There’s nothing like the feeling of holding your new book in your hands for the first time. All the hours you spent working on it, not to mention all the work by everyone else who helped make the book a reality, are well worth it.
I got that feeling yesterday when I opened a package from Seven Stories Press, a New York publisher, and pulled out a copy of A Different Mirror for Young People. It is the story of multicultural America written by the late Professor Ronald Takaki, a pioneer in the study of our country’s ethnic and racial history. My part was to make Professor Takaki’s scholarly book shorter and easier to read, so that children and teenagers could benefit from his insights into the challenges, struggles, and also triumphs of the people and groups who came together–not always peacefully–to make up the American population.
Professor Takaki was not only a famous scholar–he was also a friend. I’m proud to have helped make his work available to young people, and I know it would make him tremendously happy to see this book. Now it’s up to the readers!
I love the covers for my latest series of nonfiction books for kids: Animal Behavior Revealed.
These four books were both fascinating and tons of fun to write. I hope readers will share both the fascination and the fun. It’s amazing how much scientists are learning every day about how and why animals do the things they do.
Animal Behavior Revealed is due to be published in Fall 2012. Look for it online, in bookstores, and at your school or public library.
How do we know whether an idea, belief, or statement is scientific? In Good Science, Bad Science, a series I’m writing now, I explore the basics of the scientific method–a powerful tool for exploring and understanding the world, from atoms to galaxies.
The history of science is one of new ideas constantly replacing old ones, as investigators learn ever more about the workings of the world around them. People used to believe that Earth was the center of the universe, with the Sun and all the stars revolving around it. Now we know that Earth is just one of many planets and asteroids that revolve around the Sun, and that the Sun is just one of trillions upon trillions of stars. A key part of good science is being flexible. A scientific thinker is able to change his or her ideas when new evidence comes along.
The four books of Good Science, Bad Science will examine:
* old ideas about the shape of the earth, and how science changed them
* Earth’s place in the universe, and how scientists discovered it
* the relationship between the mysteries of alchemy and modern chemistry, and
* the differences between astrology and astronomy.
The series is still in the early stages. Writing the books is a fascinating journey. I can’t wait to see the finished product.