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Extreme Abilities

Amazing Human Feats and the Simple Science Behind Them

Interest Age: 10+
Grade: 5+
Reading Level: Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature: WHST.6-8.2,2a,2b,2c,2d,2e,2f,8,9,10

Reading Level: Lexile 970L
Hardcover : 9781773212500, 88 pages, April 2019 , 9.25" x 7.5"
Paperback : 9781773212494, 88 pages, April 2019 , 9.25" x 7.5"
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781773212524, 96 pages, April 2019

Table of contents

Introduction: Taking It to the Max

Chapter 1: Masters of Muscle

Chapter 2: Pretzel People

Chapter 3: Mind-boggling Memorizers

Chapter 4: Ultra-long Experts

Chapter 5: Brain/Body Bosses

Chapter 6: Deep-sea Mermaids (and Men)

Chapter 7: Speed Demons

Chapter 8: Mathemagicians

Chapter 9: Brave Balancers


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These people did what?!

Join author Galadriel Watson as she takes us on a journey of discovery—a tour of the human body’s amazing abilities, featuring masters of muscle, speed demons, brain bosses, and more! Extreme Abilities is a fun and fascinating survey of what humans are capable of, with examples from around the world and throughout history. Short sketches of famous individuals, such as Louis Cyr and Usain Bolt, mixed with stories about the amazing physical feats of others not-so-famous, draw readers in and bring these astounding abilities to life in vivid color. Each chapter also features a section on how young readers can work at improving their own skills (and a section on how not to get hurt in the process), plus bite-sized related fast facts and sidebars.

Easy-to-follow explanations of anatomy, physics, and other sciences are enhanced by Cornelia Li’s energetic and engaging artwork, and photos throughout further help to illustrate the awesome displays of the human body at work.

*A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection


  • Nominated, Yellow Cedar Award 2019
  • Joint winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, *starred selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre 2019
  • Joint winner, TD Summer Reading Club, Top 10 2020
  • Short-listed, Red Cedar Book Award 2020


“Brief and entertaining.”

- Kirkus Reviews, 01/15/19

“A jaw-droppingly well-researched, informative, and entertaining look at what makes us uniquely human.” 

- CM Reviews, 03/01/19

“Entertaining and informative”

- School Library Connection, 05/19

“A great read for young readers who pore over Guiness World Record books and want more background on the records and feats found there . . . A popular choice for libraries.” 

- School Library Journal, 03/19

“The research is admirable, the text is entertaining and informative and, at times, almost unbelievable.” 

- Sal’s Fiction Addiction, 07/21/19

“Part record book, part science, part trivia, part challenge in a smart, kid-friendly format . . . Author Galadriel Watson packs a ton of interesting information for young readers to devour, while illustrations by Cornelia Li make the chapters inviting.” 

- NewsBank-Texas News Sources, 11/04/19

“Will appeal to sports enthusiasts and others who enjoy competition.”

- Resource Links, 12/19

“A fascinating journey of discovery.”

- Canadian Children’s Book News, 01/20