Review: All About Sleep from A to Zzzz by Elaine Scott

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Soul Meets Body by Death Cab for Cutie.

My reviews are a bit different than most. As an undercover superhero (ordinary girl extraordinaire), my purpose is to try and uncover hidden gems lost from the familiar radar. Because of this, I have set up some guidelines for myself (just like the pirate code). :)

I will focus on YA and Children's literature (with very rare exceptions).
I will not review any book that is one of the top 25,000 bestselling books (based on Amazon ranks).
I will try and aim for books 100,000 or larger.
I will review recent books or books of great merit (preferably both).

All About Sleep From A to Zzzz by Elaine Scott
Published: October 16, 2008
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Pages: 64
Current Amazon Rank: #608,751

Author's Website: Elaine Scott
Want it? Find it here.

The First Line:

Late at night on Saturday, June 25, 2005, a fifteen-year-old girl left her house near London, England.

My Take:

This is different than any review I've done thus far. This is my first foray into non-fiction book reviews.


I picked this one up at my library on a whim. Maybe it was the zombiefied sleepwalker on a treadmill, maybe it was the punnily clever title. Or maybe it was because it looked short and honestly, I didn't know that much about sleep other than stages of sleep and REM cycles.

It's a fascinating topic, right? We sleep a third of our lives away and it is so necessary that if we are deprived of it for too long, our bodies will shut down, even if we are in mortal peril. Yet we are still deciphering many mysteries of this alternate state of being. And the cool thing is, this book does a really fun job of laying it out in an accessible and enjoyable.

I read this in one sitting, straight through. That was one indicator it needed to be in my personal library. It does help it is only 64 pages long (all the better! No need to be daunted!) but that is beside the point. The information was so interesting and laid out so easily my brain absorbed it like a sponge. Plus, the cartoon sketches throughout the book are fun, like little prizes for turning more pages.

I learned things like:
When you dream everything below your neck is paralyzed (and for good reason)
The sewing machine was invented because of a nightmare
Sleepwalking has been used as a defense for murder

And other really cool bits of brain-matter stuff!

If you're thinking of dipping into non-fiction, this is certainly a delightful place to start.

The Final Word:

A fun little book chock full of information on sleep. The pictures are fun too.


Vanessa said...

Has sleepwalking been used as a *successful* defense for murder? I thought that only worked in books :)

I love dabbling in non-fiction. It really can be stranger than any fantasy.

Nice review!