14 Booklist June 1 & 15, 2016 www.booklistreader.com
ents. The content is geared toward those who
are considering combining as well as those
who are already blended and facing challenges. The book is organized into three sections.
“Opportunities and Challenges” includes a
useful quiz about adult attachment styles to
help readers understand their own style and
that of their partner. In section 2, the authors
lay out the “Five Things You Must Have to
Succeed,” and section 3 covers “Stories and
Practical Insights.” In the “Do’s and Don’ts”
list in section 3, the authors reach beyond
their own expertise and include insights from
marriage-expert John Gottman and financial-expert Suze Orman. Mullineaux’s own story
adds a personal touch and credibility to the
mix. Despite the large number of blended
families, there aren’t a lot of titles on the topic. Blending Families: Merging Households with
Kids 8–18 would be a useful addition for any
public library. —Joyce McIntosh
UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids
Succeed in Our All-about-Me World.
By Michele Borba.
June 2016. 288p. Touchstone, $25 (9781501110030). 649.
Education expert Borba has noted a troubling trend among young people: a lack of
empathy, leading to increases in aggression and
bullying, higher anxiety levels, and self-centered rather than community-centered ways
of thinking. Her practical
solution, which she calls the
“empathy advantage,” helps
combat these issues. Drawn
from years of research and
observation, Borba presents
a nine-step plan intended
to help children and teens
develop the essential skill of
empathy. Each chapter focuses on a specific
aspect of empathy, and Borba presents case
studies, practical steps parents and educators
can take to instill the value of empathy in
children, and specific strategies and activities
that can be used for preschoolers, school-age
children, and tweens and teens. Though Borba’s suggestions are supported by research, the
presentation is anecdotal and readable rather
than academic, and the empathy-building activities are generally simple, fun for children,
and easy to implement into daily life. Shelves’
worth of books have been published over the
years highlighting what characteristics children
need to succeed, but Borba builds an excellent
case for empathy, and parents concerned with
the trend toward self-absorption and bullying
among young people will find useful tips to
counteract the negative messages children are
hearing. —Nanette Donohue
Your Kid’s a Brat and It’s All Your
Fault: Nip the Attitude in the Bud—from
Toddler to Tween.
By Elaine Rose Glickman.
June 2016. 320p. Tarcher, paper, $16 (9780399173127).
The parenting advice that columnist Glick-
A Botanist’s Vocabulary: 1,300 Terms
man dispenses in this book is only slightly less
of weather forecasting. Readers are treated to
the history of meteorological inventions—
barometers and anemometers—and detailed
and fascinating biographies of scientists, from
“arm flailers” in the British Royal Society, in-
cluding Robert FitzRoy, vice-admiral of the
Meteorological Office, who committed suicide
out of public humiliation over not being able
to predict the weather and private financial
troubles. Then there’s William Ferrel of rural
Pennsylvania, who first made the discovery that
global winds blew in curved patterns. String
theory and other effects of the wind are touched
on as well, such as rock and dune erosion
and wind power. Though Streever occasion-
ally overindulges in his own sailing experience,
his ability to make complex concepts easy to
understand while still capturing the awe and
mystery of nature is spot-on. —Sarah Grant
Explained and Illustrated.
By Susan K. Pell and Bobbi Angell.
2016. 228p. illus. Timber, paper, $24.95
Botanists speak and write in a particular
scientific language that is unfamiliar to many
people who enjoy plants and want to learn
more about them. Students, gardeners, and
even professional botanists will find much to
like in this expanded glossary, with its concise
definitions and elegant drawings. Some definitions include antonyms and synonyms of the
word and see also references, leading users to
expand their vocabularies further. Many of the
deceptively simple line drawings are almost
three-dimensional, as in the leafy branch demonstrating the zigzagging pattern of flexuose.
Alternate spellings or forms are indicated for
some terms. Other drawings are cutaways that
show the interior locations of the word defined.
Users of botanical keys to determine plant family or species will find this book an aid. Some
keys use common words, but as identification
becomes more difficult, with more “if-then”
choices, the terms may need defining. Botany
reference collections will find this a welcome
addition for users of all levels. —Linda Scarth
UXL Encyclopedia of Weather and
Natural Disasters. 2d ed.
Ed. by Amy Hackney Blackwell.
5v. 2016. 1,200p. illus. Gale/UXL, $436
This completely updated edition offers 300
essays on a wide variety of topics from Acid
rain to the World Meteorological Organization. While the first edition was arranged by
thematic chapters, the new edition features
shorter entries arranged alphabetically. Each
volume begins with a list of all of the entries
arranged by scientific field for students focusing on a particular area of study and a chapter
devoted to “Research and Activity Ideas” appropriate for students and teachers.
The entries are written in a clear and easily
accessible style and range in length from a few
paragraphs to a few pages. Updated content
includes entries on the earthquake in Haiti in
2010 and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011. Each entry features a “Words to
Know” box that highlights vocabulary from
the entry and provides definitions. Boxed
areas are also used to highlight key pieces of
information. Entries conclude with a list of
related entries to investigate for further information. Colorful photographs, images,
charts, and maps are included throughout. In
addition, the title of the current entry or section appears along the top of each page for
easier navigation. Each of the five volumes
concludes with a comprehensive list of books,
periodicals, and websites for further information, and a general index. This set would be a
welcome addition to public or middle-school
libraries. —Maren Ostergard
YA/C: UXL titles are a staple in middle-and high-school reference collections, and
this should find a place in most libraries
serving young adults. RV.
Rise of the Machines: A Cybernetic
By Thomas Rid.
June 2016. 416p. Norton, $27.95 (9780393286007). 609.
In the 1940s, computers were just big calculating machines built to solve complicated
technology problems, such as successfully aiming antiaircraft guns at German warplanes.
People entered data and applied results. In
time, however, computers became smaller,
more powerful, diversified, and integrated with
other technologies. Imagining that a close hu-man-machine bond would lead to a bountiful
utopian society, visionaries coined the relationship “cybernetics.” Unfortunately, as machines
rose, human social progress did not keep pace.
In Rise of the Machines, professor of war studies Rid chronicles how the promise of a better
world was compromised by greed, crime, politics, and war. Recounting developments of
industrial automation, artificial intelligence,
e-mail, personal computers, the Internet, and
digital commerce, the author shows how every advance is shadowed by social disruption
as people surrender more control to machines
and to the wealthy who control the machines.
Baby boomers will read as a history of their
time; younger readers may be shocked by what
they have inherited. —Rick Roche
Blending Families: Merging Households
with Kids 8–18.
By Trevor Crow Mullineaux and Maryann
June 2016. 236p. Rowman & Littlefield, $35
(9781442243101); e-book, $34.99 (9781442243118).
Considering that 50 percent of families in
the U.S. are formed by a remarriage or recou-pling, this optimistic and realistic book will be
a good resource for many parents and steppar-