Science in the Summer

While most children are out of school this month, learning is always taking place. To that effect, some children in nine North Carolina counties including Wake and Durham will be participating in GlaxoSmithKline’s Science in the Summer programs at local library sites. So in honor of this program, the books for July focus on the general theme of science, and the more specific theme of this summer’s exploration, simple machines.

Books with (*) are nonfiction books.

Preschool Books

*Neo Leo: the Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci. (Henry Holt and Company. $16.99. ages 4 and up) by Gene Barretta.Cleverly shows how Leonardo's ideas foreshadowed modern inventions. At once an artist, inventor, engineer, and scientist, Leonardo da Vinci wrote and drew detailed descriptions of what would later become hang gliders, automobiles, robots, and much more.

Violet the Pilot. (Dial. $16.99. ages 4 and up) by Steve Breen. Young Violet's only friend is her dog, Orville, until one of her homemade flying machines takes her to the rescue of a Boy Scout troop in trouble.

*Soar, Elinor! (Farrar, Straus and Giroux. $16.99. ages 4 and up) by Tami Lewis Brown.Elinor Smith, who first flew in a "flying machine" when she was six, earns her aviation license at the age of sixteen in 1928, and when male pilots and newspapermen mock her abilities, she performs the daring maneuver of flying under all four of New York City's East River bridges.

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. (Chronicle Books. $16.99. ages 1 and up) by Sherri Duskey Rinker. At sunset, when their work is done for the day, a crane truck, a cement mixer, and other pieces of construction equipment make their way to their resting places and go to sleep.

Grades K-5

*How Cool is This? (DK Children Publishing. $15.99. ages 7 and up)Explains the scientific ideas and discoveries behind some of the world's coolest inventions and natural wonders.

*Wings. (Charlesbridge Publishing. $16.95. ages 7 and up) by Sneed B. Collard.Discusses the many animals and insects that have wings, the various types of wings, and how they are used.

*Isaac Newton and Physics for Kids: His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities.(Chicago Review Press. $16.95, ages 9 and up) by Kerrie Hollihan. Features hands-on projects that explore the scientific concepts developed by Isaac Newton.

*Flesh and Blood So Cheap: the Triangle Fire and its Legacy (Knopf Books for Young Readers. $19.99. ages 10 and up) by Albert Marrin.Provides a detailed account of the disastrous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City, which claimed the lives of 146 garment workers in 1911, and examines the impact of this event on the nation's working conditions and labor laws.

*Lego Ideas Book: Unlock Your Imagination. (DK Children. $24.99. ages 7 and up) by Glenn Murphy. Divided into six themed chapters--transportation, buildings, space, kingdoms, adventure and useful makes--a guide filled with hints and tips from Master Builders helps LEGO fans create new projects from kits intended for specific builds.

*Inventions. (Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers. $16.99. ages 8 and up) by Glenn Murphy.A brief history of mankind's greatest inventions, from the first firemaking implements to the Internet.

*Flight. (DK Children. $19.99. ages 8 and up) by Andrew Nahum.Traces the history and development of aircraft from hot-air balloons to jetliners, and includes information on the principles of flight and the inner workings of various flying machines.

*Secret Subway: the Fascinating Tale of an Amazing Feat of Engineering. (National Geographic Children’s Books. $17.95. ages 10 and up) by Martin W. Sandler.In 1869, Alfred Beach wanted to build America's first air-powered railway below New York City, but Boss Tweed, powerful politician and notorious crook, opposed. Working under night cover, Beach and his crew carved a three-hundred-foot tunnel beneath a department store. Before long, the project was discovered and the public raved about its potential.

The Invention of Hugo Carbet.(Scholastic Press, $24.99. ages 9 and up) by Brian Selznick.When twelve-year-old Hugo, an orphan living and repairing clocks within the walls of a Paris train station in 1931, meets a mysterious toyseller and his goddaughter, his undercover life and his biggest secret are jeopardized.

*Cool Stuff Exploded: Get Inside Modern Technology. (DK Children, $19.99. ages 10 and up) by Chris Woodford.Many inventions, objects and gadgets in exploded view and the ways they work explored.

Grades 6-8

Flygirl. (Speak. $7.99. ages 12 and up) by Sherri L. Smith.During World War II, a light-skinned African American girl "passes" for white in order to join the Women Airforce Service Pilots.

The Running Dream. (Ember. $9.99. ages 12 and up) by Wendelin Van Draanen.When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessica an amputee, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and her track team finds a wonderful way to help rekindle her dream of running again.