Stronger Than Steel: Spider Silk DNA and the Quest for Better Bulletproof Vest, Sutures, and Parachute Rope by Bridget Heos. A Scientists in the Field Book.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: February 2013
List Price: $18.99
Review: Have you ever wondered about the value of spider webs and silk? Bridget Heos, the author of Stronger Than Steel, has written a non-fiction book to inform the readers about how silk is made. She also provides information on the various uses of silk webs and what creates them. Stronger Than Steel is part of series called Scientists in the Field.
Stronger Than Steel explains how silk can be found in nature. Dr. Randy Lewis and other scientists at the University of Wyoming try to study the golden orb weaver. A golden orb weaver is a spider that has strong silk. This spider produces silk webs that can be used to make bulletproof vests and parachute ropes. It can also be used to suture the brain, eyeball, spinal cord, and other body parts. The problem with getting silk from these spiders is that finding the webs in the wild is time consuming. It takes a lot of spider webs to get enough spider webs so scientists are injecting spider silk genes into goats. Does that sound crazy? It's hard to believe how many ways they are trying to produce silk. Lastly, experiments are being done with alfalfa to carry the spider silk genes. Will they find strong enough silk to hold a spider man action figure or better yet a human?
Stronger Than Steel taught me about the value of spider webs and how they be used. A girl may not like this book because of all the creepy crawlies that they talk about in the book. Although this would be a perfect book for boys that like spiders, silk worm and even goats Stronger Than Steel could be enjoyable for little kids because there are a lot of pictures that will entice younger children. This book is perfect for research papers, book reports, and simply for amusement because it has all that informational text about getting silk along with a story about how the scientist families help out in the research labs. If you are a lover of fictional stories, this book may not be for you, but it's certainly worth giving it a try. You might even find you like nonfiction better than you thought. Stronger Than Steel is a fantastic book; it has creepy crawlies and provides information in a great format. I recommend Stronger Than Steel to strong readers 11 and up.
Review written by Matthew (6th grade student).
We would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing a copy of Stronger Than Steel: Spider Silk DNA and the Quest for Better Bulletproof Vest, Sutures, and Parachute Rope for this review.
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