Tag Archives: STEM

Kensy and Max #7: Take Down – Jacqueline Harvey

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Penguin Australia

March 2 2021

  • ISBN: 9781760898533
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • RRP: $16.99

The countdown to Take Down is on! The kiddos are going to be wild with excitement to read this new adventure with the spies-in-training, as they set off for the World STEM championships in exotic Singapore. The team from the Central London Free School are thrilled to be in the finals for the world’s most prestigious STEM competition but when their grandmother, Dame Cordelia Spencer, falls victim to a poison attack, Kensy and Max are not so keen on going ahead with the trip. However, they are persuaded by their parents and friends that not only will they be safer in Singapore but that their obligation to the team is more important than sitting around in a hospital waiting room. Naturally, that proves dead wrong as the twins and their friends become embroiled with an illegal animal smuggling operation, the very dangerous villain who has been pursuing their family and the mystery surrounding their friend Autumn’s missing parents.

Once again Jacqueline Harvey has hit on a winning combination, combining the growing concerns around the illegal trade in exotic species and STEM, which is arguably the hottest topic in education at present, not to mention the reference to the dangerous nerve drug which was the subject of a recent (and huge) political attack. Kensy and Max prove themselves to be increasingly resourceful and creative and the growing emphasis on their friends’ skills and aptitudes, and their developing teamwork, will provide fans with more rich fodder for discussion and engagement. This underlining of family and friends being vital to our overall safety, success and achievements (no matter how talented we may be as individuals) is a valuable point of reflection for readers.

For those who have not had the pleasure of visiting Singapore it is a thoroughly delightful vicarious tourist experience, highlighting the best of the iconic sights and experiences to be found in this amazing city/country. Though the Kid has spent a week there, I’ve only had the brief encounter with a stop-over in the airport, sadly, and would love to see more of this vibrant and beautiful place – maybe one day!

There is never any need to ‘sell’ Jacqueline’s books, but this comes with my highest recommendation for your readers from around Year 4 upwards as the series gets edgier, more exciting and more in-depth with each new volume. Available for pre-order now, so don’t miss out – your kids will be waiting very impatiently for it to hit your shelves!!

Timeline: Science and Technology – Peter Goes

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Gecko Press

Country of OriginBelgium
Reader Age11-14 year, 6-8 year, 8-12 year
PublishedOctober 2020
ISBN9781776573004

This is exactly the type of information book that appealed to me, the nerd-child, and still does. Big, bold and beautiful, Peter Goes’ distinctive illustrative style takes the reader through the development of technology and science through history with each double spread featuring a specific time frame.

Exploring science including information tech and medicine, music and entertainment as well as everyday living this journey begins with prehistoric man and concludes in 2020 with insights into objects and concepts as diverse as early flutes, the evolution of farm equipment, discovery of DNA, the printing press, advances in architecture and so much more. It would be a marvellous springboard for classroom discussions or project based learning on such discoveries and inventions.

Children from around seven years upwards will pore over each double spread closely examining each aspect of the period described and they will absolutely LOVE the fact that its such a gigantic book!

I foresee this will be very highly sought after by both the children who love to walk out of the library carrying a book almost as big as themselves as well as those who are genuinely interested in STEM and related topics.

Highly recommended for kiddos from around Year 3 upwards.