Every Minute on Earth, by Steve Murrie and Matthew Murrie

How many times have you been asked the question: ‘What’s happening?’ and you shrugged your shoulders and answered, ‘Not much.’ You’ve probably had this conversation more than once today, not to mention the first ten minutes you are at school, the first phone call you receive on the weekend and every time you meet someone new. The truth is that thousands of things are happening every minute of every day on Earth. You might be surprised to discover how much really happens: the number of lightning strikes, the amount of water that flows from the Amazon in to the ocean, how far the Earth travels, how much a whale can inhale, how many miles the fastest plane can travel, all in just one minute.

A minute doesn’t seem very long, unless you’re waiting for something to happen, or waiting for the phone to ring. But, globally, quite a lot happens in this seemingly short period of time. There are five earthquakes strong enough to be felt; around 1800 galaxies collide with other galaxies; a red blood cell will travel 8.2 metres in one minute; almost a thousand camera phones are sold and 134 horses are born. Every Minute on Earth has collected facts, sorted them into sections and presents each with an explanation and further examples. There is an introduction detailing, among other things, just how a minute came to be called a minute. Eight sections categorise the facts under titles such as ‘Earth’, ‘Technology’, ‘Animals’, ‘Food’ and more. Each section ends with two activities for readers to try for themselves. Every Minute on Earth ends with Source notes and a detailed index.

Children (and many adults) are fascinated by facts. Often though the information is hard to understand or really imagine. Every Minute on Earth explains sometimes complex concepts in easy to understand language. Each fact has its own page and simple illustration, but also related information and sometimes extra ‘interesting facts’. Each fact is in larger font and coloured blue like the page border, allowing readers to skim through the facts if they choose. Each activity can be enjoyed just for fun, but each demonstrates in a tangible way some of the information contained in the preceding chapter. Activities contain more complex elements should the reader wish to extend their experience. The set out of each chapter is clear, the explanations are interesting but simple enough for young readers. Recommended for mid-primary readers and anyone interested in knowing a bit more about the world.

Every Minute on Earth, by Steve Murrie and Matthew Murrie, ill Mary Anne Lloyd
Scholastic 2008
ISBN: 9781741691382