Ghost in the Water is a perfect book for mystery lovers and science enthusiasts of all ages! It reminds us that knowing science and math can make a difference, even in middle school. I especially love that girls are key members of the League. They will inspire and spark interest in girls beginning to explore STEM careers. I wish I had a book like this when I was growing up!
With Ghost in the Water, the author has given a younger generation a highly readable adventure/detective story that carries an important lesson… I see a great, bright future for the League of Scientists.
… I can heartily recommend this adventure in scientific thinking.
I loved this novel, and believe most readers of any age will too. It’s one great adventure with an educational theme!
I love this book! Kids will strongly relate to, and absolutely love, the cast of characters in this exciting mystery. The League of Scientists brilliantly intertwines mathematics and scientific concepts into an engrossing story. Middle schoolers will be quickly immersed in solving the mystery. From binary numbers to cell biology and robotics, Andy Kaiser makes scientific concepts exciting and the scientific method relevant. Teachers and parents will be impressed with how the book piques young readers’ interest in emerging scientific fields. Just as John, the main character, gains self-confidence and begins to believe in his abilities, so, too, will readers be encouraged to follow their curiosity, complete tasks and reach goals. There is a lot more going on in this town than what meets the eye…but I’ll let the League of Scientists reel you in. Grab this book and become a member of the League as John, Natsumi, Malene, Hector and Kimmey embark on this mysterious journey!
An easy read with a very powerful message! The League of Scientists creatively blends humor and gripping suspense with chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics and technology. The kids exhibit fear, anxiety, cooperation, communication and compassion, all while utilizing the scientific method. Science saves the day in this exemplary book. Parents and grandparents will enjoy sharing it with their kids. I will recommend the book to the administration to be a required reading for all faculty and students!
A great book for mystery enthusiasts and science geeks of all ages, but especially middle grades. The characters are diverse and include smart girls (and boys) who understand the power of inquiry. Readers will be captivated by the entertaining storyand, all the while, they'll be learning how useful science and math can be...even for kids!
This novel is the first "League of Scientists" mystery series, which blends mystery with the applied sciences. It provides a venue for scientific thinking along with intrigue and mystery. Seventh grader John Hawkins tries to fit in with the other students in a new school as he is targeted by the school bully. John’s interest in robotics leads to an invitation to join a secret science club, The League of Scientists. They join forces with their scientific knowledge to solve the mystery of the 'ghost' who’s terrorizing their swimming pool and who may cause them to lose their swim meet. The Glossary defines relative terms, while an Index provides easy navigation through the text. The first page and back cover of the book give excellent reviews from national educators about the quality of this story. One statement summarizes the praises: "This is exactly what science is about: curious kids using their knowledge to solve challenges." It’s important that middle grade girls are an important part of the story since this should also pique their interest in science. When science and the supernatural come together, these disparate areas provide an intriguing mystery story!
John is the new kid in seventh grade. He doesn’t fit in until he is thrust into the top-secret League of Scientists. Along with Kimmey, Malena, Natsumi, and Carlos, John sets out to solve the mystery of a ghost appearing in the school swimming pool. The book is clever in applying the scientific method and explaining several chemical concepts... [It] will appeal to science-oriented middle schoolers. First in The League of Scientists mysteries, the book includes an extensive glossary.
Library Media Connection,, March/April 2015 - Gayla Parks
Middle-schoolers will thoroughly enjoy this captivating adventure! Students who love science will relish the connections between the life and physical sciences. More importantly, students who don’t love science… yet… will experience the thrill of using it as a tool of discoveryand may be inspired to venture more into the ways that being curious about science can help them navigate and enjoy their world. I highly recommend this fun and inquiry-inspiring book!
"Part of what makes this book such an effective means of fostering readers' curiosity and familiarity with science, technology, and a host of other topics is the naturalness with which they are woven into the story. There's never a moment where the considerable amount of educational material feels inserted. The main characters, who are bright, energetic students the same age as the intended audience, ring true. Their banter and camaraderie feels authentic, as do the fears, challenges, and victories they navigate from day to day. Meanwhile the story, a compelling mystery, is loaded with chemistry, physics, biology, robotics, math, technology, language arts, and more, and because the context in which these are delivered is engrossing and relatable, readers devour it with pleasure. A 55-page teacher's guide (downloadable free) provides ideas and strategies for using the book as a teaching tool."
Tillywig Award Winner 2015
Tillywig Toy and Media Awards
"It's a great mystery story for kids, engaging, and chock full of science."
"The story promotes critical thinking, deductive reasoning, and working as a team." "I like how it makes the kids think! It definitely increases their critical thinking skills!"
This novel is about a group of middle school students who solve mysteries using science and math. The League of Scientists is a diverse group of seventh graders who all love a different STEM discipline and who have formed deep friendships. In this first book in the series, the school’s star swimmer thinks he sees a ghost in the pool one morning. The League decides to crack the case using logical thinking and deductive reasoning to help get the swim team to overcome its fears. Ghosts in the Water: The First League of Scientists Mystery by Sue Garcia would appeal most to late elementary school and early middle school readers. It is a fast-paced, easy, and engaging read that pulls in science and math content in a way that does not feel forced. The reader is exposed to just enough binary coding, marine biology, archaeology, and chemistry to have his or her curiosity piqued. The teacher’s guide has many suggestions for fun ways to explore topics in more depth. The one aspect of the novel that I found regrettable is that few of the teachers are portrayed in a positive light. There is one “cool” teacher who supports the League and an understanding principal who gives the group a lot of leeway, but most of the educators at the League’s school are angry, impatient, and unsympathetic. A teacher even turns out to be one of the villains in the story. Overall, I highly recommend this book. I think that it would provide great opportunities for collaboration between math teachers and science teachers.
