The New Way Things Work
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The New Way Things Work

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  846 ratings  ·  29 reviews
The information age is upon us, baffling us with thousands of complicated state-of-the-art technologies. To help make sense of the computer age, David Macaulay brings us The New Way Things Work. This completely updated and expanded edition describes twelve new machines and includes more than seventy new pages detailing the latest innovations. With an entirely new section t...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published October 26th 1998 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1998)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,979)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
My parents got me this book when I was a kid for Christmas. I still have it on my shelf, and it's still actually a really good, really informative reference book. Like any other David Macaulay book, it's fully illustrated (another Caldecott winner I believe) and fun to just look at. The texts read fairly clearly as well, and it outlines everything from the simple tools (wedges, inlined planes, levers, and wheels) to the insanely complex (Solid rocket boosters for the space shuttle and nuclear po...more
Amar Pai
The drawings are too messy. It's nice that this book is organized by principle of operation (lever, pulley, etc.) rather than function. But the illustrations don't really illustrate things very well-- especially for machines where you need to visualize all 3 dimensions.

Whatever happened to electronic paper? This book would be awesome if the diagrams were all animated. Sure you could go to a web site, but resolution/portability are so much better with a real book. You can't read the internet in t...more
Apr 08, 2010 Joseph rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a neat book explaining all that high and "techy" stuff which can be so hard to comprehend---until now. The Author and Illustrator, David Macaulay, really did a great job on this. It seems as if it's a long book (400 pgs.) but there so many illustrations it actually isn't too lengthy, and trust me, even if you're like me and aren't "techy", this book is not boring at all. Very enjoyable and a great way to introduce children to the Way Things Work!
Jb O'pry
This is one of my favorite books that I have ever read. It is fun and informative. The book has these funny stories with mammoths and how things were discovered. There was even a cartoon on this book. This book starts with the simplest stuff, like gears and screws, then goes to the most complicated things like how a computer processes information. You can start reading this book not knowing how things work at all and finish this book knowing how everything works. You feel kind of smart after you...more
Sophie Nora
My brothers and i love this book. it is filled with comical pictures and diagrams which don't just TELL you what happens when you get an X ray, but it shows you. Great for homeschooling. I also recomend The way we work, by the same author.
Mo Tipton
This book is rad. If college physics bored you to tears and left you plotting various ways to murder your professor--maybe I'm alone on that one--you should give this book a try. I had no idea that levers, spur gears and planes could actually be interesting, much less "boring-sounding" concepts like force or work...but I was oh-so-wrong.

A quirky little narrator leads you through the book, stopping along the way to introduce the surprisingly small amount of components which make up nearly every o...more
Chester Richmond
Macaulay outdoes himself in this massive compilation that covers the broad subjects of mechanics of movement, harnessing the elements, working with waves, electricity and automation, the digital domain, and the invention of machines. Each section could become the centerpiece to a plethora of lessons. Detailed description and illustration of how wheels and axels work in different inventions could teach your students foundational knowledge that could be applied to an abundance of subjects at a lat...more
It was really confusing. the only thing I understood was how a key works. and I barely understood THAT!
JoshuaB CLC
Good and informational.
Oh boy, a book you can pore over and over and over! My kids ate this book up, and went and did some research on their own after reading parts of it. It's a great book, and the mammoth cartoons added character. I checked to make sure my kids took the mammoth with a grain of salt, and they just rolled their eyes at me, so that wasn't a problem.
WSL Library
Jan 14, 2014 WSL Library added it
Shelves: science
Jenny Brown
Few authors can break down complex topics the way David Macaulay can. If you’re child responds to every answer with another “why?,” this is the book you want.

Full review:
I’ll be honest, I didn’t read every entry in this book. But that is because the breadth of the information is simply amazing. Colorful, vibrant, and humorous even, it really is the perfect book to leave sitting in a classroom for a curious reader.
Sep 23, 2007 Nathan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: The curious.
Shelves: reference, science
Stop. Put down your phone. Don't call the library to ask how that toaster works. Check with this book first. Satiate your curiosity. Feel empowered. Be amused at the witty illustrations. Breathe. Feel relaxed. Put down the phone.

Margaret Metz
My sons thought this book was so much fun that I had to keep dragging it out of their bedroom to use it for school. This is one of those books they read for fun. You have to love that.
Reference book for kids on the physics of "how things work". Everything from toilets to Cameras is listed here, along with cute little caveman and mammoth cartoons as illustrations.
Sarah Ziskend
Good for:
- good for students interested in robotics or how things are made
- good for teaching engineering and technology
-could be used as a wholemgroupmread aloud
This is the current bedtime book Mark is reading the the kids. They love telling me all about what they learned the night before. A very fun way to learn physics.
Joshua Kyle
This book was my Aristotle for so many years of my youth.

Catapulting mammoths, the place the poop goes in castles, circuitries beautiful elegance...
this is a great book -- for kids and adults. the illustrations are great and the explanations are clear and engaging.
Jun 02, 2013 Jill marked it as quit
A few pages in, despite being my father's daughter, it appears I am not meant to understand how/why things work.
This is a great book. It takes me back to my middle school days in science class. This would be a great book to own.
One of my favorite books as a child, which I still reference as an adult.
Brandon Hartshorn
Good as The New Way Things Work, but less stuff and older. :)
The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay (1998)
Dax  M
have the original, wanna check this
Gavin Smith
cool how hings work dictionary!
weird seeing it applied to modern tech
Mckay Gammons
very funny &scientific
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 65 66 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Moliere: A Biography
  • The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition (Peloponnesian War)
  • My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath
  • The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion
  • Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals
  • My Life As Author And Editor
  • The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age
  • A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays
  • Pushkin: A Biography
  • Brigadoon (Vocal Score)
  • The Little Locksmith
  • New Poems of Emily Dickinson
  • Selected Letters, 1913-1965
  • Monsieur Proust
  • A Monetary History of the United States 1867-1960
  • George W. Bushisms: The Slate Book of Accidental Wit and Wisdom of Our 43rd President
  • The Holy Barbarians
  • The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000
David Macaulay, born in 1946, was eleven when his parents moved from England to Bloomfield, New Jersey. He found himself having to adjust from an idyllic English childhood to life in a fast paced American city. During this time he began to draw seriously, and after graduating from high school he enrolled in the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). After spending his fifth year at RISD in Rome on...more
More about David Macaulay...
Black and White Castle The Way Things Work Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction Motel of the Mysteries

Share This Book