HUMAN BODY A Book With Guts!

July 13, 2011

Human Body

A Book With Guts

By Dan Green

Created by Basher

Kingfisher, 2011

ISBN # Age Range: 10 and up

ISBN: 978-0-7534-6501-1

Grades 5 and up

It’s Nonfiction Monday at Chapter Book of the Day. Stop by!

“Your body is a most amazing machine. It is armed with toollike hands, propelled by two legs, and governed by a brain capable of independent thought (well, sometimes), speech, and problem solving. Supertough on the outside—think skin, hair, nails–your insides comprise all the delicate organs and impressively sophisticated body systems that keep you in perfect shape.”

Human Body follows Basher’s series style with funny and fun-filled facts about all aspects of the human body in this one. Told in the chatty, irreverent manner with subdivisions that include the main groups of body systems, the book will take middle grade kids on a fact-packed ride through the body. Man, woman, and baby are introduced, followed by body building blocks, and funny, descriptive titles for the body systems that follow, such as Wheezing Windbags and Bloody Busybodies (circulatory and respiratory systems), Food Crew and Trash Gang (digestive) Team Players and System Administrators (lymph, immunity, and glands).

A cartoon image faces the text side of the page and helps illustrate the scientific information. The book includes an index and glossary, plus a poster of the overall picture of the book.

The appeal of this book is that it can be read straight through or read out of order, section by section. It is easy to follow and understand and presents information aimed at the middle grade kids who are being introduced to the body and its functions. This is a fun one and reveals the body processes in more like an action film than a science text.


Choose one body system and list the organs and other parts that make up that system. Look up more quantitative facts for each listed part.

Quantitative facts include facts with numbers.

Trace the movements of what that body system does.

This site has good detailed information about body systems.

This site has more facts about the body systems. It does include the male and female reproductive systems.

National Science Standard: structure and function in living systems

Book provided by publisher

Human Organs

July 21, 2010

Human Organs

By Kristi Lew

Capstone Press, 2010

Fact Finders Series

ISBN # 978-1-4296-3339-0

Grades 3-5


    “Lots of people work together to make life in a city possible. Some people work in bakeries and make food. Police and firefighter make sure the city is safe. And other people keep the city clean. Everyone has a job to do.

     Your body is sort of like a city too. Every organ in the human body has an important job to do. Your lungs help you breathe. Your heart pumps blood through your body. And your brain controls everything. In your body, your organs work together to keep you alive.”

As a third grader with a diabetic father, I decided to write a report on the pancreas when assigned to write about the body. I prepared my report and carefully taped an insulin syringe to the cover for decoration (in was in a different time!). I don’t remember what grade I received, but I was hooked. I fell in love with science, especially the body.

I would have loved to have read this book then. While introducing the different organs, it provides the facts but delivers them in a way that kids can relate to, as well as enjoy. The catchy headings like “The Liver Delivers,” “Poop Maker,” and “The Growler” make it entertaining and helps the reader remember the organs.

The cross section image of the heart provokes immediate interest. My husband even picked up the book to look at the cover image. The book begins with a table of contents and relates the body to a city. It goes on to explain systems and what makes an organ, and then traces the jobs of each organ. It ends with a description of the special relationship each organ has with the others. A labeled diagram, glossary, read more and internet section, and an index (which I used to check for pancreas) complete the back matter.

The book doesn’t address the reproductive system, making it elementary library friendly, although it should be there (in my opinion). My only concern, having taught elementary (and middle school) science is the first glimpse of the diagram on page 29. The end of the descending colon appears to be in a forward position, inviting giggles until it becomes clear it’s in the DIGESTIVE system and not the reproductive system.

Activity 1

Make a list of the body systems in this book. Now rank them according to most valuable to least. What sort of ranking did you do? Can one system with its organs be more important that others?

Activity 2

After writing the list of body systems, write the names of the organs that work in each body system by creating a chart or graphic organizer to show at a glance which organ goes with each system.

This site provides good, basic information.

