Amanda's Reviews > Science Fair Season: Twelve Kids, a Robot Named Scorch . . . and What It Takes to Win

Science Fair Season by Judy Dutton
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's review
Dec 28, 2011

really liked it
Read in December, 2011

Kids+Science+Awesome=This Book. Judy Dutton tells the story of kids whose lives were profoundly changed by science and science fairs in an engaging, fun manner. Even without literary flair, these stories would be heartwarming and incredible. I mean, who doesn't want to hear about a kid who built his own nuclear reactor? Dutton compiles these stories and a level of personality with her nonintrusive first person narration. Perhaps the best thing is how nondescript her perspective is, yet it adds a kind of comforting Everyman voice to the book that really brings it all together.

The wonder of this book lies in the power these stories have to move you. Science, obviously, is the repeating theme in these kids' lives, opening them to new possibilities. However, the real hero lies in the encouraging adults. Even when these kids had nothing, there was always someone who was willing to sacrifice their own time to help them learn. These stories are about the necessity of adults encouraging educational independence, science as a way to engage kids to look at the world around them with a penetrating curiosity, and the sheer grit that kids are capable of. What struck me most was Eliza McNitt's cross disciplinary awakening. The merging of art and science which profoundly changed her life is not only my story, but the way of the future. At the ages of 13-17, these kids are learning to look at the world in a way that I have only just discovered. And they're doing it better than I am. This book is inspirational in all ways, but it's also a great read.

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