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Grade 5 Up–This collection of 10 working catapult projects offers a fascinating look at world history, military strategy, and physics, related with an engaging yet lighthearted touch. This historical context makes the projects all the more interesting. The working model of the Macedonian Ballista is cool, but even more so when one learns the role that catapults played in the campaigns of Alexander the Great. Instructions are clear, with full materials lists, helpful diagrams, and no skipped steps. Saw and drill are often required, along with hardware store purchases such as PVC pipe or specifically sized wood. Some of the finished results are large, such as God's Stone Thrower, a 5' x 5' construction with considerable flinging power, while a couple are smaller, tabletop-sized models that still propel successfully. Since the ultimate object is to fling things through the air, there is repeated emphasis on safety, including a first chapter entitled "Always Be Careful," an "adult supervision required" statement for every construction, and repeated warnings within the text. As for projectiles, water balloons, peanuts, and plastic cows are mentioned among "suitable ammunition," rather than the venomous snakes, cattle manure, or severed heads referred to in the historical portions. There's excellent booktalk potential here, and lively reading even for those who never get around to constructing a catapult.–Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
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"Fascinating." -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Puts the weapons in context of their times." -- Sacramento Bee
"This book is a hoot . . . the modern version of Fun for Boys and Harpers Electricity for Boys." -- Natural History
Overall, pretty good. I wish that there were more illustrations for building, and more/better parts lists.Published 7 days ago by Black&White
OK if you're interested in building miniature models that throw small rocks. If you want to chuck bowling balls 100 yards or more, this is not the book to get. Read morePublished 2 months ago by K. Trsek
bought this for my Godson's science fair project. It was a big help in designing and building his catapultPublished 7 months ago by Elizabeth Hunter
I bought 2 of these books for Christmas gifts this year. The one nephew loves history, so I know he will get a lot out of it. He is 11. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jen
Really cool book. Looking forward to learning the history and building some of the weapons with my kids.Published 10 months ago by Nino Yoingco
IF you want to have fun with the kids these are great simple projects. A lot better than watching the grand kids play video games!!!Published 12 months ago by Greg Trim
good book, but aimed at model makers: could give kids ideas :-)) Me, I wanna chuck Cadillacs!Published 12 months ago by Selby Sam Jones