Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Manga Guide Series

I grew interested in the idea of using animation characters to teach after reading The Manga Guide to Statistics (a book I have reviewed before). Recently, I have been reading two other books from the same series. One on Databases (a subject I am very familiar with given my line of work) and the other on Molecular Biology (something I know absolutely nothing about).

I was curious to see if degree of familiarity with the subject contributed to how much one could get out of these really well thought out books. In both volumes, the introduction to the key concepts is done very gently. The storyline seemed to get in the way with the database book maybe because I already knew the concept being explained. Several times, I skipped over directly to the end of the chapter which reads like a traditional text book.

With the molecular biology book, given my total lack of awareness, I did find following the adventures of Rin and Ami's with Dr. Moro's virtual reality machine that allows them to travel through the human body, helpful and instructive. In summary, this is a series that would work well for readers with both beginner and intermediate level of subject matter knowledge.

The ability to go back and forth between the non-traditional manga themed lesson and the regular text book style is very helpful for all readers. It helps with breaking the monotony and well as support different knowledge levels and learning styles. I would highly recommend these and any other books in this series for anyone who feels bogged down by a dull academic tome or lacks the time to make a very detailed study of the subject.

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