, who built their intricately designed spiritual centerpieces throughout the Muslim empire.

Alongside the remarkable hand-drawn images, the book contextualizes these ancient and medieval buildings. At times, the explanations become necessarily sophisticated and technical, but they always remain accessible, thought-provoking, and entertaining. This is a rare and exceptional book.

Don Oldenburg   ©2010 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

Look for this product at:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/ Harcourt Children's Books

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