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Science Alliance - Booklist Review September 2017

Science Alliance - Booklist Review September 2017

Posted by Rourke Educational Media Admin on

Each volume in the wide-ranging Science Alliance series introduces a specific science concept to elementary-school readers. By keeping the language accessible and limiting the depth of coverage, readers should come away with a basic understanding of the topic at hand. Nearly every page pairs a short paragraph with a large color photograph or diagram relevant to the text. The books also feature simple experiments that demonstrate a particular concept and prompt critical thinking. Rather than assembling collective nouns, Animal Groups focuses on the advantages group living can provide, from safety to increased food supply to social orders. In Animal Senses, the text is divided by individual sense and illustrates ways different animals perceive their environments, particularly in predator-prey scenarios. Kids will especially appreciate the depiction of human versus bee vision (bees see ultraviolet light). Heredity is the most uneven volume, as it sometimes oversimplifies concepts ("Heredity means that all animals give birth to their own kind") and gets technical at others ("Individual alleles control the inheritance of traits"; but a decent introduction to Mendel's peas is provided. Atomic structure, physical and chemical reactions, and the three states of matter are aptly explained in the well-written Matter, which clearly states how molecules change form. A teacher-activity guide precedes each book, and the concluding back matter is supplemented with reading-comprehension questions and online resources.

—Booklist, September 2017



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