Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/875

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tion. The systematic place and external characteristics of the Ophidia are first explained, and then follow chapters on bones, muscles, and the digestive and vascular systems and special sense organs, and brief explanations of methods are given in appendixes. (Published by the author, Columbus, Ohio.)

Another of Appletons' Home-Reading Books is Harold's First Discoveries, in the Nature-Study series, by J. W. Troeger, designed for younger children. Harold observes what he sees, or at times goes out to see, and learns or is told about the dispersion of seeds like those of the milkweed, dandelion, thistle, etc., trees, fruits, vapor, frost, the magnet, metals, crystals, animal life, and budding and germiuation as illustrated in the willow, lilac, beans, and peas. The works in these series are furnished with practical hints as to the way the subjects may be dealt with in the teachers' guidance of their pupils, so as to awaken the most lively interest and contribute to real knowledge of them.

An account of Certain Aboriginal Mounds of the Georgia Coast, published by Clarence B. Moore in the Journal of the Academy of Sciences of Philadelphia, gives the result of five months' continuous work in the mounds along the coasts of the inland water passage, in the course of which twenty-one of them were examined. Remarks on the methods of burial observed in these mounds and in those of Florida—"bunched" and "flexed"—the burial of infants and burials in baskets and in jars, precede the accounts; attention is called to some rather marked differences in custom and practice found to have prevailed in the region and in Florida, and even in close neighborhood with one another. A chapter is added on Inhumation and Incineration in Europe, by the Marquis de Nadaillac. The paper is illustrated by figures in the text and fifteen excellent large plates.

Dr. M. L. Holbrook is of the opinion that "the time has come for man to take special interest in his own evolution, to study and apply so far as possible all the factors which will in any way promote race improvement." As a contribution to this study he offers his book on Stirpiculture (M. L. Holbrook & Co., New York, $1). We are not yet able, he admits, to apply perfectly all the factors that will promote race improvement, but we can make a beginning;" greater thoughtfulness may be given to suitable marriages; improved environment may be secured; better hygienic conditions taken advantage of; food may be improved; the knowledge we have gained in improving animals and plants, so far as applicable, may aid us; air, exercise, water, employment, social conditions, wealth and poverty, parental conditions, all have an influence on offspring, and man should be able to make them all tell to the advantage of future generations." These topics are discussed in so far as they bear upon the main question.

Mrs. L. L. W. Wilson's manual for teachers on Nature Study in Elementary Schools (the Macmillan Company, New York, 90 cents) is characterized by the editor, Francis W. Parker, as "an outgrowth of a rich, varied, and thoughtful experience with child nature and the nature that surrounds the child." The manner and atmosphere of the book justify the characterization. The method has been tested in the schoolroom with excellent results. It is planned to meet the needs of the ordinary grade teacher in the public schools of a city. It does not presuppose special knowledge on the part of the teacher, or special facilities for the collection of material, but earnestness in his work and all that pertains to it. The system is substantially an object lesson system, and should be assisted by class excursions for material. The excursions of the author's class were made into the street, in Philadelphia.

To their valuable and attractive series of Home Reading Books, Messrs. D. Appleton and Company have added The Hall of Shells (price, 60 cents), in which the young reader is introduced by the author, Mrs. A. S. Hardy, to the beauty and wonderful structure of mollusks and the habitations they construct for themselves. The characters in a simple story wander along the seashore gathering shells, or find them in their aquarium and converse freely about them—their forms, colors, peculiarities of structure, and the animals that inhabit them—under the guidance of one who has some scientific knowledge of them. In this way enough informa-