Jay, a star athlete, is unhappy with the "squishy belly" he has developed while recovering from a broken ankle. With the help of his mathlete sister, Amelia, who narrates the story, he tries to get in shape for the upcoming soccer tryouts. At first he tries ineffective fad diets. When a neighbor gives the kids a book entitled Shaping Up for Smarties , Amelia is delighted to discover that "getting in shape is simple-simple math." Employing observation, data collection, and communication skills needed in the scientific method, she becomes Jay's nutritionist and personal trainer and teaches him how to eat right and burn calories by exercising. As she helps her brother practice for his team tryout, Amelia develops soccer skills herself and considers going out for the junior soccer team. Cheerful cartoon illustrations enhance the lessons that readers will learn along with Jay and Amelia. The story is supplemented by factual asides highlighted in colored boxes and an activities page called "Think Like a Scientist." A useful addition for most collections.
Linda L. WalkinsCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.