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Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments:
All Lab, No Lecture

by Robert Bruce Thompson

      Reading this book was like having Bill Nye the Science Guy and Alton Brown from the Food Network hanging out together with me in my kitchen. While I didnít completely comprehend some of the scientific principles of what we were doing (and I say, "we," because that is just how it felt), I certainly learned some really cool things and had lots of fun.

When the book first came in the mail I looked at the table of contents and thought, "Oh my, what have I gotten myself into," but the laboratory experiences range the gamut from novice to expert. Regardless of your understanding of chemistry there is something in this book for everyone. I have recommended this book to friends who are elementary school teachers, friends who home-school, and my brother who is a high-school chemistry teacher. I have even conducted some of the experiments with my university elementary and secondary teacher candidates. Whether you are any of the above, or you are a parent of a child looking for a chemistry fair experiment, or you just want to learn more about how things work, this book is a clear, concise, and highly-readable resource.

I particularly appreciated the fact that the author began by discussing the importance of writing and the lab notebook, and emphasized the importance of having conversations with others about the experiments being conducted. While the author laments the loss of the home chemistry set - and I have to admit that it was only my brother who opened one of those every birthday - hopefully this book will provide readers with access to some of the wonder and magic provided by those early experiences with the natural world. In the words of Albert Einstein, "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." This book is a guide to a wide range of chemistry experiments designed to instill and foster curiosity and wonder. Hereís to great chemistry experiences and a growing sense of wonder!

The Book

April 29, 2008
0596514921 / 978-0596514921
Non-Fiction / Miscellaneous / Science
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The Reviewer

Louanne Clayton Jacobs
Reviewed 2008
© 2008