The author takes the complicated science of atoms and breaks it down into digestible pieces. She explores the discovery of atoms, including what the Greeks thought made up the world. Today we know that atoms are extremely tiny—"more than a billion atoms could fit inside" a period alone—but they are the building blocks that make up everything that exists. Atoms form elements, such as iron and oxygen, which cannot be broken down into simpler materials. Together the elements, of which there are some one hundred different ones, combine to form molecules. For example, when oxygen atoms combine with hydrogen atoms, they form water molecules. Sometimes molecules create a chemical reaction when they combine. Something as simple as bread rising is the result of a chemical reaction. A glossary, index and list of additional resources are included. Part of the "Simply Science" series, which includes books on electricity, sound, and magnets, this text will complement science exploration in the classroom. 2003, Compass Point Books, Patterson
Melissa Stewart earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Union College and a master’s degree in science and environmental journalism from New York University. She has written more than thirty books for children and has contributed articles to a variety of magazines for adults and children. In her free time, Melissa enjoys hiking and canoeing near her home in Northborough, MA.