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The Disappearing Spoon
Cover of The Disappearing Spoon
The Disappearing Spoon
Young Readers Edition
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A young readers edition of the New York Times bestseller The Disappearing Spoon, chronicling the extraordinary stories behind one of the greatest scientific tools in existence: the periodic table.Why...
A young readers edition of the New York Times bestseller The Disappearing Spoon, chronicling the extraordinary stories behind one of the greatest scientific tools in existence: the periodic table.Why...
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Description-

  • A young readers edition of the New York Times bestseller The Disappearing Spoon, chronicling the extraordinary stories behind one of the greatest scientific tools in existence: the periodic table.


    Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why did tellurium (Te, 52) lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history?
    The periodic table is a crowning scientific achievement, but it's also a treasure trove of adventure, greed, betrayal, and obsession. The fascinating tales in The Disappearing Spoon follow elements on the table as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, conflict, the arts, medicine, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.


    Adapted for a middle grade audience, the young readers edition of The Disappearing Spoon offers the material in a simple, easy-to-follow format, with approximately 20 line drawings and sidebars throughout. Students, teachers, and burgeoning science buffs will love learning about the history behind the chemistry.

About the Author-

  • Sam Kean is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Disappearing Spoon and The Violinist's Thumb. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Mental Floss, Slate, and New Scientist, and has been featured on NPR's "Radiolab" and "All Things Considered."

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    February 1, 2018
    This adaptation of a book for adults meanders through the history, uses, and misuses of the periodic table's elements. After a promising introduction about the author's childhood fascination with mercury, the first chapter bogs down in an explanation of atoms too brief for those new to chemistry to make much of it. A dull summary of the men who created the periodic table follows. Those who make it through the first chapters will be rewarded by more-interesting, even dramatic topics such as chemical warfare, atomic bombs, and poisonous elements. Kean has collected numerous anecdotes and groups them together loosely by similarities. While the stories within chapters tend to be chronological, the book zigzags back and forth through history. Almost all the players are adults, mostly white men, with the exception of a teenage boy who tried to build a nuclear reactor in his backyard. Occasional colloquialisms ("yuck") seem aimed at younger readers, but overall the adaptation makes few concessions to its audience. For example, the terms "quantum mechanics" and "nuclear fission" appear with little explanation. (A closing glossary helps to compensate for this.) The text refers to Albert Einstein's letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt about "starting the Manhattan Project" without further description, assuming readers have previous knowledge. Not for a general audience, this will most likely attract readers already in their element among beakers and Bunsen burners. (bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2018

    Gr 5-8-One may not think that a book about the periodic table will convey a great deal about counterfeiting, but such is the beauty of this title. It's not just about the elements. Rather, it rolls history and science and fascinating anecdotes into one volume. Adapted from his New York Times best seller of the same name, award-winning science writer Kean has boiled down his original work to about half the size (no Bunsen burner necessary), making it ideal for young readers. In doing so, he has managed to maintain his voice and keep the text stimulating. Kean uses the periodic table as a starting point to engage readers in history lessons, etymology, mythology, literature (Did you know Mark Twain wrote a short story based on some elements?), psychology, and more. The book is filled with fun facts and thought-provoking stories, such as how tin's properties may have affected a fatal Antarctic expedition and how an enterprising Boy Scout tried to build a nuclear reactor. The book is divided into four parts which are further distilled into chapters, enhancing its readability. The writing style is conversational and never dry. Several sidebars are sprinkled throughout that provide more information on some subjects. VERDICT An excellent purchase for libraries that want to liven up their science sections.-Marie Drucker, Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library, NY

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Young Readers Edition
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