Label: Biology

March 1, 2019

Guts | Book CoverThe more things change, the more they stay the same. I was intrigued when HarperCollins asked me to update my NSTA award-winning book GUTS. It’s always been one of my favorite titles-short, strong, to the point, and just the right kind of "gross" for kids!

I try to begin a book in a way that will make the topic relevant to my readers. Here is how I did it in GUTS:

You probably eat three meals and several snacks a day. That adds up to hundreds of pounds of food in a year. The digestive systems turns the truckload of sandwiches, milk, salads, and pizzas that you eat each year into the energy and the nutrients that your body needs.

That certainly grounds the material in a kid’s point of view. But, our digestive system is still exactly the system of organs that it has always been. So why the update?

  Pill camera held between doctor's fingersScience and technology have advanced so much since I first wrote the book that it’s really the imaging that is powerful and new in this updated edition. For example, to get a look inside your stomach doctors can now have patients swallow a pill that is actually a tiny camera-called an "endoscope capsule." As it travels through your digestive tract it takes thousands of pictures for your doctor to see.

The way we talk about nutrition with children has also changed. The old "food pyramid" analogy has been replaced, and today’s kids are accustomed to "choosing my food plate," which consists of a large serving of vegetables, equal portions of fruits, grains and proteins, and a small serving of milk or other dairy products. We reflect those new USDA guidelines in this updated edition of the book.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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