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Orca Fall 2022

Why Humans Build Up
The Rise of Towers, Temples and Skyscrapers
By (author): Gregor Craigie Illustrated by: Kathleen Fu
Gregor Craigie ,

Illustrated by :

Kathleen Fu


Orca Book Publishers - Victoria



Product Form:



Juvenile: Age (years) 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) 4 - 7, Grade (US) 4 - 7, Reading age 9 - 12
Sep 13, 2022
Print Run: 8000
$29.95 CAD


10.75in x 8.75 x 0.5 in | 640 gr

Page Count:

96 pages


35 Colour illustrations , 57 Halftones, color
FSC certified – mixed sources C016245
Orca Book Publishers
Children’s / Teenage general interest: History and the past|Architectural structure and design|Children’s / Teenage general interest: Buildings and construction|c 1500 onwards to present day|Interest age: from c 9 years
  • Short Description
Part of the nonfiction Orca Timeline series, with photographs and illustrations throughout. This book explores why and how people have constructed taller and taller buildings over the course of human history.
Look Up, Way Up

“This great STEAM offering has multiple applications and will be useful for report writers and aspiring architects alike.”—Booklist, starred review

“Finely detailed inside and outside...Broad in scope, perceptively organized, and enriched with fascinating entries.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Why did they build it so high?

People have been constructing tall buildings for thousands of years, for many different reasons. Castle walls kept people safe. Utility towers transmit TV and cell-phone signals. Observatories give people a bird’s-eye view of the world. Beautiful buildings stand out in the crowd. Skyscrapers provide housing for a lot of people. There are some good reasons for building up, and a few bad ones as well.

With a growing global population, we will need more and more space to live, learn and work in. But what does that mean for the health of the planet? Can we do it sustainably? Tall buildings may be part of the answer. From the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Leaning Tower of Pisa to the Burj Khalifa and the Shanghai Tower, Why Humans Build Up asks why and how we build higher and higher, and what that means for the planet.

Key Selling Points

  • This book examines why humans build such tall buildings. For hundreds of years it was for security and spirituality, but now sustainability and efficiency are guiding principles.
  • Tall buildings can be good for the planet if they're constructed well. They can be part of the answer to issues such as population growth, climate change, pollution and our environmental footprint.
  • The author is an award-winning journalist with CBC Radio in Victoria.
  • The illustrator has a background in architecture and urban design, with a bachelor of architecture studies from the University of Waterloo.
  • Includes well-known examples, such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building, but also lesser-known buildings, such as the Tallwood House residence at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver (building sustainably with wood) and the Eastgate Centre in Zimbabwe that uses biomimicry in its design.

Gregor Craigie is a writer and journalist. He wakes up at 3:45 every weekday morning to talk on CBC Radio in Victoria, British Columbia. Despite the early hours, Gregor loves his job because he gets to ask questions and write for a living. Before his current job at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, he worked for the BBC World Service in London and traveled to several different countries, telling stories for radio listeners. Why Humans Build Up is his first book for kids.

Kathleen Fu is a Canadian illustrator based in Toronto with a background in fine art, architecture and urban design. She is a graduate of the University of Waterloo School of Architecture and her current work is heavily inspired by her time studying architecture, city life and storytelling. She enjoys creating intricate illustrations with a Where’s Waldo-esque style, injecting each piece with as many unique characters and different shapes as possible. Her work has been published in the New York Times, Reader’s Digest, the Globe and Mail, The Walrus and many other publications.

Marketing and Promotional Plans

  • Print and online advertising campaigns
  • Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade conferences
  • Extensive ARC distribution, including NetGalley
  • Blog and social media promotion
  • Outreach in Orca newsletters

★ “Finely detailed inside and outside...Broad in scope, perceptively organized, and enriched with fascinating entries.” - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“One of the best of the genre of non-fiction books written to engage and educate readers of all ages...Fu’s colourful drawings add just the right touch of humour to prevent the text from becoming overwhelming…The right book at the right time for critical thinkers of all ages. Highly Recommended.” - CM: Canadian Review of Materials

★“This great STEAM offering has multiple applications and will be useful for report writers and aspiring architects alike.” - Booklist, starred review

“Recommended as an asset for both school and public libraries. Students who are ­fascinated by history and architecture will especially enjoy this book.” - School Library Journal

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