Series Review: Human Body Helpers

The human body is wonderful and complex! There are so many different systems that work together to keep our bodies functioning at their peaks. However, sometimes our bodies need a little help. The new series Human Body Helpers looks at what happens when four different parts of our body aren’t working at their best: eyes, teeth, legs/bones, and ears.

Each book starts with an explanation of the body part that might need help. The book progresses into an explanation of the helping technology, why the technology may be needed, and how the technology works. The process of getting the technology through going to a specific kind of doctor is discussed. Practical sections on what to expect with the technology, do’s and don’t’s for using the technology, and life with and/or after the technology round out the titles.

Wearing Glasses by Harriet Brundle. 9781534529496. Kidhaven Press. 2019. Grades 2-4.
Wearing Glasses looks at when our eyes need some help. For some people, the things around them may look a little blurry. Glasses help those people see everything around them clearly. The author clearly explains myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness), and how glasses work to correct each, in a way that kids will understand. Contacts are also mentioned at the end.

Wearing Braces by Harriet Brundle. 9781534529458. Kidhaven Press. 2019. Grades 2-4.
Wearing Braces looks at when our teeth need some help. While a lot of people’s teeth are lined up and spaced as they should be, some people’s teeth are zig-zaggy or scrunched together or too far apart. Braces can correct these differences. Different types of braces are discussed, as well as how they each work. Of note in this title is the section on life after braces, in which the author teaches readers about retainers.

Using a Wheelchair by Harriet Brundle. 9781534529571. Kidhaven Press. 2019. Grades 2-4.
Using a Wheelchair looks at when our legs or bones need some help. This title briefly mentions wheelchair use for people with disabilities, but the greater emphasis is on wheelchair use for people with broken bones. Different kinds and designs of wheelchairs are explored, and wheelchair safety is discussed. There are also tips on how to maintain a cast, such as not getting it wet.

Using Hearing Aids by Harriet Brundle. 9781534529533. Kidhaven Press. 2019. Grades 2-4.
Using Hearing Aids looks at when our ears need some help. Both behind-the-ear and in-the-ear hearing aid designs are discussed. Perhaps the best feature in this book is the discussion of how hearing aid needs may change throughout the lifetime, and the importance of regularly checking in with an audiologist to monitor the hearing aid’s effectiveness.

I would recommend these books for kids in grades 2-4. They would be useful in preparing children for getting a new helping technology, but would also be great for helping children understand differences they may notice in their family, friends, or classmates. Here’s to celebrating the things that make us different!