Books by Elaine Scott

DOLLARS & SENSE by Elaine Scott
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"An informative primer on how money functions that doesn't trigger the dismal science's snooze button. (glossary, resources, index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)"
A sporty guide to the wide, weird world of money. Read full book review >
OUR MOON by Elaine Scott
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"Well-captioned illustrations and photographs, diagrams, and pithy text boxes round out this handsome package. (glossary, bibliography, websites, index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)"
This examination of Earth's closest orbital companion presents historical information, scientific fact and theory, an overview of the Apollo missions, and recent discoveries. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 17, 2012

"An engaging, suspenseful look at a tragedy averted that also provides a glimpse of a challenging way of life. Pair this with Marc Aronson's more in-depth Trapped (2011). (glossary, author's note, additional websites) (Nonfiction. 10-14)"
On August 5, 2010, a copper mine in Chile collapsed, trapping 33 miners nearly half a mile underground. Read full book review >
MARS AND THE SEARCH FOR LIFE by Elaine Scott
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 6, 2008

Getting closer looks at Mars has long been both an alluring goal of the U.S. space program and one of its most spectacular technological achievements. Here Scott recaps the progress thus far, from the invention of the telescope to the Phoenix Mars mission that, she notes, made a successful landing just as her report was going to press. Along with a fine array of large, composite space images, surface-level photographs and digital paintings that include pictures of all the probes currently orbiting the Red Planet, she enhances her summary of each mission's achievements and findings with a diagram that identifies every scientific instrument aboard the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. The text tantalizes readers with closing profiles of upcoming Mars ventures and a quick glimpse of current efforts to reproduce Martian living conditions on this planet. Readers will come away with both a coherent historical overview and a heady sense that we are on the verge of some epoch-making discoveries. (resource list) (Nonfiction. 11-13) Read full book review >
ALL ABOUT SLEEP FROM A TO ZZZZ by Elaine Scott
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 2, 2008

In ten brief chapters dotted with the occasional black-and-white cartoon illustration and inset factlet, Scott relates a great deal of interesting information about the nature of sleep. She explains what happens in the body to induce sleep, describes the brain waves involved in sleep and the machines that can measure them, discusses what science knows about dreams and why humans seem to need them and even touches on sleep disorders, explaining why some people snore and others sleepwalk. The narrative closes with some useful tips to help the reader get a good night's rest, such as having a warm bath before bed and keeping the bedroom dark and cool. The tone is conversational and engaging, although the too-frequent use of dashes and exclamation points becomes a little distracting. The lack of index and the fairly vague chapter titles make it difficult to locate specific topics, so this one is definitely aimed at the leisure reader rather than the student on a quest for specific information (afterword, sources). (Nonfiction. 8-12)Read full book review >
SECRETS OF THE CIRQUE MEDRANO by Elaine Scott
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 1, 2008

This lively tale, set in 1904, follows 14-year-old Brigitte, whose French mother has died in Warsaw, after which she is sent to live with her aunt and uncle in Paris. Brigitte is impulsive and lonely. She doesn't see much of Montmartre or Paris itself, for she works long hours serving in the café. She is fascinated by the Cirque Medrano, a circus pitched in Montmartre, and its jugglers and acrobats, and also by the young Picasso, who hangs out at her aunt's café with his bande of writers and artists. Scott ties the story of the circus (the source of Picasso's Family of Saltimbanques), the growth of the Russian Secret Police in Paris and the change in Montmartre from village to a vibrant part of the city to Brigitte's adjustment to her new life. The language is sometimes jarringly modern, and there is not a lot of character development, but it places an interesting historical moment within the grasp of middle-schoolers. (Historical fiction. 10-14)Read full book review >
WHEN IS A PLANET NOT A PLANET? by Elaine Scott
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 20, 2007

Joining the rush of revised views of the solar system for young readers that has been following in the wake of the International Astronomical Union's decision to redefine Pluto (and some other fellow wanderers) as "dwarf planets" rather than the full-fledged sort, this production shows several signs of haste, from a narrative that fails to note that Pluto has more than one moon to a chapter that opens with a full page, uncaptioned photo of a vague smear of light. Scott launches into a clear, simply phrased but standard and mostly off-topic history of astronomy and the discovery of our solar system. Aside from that blur, the accompanying space photos, diagrams, artists' conceptions and art reproductions are up to this author's and publisher's usual high quality, but as more focused, considered treatments of the topic are already available or likely to be coming soon, don't rush to buy this one. (index, reading list) (Nonfiction. 9-11)Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

Mid-level readers still a bit hazy on what our planet's poles, both geographic and magnetic, are all about will benefit from Scott's painstaking review of their nature, origins, differences, and human discovery. Along with explanations of rotation, orbits, seasons, magnetism, auroras, continental drift, and a plethora of related topics, she contrasts the climates and wildlife of the Arctic and Antarctic, chronicles the arrival of Inuit and Norse settlers, as well as the exploits of explorers from Captain Cook to Roald Amundsen. She closes with a glimpse of modern research and a discussion of the likely effects of global warming. She does miss a few things, such as the Antarctic's microbial community and evidence that the Earth's magnetic poles occasionally switch places. Still, this wide-angled survey, enhanced by plenty of bright color photos and graphics, makes a sturdy overview to accompany the more narrowly focused work of Jennifer Owens Dewey's Antarctic Journal (2001) or Carmen Bredeson's After the Last Dog Died (2003). (index, bibliography, web sites) (Nonfiction. 10-12)Read full book review >
TWINS! by Elaine Scott
by Elaine Scott, photographed by Margaret Miller
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 1998

A picture book on twinship, for ``singletons'' wondering what it would be like to have a double, and for all those puzzling out what it means to share, for fraternal twins, a birth date, and for identical twins, so many other features. Miller's large full-color photographs work best to display the ways twins do and don't look alike, and to show their roles in the family. Scott discusses the concerns other siblings have with twins in the family, and the importance of treating children who are twins as individuals. A lengthy afterword instructs adults in how to use the book, and, for parents of twins, in how to field intrusive questions. No explanation of where twins come from appears in the body of the book, although Scott includes several explanations for adults to try out, and refers them to another children's book on the subject. A fussy layout and a typographical treatment that arbitrarily emphasizes words in the text do not detract from the smiling faces of the brothers and sisters in these pages. (Picture book/nonfiction. 3-8) Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 1998

Spectacular full-color photographs and computer images will attract readers to this volume of current information about the universe, but Scott (Twins!, p. 117) assumes a lot of prior knowledge on the part of readers, and there is no glossary of terms nor timeline to help with the context. The discussion begins with early telescopes and scientists, including Ptolemy, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton, and proceeds rapidly on to Hubble's Theory of the Expanding Universe. She explains how images from the Hubble Telescope support earlier theories and have changed scientist's ideas about the formation of the universe, the planets in our solar system, and distant galaxies. Throughout are thumbnail sketches of contemporary astronomers and their work. Also included: a discussion of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet collision with Jupiter in 1995, the birth and death of stars and galaxies, protoplanetary disks in Orion, supernovas, and speculation on black holes and life on other planets. The fussy design detracts from the discussion: Text superimposed on photographs is difficult to read; boxes of colored type are inserted in photographs or into the margins. It's a challenging title, with appeal mostly for highly motivated science enthusiasts. (index) (Nonfiction. 10-14) Read full book review >