The Aca­dia Files

Book One: Sum­mer Sci­ence

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Reviews | Young Adult -

Katie Cop­pens, Holly Hatam (Il­lus­tra­tor) Til­bury House Pub­lish­ers (JUNE) Hard­cover $13.95 (88pp), 978-0-88448-601-5

The Aca­dia Files in­tro­duces kids to sci­ence via the read­ily ob­serv­able prin­ci­ples and easy-tore­pro­duce ex­per­i­ments of its pre­co­cious and end­lessly cu­ri­ous lead char­ac­ter, Aca­dia, who’s en­joy­ing the sum­mer be­fore she en­ters fifth grade. Both of her par­ents are sci­ence teach­ers, so learning is nat­u­rally en­cour­aged.

The book in­tro­duces im­por­tant sci­en­tific in­for­ma­tion in a clear and en­joy­able fash­ion. Each chap­ter high­lights a new topic based on Aca­dia’s sum­mer ac­tiv­i­ties and what she ob­serves. Aca­dia uses the sci­en­tific method to dis­cover who is steal­ing her blue­ber­ries from the bushes. She learns about ge­netic in­her­i­tance of traits like height and curly hair. She learns how sand is formed and what cre­ates sea­sons and tides. Her sum­mer ad­ven­tures will open young minds to sci­ence and how it helps to make sense of the world.

Il­lus­tra­tions from Aca­dia’s sci­en­tific note­book in­clude amus­ing im­ages, notes from ex­per­i­ments, and summaries of what she learned. Lists of vo­cab­u­lary terms and fur­ther ques­tions are also in­cluded. Note­book pages beau­ti­fully re­flect the per­spec­tive of a tenyear-old girl. They are fun and en­ter­tain­ing, sup­port­ing and clar­i­fy­ing sci­en­tific con­cepts.

The sci­ence in the book is won­der­fully pre­sented, but there is also an­other layer of les­sons: Aca­dia learns not to accuse some­one without proof; she learns to treat oth­ers with kind­ness; and she learns to ac­cept and even cel­e­brate things that might oth­er­wise ir­ri­tate her, such as the early morn­ing sun and the tem­po­rary na­ture of a sand­cas­tle. These age-ap­pro­pri­ate les­sons are clearly con­veyed, without tak­ing at­ten­tion away from the book’s sci­ence.

The Aca­dia Files is an ex­cel­lent book that will help its au­di­ence look at the worid in a new way.

Im­age from The Aca­dia Files: Book One: Sum­mer Sci­ence by Katie Cop­pens, Holly Hatam (Il­lus­tra­tor). Used with per­mis­sion from Til­bury House Pub­lish­ers.

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