Thought for the Day:
“You can’t read everything that’s been written, but you can try.”
~ Lloyd Alexander ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Lori Freeland at Writers in the Storm has a terrific post HERE that will help you make your settings much more real so they can do some of the heavy lifting of storytelling for you.
Writing good dialogue is not easy, but with the tips HERE from Roz Morris, it will be easier for you.
Families are complicated — even when writing about them. The post HERE from Daily Writing Tips will help you write about families correctly.
I don’t often get offers from publishers or publicists for copies of books for review. I don’t quite know how to get on those lists. (National Geographic, if you are reading, please . . .) However, every now and then, I do hear from those folks. Recently I was offered a wonderful new non-fiction book, Leonardo’s Science Workshop by Heidi Olinger. I have to tell you, I wanted to have this one for myself, but the publisher generously offered a second copy so I could do a giveaway! Bonus for you, my friends. Here is my review.
STEM books are all the rage these days, particularly in the middle-grade canon. This book expands the STEM to STEAM and, thankfully, includes Art in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math equation. And how could they not include Art when basing a book on the work of Leonardo da Vinci?
The book opens with a few pages about Leonardo and an introduction to the scientific method. After the introductory pages there are six sections of explanation and projects: Take Flight; Moving Along: the Science of Motion; One Energy Source Flows to the Next: Light, Wind, and Electromagnetic Fields; Designing Technologies; Rocks and Stars. Each section has several projects that are introduced with scientific and historical background and laid out with excellent step-by-step instructions using both text and photographs to show the way. Sure, kids can learn to make paper airplanes, but they can also learn to make their own paper! They can learn ways to help save the planet and even how to make a comet. This is not the run-of-the-mill project book for little kids. This is a huge step above such books and does some serious teaching while allowing youngsters to to really expand their minds and build confidence in their abilities. The writing is lively, fun, interesting, and never talks down to its young audience. The photographs and drawings are spectacular and the layout is very, very inviting. This book belongs in every middle-grade classroom and may well sneak into the high school classrooms as well. It’s that good. Kids and teachers alike will be grateful for this book.
I have a brand new copy of this book for one of you. All you need do is be a follower or subscriber (it’s free!), have a U.S. address, and leave a comment below. If you would like extra chances, please share the link to this post on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media outlet and let me know you have done that. If you are reading this in your email, please click HERE to get to my blog, then click on the title of the post, and leave a comment. And don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.