BOOK REVIEW: National Geographic Kids Absolute Expert: Rocks & Minerals
THINKAMAJIGS BOOK REVIEW:
by Ruth Strother with Dr. Sarah Stamps
IN A NUTSHELL:
Recommended for ages 8-12, this 112-page book helps your child become the ultimate rock hound. Every page is chock full of geological facts and fun, and the book includes some awesome experiments that are easily done at home. Dr. Sarah Stamps provides stories from the field that will have kids wanting to get out there looking for rocks and minerals.
Dr. Stamps is a National Geographic explorer and geophysicist at the Virginia Tech Department of Geoscience.
This book is an in-depth dig into rocks and minerals, covering everything from crystals to igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Kids learn about the origins of the universe, tectonic plates, volcanoes, and even how fireworks get their colours. They’ll delve into how minerals are identified, and take a peek at the Periodic Table of the Elements. And they’ll discover what happens to rocks under pressure and how wood can be turned to stone.
But this book isn’t just about Earth. Kids head out into space to find meteorites and how they have impacted Earth over the past 66 million years. Finally, they’ll learn how rocks and minerals are everywhere around them – in their computers, their pencils, and even their lunch.
Dr. Sarah Stamps shares some great stories from her work out in the field in Africa, where she has had some interesting adventures. The most entertaining sections are the hands-on experiments that can be done with household items and craft supplies: kids can make a volcano, crystal candy, sedimentary rocks, and paint. (NOTE: Some of these require help from an adult). There is also a full glossary of terms for easy reference. As always, the photos from National Geographic are beautiful and the information is wonderfully researched and comprehensively explains each topic. Additional resources are included if your child wants to learn more.
WHY WE KEEP IT ON OUR SHELF:
We’ve said it before: You can’t go wrong with National Geographic! Your grade-schooler can become an absolute expert on rocks and minerals with this excellent learning and reference book, presented in classic National Geographic style, with stunning photos and well-researched factual information. There is a lot of detail to take in, but it’s all fascinating and thought-provoking.
For Montessori learners, this book integrates several skill sets, including science, language arts, geography and history.
The book is geared toward middle-graders and older readers, but younger children may enjoy looking at the pictures and getting a head start on vocabulary building.
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