Systematic Me!

Poems and Plays About the Human Body

Your body is the most complicated thing on earth. It controls its own temperature, defends itself from constant attack by millions of tiny enemies, repairs itself, and reproduces. It turns food and air into fuel, delivers that fuel to trillions of cells, and gets rid of the waste. It walks, runs, talks, and does cartwheels. And, even more amazing than all of these, it thinks, it creates, it remembers, and it communicates. And the amazing bundle of tissues and chemicals and electrical impulses that does all that stuff is YOU, which is why I think you’re going to like getting to know a little more about how it all works. Here’s a quick summary of what you’re about to learn. There are two kinds of things that make your body work: systems and organs. Each system does a particular kind of work to keep your body alive, and organs are the things each system uses to get its work done. Some organs work for more than one system. Your lungs, for example, work for three of your systems: your respiratory system because they breathe for you, your circulatory system because they supply oxygen to your bloodstream, and your excretory system because they get rid of the carbon dioxide waste that your body doesn’t use. For most of you this book will be a fun way to learn the basics of how your body works. For some of you it may be the beginning of a lifelong journey. So get ready! Either way your body is simply amazing, and this book is going to make learning about it fun and easy.

Glands and hormones, hormones and glands,
constantly sending their bio-commands,
adjusting my state on an hourly basis,
keeping my body in homeostasis.
from My Noble Glands
by Brod Bagert

The natural inquisitiveness of young minds will take flight as they meet, live and in person, the celebrities of the human body-the cells, organs, and systems that together maintain homeostasis.

Grounded in the long-standing principle that children remember “90% of what they do in dramatic presentation,” this poignant yet comical collection of dramatic poems, monologues, and plays makes the study of the human body a thing of joy.

A cookie hilariously describes every step of its teeth-to-toilet journey through a human digestive system. A spunky child virus ignores its mother’s horrific warnings with disastrous consequences as it runs face-to-face into the denizens of a human child’s immune system. Peter and Paul Kidney, the famous P-P Twins, reveal the truisms they learned in Excretory College as they describe their role in eliminating liquid waste from the body of rambunctious Alexander Pic. And Miss Medulla Oblongata, part of the brainstem of young Quanesha Jones, is interviewed by talk-show host C.T. Scan to reveal how she and her sister brain regions prevent Quanesha from falling “flat on her face on that dance floor.”

From skin to skeleton to the electro-chemical function of neuron cells, Systematic Me transforms complexity into simplicity, the theoretical into the concrete, the detachment of abstract concepts into the immediacy of imagined personal experience—accurate, emotional, and entertaining.