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Author: Pat Murphy, et al

Illustrator: Jason Gorski

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Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, 2006

Material: hard cover

Summary: This guide book for the curious and scientifically inclined is a recipe box filled with tantalizing interactive science experiments that stimulate a curious person's appetite. The authors furnish the reader with the "Tools for Exploration" and then the fun begins. There are 100s of exploratory projects from exploring yourself, interesting places, and interesting stuff. This is a combination encyclopedia/science book with hands-on opportunities for kids.

Type of Reading: independent reading, family reading, read aloud book, interactive reading

Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 10; read yourself: 9 to 13

Interest Level: 9 and up

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!

Young Reader Reaction: This book is very effective in presenting and emphasizing scientific information. It explains facts, principles, and the reasons behind unique and everyday phenomenon in kid-friendly language. It also sifts through mounds of scientific information and collects only the most fascinating ones in this book which can easily capture the reader's attention. Interesting photos, diagrams, and experiments enhance the information that has been stated, and the clever questions boggle and stretch the mind. This book is geared mostly towards kids ages 8-11, but it would be fun for anyone to read because it explains the science behind the world that does not exist in textbooks and helps you realize things that other people don't, such as how to tell real money from counterfeit money. I think that this book is a fascinating addition to the world of science and to our society.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a very useful resource book and a fun way to train your brain. The folks at the Exploratorium in San Francisco have developed a ton of imaginative ways to channel the natural curiosity of the kids into enjoying learning and thinking logically.

Pros: This book is a valuable resource for science teachers looking for interesting projects that capture student curiosity and reinforce the process of logical problem solving. Curious students will find the book a treasure-trove of fun things to do. The book has numerous experiments, explains the philosophy behind each science fact stated, and has activities and questions which stretch the usual boundaries of the brain and make you think out-of-the-box.

Cons: None. Hats off to the Exploratorium for sharing the fun of learning.

Borrow or Buy: There should be several copies of this book in every middle school/junior high school science classroom. It is a unique and valuable resource for both teacher and student. Home Schooling teachers should find this a very useful resource for science lessons.

If You Liked This Book, Try: Take a Backyard Bird Walk TAKE A CITY NATURE WALK (Talk a Walk Book Series)   MOVING HEAVY THINGS   THE INSECT BOOK; A Basic Guide to the Collection and Care of Common Insects for Young Children

Educational Themes: The book provides hands-on, inter-active learning experiences that pique the curiosity of the learner. The projects force the participant to apply logic and sound reasoning to the problem at hand. The projects themselves are presented in a way that piques the curiosity of the learner and makes education an enjoyable as well as fruitful experience. It offers interesting information about our own human body, helps us carefully observe the fascinating details which reside in locations we observe everyday, and explores several other unique aspects of science, such as optical illusions, music, money, color, and so on.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - science, nature, middle grade, interactive learning, guidebook

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2007

Other Reviews:


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