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Underground Paperback – March 23, 1983


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 1230L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; - edition (March 23, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395340659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395340653
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 9.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A straightforward yet fascinating description of the labyrinth beneath the feet of any city dweller. And what a complex covered world David Macaulay reveals! He invents an intersection of two streets and proceeds to show what we all might find if we dared to descend through that Alice-in-Wonderland manhole." The New York Times

About the Author

David Macaulay is an award-winning author and illustrator whose books have sold millions of copies in the United States alone, and his work has been translated into a dozen languages. Macaulay has garnered numerous awards including the Caldecott Medal and Honor Awards, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Christopher Award, an American Institute of Architects Medal, and the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award. In 2006, he was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, given "to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations." Superb design, magnificent illustrations, and clearly presented information distinguish all of his books. David Macaulay lives with his family in Vermont.

More About the Author

David Macaulay is an award-winning author and illustrator whose books have sold millions of copies in the United States alone, and his work has been translated into a dozen languages. Macaulay has garnered numerous awards including the Caldecott Medal and Honor Awards, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Christopher Award, an American Institute of Architects Medal, and the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award. In 2006, he was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, given "to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations." Superb design, magnificent illustrations, and clearly presented information distinguish all of his books. David Macaulay lives with his family in Vermont.

Customer Reviews

I purchased the ebook but going to order a hard copy as well.
john d simpson
I like the drawings and the explanations were very easy to understand for me.
edwardtt
The illustrations are clear and informative, with just a touch of whimsy.
KURT H KROHN

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By David Group on July 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book ranks as one of Macaulay's best, as it reveals the networks of systems that are the lifeblood of a city, from various building foundations to sewers to subways, showing how they are constructed and sometimes interact with each other. The text, though minimal, is packed with information, which is supplemented by the superb and detailed drawings. One of the coolest aspects of the book, though, is the views from below, as if a rat with x-ray vision were able to gaze up at this intricate maze of technological wonders. Macaulay's sense of humor is evident throughout, as seen by his inclusion of various critters (including an alligator and an elephant), lots of references to dogs and fire hydrants, a billboard ad for his book PYRAMID, and even a human skull and hand (!!) in one drawing of an excavation. Great fun to read and highly recommended.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Marco Antonio Abarca VINE VOICE on January 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
Most book illustrators portray buildings from an eagle's eye perspective. A few talented illustrators will open up the buildings and give insightful cross sectional views. What makes this book so special is that David Macaulay shows us buildings from the perspective of looking up from the bedrock on which the building rests. This is unique and is typical of Macaulay's great visual imagination and wit.

This book concentrates on a big city corner where four large buildings sit. The story begins with the foundation excavation, the pouring of foundation pilings and moves up to building infrastructure that sits just below the city street. We are all aware that a great deal of engineering goes into making large cities livable. However, there is nothing like a well illustrated book to help one understand the sheer complexity of our modern infrastructure.

I would recommend this book to older children with an interest in the physical world around them. It is also a great book for adults with an interest in architecture and urban planning. There are illustrators with better drafting skills than David Macaulay but when it comes to sheer imagination, Macaulay is in a league of his own. Highly recommended.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By KURT H KROHN on October 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
What Mr. Macaulay does is pull up a city by the roots, shake the dirt off, and take a no-nonsense (well, maybe a little nonsense) look at what is revealed. The illustrations are clear and informative, with just a touch of whimsy. The book covers sanitary sewers, storm sewers, water lines, electricity, telephone, subways and building foundations. A gift for aspiring civil engineers of all ages!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Brady on July 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
David Macauley's work has just gotten better thru the years ...but even his early books like underground are wonderful! I received this book as a child & I'm now ordering it as a gift.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By AcornMan on June 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Macaulay uses his amazing talents to turn the world upside down in this unique book. Children (and even adults) will learn all kinds of things about what's beneath a modern city. I enjoyed showing my son the illustrations and explaining what it all means. Do beware, however, that this is a pretty abstract topic and that it can be difficult for younger kids to fully comprehend exactly what's going on. After all, thinking about what a city would like like with all the soil and rock removed and from many feet below street level is not a simple idea. So this one is probably best for older kids, as opposed to earlier works by Macaulay such as Cathedral or Castle that are much more tangible and easy for kids to comprehend.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James Sangster on September 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
An award winning book, famous amongst teachers of architecture. This book is full of pen and ink cutaway line drawings of just about every underground structure, explaining to the lay person how they all interact. The problem is it is set in the USA, but that aside, it is a very interesting book.

J
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Charles A. Hall on February 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
this the best book i have found to explain to eit's (engineering in training) just what civil engineering is all about.
it may be a childern's book, but it is the best on the subject of undeground utilities and transportation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David F on September 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Unfortunately his illustrations just don't come across in the Kindle ebook version of his works.

Part of the problem is that there are many different versions of Kindle devices in the world, not only are there real Amazon Kindle devices but there are Kindle readers for a number of tablets and other hardware devices.

I get the impression that Amazon can only provide one level of resolution for illustrations for all the devices that are out there... I have an iPad (and I am aware that there are other even higher resolution tablets on the market now) and it's more than capable of displaying Macaulay's illustrations in great detail, even if they would have to be panned and zoomed to really appreciate them.

But Amazon apparently can't provide the appropriate pixel-per-square-inch values to accommodate all the hardware variables of hardware that can read them.

This isn't just an Amazon problem, as it happens I bought a similar book from B&N and it has the exact same problem, images that are displayed at well below the capability of their reader on my hardware.

What's the solution? I have nothing like even a remotely like an informed opinion on this issue so I don't know if different versions of ebooks for different readers are possible.

For now, though, I'd have to recommend that while books and routine illustrations work just fine elsewhere in the ebook universe, for books like Macaulay's that require high level graphics and illustrations... you should just buy the paper version, which works just fine. I'll be doing so with Underground and the ebooks I bought from B&N.

Edit: I'm thinking "PDF", as in Portable Document Format, that at least tries to address the different capabilities of different devices, with some success.
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