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, April 2016/Vol. 21/No. 8 - Ryan McLaughlin
"This book, the first of what I hope to be a series, is a treat. It isn't really a science book per se, but a book that any middle schooler would find enjoyable, or choose to read for an English class book review. It is fiction, it is a mystery, it touches upon school bullying, and it references, several times, the scientific method, or process by which scientists answer questions. There is a ghost in the school pool? Let's see if we can replicate that with chemistry. You want to blame it on the school bully? Oh, no, scientists don't work that way, with an answer they want to find evidence forscientists use evidence gathered to formulate an answer. I enjoyed the book, and would recommend it as a pleasure book with a hidden agenda (and a hidden character, a shadowy presence, that leaves me wanting to read the next book right now)!"
NSTA, October 21, 2016 - Lisa Pike
Review: Blended STEM Fiction Books from Science, Naturally!
These novel-style books make cross-curricular STEM learning easy and fun. As a teacher and homeschooling mom, I have developed some theories and observations about learning. Probably one of the things that lays my educational foundation is my belief that children – no make that people of all ages – learn best when the opportunities arise naturally in the course of everyday life. Simply put, I try to connect as many subjects or concepts to one key experience as possible. When I was given the opportunity to review two novels by Science, Naturally!, I had no idea that they would fit into this goal so well! Your kids won't realize they're learning I recently had the opportunity to read and review Ghost in the Water and Leonardo da Vinci Gets a Do-Over. Both of these amazing books are published by the Science, Naturally! company and provide a myriad of learning opportunities for the reader. Each book is jammed pack with facts and ideas from multiple subject areas that are seamlessly woven together to create a great story! Readers will be so enthralled in the story that they won’t realize they are learning. I don’t know about you – but that is my kind of learning! Teacher's Guides Included Each book also has a free Teacher’s Guide that is filled with hundreds of suggestions, activities and connecting points to help guide the learning during the reading of the book. The Teacher’s Guide makes cross-curricular learning through these books a snap – because so much is already done for the teacher. The hardest part will be choosing which of the activities you want to do because it would be almost impossible to do them all! The activities include everything from discussion topics, writing prompts, areas to research, hands-on activities and more. They are truly what brings the learning to life and the Teacher’s Guide has it all ready to go! Blended STEM Fiction Book Series Overview Ghost in the Water, written by Sue Garcia, is the first book in the League of Scientist Mystery series. This fantastic book introduces us to a great group of middle school students who have banned together to form the League of Scientists. Together they use their knowledge of science, technology, math and logic to solve mysteries – but not in a textbook, science class kind of way. Kids of all ages will be able to identify with problems and challenges faced by the characters as they ban together to save the school swimming pool. Leonardo da Vinci Gets a Do-Over, written by Mark Friedlander, Jr., is the first book in the Innovators in Action series. This fun adventure takes three American middle school students on a class trip to Florence, Italy. While there they meet Leonardo da Vinci who is back in modern times to help make the world a better place. Join the fun as these engaging characters help the Renaissance legend survive in the 21st century. Incorporating these books into your curriculum So how am I using these books? It has been very easy in incorporate a book into our daily reading. I started with Ghost in the Water because we are currently learning about physics and chemistry in science and this book is a natural tie to those concepts. Prior to reading a chapter with my son, I review the Teacher’s Guide and determine which of the listed activities I want to do. I generally make this decision based on what I know my son will enjoy or an area that I want him to dig deeper in. Then we read a chapter together. As we get to a topic in the reading, I pose a discussion question that naturally fits in. I often model the thinking that I want my son to do, so you might hear me questioning why something is happening or making “I wonder . . .” statements. At the end of the chapter we use the discussion or these questions to do further research and learn more about the “cool” things we learned in the chapter, including adding in some hands-on activities from the Teacher’s Guide that fit. When we are ready, we move on to the next chapter. Some chapters have taken us longer to get through than others because there is more we want to explore. Although I have previewed Leonardo da Vinci Gets a Do-Over as part of this review, I am keeping this book a secret for a few more months until we start learning about the Renaissance period in history. I can’t wait to add this to our reading list because I know my son is going to love it! Recommended for Homeschool or Classroom Use When I first got asked to do the review, I was not sure what to expect. My son is a big science lover so I knew it was something I wanted to look further into. However, I never could have dreamed that the books would be as amazing as they are. Whether you have a book lover, science lover or reluctant learner, these books are sure to add some fun and exciting learning. I used these books as part of my current teaching role as a homeschooling mom, however, as a former classroom teacher, I would excitedly use them in a more traditional classroom too! I am very impressed with the Science, Naturally! books and would recommend them highly if you are looking to add some seriously fun learning to your homeschool or traditional classroom. I have loved these books so much that I am looking at adding some of their other resources to our curriculum too. I am most excited about trying out the One Minute Science Mysteries and the One Minute Math Mysteries.
January 18, 2017 - Teacher and Blogger Amy