Series: The Galactic Academy of Science
By Pendred Noyce
129 pages – ages 9+
Published by Tumblehome Learning, Inc. on October 1, 2014
This book is part of a series of books called the Galactic Academy of Science. The series is published by Tumblehome (click HERE for their website) that is meant to introduce kids to science topics. The publisher describes the series this way:
“With time travel and mysteries that need solving, the Galactic Academy of Science (G.A.S.) series instructs readers on how to think like scientists. Under the guidance of a Dude or Dudette from the future, the middle school characters are faced with treacherous, present-day crimes that require a historical knowledge of science in order to be solved. From investigating problems to analyzing data and constructing explanations and solutions, this series blends elements of sci-fi with educational methods that distill the key thinking habits of scientists and engineers.”
Synopsis of this book - Clinton Chang is his school’s star soccer player. He was playing in an important game when he hit his head on the goalie’s knee and then fell on the ground. When he is told to sit down for the game, and a strange man helps enforce the decision, Clinton is angry. He wants to play! Clinton is shocked when he then sees the stranger accept a check from a parent of a kid on the opposing team! Who is this bribe-taker? Right before Clinton goes over to yell at the stranger, a young time-traveler, named Selectra Volt, stops Clinton. Sectra Volt has a mission for Clinton and his best friend, Mae. They will go back in time to learn from some of the greatest scientists who studied the human brain.
What I Thought- I was kind of expecting a Magic Tree House or Magic School Bus type book (two series I LOVED when I was younger – okay still do ;) ) with this one, but I surprised with this book because it is written for a little older kid. At 129 pages it also offers a nice read for an older kid. Time travel isn’t easy to pull off in a book (I am always finding inconsistencies), but Dr. Noyce did a good job in this one. The story line around all the scientific stuff is solid and entertaining. I love science and learning about the brain and the history of science was very interesting to me. Clinton and Mae time-travel to famous scientists who studied the brain and learn from them. The manga-style illustrations are a great compliment to the story. It is an illustration style I am a fan of. There are short biographies of the scientists Clinton and Mae meet in each chapter, which are another nice touch. The story is thorough and it seems to be well-researched. One thing that threw me off, though, is that I thought that this book was the first in the series, but apparently it’s the third in a sub-series in the Galactic Academy of Sciences with Clinton and Mae as the MCs. It would be nice to have a bit more of an introduction to the Galactic Academy of Sciences or a recap of previous adventures. The book ends with resources and suggested reading on concussions and head injuries which parents and teachers will find very helpful. Now that I know about this science-based series, I will be checking out more of the titles.
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