Tag Archives: biography

Weekly Wrap-Up: Physicists

We’re continuing to learn about physics, splitting out time between physics and physicists. Mr. Curiosity finished How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog and found it hilarious, and full of good physics ideas. Now he knows all about about evil squirrels and bunnies made of cheese. I’ve also had the kids learn about physicists, and here’s the books we’ve used.

I found a graphic novel of Richard Feynman called, appropriately enough Feynman by Jim Ottaviani. The book covers Feynman’s whole life, jumping back and forth to different periods of his life. It’s definitely targeted toward an older crowd. For one thing, there’s the physics and tricky mathematical equations mentioned. For the other, the pages are pretty dense with blocks of talking heads and little action showing on the page. Feynman was an interesting physicist who certainly had a way with words, but it’s not like he did exciting-looking activities.

The other book I found is Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World by Rachel Swaby. It covers women who made significant contributions in medicine, biology, genetics, physics, geology, astronomy, math, and as inventors. Within each category, the scientists are presented in chronological order. The author devotes three or four pages to each scientist and her breakthrough research, often discussing how the woman had to fight against discrimination to get her voice heard. Miss Adventure is enjoying reading this one. The books reminds people that women have been involved in science just as much as men, even if our achievements are often ignored or co-opted.

And those are the books we used for physics this week. Linking up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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H is For Hawk by Helen Macdonald

I was in the mood for some nonfiction, but didn’t have my TBR list with me at the library. So, I was reduced to browsing the library’s shelves (which can be especially difficult for nonfiction). Luckily, I saw this book and remembered hearing good things about it.

Published: 2014

Genre: nonfiction memoir

Length: 283 pages of text, 300 pages total

Setting: the English countryside, present day Continue reading

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Looking for Anne of Green Gables by Irene Gammel

The Anne of Green Gables series was a favorite of mine when I was a child. In fact, I’ve already introduced them to Miss Adventure as bedtime stories. So, when I found out from a friend there was book about the writing of the series, I was intrigued. I really knew nothing about the author beyond the fact that she wrote the Anne of Green Gables series. I was interested in learning more.

Subtitle: The Story of L. M. Montgomery and Her Literary Classic

Published: 2008

Genre: biography

Length: 262 pages of text, 312 pages total

Setting: mostly Prince Edward Island, Canada, 1903-1938 Continue reading

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The True Adventures of Charley Darwin by Carolyn Mayer

Published: 2009

Genre: middle grade historical fiction

Length: 321 pages

Setting: England and a voyage around the world, 1818-1839

Font: Apollo

Interest: It’s a historical fiction book about the early life of Charles Darwin – it appealed to my scientific side. Continue reading

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The Remedy by Thomas Goetz

Subtitle: Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Quest to Cure Tuberculosis

Published: 2014

Genre: nonfiction biographical science

Length: 256 pages of text, 320 pages total

Setting: Germany and England, late 1800s to early 1900s

Interest: This was brought to my attention by The Modern Mrs. Darcy in one of her summer reading guides (this post shows the other books I added from that list). Basically, I’m always on the lookout for new science books and the topic of this one sounded interesting. Continue reading

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Weekly Wrap-Up: Texas and Bowie

American History Club is meeting next week. It’s our third meeting on Texas and the Alamo and that general time period. That means the kids will be doing presentations on a topic of their choice. As per usual, there’s lots going on in that time period to choose from.

Mr. Curiosity decided he wanted to learn about the Texas Republic. He has primarily used Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State by Randolph B. Campbell. The subtitle of the book is quite accurate, since it covers Texas from its first Native American inhabitants through 2001. There’s a chapter on the Texas Revolution and another on the Republic of Texas, with enough detail he probably won’t need to look elsewhere for information. If he does, he can read A History of US: Liberty for All?: 1820-1860 by Joy Hakim. This is a YA level book that tries to cover most of the major events of U.S. history. There’s not much detail, since it covers 40 years in less than 200 pages of text, including lots of original photographs, maps, and cartoons from the time period. It will put the details from the first book into a larger U.S. perspective.

Miss Curiosity decided she wanted to learn more about James Bowie. One of Calpurnia Tate’s brothers (from The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate) was named after Bowie. There are many biographies of Bowie – the trick is finding the one at the right reading level. We settled on Jim Bowie: Frontier Legend, Alamo Hero by J. R. Edmondson. It provides a history of Bowie in just about 100 pages, which is probably just a bit more in-depth than Miss Adventure would prefer, but again, will have all the information she needs.

One last book to mention that I found for Mr. Curiosity at the library: Randall Monroe’s Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words. The purpose of the book is to explain different concepts of science, engineering, and even history using only the ten hundred most common words of the English language. Half the fun of reading the book is trying to figure out what the words are referring to. Can you guess that a shape checker is a lock and a food-heating radio box is a microwave? As a bonus, if you want to try your hand at explaining something using the same set of words, you can put your text in a website to see how you did. Mr. Curiosity wrote an explanation of math equations and succeeded in using only the most common words.

And those were the book we used this week. Linking up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers’ Weekly Wrap-Up


If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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Recommended Graphic Novels

In the run-up to Christmas, I thought I’d replace my usual short-fiction posts with something a little different. If you’re reading this blog, you’re obviously interested in books. In case you’re looking for a few suggestions for Christmas presents, I thought I would put together a few posts that recommend books in a specific genre. For each book, if you click on the title, you will be taken to my full review of the book. If you click on the cover, you’ll be taken to Amazon where you can purchase a copy of the book (and support my blog in the process – thanks!)

I thought I’d start with graphic novels, since we’ve read a couple this year that were read and reread.In fact, these are all going to be middle grade to teen targeted books who all happen to feature a female protagonist.

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