On the first page, you read the puzzler. The mystery. On the second page, you read the solution. Of course, in between the first page and the second page is where the magic happens. That is the space in which you think. When my son and I were considering 65 More Short Mysteries You Solve With Science ($9.95) by Science Naturally for review we read a few of the sample mysteries and got hooked. He thought it was great fun and especially if I was stumped for the answer.
Once the book arrived, Jonathan started reading the mysteries out loud right away. Up until that moment I wasn’t sure if this would be a product he would read and enjoy on his own or something we used together. It quickly became apparent that his enjoyment in this book was enhanced when we shared the experience. Of course, after the first several mysteries were read and solved before I could get a word in edge-wise, I had to set some ground rules. At least every other mystery you have to actually give Mom a chance to answer first. Otherwise, it looks like Mom is losing the game but she hasn’t even gotten to play! He thought that was funny, but he agreed. Of course, the very next mystery stumped me!
Now that being said, I will admit that most of these mysteries are not terribly difficult. You will have to think, process, and sometimes apply logic though! Jonathan did not find the book challenging. Fun, yes. But not challenging. The younger kids were definitely challenged though! The book is listed for ages 8-12 and since Jonathan (age 12) confiscated the book upon it’s arrival he was the primary user. He read the mysteries out loud to us and then gave us a chance to answer per my request. Sometimes my nine-year-old would be able to figure out the answer (especially the one I am remembering that had to do with the water cycle…) but not easily. Originally, we set out to read just one mystery per day, but we never actually stuck to that. We usually read three or four mysteries!
The mysteries themselves actually cover a variety of science topics and thankfully none of those topics include the words “evolution”, “natural selection”, or “survival of the fittest.” Instead we were solving mysteries related to plants, animals, color theory, earth and space, chemistry, physics, and even food (to name a few.) Each mystery involved a group of kids trying to solve a mystery. The mysteries were very short (the sub-title was One Minute Mysteries) and I was pleased that the font was a nice larger-than-normal size which is perfect for kids.
My Bottom Line: 65 More Short Mysteries You Solve With Science is a fun book that got us thinking about how we use science in our every day lives. We all enjoyed the mysteries in this book and therefore spent at least a little bit of time each day enjoying science. That’s a pretty neat accomplishment! As a side note, my husband picked up the book the other day and he didn’t want to stop at just one mystery either! The man has a PhD in Science, and he still thought the mysteries were fun.