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Saturday, November 12, 2011

For All Those Math and Science Fans Out There.....Big and Small

A Gebra Named Al by Wendy Isdell

The Mystery of the Periodic Table by Benjamin Wiker

A Gebra Named Al: A NovelSurprisingly, Wendy Isdell wrote her book when she was in eighth grade!  My son and I loved this book.  It's a little bit like Alice in Wonderland except it's Julie in Mathland and the creatures are more helpful.  Julie is transported to a land of math and science (after having a frustrating time doing algebra problems).  On her quest to return home, AL the GEBRA (algebra) and his friends the Periodicals (horses with characteristics of the element they are named after) introduce Julie to the Land of Mathematics.  On the way Julie learns about isotopes, travels through the Order of Operations, and eats fruit shaped like Bohr's model of the atom.  This cute book gives accurate information about science and math concepts.  It's a very pleasurable read.

Mystery Of The Periodic Table     Benjamin Wicker's book is outstanding.  He explains the chemistry behind atoms, elements, and the periodic table so well.  A middle school student could easily read this book independently and understand the concepts and ideas Wicker explains.  Yet, the information is not a dumbed-down presentation, it's powerful concepts illustrated with pictures and words in a way that is easy to understand.  Wicker also keeps the book very interesting throughout by linking the different discoveries together, talking about the personal side of some of these scientist, and asking readers questions directly to make a point and to make them think.  The periodic table is a thing of awesome beauty, and we should all know how it came about and how perfectly the elements in nature fit together.  I cannot recommend this book highly enough.  It seems any book published by Bethlehem Books is a winner (though this book is not religious).

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