Remaking the John

The Invention and Reinvention of the Toilet

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 - Grade 12   ·  
  • Reading Level: Grade 7

Did you know that about 40 percent of the world’s population lives without toilets? That’s more than two billion people, most of whom live in rural areas or crowded urban slums. And according to the World Health Organization, diseases spread by the lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. In particular, diarrheal diseases kill more than two million people each year, most of them children.

Everyone needs to go to the bathroom, and from the citizens of the world’s earliest human settlements to astronauts living on the International Space Station, the challenge has been the same: how to safely and effectively dispose of human body wastes. Toilet history includes everything from the hunt for the causes of infectious disease to twenty-first-century marvels of engineering.

In Remaking the John, you’ll explore the many ways people across the globe and through the ages have invented—and reinvented—the toilet. You will learn about everything from ancient Roman sewers to the world’s first flush toilets. You’ll also find out about the twenty-first-century Reinvent the Toilet Challenge—an engineering contest designed to spur creation of an ecologically friendly, water-saving, inexpensive, and sanitary toilet. And while you’re at it, mark World Toilet Day on your calendar. Observed every November 19, this international day of action works to raise awareness about the modern world’s many sanitation challenges.

Format List Price Your Price Qty
978-1-4677-2645-0
$34.65 $25.99
978-1-4677-4794-3
$51.99 $38.99
Interest Level Grade 6 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 7
Genre Nonfiction, Young Adult
Subject Social Studies, STEM, STEM: Engineering
Copyright 2015
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Twenty-First Century Books ™
Language English
Number of Pages 64
Publication Date 2014-08-01
Reading Counts! Level 10.5
BISACS YAN052040, YAN050080, YAN055040
Dewey 644'.6
Dimensions 7 x 9
Lexile 1110
Features Reviewed and Starred Reviews

Awards

  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2015
  • AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books Finalist, Short-listed, 2015

Reviews

School Library Connection

“The details of sanitary progress are carefully described, with humor when appropriate. . . . [A] nicely paced, informative book which can be the basis for reports and for enjoyable browsing.”—starred, School Library Connection

School Library Journal

“[T]his honest, fact-filled little book should attract readers and researchers.” —School Library Journal

Booklist

“DiPiazza brings home how the history of a seemingly ubiquitous object can reveal fundamental and important truths about a society’s history and values.” —Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

“A good-spirited, wholly serious broaching of the—incredibly—still taboo subject of human waste, once a problem and even more so today.” —Kirkus Reviews

Author: Francesca Davis DiPiazza

Francesca Davis DiPiazza grew up loving the smell of books; but as soon as she saw a computer, she thought, Terrific! more ways to share more words with more people! Online since 1994, she still uses an orange 1970s rotary-dial phone. One of her cultural geography books for Lerner Publishing Group, Zimbabwe in Pictures, won the Society of School Librarians International Book Award.

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Remaking the John

Did you know that about 40 percent of the world’s population lives without toilets? That’s more than two billion people, most of whom live in rural areas or crowded urban slums. And according to the World Health Organization, diseases spread by the lack of basic sanitation… View available downloads →