Friday, August 19, 2022

Today's read: Electricity by Carmella Van Vleet

Today's  read hits one of my kids' favorite genres—non-fiction...and science. And nothing is better than getting hands-on experiments, projects and more. There's a tiny, evil-scientist in all of us, I think. Anyway, this book heads into the direction of electricity. Since this is something which surrounds our lives in so many ways, I wanted to give these pages a peek.

The book comes out October 15th, but let's take a peek now.

Circuits, Static, and Electromagnets with Hands-On Science Activities for Kids
by Carmella Van Vleet
Illustrated by Micah Rauch
Nomad Press
Non-Fiction Middle Grade
112 pages
ages 9 to 12

OCTOBER 15th!!!

Fascinating explanations of something we use every day! Kids ages 8 to 12 discover where electricity comes from, how it works, and how we can make it more efficient.

It's everywhere. In our homes, schools, offices, on the train, in our cars--even inside our bodies!

Electricity: Circuits, Static, and Electromagnets with Hands-On Science Activities for Kids explores the science of electricity and the technology we've developed to harness the energy to power our lives. By diving into the topics of static electricity, currents, circuits, electromagnetism, motors, and ways we might produce and use electricity in the future, kids ages 8 to 12 gain a full view of how electricity works and why it's so important to human society.

And while it's tempting to think electricity was invented by humans, it existed since before the earth was even formed! In this book, we'll examine the electricity found in nature and even inside our own bodies.

Hands-on STEM activities, entertaining illustrations, essential questions, text-to-world connections, fascinating sidebars, and links to online resources and videos get kids hooked on the fascinating subject they all use in their daily lives--electricity! Additional materials include a glossary, a list of media for further learning, a selected bibliography, and index. Aligns with Common Core state standards and Next Generation Science Standards.

All books are leveled for Guided Reading level and Lexile.

All titles are available in paperback, hardcover, and ebook formats.



From static electricity to circuits and beyond, a broad spectrum of everything surrounding electricity comes to light with facts and hands-on possibilities.

After beginning with a time-line of various historical highlights surrounding electricity, the book heads on into various chapters, which address an array of themes surrounding electricity. Each chapter starts out with a mini-cartoon of a boy and a robot before heading into the information. And this book is packed with information. Not only are various aspects, theories, and facts, but there are links to videos and more. Questions sprinkled here and there invite to deeper thought, while vocabulary corners reinforce important terms. Extra accounts and side-information are held in extra frames to offer a well-rounded view into the themes. And there are several experiments at the end of each chapter, which give readers a chance to get hands on and explore on their own. Add a quick glossary/vocabulary quiz at the end of the book, and it's got a bit of everything needed to really dive into the subject.

Science fans, especially those leaning toward engineering and electricity, are going to find a smorgasbord of facts and insights. It is a lot and brings in many unexpected side-directions, which actually help readers understand the topics and see the world in a broader light. This isn't a book which can or should be digested in one sitting but is one to be revisited and expanded upon. It does hit upon many themes very quickly, so those who have absolutely no understanding of science will be overwhelmed (such as a little, very basic atom knowledge).

The variety of material (videos, questions, vocabulary, photos, historical aspects, etc) does seem a bit much, at first, but it offers so many possible directions, giving something for everyone. Plus, it offers readers a chance to come back at will to learn something more, even later on. This also keeps the usual 'tunnel' concept science books offer at bay and demonstrates how broad life truly is even when looking at a certain topic such as electricity. So, it's a rich, well-thought out read.

There are about three experiments per chapter, all of which are grouped together toward the end. These rotate around mostly usual household items. The directions are well-laid out and pretty easy to follow. Some have a quick illustration for added assistance but the text is key in these. Some are more difficult than others, so that this also addresses readers of various interests and skills.

I was surprised how encompassing this book is and find it very well done. It's not for light reading or those readers, who want a quick glance but rather hits many topics and themes. It's actually very useable for homeschoolers or groups learning about electricity and will give them a very good overview at the various aspects and important themes, which will be needed during later education.

And here she is...

Carmella Van Vleet is a former teacher and the author of Amazing Ben Franklin Inventions You Can Build YourselfSeven Wonders, several titles in the Explore Your World Series, How to Avoid School SnafusWriting Club, and Writing Club II. She lives in Lewis Center, Ohio.



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