Here is more detailed, extensive information for those interested in the body.

National Science Standard: structure and function in living systems

Book provided by publisher.


October 28, 2009


Open Me Up     Everything You Need to Know About the Human Body

by Laura Buller, Julie Ferris, Niki Foreman, Fran Jones, Susan Kennedy, Ashwin Khurana, and Richard Walker; Editorial consultant Richard Walker

DK Publishing, 2009

 ISBN #978-0-7566-5532-7

Nonfiction, grades 4 and up

256 pages

This hip, somewhat irreverent book of everything about the body has extensive information presented in a variety of styles and ways that are intended to attract kids to the facts in a nontraditional manner. Examples include a graphic novel style explanation of Fleming’s discovery of penicillin, anatomical illustrations explaining arm muscle mechanics, cartoon style information about hair, and a digestive system illustration made of balloons, all showing one aspect of the way the human body functions. The entire set of systems is presented in one way or another and topics related to the body help round out each section. Back matter includes the body systems with an accompanying illustration and an index.

The cover shows a 3-D die cut of a human body that reveals the inner organs and is sure to attract attention. This book should appeal to students reluctant to learn science in more traditional ways as well as kids who are interested in details, trivia, and other odd facts.


Select one of the body systems from the book. Create their own graphic style page based on one similar to what is presented in the book to illustrate, explain, and display information about the organs making up that system.

National Science Standard: Structure and function in living systems


Book provided by DK Publishing

The WEE Book of PEE

October 21, 2009


The Wee Book of Pee

The Amazingly Gross Human Body Series

By Kelly Regan Barnhill

Capstone, 2010 (Edge Books)

ISBN #1-4296-3357-3

Reading level grades 3-4   

Interest level grades 3-9

“Pee isn’t just some stinky yellow stuff people flush down the toilet. The body’s cells are constantly making waste products while they work. Something has to clean out all the gunk. Luckily, we have an amazing system of organs that keep our bodies clean and healthy. Let’s take a closer look at pee and how it’s made.

From needing to “go” on a car trip to peeing through history, this book sets the scene for the job the urinary system and its organs do in relationship to proper body functioning as an organism. Going about the job of cleaning the blood isn’t necessarily the polite topic of conversation in most places, but the importance of the job the urinary system does certainly is, and the book not only gives the outright facts but makes it fun, fascinating, and of course, gross!

New vocabulary is highlighted in blue and defined in a little sidebar at the bottom of the page. Details about how the organs work and their place in the urinary system make up a big part of the text areas. Photos and labeled diagrams clarify the text, and difficult ideas, such as pH, are explained clearly. The major illnesses related to the urinary system are mentioned and odd, quirky facts will help draw in the reader.

The title certainly drew me in. As a former science teacher, I can’t help but love topics (and books) like this. I wish this sort of book had been readily available when I was a child. I’m drawn to the way the systems in the body are so unbelievably intertwined and books like this can appeal to budding scientists or readers who want to know something gross equally well.

On a personal note, my dad had Type I diabetes and went into kidney failure when his kidney function dropped to 12% capacity. He started dialysis and I came to learn much about the disease, system, and nutrition involved with the shutdown of this important system of organs. While much progress has been made in controlling blood sugar and the damage it causes in the kidneys, the rise of Type II diabetes and resulting kidney failure continues to affect many people today.  This post is in memory of my dad, George Smith.

Activity 1

Review the organs of the urinary system. Draw the urinary system and label the major organs. Write a paragraph that follows the sequence of the wastes filtered from the blood through the kidneys to the urethra.

This print out of the urinary system can be used for the younger students.

Here’s a short movie about the urinary system.

This kid friendly site has information, games, and a coloring page.

Activity 2 For the older students

Look up dialysis and find out how it works to mechanically clean the body’s wastes.

This site has helpful information.

This site provides links to more kidney information.

National Science Standard: organization in living systems

This book is one in a series of six books about the human body and functions titled The Amazingly Gross Human Body.

Book received from Capstone Press.


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