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The Science of Breakable Things Kindle Edition
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
He has big plans for this lab notebook. Apparently, he thinks it’s important to teach students “dedication to long- term projects,” and this assignment is his grand solution. Basically, we’re supposed to observe something that interests us and spend all year applying the scientific process to our capital- Q Question.
As soon as we sat down, he passed out these dorky old composition notebooks and said, “This will be your Wonderings journal! You will record lab notes and assignments, and document the greatest scientific journey of all time— your scientific journey!”
We all stared, trying to figure out if he was for real or not. He was.
“You’ll spend this year developing your own scientific process, and it all starts with one question—that thing that sparks you to life.” Mr. Neely made a weird explosion gesture with his hands, and someone in the back of the room giggled, which only seemed to encourage him. “By the end of the year, I’ll be the one learning. From you!”
Mr. Neely is a new teacher, so he’s still all optimistic and stuff, but personally I think this assignment’s a lost cause. Last year, our English teacher, Mrs. Jackson, thought it’d be really great for us to keep journals. The only requirement: fifty pages by the end of the year, written from the heart. If you haven’t guessed already, that just resulted in everyone writing all fifty pages the day before the journals were due. I mostly filled mine with song lyrics, copied in my biggest, sloppiest handwriting.
And technically, this is supposed to be homework, but I don’t see why I shouldn’t get a head start. Without further ado, dearest lab notebook, I present Natalie Napoli’s Scientific Observations:1
• Mr. Neely waves his arms in big circles when he talks, which makes him look like an overeager hula dancer. His white button-down—bright against his dark brown skin—wrinkles as he moves.
• He tells us he wants us to “embrace the joys of science.”
• Mikayla Menzer raises her hand.
• Mikayla Menzer answers without being called on. She says, “Science is literally the joy of my life. I am literally embracing it right now.”
• Mikayla Menzer is not literally embracing anything. She’s just sitting at her desk, catty-corner to mine, with her hands clasped in front of her, and her thick dark braid twisting over her shoulder.
• Mikayla Menzer smells like sunscreen, which kind of makes the entire classroom smell like sunscreen, and the air in here is damp and hot. I wish Fountain Middle had air-conditioning.
• I wish we had enough money for me to go to Valley Hope Middle, which does have AC, but now that Mom’s “sick,” Dad says we need to “tighten our belt a notch.”
• And anyway, Twig’s here, even though her family can definitely afford Valley Hope, so I guess this place isn’t so bad.2
• Mr. Neely is saying my name, but I haven’t been listening, so I just nod at him and give him my best I’m embracing science smile.
• Mr. Neely says, “I’m glad you’re having so much fun with the assignment, but making observations is supposed to be homework, Natalie. Please pay attention in class.”
• I am paying attention.
• And Mikayla Menzer still smells like sunscreen.
1 Only the most brilliant observations you’ll ever read. Imagine you’re hearing a drumroll right now. Go on, imagine it.
2 Twig: best friend in the entire galaxy. (Her words.) --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B072SRZRT4
- Publisher : Random House Books for Young Readers (6 March 2018)
- Language : English
- File size : 16408 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 288 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #61,568 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Ever since Natalie’s mom all but disappeared from her life, Natalie’s been looking for answers and for a way to fix things so that the mom she knew will return and replace the not-there version who spends most of her days in bed.
Her new, overly enthusiastic science teacher’s suggestion that she participate in the local egg drop competition might not be such a bad one. It will give her just the opportunity she needs to help - that is, if she can win.
Going it alone she doesn’t stand a chance, but with her best friend Twig and new friend Dari on her team, winning is a real possibility - even with drop ideas that contain glitter, marshmallows, and chocolate.
Tae Keller created a sympathetic, relatable, likable, funny, flawed, and real character in Natalie. She put her character in a situation that forced her to grow up, to learn things she might not have wanted to learn, to adapt, to become more aware, more thoughtful, more understanding. But she didn’t make her go it alone.
The author did an incredible job of keeping her story at just the right amounts of serious and fun. It is moving and heart-rending. But with a hashtag happy teacher, a friend who doesn’t know the meaning of a whisper, and a dad whose idea of fun is running errands, it is equally as lighthearted and hilarious as it is affecting.
Aimed at a middle grade audience, THE SCIENCE OF BREAKABLE THINGS can be just as easily enjoyed by a young adult readership, as well as readers of most ages. It incorporates science in a way that is amusing and educational. It tackles emotionally tough issues. It introduces a bit of cultural diversity. It offers food for thought. It has some sweet and wonderful characters. And it is witty and smart and an amazingly great read.