Sunday, March 16, 2014

100 People Who Made History by Ben Gilliland

100 People Who Made History features people who helped shape the world. They come from many different walks of life and includes explorers, inventors, leaders, artists, and much more.

I loved this book! It's filled with so many fascinating people. There were many that I recognized: Marco Polo, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, Aristotle, Joan of Arc, Walt Disney, and Elvis Presley, to name a few. Even though these names were familiar I didn't know everything the book had to say about them. There were also many people that I didn't recognize: Dmitri Mendeleev (created the first version of the Periodic Table), Cai Lun (invented paper), Mary Seacole (pioneering nurse), Saladin (Muslim leader who retook the Holy Land), David Ogilvy (the father of modern advertising). I found each and every one of them interesting.

The book is divided into categories: Daring Discoverers, Inspirational Inventors, Thoughtful Thinkers, Leading Leaders, and Clued-up Creatives. The author presented the information in a couple of different formats. Some people took up one page, some 2 pages, while others were condensed so that several appeared on one page.

One of my favourite parts if the "All About Me" section, which features year of birth and death, nationality, interesting factoid (claim to fame), and a brief summary. I liked it because it gave me a brief snapshot of the person before I read more about them. This was particularly helpful for those I was unfamiliar with. I would have liked it if the author included this information for each of the figures in the book. Unfortunately, that didn't happened.

The other two parts that I enjoyed were "He couldn't have done it without...", which showed the person's forefathers and their contributions, and "He paved the way for...", which showed those who came after him in his field. These people benefitted from the work that had already been done. I liked these two sections because it gave me some perspective on the person's work and put it into context.

I also liked that the book contained some more modern figures like, Jobs and Wozniak, Zuckerberg, and Nelson Mandela. Having said that, I enjoyed reading about all of the figures in the book, both historical and more contemporary.

Two pages at the back of the book are dedicated to more people who have made contributions, but didn't quite make the top 100 list. These include: Noah Webster, Sacajawea, Helen Keller, Tommy Douglas, Gloria Steinem, Terry Fox, and many others.

The book also includes a table of contents, a glossary, and an index.

Highly recommended. It's written for younger readers (7-12 year olds), but older readers might also enjoyed this one provided they don't need a lot of information on each person.

For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit DK's website.

I'd like to thank Chris at DK Canada for this review copy.

100 People Who Made History by Ben Gulliland, Dorling Kindersley (DK), ©2012. ISBN 9780756690038(Hardcover), 128p.

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