S is for Scientists
by Larry Verstraete

Price at time of review: $16.95
32 pp.
Sleeping Bear Press
Chelsea, MI
ISBN: 9781585364701

Grade Level: 3-5

Reviewed by Juliana Texley
NSTA Web Field Editor

An alphabetic collection of stories about scientists and scientific methods seems to fit the mold of a "read-aloud" book. But this eclectic description of the methods of science isn't just for younger readers. Its creativity and depth of descriptions earned it a designation as an NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for 2011.

The book's emphasis on methods—like demonstrating, observing, and yielding (to the moment!)—is commendable. The science is eclectic as well; it ranges from from Pavlov's behavioral psychology to Bingham's archeological discoveries in Machu Pichu. Middle and secondary readers will appreciate its descriptions of scientific processes from molecular structures to nuclear science.

It will be important for teachers to help students appreciate the message of the book, which is far beyond an alphabetic gimmick. Once students explore these diverse processes, they'll never stereotype scientists again.

Review posted on 1/7/2011

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