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The Acadia Files: Book Four, Spring Science
by Katie Coppens
Illustrated by Holly Hatam
Tilbury House Publishers
Stories are a wonderful way to communicate the wonders of science to people of all ages. This is particularly true when it comes to children. The Acadia Files: Book Four, Spring Science, Katie Coppens’ latest book about a young girl, named Acadia, who explores her surroundings combines lighthearted storytelling with carefully selected morsels of information. In the process, she poses prescient questions to her friends and parents. Wielding the curiosity of a budding scientist, Acadia learns to look at the world from a science-based perspective.
The book touches on a wide range of topics, familiarizing readers with different scientific fields. Coppen introduces astronomy and physics through a discussion about asteroids and meteorites. From there, she shifts focus to the seasons on earth and discusses the various tell-tale signs that winter has given way to spring. Coppen deftly pivots to environmental issues ranging from diseases to Earth Day and the damaging effects of pesticides.
The stories in The Acadia Files build up to a unifying theme: Nature’s interconnectedness. You can draw a line from the changing of seasons to the effects of human agriculture on the planet. A series of illustrations at the end of the book helps readers visualize the links between seemingly unrelated factors.
Practical experiments or activities that parents can do with their kids supplement the stories in The Acadia Files. Demonstrating concepts highlighted in the stories is the best way to retain the book’s lessons. For example, simulating the effects of gravity and meteorite impacts are as easy as dropping different sized balls into loosely packed dirt or sand.
In The Acadia Files Katie Coppens continues teaching children by speaking to them through Acadia. This allows her to connect with them as a peer and in the process, nurtures a bond with science. Coppens deftly balances narrative accessibility with the complexity of her topics. She never speaks down to her readers by engaging in unnecessary simplifications. By trusting their intelligence, she ensures they trust her in return.
IMAGE SOURCE: Tilbury House Publishers
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