Thursday, February 16, 2012

Seeing Red by Tanya Lloyd Kyi

Lately, I realised that kids have all the luck. They have great stories (like The King in the Window) and when people try to make them learn something, it's normally quite fun. One example is Seeing Red, which basically looks at blood (its history, people's perception of it, etc)

What I liked about this book is that it manages to devle into the world of blood (like blood sausages and blood brothers) without being too long or draggy. While it was a bit distracting to constantly look at the tibits of information here and there, I can see how it could actually sustain a child's attention span (my logic: ...reading...boring...hey new stuff!... reading -repeat-). I know that it works for my brother, and he's probably the correct age group.

And target audience. I have a feeling that this book is targeted towards boys, because it may be "icky". But I don't know, I read anything when I was young so I'm hardly the best judge. And admitedly, there are references to pop-culture like Buffy or -shudder- Twilight so I suppose this could be targeted at both genders.

If, after reading this, you aren't trying to mentally recall whether you've accidentally eaten blood (it is a part of many traditional dishes), they also provide a list of books for "Further Reading". This is different from the "Selected Sources", which have names that look much more boring than those in the "Further Reading" section.

The only thing that I didn't understand about this book was Harker, the boy who is used to tie the chapters together. I don't quite understand why he's researching about it, but his 'notes' at the end of the chapter does provide interesting things for reflection.

And one small thing they left out. The book mentions how people used to think that personality is affected by blood, but completely forgot about how big this phenonemon is in Japan. If I'm correct, quite a few people still believe in blood types affecting personality. And if you're curious, here's a short list that I took from Tofugu:

Type A

People with Type A blood are said to be timid, mild-mannered, and pretty earnest. A Type A person might be like that bookworm sitting in the corner of the library. However, Type A people are also known to be stubborn and anxious.

Type B

Type B is particularly important to me, because my blood type is B+! People with Type B are like Miley Cyrusthey can’t be tamed. They’re supposed to be wild, creative free-thinkers. But Type B people are also supposedly erratic and selfish.

Type O

Type O blood is pretty unique. People with Type O blood are known as “universal donors,” because Type O blood can be used in any type of blood transfusion. If people with Type A blood are Clark Kent, Type O people are Superman. People with Type O blood types are said to be outgoing, confident and passionate with very dominant personalities. It’s said that public figures are often Type O, like politicians and baseball players

Type AB

Those with Type AB blood are supposed to be somewhere in between Type A and Type B blood. They’re supposed to be social people who are at the same time very calm and in control. But Type AB people can also be very aloof and irresponsible.

The full article is called True Blood: Personality and Blood Types in Japan and has really interesting information and pictures (blood type towels anyone?)
Disclaimer: I got this book from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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