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The “Loves Science” series grew earlier this summer when Libby Loves Science was published in June. Libby also loves science, but rather than zoology, her passion lies in chemistry (mostly through cooking!). She loves to mix, pour, measure, and stir to see what she can create. As a member of the science club, Libby and her friends Finn and Rosa volunteer to run the science booth at the school’s fall festival. They set up materials needed for students to run three fun experiments (giant bubbles, fluffy slime, and a rocket launch), and Derting and Johannes were thoughtful enough to include materials and instructions for each as a part of the narrative. Though their booth isn’t as successful as they’d like, Libby learns a few important lessons along the way, such as “mistakes can lead to discoveries,” celebrating others’ victories over your own, and looking for the positive when you’re feeling down about your performance. Even so, the story never reads as didactic and is instead purely entertaining. Back matter once again includes “Libby’s Science Facts,” a glossary of scientists and science/chemistry terms introduced in the book.
The whole series is wonderfully diverse, featuring interracial families, highlighting women in science, and celebrating friendships between boys and girls. My girls love the stories themselves, and I am delighted by how much science they learn (without even realizing it) and are inspired to do themselves (we’ve got grand plans to do all 4 experiments outlined in Libby Loves Science over the next few weeks). Though Derting is an accomplished author, she did major in biology, and her deep understanding of scientific processes shines in each book.
This book delivers a positive message about teamwork, creativity, and problem solving. You could tie this in with your STEM/STEAM lessons, too. There are a handful of experiments included throughout the book that kids will want to try. These experiments can be done in the classroom or at home. I think this would be a great book to share with your budding scientists!