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The Way Things Work Now Hardcover – Illustrated, October 4, 2016

4.8 out of 5 stars 520 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6 Up—It's been 28 years since Macaulay's brilliant volume exploded on the scene and 12 since its last updating, and with the technological world quickly evolving, this incarnation is more than welcome. Covering everything from the simplest of machines to the modern microcompressor, Macaulay uses clever illustrations and a lucid (often amusing) text to explain the complex interrelationships of the mechanical world. But it is the illustrations that catch the eye. Yes, the woolly mammoths still galumph through the pages, demonstrating such principles as heat by radiating warmth while acting as a rotund clothes dryer. Small people also potter about, dancing to a record player (yes, still included), pulping wood, and tilting at windmills. Small flutters of angels appear, positioning camshafts and adjusting camera lenses. But these seemingly frivolous drawings focus readers' attention on the matter at hand. "Things," both in the real world and in this book, have changed. The writing is tighter. Color has burst into the illustrations, making the whole hefty tome appear lighter and brighter. Some elements have vanished: the elevator is gone; the escalator remains. Hybrid cars appear while the tape recorder has slipped away, as has the compact disc player. Sections on the computer and robots have been completely redone. A small note: Briticisms are back. The mechanical world is evolving at warp speed, and the solidly printed page cannot keep up. But that is no reason not to embrace this long-awaited update to one of the more original books ever printed. VERDICT A delightful choice for browsing and reference.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY


Amazon Best Children’s Books of the Year: NonFiction
San Francisco Chronicle Best of 2016
New York Times Bestseller

"... long-awaited update to one of the more original books ever printed."
School Library Journal

* “Macaulay's brilliantly designed, engagingly informal diagrams and cutaways bring within the grasp of even casual viewers a greater understanding of the technological wonders of both past and present. Necessary for every library, personal or otherwise.”—Kirkus, starred review

Praise for The Way Things Work
The Way Things Work is a superb achievement. It is a very handsome book, a fascinating collection of riddles and a sound educational accomplishment that, while explaining in words and pictures - mostly pictures - some of the mysteries of physics, makes you smile, and often laugh. The author is honest enough to say that the book was intended for children of all ages, and brilliant enough to make all its readers feel brighter than they ever thought they could be.”—The New York Times
The Way Things Work is not the only book that has tried to explain modern mysteries, but it's the best. Macaulay's explanations are lucid; they are also fun. He includes visual puns, running jokes, a cast of thousands of tiny participants in on and around the machines, choirs of angels and lots of big woolly mammoths.”—Boston Globe

“Keep the book a secret from your kids for a while and study up on the explanations of questions you're anticipating. Let Macaulay make you look smarter than you think you are. The kids will certainly be impressed - and you'll be getting a real education in the bargain.”—The Los Angeles Times

An astonishing tour-de-force  by the architect-turned-author who has given us Cathedral and City.” —Kirkus

“This is a work of mammoth imagination, energy, and humor. It justifies every critic's belief that information and entertainment are not mutually exclusive - good nonfiction is storytelling at its best.” — The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

“Combining the tongue-in-cheek observations of a budding prehistoric engineer with acute descriptions of the functioning of mechanical and electrical machines, Macaulay has produced a superb volume.”­—The Horn Book, starred review

“A book to be treasured as both a browsing item and as a gold mine of reference information.”­—School Library Journal, starred review

Product details

  • Grade Level : 7 - 9
  • Item Weight : 3.55 pounds
  • Hardcover : 400 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0544824385
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0544824386
  • Product Dimensions : 8.44 x 1.31 x 10.88 inches
  • Publisher : HMH Books for Young Readers; Illustrated Edition (October 4, 2016)
  • Reading level : 12 and up
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 520 ratings
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