Cover image for Construction : building the impossible
Construction : building the impossible
Aaseng, Nathan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Minneapolis, Minn. : Oliver Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
144 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Profiles eight builders and their famous construction projects, including Imhotep and the Step Pyramid, Alexandre Eiffel and the Eiffel Tower, and William Lamb and the Empire State Building.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 9.1 5.0 42505.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TA149 .A27 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Profiles Imhotep (Step Pyramid), Marc Brunel (Thames Tunnel), John and Washington Roebling (Brooklyn Bridge), Alexandre Eiffel (Eiffel Tower), George W. Goethals (Panama Canal), Frank Crowe (Hoover Dam), and William Lamb (Empire State Building).

Author Notes

Nathan Aaseng grew up in Minnesota and worked as a microbiologist for four years before becoming a writer.

He has written over ninety books for young readers, including biographies, and sports and science books.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-9. The Panama Canal, the Eiffel Tower, and the Brooklyn Bridge are world famous, but few know the visionaries behind them. Aaseng gives eight innovative builders their due and provides historical context for their awesome creations--from Imhotep, who built the first pyramids of stone, to Frank Crowe, who raised the Hoover Dam from the Nevada desert, using enough concrete to pave a highway from San Francisco to New York. The wealth of information is well organized and balances personal backgrounds with the obstacles, breakthroughs, and impact of each project--then and now--on people, places, and engineering technology. The prose is clear and engaging, with a layperson's approach to technical information. Sidebars feature related anecdotes, fun facts, and word definitions. Historical photos, drawings, and diagrams are fascinating and well chosen. this is a lively, inspiring look at diverse individuals who defied odds and developed the means to make the impossible possible. Interesting statistics, a glossary, and a bibliography are appended. --Shelle Rosenfeld

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-10-Aaseng offers a concise but thorough look at seven innovations in engineering, architecture, and construction. The projects range from Imhotep's Step Pyramid to the father-and-son team who built the Brooklyn Bridge to the Thames River tunnel and the Empire State Building. After an introduction to the builder that places the project in its historical context, the author clearly lays out the breakthrough that made its construction possible and the impact of that advancement on subsequent endeavors. Each chapter concludes with a look at the effect that the structure has had on society. The book includes plenty of black-and-white photographs, but they are sometimes too small or lacking in contrast to show details clearly. Sidebars define technical and unfamiliar words, which are repeated in the glossary. They also provide biographical facts and anecdotes about other people important to the project. Interesting statistics about the tallest buildings and longest bridges and an extensive index round out an engrossing book that will find a useful life in most collections.-Jeanette Larson, Texas State Library, Austin (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.