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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Kid Scientists: True Tales of Childhood From Science Superstars

I knew the second I saw Kid Scientists: True Tales of Childhood From Science Superstars by David Stabler and Anoosha Syed that I had to have it on my son's bookshelf. When David signed the book, he remarked that it was to David, from David. I swooned.

Neil Degrasse Tyson. Jane Goodall. Rachel Carson. Benjamin Franklin. Katherine Johnson. Temple Grandin. Sally Ride. What do all of these very different people have in common? They are all scientists, but more importantly, they were all kids once. The grown ups in their lives encouraged (and sometimes discouraged!) their curiosity about the world around them, all of which gave them the encouragement and support to make the discoveries that shaped our world as we know it. These stories were each a perfect length with large font, allowing my son and I to read the stories together and having them move fairly quickly. We read one every night before bed, and I fell madly in love with this book chapter after chapter.

I was really blown away by this book and the focus on famous scientists' childhoods. Their accomplishments later in life did come up at the end of their stories, but the focus was really on their early lives and how their futures were shaped by their childhoods. Some faced great adversity while others had great privilege. All of them had in common, though, a curiosity that ran deep. This was a huge reminder that it is absolutely vital that we allow kids to feed their curiosity and dig into whatever they are interested in and want to investigate. Not everyone is destined to become a scientist, but every child has a scientist within them. We are so quick to beat out curiosity in our kids in favor of being able to do well on assessments, and we lose sight of the forest for the trees. I would always rather have a curious kid than one who scores well on a silly exam.

This book made such an impression on me that I am going to purchase some of the other books in the series, including Kid Artists, Kid Presidents, and Kid Authors.

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