Monday, March 22, 2021

Review: Pranklab by Chris Ferrie

I'm starting this week out with tons of fun and learning, too. This is exactly the kind of book I love to discover and am even more excited to tell you guys all about it. There seem to be three types of books middle graders love to pick up at the library: sport books, graphic novels, and fun/interesting non-fiction. This book fits snuggly into the last of these and brings 'fun' to the next level, while including tons of science. In other words, STEM reigns in these pages.

Oh, and no worries, parents...while this says 'prank' and the experiments definitely can head into that direction, it's nothing completely out there or ridiculous. 

by Chris Ferrie, Byrne LaGinestra, and Wade David Fairclough
Sourcebooks Explore
Middle Grade Non-Fiction
224 pages
ages 8 to 12

APRIL 6th!!!

Learn about chemistry, physics, biology and more while performing fun and hilarious pranks with this unique book from the #1 bestselling science author for kids!

What's more fun than a practical joke? A SCIENTIFIC practical joke! Your friends and family might be annoyed at first...until they realize they're learning about science too! Written by a quantum physicist and two science teachers, Pranklab shows kids how they can use everyday household items to exploit the laws of physics, biology, and chemistry through entertaining (and perfectly safe) activities. Each prank includes step-by-step instructions, colorful illustrations and diagrams, and additional notes and fun facts to explain the science behind the prank!

Includes awesome pranks like: Fountain DewExploding KetchupCheater's DiceMind Control Elevatorand more!


                                         *  STEM
                                         * experiments carefully laid out
                                         * scientific explanations
                                         * historical information behind data
                                         * lots of fun and informative illustrations

As a kid, I would have devoured this book. Packed with fun...yes, not to understand and play with.

Packed with 25 experiments, science is made fun and brought down to a level middle graders can understand and enjoy. Each experiment creates a chapter, which starts with an list of items required as well as an immediate run down of what to expect—whether it's 'messy', how to have fun with it without getting into trouble, and what items might be required for clean-up or what to watch out for. Then, the experiment is presented in a clear step-by-step manner. The reasons behind the desired effects are explained (the science), and even the main historical figure behind the theory or cause is shown in a small, basic illustration along with a sentence or two about them. So, this book definitely teaches as it goes along.

With four kids of my own, the danger of pranks was in the back of my mind when I picked this one up, but after reading it, I'm a total fan of this book. The authors take care to point out the problems each prank could produce (mess, loudness, and such), remind readers that ignoring certain aspects could cause trouble, and offering hints of how to avoid causing real issues...and all of this without coming across as preachy but keeping it humorous and fun. But these experiments are nothing over the top or something most of us adults haven't seen at one time or another. They are actually awesome, easy experiments to show several basics of science.

I really appreciated the explanations behind the fun. The reasons why things happen the way they do and what each experiment shows are also included. And these aren't boring, either. Fun is kept front and center...and isn't science exciting anyway? (At least, I think so.) I was also impressed that the historical figures behind the theories or discoveries aren't forgotten. and none of this takes up much time to bring across, but really sticks to the details and goes on. 

This is a great book for hands-on kids who love to do things while learning about them too. I can really recommend this one and would definitely pick it up for my own kids. 

1 comment:

Natalie Aguirre said...

My daughter is a chemist. She would have loved this book when she was in middle school. It sounds like a fun one.