Saturday, July 31, 2010
Review: Secrets of the Universe
This fall, with Ds#1 being of sixth grade age, we are embarking on a year of physics using the Paul Fleisher series, Secrets of the Universe. This is an outstanding series to introduce middle-school students to the subject.
The books have no color-laden pictures, no distracting side bars; rather it has clear, descriptive, interesting writing that explains the concepts. He bases the topics on the scientists who first described the principles, and relates the material through common, illustrative examples. He intertwines the experiments with the narrative rather than putting them in a separate section. The end of each book includes a timeline and short biographies of the scientists mentioned as well as a suggested reading list and glossary.
The book was originally published as a single volume and then subsequently divided into the five-book series. Though the experiments are few, the series makes an excellent spine around which you can easily add in more activities and reading. As science books become more splash than substance, the elegance of this series is a reminder of the good writing that is being lost to the photographs and isolated side bars facts so prominent today.
If your library carries the series and you can wait to purchase these books you may be able to pick them up through the used book market at a reasonable price.