SCIENCE DETECTIVES

HOW SCIENTISTS SOLVED SIX REAL-LIFE MYSTERIES

Slipping in a few extra entries and several doable science activities on the side, the editors of Canada’s Yes Mag present a half-dozen modern mysteries solved by forensic science. Along with the “Iceman” and the discovery of DNA, readers will get case studies in the identification of Typhoid Mary, the seemingly innocuous chemical that nearly wiped out India’s vulture population in 1999, the cause of the disastrous crash of Swissair Flight 111 off Nova Scotia and Chuck Fipke’s successful hunt for diamonds in the Northwest Territories. Briefer entries include the prehistoric “Hobbit” fossils recently found on Indonesia’s Flores Island, the mysterious rolling stones in Death Valley and more. Including enough specific detail to keep young detectives engaged, and illustrated with a mix of photos and (largely decorative) cartoon artwork, these tales of science in action nicely complement Donna Jackson’s Bone Detectives (1996) with new material. (index) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-55337-994-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2006

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THE PUMPKIN BOOK

The Pumpkin Book (32 pp.; $16.95; Sept. 15; 0-8234-1465-5): From seed to vine and blossom to table, Gibbons traces the growth cycle of everyone’s favorite autumn symbol—the pumpkin. Meticulous drawings detail the transformation of tiny seeds to the colorful gourds that appear at roadside stands and stores in the fall. Directions for planting a pumpkin patch, carving a jack-o’-lantern, and drying the seeds give young gardeners the instructions they need to grow and enjoy their own golden globes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1465-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t...

HURRICANE HARVEY

DISASTER IN TEXAS AND BEYOND

The devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey is explained, from the storm’s origin to its ongoing aftermath, in this photo-heavy book.

In retelling the story of how a storm got so big it caused 82 deaths and billions of dollars in damage along the Texas coast, Minneapolis-based author Felix details the science of hurricanes for those unfamiliar and unpacks why this and a series of other hurricanes made for one of the most damaging weather years on record. Although it’s packed with info-boxes, a glossary, tips for safety during a hurricane and helping survivors afterward, a snapshot of five other historic hurricanes, and well-curated photos, it misses an opportunity to convey some of the emotion and pain victims endured and continue to feel. Instead, much of the text feels like a summation of news reports, an efficient attempt to answer the whys of Hurricane Harvey, with only a few direct quotations. Readers learn about Virgil Smith, a Dickinson, Texas, teen who rescued others from floodwaters with an air mattress, but the information is secondhand. The book does answer, clearly and concisely, questions a kid might have about a hurricane, such as what happens to animals at the zoo in such an emergency and how a tropical storm forms in the first place. A portion of the book’s proceeds are to be donated to the Texas Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund.

The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t capture the fear and shock those who lived through the hurricane must have felt. (Nonfiction. 9-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2888-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2018

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