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Valerie Wyatt
Illustrated by Pat Cupples Toronto, Kids Can Press, 1993. 80pp, paper, $10.95
ISBN 1-55074-113-6. CIP

Reviewed by Pat Steenbergen

Volume 22 Number 2
1994 March/April

Valerie Wyatt is the author of four books about science, including Weather Watch and Inventions. For this latest book she consulted the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology, whose members provided advice and help arranging the testing of activities.

In The Science Book for Girls, Valerie Wyatt tries to overcome stereotypes which lead girls to think that science only takes place in labs and has nothing to do with them. She does this in a different way in each of the three sections of the book. Chapter one follows a girl through her day showing how everything she does has a science component-- from changing starch to sugar by toasting bread, to a discussion of how soap and water combine to carry dirt off our bodies in the bath.

In the next section, "Be a Scientist" nine science careers are introduced. For each there are activities as well as a short note on a woman working in the field. Any girl who reads this book will have a lot of fun using physics to Glue" her family and friends to the wall.

The last section introduces visual and spatial puzzles--an area that many girls will have ignored and avoided. There are also notes on using the ideas in the book for a science fair project. The book concludes with notes to parents, teachers and group leaders about providing an encouraging atmosphere for girls in science.

The illustrations add to the text particularly in the experiments section, where they clearly indicate what is to be done. A comprehensive index is provided.

Recommended for purchase by all elementary school and public libraries and for individual girls as school prizes or presents.

Grades 3 to 7 / Ages 8 to 12

Pat Steenbergen is a job sharing librarian in the Professional Library for the staff of the Board of Education for the City of York in Toronto, Ontario

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