The Way We Work: Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body
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The Way We Work: Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  172 ratings  ·  36 reviews
In this comprehensive and entertaining resource, David Macaulay reveals the inner workings of the human body as only he could. In order to present this complicated subject in an accurate and entertaining way, he put in years of research. He sat in on anatomy classes, dissections, and even reached inside the rib cages of two cadavers to compare their spleen sizes. He observ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 7th 2008 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Punk
Non-Fiction. A walk through the human body, starting at the atomic level, moving on to tissues and organs, and ending with reproduction, accompanied with a variety of illustrations. The book is fun (in the appendix, there's an appendix!); the writing can be jokey and the illustrations often include ladders and tiny people commenting on the action. The artwork is colorful and detailed, frequently depicting human systems as factories or machines.

So it's playful, but there's serious science going o...more
Nicole
Oct 12, 2008 Nicole rated it 2 of 5 stars Recommends it for: those who give attention to detail, those who already know and love D Mac
I may not be popular for saying this, but David Maculay is just not my style. I appreciate the genius behind his books, but they are not ones I hold near and dear to my heart.

Not to be all SB about it, but I think I like the man more than his work. And so it should come as no surprise that I greatly enjoyed working his event. Daddy Mac likes to talk, no question about that, but his slides were interesting and I was okay with the almost hour long presentation.

I'm stoked for his upcoming Earth boo...more
Edie
Macaulay takes apart our bodies and organizes them by function, with humor, intensity and his characteristic artistic skill. The complexity is profound, his respect, clear and the explanations perhaps more complete than some would want, but very informative. A book for all the family to read in bits and pieces, as the spirit, or their body, moves them.
Jonathan

In a companion volume to THE WAY THINGS WORK, Macaulay tackles anatomy and physiology. The best nonfiction book of the year--and one of the very best in any genre.
Annie
I am borrowing a lovely review by Carol Hurst:

Macaulay has turned his able hand from The Way Things Work to The Way We Work. Well written with fascinating drawings he breaks human anatomy and physiology into seven chapters: Building Life (cell structure), Air Traffic Control (respiration), Let's Eat (digestion), Who's in Charge Here (nervous system), Battle Stations (immune system), Moving On (skeletal and musculature), and Extending the Line (reproduction). Most of the 336 pages are covered wit...more
Sally
When I first pick up a book, I simultaneously take in several factors: look/design (is it pleasing, appropriate to subject?), table of contents (it should reflect what the whole of the book is about), index (IS THERE ONE, and how efficient is it). Then I look something up, either from the contents or the index.

In this book, I found that it is very pleasing to the eye, and the contents AND index are terrific. There's even a glossary.

I was also quite pleased to see that reproduction was given mor...more
Kristy Lange
David Macaulay's spent five years researching and creating the book The Way We Work: Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body. Macaulay creates all of his books to learn about the topic, and in turn, he helps the reader learn something as well. This is reflected in his voice throughout the book. He intertwines understandable descriptions and correct terminology to give the reader all they need to know about the human body. He builds the body up, moving from small cells and atoms that create larger...more
Brittany Davis
Junior Book Log
Title: The Way We Work: Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body
Author: James Macaulay
Category: Informational #2
Source: Textbook pg. 294

This was an amazing book full of tons of information. I loved the way Macaulay started the book by looking at everything from under a microscope and discussing atoms. He moved into mitosis and parts of cells until he worked his way to organs and their functions. He went into detail about neurons, antibodies, reproduction and so many other topics. Th...more
Susan
Junior Book Log
Informational
Recommending Source: The Joy of Children's Literature p. 294


Maccaulay's illustrations makes learning about how the human body works possible for children. As if looking through a high powered microscope and slowly zooming out, the book begins with a close look at atoms and molecules and eventually move on to the different systems of the body as well as reproduction. The illustrations are realistic, yet included in humorous settings (e.g. a cowboy riding the contractin...more
Rodrigo
The one thing I found interesting about this book and other by the same author is the amount of research behind each book. On this particular book I think he spent five years or so. The use of vocabulary is correct and every picture depicts a human part in its correct functions. His illustrations engage the reader and creates a learning environment that can be enjoyed by everyone. He does so by introducing the smalls organism in the human body and slowly introduces the bigger ones. I think this...more
Chris Rock
Found this for a really good deal at the BYU Bookstore. I've been wanting it for a while because I have his other book "The (New) Way Things Work" and I enjoyed looking through that.

