Ages 8 to 14 years. This fascinating new book explores how one of the world's most important products starts out as sap from a tropical tree and ends up as tires on your family car. Find out how this sap was used in ancient times, how early rubber barons prospered in South America, how they treated their labourers, and the environmental dangers of producing both natural and synthetic rubber. Other topics include: What is a commodity?; the differences between synthetic and natural rubber; how latex is harvested and rubber is made; the "exploding" seeds of the rubber tree; uses of rubber, including tires, erasers, elastics, bouncy balls, and silly putty; stories of different inventors such as John Priestly, Charles Goodyear, Robert Thomson, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and more.