Another winner in the new "Jack and the Geniuses" series. This one finds Jack, his siblings, and their mentor, Hank, traveling to Hawaii to help withAnother winner in the new "Jack and the Geniuses" series. This one finds Jack, his siblings, and their mentor, Hank, traveling to Hawaii to help with a clean-energy machine.
As with the previous "Jack" book, there's science, new discoveries, and mystery! There's plenty of basic science that kids probably already know, but that builds up to "Really?" science that is explained in the book (mainly to help Jack, the not-genius of the family, understand what the geniuses know, but of course that also helps us readers, young and older, who don't know the science) and further explained in the afterword "Eleven Absolutely Essential Questions About the Deep Blue Sea." And once again, new scientific discoveries lead to possible jealousy and sabotage, and Jack is determined to discover who can and can't be trusted.
Like the first book, this one also hints at gender equality (half of the smart people are female), and now race equality, too. It's subtle, but it's there. Two sentences (one question and one answer) toward the beginning of the book, but just poignant enough that it sticks in the memory of the reader, young and older. ...more
So... I know I've read other books like this one -- the history of a reader, why that person is a reader, what books that person has read, how certainSo... I know I've read other books like this one -- the history of a reader, why that person is a reader, what books that person has read, how certain books have influenced that person's life, how certain books have paralleled that person's life, or been completely different from that person's life -- and I've enjoyed them. But for some reason, I just didn't find this one as enjoyable. I don't know if there's something else going on in my head right now so I couldn't enjoy reading it, or if I've read *too* many books like this so I've overdone it with this genre, or if this one just wasn't as good as the others, but for whatever reason, despite the fact that I've read other books of this reader-memoir genre, this one just didn't hold me as much as others. I actually found myself skimming a whole lot, and jumping to the next chapter, hoping it would be better than the current chapter. It was a fine book, though, but just didn't sparkle and make me want to keep reading. ...more
I think this was a good story for kids to read. I was trying to think about the different ages of kids I've worked with over the years, and I could deI think this was a good story for kids to read. I was trying to think about the different ages of kids I've worked with over the years, and I could definitely see some of them being really excited about this. It has adventure, science, a mystery (although I kind of felt like the mystery was an unnecessary plot line, but I could be wrong), smart kids, and the ugly-duckling kid who's not as smart as his siblings but who finds he has worth, too -- basically, there's something for everybody. Plus, nearly half of the kid scientists and adult scientists are female, so yes, girls can do science and be smart, which is something we apparently still need to emphasize in the world.
As I read, I tried to imagine a kid (of any age, really, because I was doing the same thing) reading this book, thinking about how she or he would feel in Antarctica, and how she or he could change science and the world. And the important science topics are explained easily for kids to understand, so as they're reading, they're not losing the plot AND they're learning science. Then I loved the back sections of the book that explain more about Antarctica, the real science of the book (the stuff that seems totally far-fetched, but apparently is based on real science), and an experiment for kids to try that is related to part of the plot of the book. So there's a fun story, adventure, science to read about, and then science to try!
I'd definitely recommend this book to teachers to have stocked in their classrooms!...more