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In Book Three of the Acadia Files series, Acadia Greene carries her search for answers into winter.
A melting snowman leads her—of course!—to explore climate change and how to reduce her carbon footprint. The helium balloons at her eleventh birthday party beg questions—naturally!—of molecular structure, weights of gases,and neutral buoyancy. An afternoon making paper airplanes brings discoveries in aerodynamics. Tracks in the snow raise questions of how animals survive the winter. And an afternoon of sledding slides right into an investigation of momentum, acceleration, and friction. Acadia doesn’t mean to do science—it just happens. She’s curious, determined, bold, and bright—a wonderful STEAM ambassador!
The Acadia Files is a fun introduction to the wonders of science,using real-world scenarios to make scientific inquiry relatable and understandable. Parents and educators can use The Acadia Files to let kids discover for themselves what it’s like to be curious about the world and to satisfy that curiosity with scientific thinking.
“Acadia and two friends learn more science while enjoying a Maine winter. This is the third in a thoughtful series that began with Summer Science (2018). Like its predecessors, this combines a slight storyline with science facts, definitions, and descriptions of experiments using the scientific method. A melting snowman, a floating balloon, a paper-airplane contest, a wait outside in the cold, and a sledding challenge prompt 11-year-old Acadia's questions, which are presented in a present-tense narrative with unlikely dialogue but realistic daily details. Her parents are always happy to help her find answers, offering clear explanations, demonstrations, and encouragement for further experimentation. This outing introduces the topics of climate change, food waste, recycling and repurposing, atoms and elements, buoyancy, aerodynamics, animal adaptations for winter, and the physics of sledding. In each chapter, the protagonists accomplish some activity, one that could be easily replicated by readers at home or in school: listing ways to reduce one's carbon footprint or looking for animal tracks in the snow, for example. The author appends a list of helpful websites for further exploration of each topic. Acadia is pictured as pale and blonde; Joshua is darker, with straight hair, and brown-skinned Isabel wears her hair in two Afro puffs. Experiments, charts, and definitions are hand-lettered and profusely decorated with sketches, and each chapter ends with further questions. Accessible and approachable, a useful tool for science learning. (Informational fiction. 8-12)” — Kirkus Reviews
The Acadia Files introduces kids to science via the readily observable principles and easy-to-reproduce experiments of its precocious and endlessly curious lead character, Acadia, who’s enjoying the summer before she enters fifth grade. Both of her parents are science teachers, so learning is naturally encouraged.The book introduces important scientific information in a clear and enjoyable fashion. Each chapter highlights a new topic based on Acadia’s summer activities and what she observes. Acadia uses the scientific method to discover who is stealing her blueberries from the bushes. She learns about genetic inheritance of traits like height and curly hair. She learns how sand is formed and what creates seasons and tides. Her summer adventures will open young minds to science and how it helps to make sense of the world. Illustrations from Acadia’s scientific notebook include amusing images, notes from experiments, and summaries of what she learned. Lists of vocabulary terms and further questions are also included. Notebook pages beautifully reflect the perspective of a ten-year-old girl. They are fun and entertaining, supporting and clarifying scientific concepts.The science in the book is wonderfully presented, but there is also another layer of lessons: Acadia learns not to accuse someone without proof; she learns to treat others with kindness; and she learns to accept and even celebrate things that might otherwise irritate her, such as the early morning sun and the temporary nature of a sandcastle.These age-appropriate lessons are clearly conveyed, without taking attention away from the book’s science.
The Acadia Files is an excellent book that will help its audience look at the world in a new way.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review.