THE GREAT MOTION MISSION

A SURPRISING STORY OF PHYSICS IN EVERYDAY LIFE

Opposition to a proposal to build a university physics research center on the grounds of an amusement park is the thin story line surrounding this lively introduction to physics for middle-school readers. When Jeremy and reporter Liam attempt to organize kids for a demonstration, visiting physics enthusiast Audrey reveals the connections between physics and sports, art and music; its importance in studies of weather, and space and time; and how it underlies carnival rides and consumer electronics. Sidebars add explanations, definitions and examples of “weird stuff” (often astrophysical), and a series of biographies introduces scientists from Einstein and Curie to Hawking and Feynman. Rolston’s cartoon drawings, featuring a diverse group of young people, enliven each page. The explanations are clear but technical enough to require some effort on the part of the reader. Backmatter includes an extensive glossary and wide-ranging suggestions for further reading and web explorations as well as an index. Like its companion, The Great Number Rumble (2007), this introduces a complicated field of study in a lighthearted way. (Nonfiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-55451-185-3

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2009

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Moving and poetic.

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PAX

A motherless boy is forced to abandon his domesticated fox when his father decides to join soldiers in an approaching war.

Twelve-year-old Peter found his loyal companion, Pax, as an orphaned kit while still grieving his own mother’s death. Peter’s difficult and often harsh father said he could keep the fox “for now” but five years later insists the boy leave Pax by the road when he takes Peter to his grandfather’s house, hundreds of miles away. Peter’s journey back to Pax and Pax’s steadfastness in waiting for Peter’s return result in a tale of survival, intrinsic connection, and redemption. The battles between warring humans in the unnamed conflict remain remote, but the oncoming wave of deaths is seen through Pax’s eyes as woodland creatures are blown up by mines. While Pax learns to negotiate the complications of surviving in the wild and relating to other foxes, Peter breaks his foot and must learn to trust a seemingly eccentric woman named Vola who battles her own ghosts of war. Alternating chapters from the perspectives of boy and fox are perfectly paced and complementary. Only Peter, Pax, Vola, and three of Pax’s fox companions are named, conferring a spare, fablelike quality. Every moment in the graceful, fluid narrative is believable. Klassen’s cover art has a sense of contained, powerful stillness. (Interior illustrations not seen.)

Moving and poetic. (Animal fantasy. 9-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-237701-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2015

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Templeton Twins hidden in integrand function (5, 3). Read it to solve it! (Fiction. 9-13)

THE TEMPLETON TWINS HAVE AN IDEA

From the Templeton Twins series , Vol. 1

The scene-hogging narrator steals the show in this clever series opener.

Since the mother of 12-year-old twins Abigail and John recently died, their father, professor Elton Templeton, has decided to take his knack for inventing to Tickeridge-Baltock Institute of Technology (aka Tick-Tock Tech). At the professor’s opening lecture, disgruntled former student Dean D. Dean accuses him of stealing his idea for the Personal One-Man Helicopter. When the professor denies Dean’s involvement in his invention, Dean (with the help of his own twin brother, Dan) kidnaps the Templeton twins and their ridiculous dog, hoping to retrieve the device as ransom. How this caper, accompanied by mechanical-like illustrations, will end matters less than how the narrator will report it. Nearly a character himself, the self-important, over-the-top narrator takes pleasure in admonishing his readers (“If you don’t remember me saying that, I urge you to turn back to Chapter 2 (the first Chapter 2) and refresh your memory, because I distinctly remember saying it, and I remember you reading it”). Occasionally tedious, his end-of-chapter “Questions for Review” emphasize humor—and his ego. Also adding to the fun, particularly for word buffs, is Abigail’s use of cryptic crossword puzzles. A tender ending to this otherwise comical story acknowledges the family’s grief.

Templeton Twins hidden in integrand function (5, 3). Read it to solve it! (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8118-6679-8

Page Count: 232

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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