The folks at Blue Slip Media, publicists for author Michele Torrey, were good enough to send us a copy of the author's latest book in the "Doyle and Fossey, Science Detectives" series, in exchange for an honest review.
The Case of the Terrible T.rex, is the sixth book in the series, aimed at 7-11 year olds. You can find a video preview for it, as well as a nifty give away, of the two latest books in the series, and a set of test tubes, on the author's website.
The story, which is actually 4 short stories, revolves around the scientific, detecting adventures of two 5th graders. Each story has a corresponding experiment, for children to try themselves, as well as additional Internet links, and information on using the scientific method, and setting up your own laboratory.
The stories are quirky, and fun, if a little unrealistic. My children questioned some of the science the two detectives used, and whether the events depicted in the book could really happen. That was perfect though, because it sent us scampering for more information about fumaroles, trilobites, and radio waves - which I think is the point of the series.
My only caution is the story dealing with the dinosaur fossil is written entirely from an evolutionary standpoint. As young earth creationists, we took some exception there - but that is not unusual when dealing with dinosaur stories.
Also, I might suggest to the author, that the experiments at the back of the book could be made a little more accessible for families at home. One experiment, for instance, called for a evening gown sized dry cleaning bag, and a cold, but windless day. Another, required water from a creek. And, another needed a fish tank, and a bag of play sand. These are not things we generally have on hand, and so probably not experiments we will try.
However, the final experiment involved the Morse code, and included wonderful follow-up links, as well as a history lesson on ham radio, and Morse code.
So, we found fun stories, the children enjoyed reading, some science, some history, and enough questions to get us researching. Not too bad. I've already put several books, from the series, on hold at the library.
Now, just to be clear - I did receive a free copy of the book, but the opinions written here are mine. I'm sure, sooner or later, we would have bumped into this series at the library, and fallen in love with it, on our own.
It's great to be a homeschooler.