Here are experiments one hopes children will practice at someone else’s house. Even with clearly laid out Lab Rules—“Clean all your materials after you use them” and “Never pour a polymer or slime concoction down a drain”—there are bound to be some messy mishaps. “Soda slobber” creates great gobs of cola foam that “bubble up and out and all over the place.” “Bubbles that Bounce,” made with syrup, will leave a sticky reminder wherever they pop. And a chemistry-enhanced “Water Bomb,” made with vinegar, baking soda and a zip-lock sandwich bag could be painful if mishandled. It’s not enough to say in the text, “Don’t get the concoction in your eyes,” when the accompanying drawing shows the exploded bomb drenching an unsuspecting teen who was quietly reading. Despite these concerns, these experiments make chemistry interesting and fun and there are some neat recipes for making polymers like “Snot for Everyone,” made with gelatin, “Moo-vable Milk,” made with vinegar and milk, and “Clean Green Slime,” made with white glue and borax. Illustrations throughout are colorful and humorous, but all practitioners should be shown wearing safety goggles and gloves. Recommended with reservations. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: May 13, 2005

ISBN: 1-57990-620-6

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2005

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet



Few topics are more intrinsically interesting to young readers than disasters. Guiberson casts her net wide to examine ten natural and man-made disasters chronologically from smallpox in colonial America to Hurricane Katrina. The 20-page chapters, broken into subsections, describe the events with quotations from contemporary accounts and plenty of grim details. Photographs, drawings and diagrams, all usefully captioned, extend the lively text. The author analyzes causes of the disasters and factors that exacerbated them, such as building on landfill in 1906 San Francisco. In most chapters, she explores steps that could prevent or reduce future catastrophes, although only a brief introduction ties the chapters together. A Notes section highlights major sources for each chapter, without specific references, followed by an extensive bibliography but no further reading suggestions as such. Good for pleasure reading and as a starting point for research. (index, not seen) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: June 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8050-8170-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


For pre-teens and teens dealing with some of the problems of surfing the Internet, a guide that proves too superficial to be of much use. Croft discusses online predators, shopping, filters, viruses, hate speech, chat rooms, cookies, and maintaining a balance between living in real life and cyberspace. But her slender volume doesn’t come close to justifying its title. Many issues, such as encountering pornography, are handled in the most cursory fashion, and suggestions, such as notifying the ISP of harassers, are given without any explanation of how to implement them. While Croft is targeting teen readers, the text size, reading level, and content all suggest a younger audience. The author takes tact to an extreme; more lurid aspects of the online experience are never confronted directly, and she suggests that any parent controls are really intended for younger siblings. The issue of staying safe in cyberspace doesn’t get the thorough and courageous treatment it requires. (glossary, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 12- 14)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8239-2957-4

Page Count: 64

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1999

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet