Book review: Build Your Own Boats, by Rob Ives

Ives, Rob. Build Your Own Boats. “Makerspace Models series.” Hungry Tomato, 2018. $26.65. ISBN 9781512459692. 32 pages.  Ages 8-11. P7 Q8

Have you ever wanted to build your own boat model, but didn’t know where to start? Build Your Own Boats takes you step by step, using items that you already have around the house or inexpensive items, to build 8 watercraft models. The book starts with a “safety first” section and contains top tips, how it works, real-world engineering and photographs of the lists of supplies and detailed steps required to make each model. Not only do you learn how to make the watercraft, you learn all about it. Some models require a few items you have on hand, other models require some items you will need to buy. The models range from easy to a little more difficult. Even if the reader is not engineer minded, they will be able to follow the instructions and make the models.

Verdict: I am not a huge boat fan, but I found the models interesting and curious if they would actually float. A book for boating enthusiast, explaining in simple terms the engineering principles that makes the models move. An asset to any elementary school age library. My nieces are excited to make these models and to try them out in their pool.

March 2018 review by Tami Harris.


Book review: Rocketry, by Carla Mooney, illustrated by Caitlin Denham

Mooney, Carla. Rocketry: Investigate the Science and Technology of Rockets and Ballistics with 25 Projects. Ill. Caitlin Denham. [Build It Yourself Series]. Nomad Press. 2014. $17.95. 120p. 978-1-61930-236-5. Ages 9-12:

Mooney RocketryMooney follows the pattern of this series beginning with a timeline and followed by a history of rocketry from ancient Greek’s steam-driven machines and Chinese fire arrows to the future Space Ship Two. Seven chapters end with exercises for making models. Projects include building a pneumatic blast rocket and launcher, testing a rocket recovery system, and designing a rocket model of the future. These activities do require adult supervision and a great deal of supplies such as PVC pipe and a skateboard. The science parts, combining physics, chemistry, and mathematics, include information about the forces of thrust, gravity, lift, and drag interact to determine a rocket’s path. Sprinkled throughout the book are humorous drawings and sidebars. The book is topped off by a glossary and a bibliography of reference sources including websites. P8Q8

January 2015 review by Nel Ward.

Book review: The Amazing Wilmer Dooley, by Fowler DeWitt, illustrated by Rodolfo Montalvo

DeWitt, Fowler. The Amazing Wilmer Dooley: A Mumpley Middle School Mystery. (Mumpley Middle School Mystery series.) Illustrated by Rodolfo Montalvo. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2014. $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-9854-9. 328 pages. Grade 2-5. P7Q8

DeWitt Amazing Wilmer DooleyWilmer is thrilled to be chosen to attend the State Science Fair and can’t wait to show off his project he has been working on all summer. But when strange happenings start messing with the other students at the fair, Wilmer decided to investigate with his friends. Between brains turning to mush and a very clingy girl, Wilmer finds the crook trying to take over the fair and the world! This novel succeeds in providing mystery, science and fun to its audience.

December 2014 review by Beverly Minard.