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by Matt Mullins

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Amy S. Hansen
Part of "A True Book" series, Mullins does a good job of explaining the always present, but not always noticed force of friction. He starts with the obvious: think of a cartoon character about to step on a banana peel. What will happen when the character's foot hits the slippery peel? The normal friction of shoe against floor has been disrupted, and the character will slide. Friction, we learn is a force that sounds contradictory. It resists motion, helping and hindering at the same time. "It hinders your shoes from slipping by helping them grip the floor. This helps you move forward without sliding." Mullins invites his readers to explore friction using a phone book experiment, and examine things like their bikes for parts that use friction. He explains how people work use friction to play sports (I especially liked his description of rock climbing), and how friction is key to many normal tasks. What is startling to adults is how long it took for scientists to understand friction. That particular factoid, however, is likely to go over the heads of young readers who see anything earlier than 2000 as ancient history. Illustrated with attractive photos, the book will work well in early and middle grades. Back matter includes a glossary, index, and list of further resources. Reviewer: Amy S. Hansen

Product Details

Scholastic Library Publishing
Publication date:
A True Book
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 4.62(h) x 0.10(d)
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

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