CHAMPIONSHIP SCIENCE FAIR PROJECTS

100 SURE-TO-WIN EXPERIMENTS

Safe and easy-to-do science-fair experiments for the novice investigator using household items, including the familiar “Make a battery with a lemon,” and the less familiar “Show that a grape repels both poles of a magnet” (because it is diamagnetic). Each two-page project begins with a catch title, a list of what experimenters need, procedure, what they should notice, what happened, digging deeper, a line drawing and more things to try. Some projects are so briefly described that the reader may wonder, for example, how do you know the white gunky stuff you get from blending fresh spinach, salt and detergent is spinach DNA? While most projects will need significant elaboration and further research to qualify for a science fair, there’s plenty here to intrigue, and it’s attractively packaged in a sturdy binding with a zingy yellow lemon battery on the cover. Includes a word on safety, guidelines for setting up a science-fair project and an index. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: May 15, 2005

ISBN: 1-4027-1138-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2005

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Middle school worries and social issues skillfully woven into a moving, hopeful, STEM-related tale.

THE EXACT LOCATION OF HOME

Following the precise coordinates of geocaching doesn’t yield the treasure Kirby Zagonski Jr. seeks: his missing father.

Geeky eighth-grader Kirby can’t understand why his mother won’t call his dad after their generous landlady dies and they’re evicted for nonpayment of rent. Though his parents have been divorced for several years and his father, a wealthy developer, has been unreliable, Kirby is sure he could help. Instead he and his mother move to the Community Hospitality Center, a place “for the poor. The unfortunate. The homeless.” Suddenly A-student Kirby doesn’t have a quiet place to do his schoolwork or even a working pencil. They share a “family room” with a mother and young son fleeing abuse. Trying to hide this from his best friends, Gianna and Ruby, is a struggle, especially as they spend after-school hours together. The girls help him look for the geocaches visited by “Senior Searcher,” a geocacher Kirby is sure is his father. There are ordinary eighth-grade complications in this contemporary friendship tale, too; Gianna just might be a girlfriend, and there’s a dance coming up. Kirby’s first-person voice is authentic, his friends believable, and the adults both sometimes helpful and sometimes unthinkingly cruel. The setting is the largely white state of Vermont, but the circumstances could be anywhere.

Middle school worries and social issues skillfully woven into a moving, hopeful, STEM-related tale. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68119-548-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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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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