Not quite ready for the classroom.


Kindergarten Explores Science

A collection for kindergarteners of about 50 demonstrations that walk the line between science and Christianity.

In her first book, Maxwell attempts to illustrate science concepts for 5-year-olds by providing photos of experimental setups and brief descriptive text. She covers topics across the spectrum of basic physical sciences—e.g., gravity, light and magnets—and also tries to explain how some toys work, including those small pull-back cars that need to be dragged backward before they propel themselves forward. She connects each concept metaphorically to passages from the Bible, referencing familiar and less familiar examples from the Old Testament and New Testament. Maxwell seems concerned with showing how science and religion are not mutually exclusive; they can coexist, or perhaps, she aims to show, one can serve as the pathway for the other. However, her book isn’t in the middle: The strong dogmatic language, such as the frequently appearing phrase “God had created,” implies that the author expects her readers to be quite religious. In presenting the two realms so closely together with such a young audience, teachers might run the risk of confusing the experiments as proof of religious statements instead of simply proving a scientific concept. Additionally, though the writing is directed at students, the reading level is well above what would typically be read aloud in kindergarten classes. Likewise, the book doesn’t reach the level of detail many teachers would find useful. Even though the images usually provide enough information about what’s needed to replicate the demonstrations in the classroom, none of the explorations include materials lists or information on how to more simply explain a concept, and the unfamiliar setups could use more explanation.

Not quite ready for the classroom.

Pub Date: June 10, 2013

ISBN: 978-1481759847

Page Count: 104

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2015

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Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.


Comprehensive, myth-busting examination of the Colorado high-school massacre.

“We remember Columbine as a pair of outcast Goths from the Trench Coat Mafia snapping and tearing through their high school hunting down jocks to settle a long-running feud. Almost none of that happened,” writes Cullen, a Denver-based journalist who has spent the past ten years investigating the 1999 attack. In fact, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold conceived of their act not as a targeted school shooting but as an elaborate three-part act of terrorism. First, propane bombs planted in the cafeteria would erupt during lunchtime, indiscriminately slaughtering hundreds of students. The killers, positioned outside the school’s main entrance, would then mow down fleeing survivors. Finally, after the media and rescue workers had arrived, timed bombs in the killers’ cars would explode, wiping out hundreds more. It was only when the bombs in the cafeteria failed to detonate that the killers entered the high school with sawed-off shotguns blazing. Drawing on a wealth of journals, videotapes, police reports and personal interviews, Cullen sketches multifaceted portraits of the killers and the surviving community. He portrays Harris as a calculating, egocentric psychopath, someone who labeled his journal “The Book of God” and harbored fantasies of exterminating the entire human race. In contrast, Klebold was a suicidal depressive, prone to fits of rage and extreme self-loathing. Together they forged a combustible and unequal alliance, with Harris channeling Klebold’s frustration and anger into his sadistic plans. The unnerving narrative is too often undermined by the author’s distracting tendency to weave the killers’ expressions into his sentences—for example, “The boys were shooting off their pipe bombs by then, and, man, were those things badass.” Cullen is better at depicting the attack’s aftermath. Poignant sections devoted to the survivors probe the myriad ways that individuals cope with grief and struggle to interpret and make sense of tragedy.

Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.

Pub Date: April 6, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-446-54693-5

Page Count: 406

Publisher: Twelve

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2009

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The sub-title of this book is "Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools." But one finds in it little about education, and less about the teaching of English. Nor is this volume a defense of the Christian faith similar to other books from the pen of C. S. Lewis. The three lectures comprising the book are rather rambling talks about life and literature and philosophy. Those who have come to expect from Lewis penetrating satire and a subtle sense of humor, used to buttress a real Christian faith, will be disappointed.

Pub Date: April 8, 1947

ISBN: 1609421477

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1947

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