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Science and nature books for middle schoolers

Tired of the dry, academic tomes that purport to teach science? GreatSchools rounds out our grade-by-grade recommendations for science and nature books with this excellent, irrevent collection by artist Simon Basher, plus topical picks on the environment and global warming.

By GreatSchools Staff

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The Periodic Table: Elements With Style!

The Periodic Table: Elements With Style!
by Simon Basher and Dan Green
Kingfisher (2007)

Learn about the elements with The Periodic Table, which zeroes in on 64 elements and presents their relevant data in creative, punchy prose. "I may be undersized, but don't underestimate me," says Hydrogen. This book makes a great reference, with all the information your child would want to know about these elements — everything from density to melting point. It's also a great way to spark your children's curiosity about chemistry.

Comments from readers

"I've checked out a series of one of these books. They teach evolution which is false. I quickly returned the book. "
"Basically a picture book, not a textbook, so please enlighten me. How is a book about the Table of Elements political? Are you annoyed that 'greatschools' reviewing science? Even home schools have children's books that introduce concepts. I have 1st and 3rd graders who read at 8th grade level, and yet I'd never confuse this for a scholarly treatise. Does your home schoool teach tots about the elements?"
"It amazes me how educating children has to be made fun by those in education, or it is not worth doing (according to them). When is it time to be serious? Are our children so immature that they can only learn by cartoons and games? I don't think so. It's time to start being serious about how and what our children are taught. By the way, when do they start learning about global cooling in our schools?"
"Political fiction like this crap shouldn't be served up to our young children as if it were fact. Politics have no place in our schools. This is why my kids go to a private Christian school so they are not exposed to these lies. I suspect that has a liberal agenda so we shouldn't be surprised. Shame on you."