Illustrator: Mike Lowery
Category: Children's
Publisher: Little Simon
Cover Type: Paperback

Did you know that the biggest desert in the world is actually covered in snow?

Or that Christopher Columbus wasn’t the first to think that the Earth was round?


Mike Lowery via the Lilla Rogers Studio


Illustrator of Jeopardy! Champion and NYT bestselling author Ken Jennings’

Paperback ISBN 978-1442473287, $7.99

Hardcover ISBN 978-1481426145, $12.99

ISBN: 978-1481426145
Price: $7.99
CopyrightDate: 2014


“The new line of Junior Genius Guide books kicks off with a stellar collection of facts about climate, national flags, maps, and more, all in an engaging, arch tone.

Cartoon illustrations, inset boxes, and Jennings’ jokey patter break each fact-stuffed page into delicious wonder-bites, each as satisfying as the next: Papua New Guinea’s flag was designed by a 15-year-old; a fear of maps is called cartophobia; the largest country with no permanent lake or river is Saudi Arabia; and so on. This is no mere list, however: games, pop quizzes (including an encoded answer key and cipher to solve it), jokes, mnemonic devices, and even suggestions for field trips will pull in any young trivia fan. Lowery’s black-and-white spot illustrations help explain concepts, such as cartographic projections, and add the overall levity, making this a successful nonfiction package as well as pure reading fun.”

Booklist; starred review

“Jeopardy legend Jennings scores a win with this title in his new middle grade nonfiction series. Lowery's sketches are a big selling point; the silly tone they evoke matches the lightheartedness of the text perfectly. One of the strengths of this book is that Jennings is able to sneak in important geography concepts through what will feel like a series of interesting facts. For instance, when he discusses the Dead Sea, readers may be surprised to learn not only that it is not the saltiest body of water in the world but also that there is enough gold in the ocean to give every person on earth five pounds of it, if it could be extracted. The book concludes with a fun final exam that would be an excellent and inconspicuous way to test reading comprehension, as well as some suggestions for how to keep learning about maps and geography in real life. A great addition to middle grade libraries, both school and public.”

School Library Journal--Trina Bolfing
Westbank Libraries