These books are interesting as it's hard to pick out exactly who the audience is for these books. The copious illustrations indicate a younger reader, but the text and content is definitely for someone around a middle-school level at least.

The illustrations for this book also seemed a little more rushed. That's under...more
Heather
I found this in the children's section, but I think (comprehension-wise) it would take at least a middle-school-aged student to follow along. (Trust me on this one - there's a lot of terminology that would have thrown me off without my college courses in physiology, microbiology, neuroscience, etc.) That being said, I think it is a GREAT overall look, and I think the pictures are simpler than the text. This is definitely an accurate representation that doesn't oversimplify.
Mike Salzman
I do not like anatomy. Blood makes me squeamish. Too many long words. But this book breaks down and explains the components of the body from the atomic level on up clearly and concisely all while keeping me entertained with Macaulay's charming illustrations. This is another book I'm going to save for my kids.
Sarah
I can see why some of the libraries in our system put this in their adult collections. This thorough guide to human anatomy tells you how everything works, and the more child appropriate pencil drawings are actually more illustrative for non-doctors than photographs. An exquisitely drawn book throughout.
Lauren
does just what it says on the box. an illustrated encyclopedia of human life processes, from the atomic level to the cellular, then to the different organ systems. lovely, engaging, comprehensive, accessible. if i had had this book when i was a child, i would have read it a hundred times by now.
Stephanie
Extremely informative with in-depth illustrations on every page, this book covers all the systems and functions of the Human Body. This reference would be an outstanding addition to health classes teaching anatomy, body systems, reproduction, and nutrition.
Anne
I love this book and wish I owned it. I'm such a geek.

The illustrations are fun, (most) of the explanations are approachable without being so watered down as to be worthless, and it's a fun experience. David Macauley is a god.
Laura
This is a great book for teaching kids to understanding the workings of the human body. The illustrations are top-notch. It's interesting to see artistic versions of what we normally see in computer images. Good explanations, too.
Bree
Notes:
each page can stand alone as a science lesson
drawings are really interesting, some are a bit complicated
written in a fun way that isn't too encylopedia-ish
last section on reproduction is not for under 10
Charleen
I really enjoyed this book, but not as much as the How Things Work book. With the human body, I would have preferred more realistic images of the body parts... but I guess I can get that elsewhere.
Sam
This book was awesome! It really tells you how our bodys work! I really enjoyed this book! It was really interesting to see how our bones move and learn all about how the things that help bones move!
Agathafrye
WOW. I wish I had had this book when I was younger. I would have definitely memorized all of my bones, etc; if I had this exhaustive and richly illustrated book to guide me.
Susan
Creative and informative book about the human body from artist extraordinare David Macaulay. I've only seen an excerpt so far, I can't wait to see the rest of the book.
Mimo
Nov 18, 2008 Mimo rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Mimo by: NPR
Shelves: non-fiction
I didn't actually read it all the way through, but it was a very cool book to look at and the parts I did read were great. Would make a good coffee table/ gift book.
Lisa
Excellent drawings of the way our bodies work. I understand muscles, pathogens and eyesight so much better now (among other functions).
Paige
I really love this series....fun but informative. If only I had lots of money to buy copies for my room. :)
Sara Q
Nov 10, 2011 Sara Q marked it as to-read
Recommended to Sara Q by: OCLC
Shelves: non-fiction, visual
Mentioned in the OCLC report on holdings from the top 25 public libraries
Alnora
Fun way to learn about the human body; its parts, how it works, etc.
stillme
ALA ALSC Notable 2009.
Great for the 8-14 kids who always ask "why"
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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
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