Book Review: The Right Hand Rule by R.M. Clark

Amy, Amanda, Marshall, and Ziggy expect their middle school to be empty on Saturday morning so they can get ready for the regional science fair. They don’t expect a botched experiment to attract a horde of time-displaced ancient Mayans when their unusual science advisor, Frederick Froth, goes missing.

The four must use their unique science skills and work together as they grapple with a Mayan god, the Dark Rift, and the principles of science to rescue Mr. Froth.

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Four of the school’s brightest students have been chosen to go to the regional science fair. When they arrive at the school on Saturday to work on their projects, Mr. Froth, the science teacher, is nowhere to be found. He has set up an experiment for them in which they will have to apply all of the skills that they learned from their projects to find him.

The experiment seems to be going well until it doesn’t. The students not only need to use their skills, but they need to learn to work together as a group. That’s not so easy when Amy is not as cooperative as they’d like.

The characters are likeable, even Amy eventually. Ziggy, Amanda, and Marshall work hard to figure out the clues left by Mr. Froth. When things go wrong, they have to depend on the scientific method they learned from Mr. Froth to get the desired conclusion.

Middle grade readers who are interested in science will particularly like The Right Hand Rule. There is scientific information included within the story, as well as information about the Mayans (Mr. Froth’s current interest). And it has an ending that is a surprise!

About the Author

R. M. Clark is a computer scientist for the Dept. of Navy by day and children’s book writer by night. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two sons. He is currently at work on his latest middle grade novel. Visit his author site:

Book Review: Awesome Robotics Projects for Kids by Bob Katovich

Build your own amazing robots―20 STEAM projects you’ll love!

Get ready to build all kinds of incredible robots―right in your own home! Designed for young robot builders (ages 5 – 10), these do-it-yourself robotics for kids projects will teach you about science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) as you assemble an amazing collection of real working robots!

From scribblebots to two-legged walkers, this book walks you through robotics for kids, one beautifully-photographed project at a time. The robots start out simple and get more advanced as you go, helping you boost your skills (and your confidence) at the same time. Get started today!

This exciting guide to robotics for kids includes:

  • 20 awesome projects―Rock the world of robotics for kids with nearly two-dozen different designs for bots that glow, draw, walk, climb, and more.
  • Full-color photos―Construction is easy thanks to clear directions and 200 step-by-step pictures that help you build your robot right.
  • Robots in the world―Chapters are divided based on the functions of robots, showing you how they can be used to help in your day-to-day life.

Discover one of the most fun ways to get into robotics for kids!


My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from Callisto Publishing. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Awesome Robotics Projects for Kids begins with explaining the history of robots and the difference between robots and machines. It also explains that robotics is an important subject because it uses every form of STEAM education: science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

Before beginning on the projects, there is a list of supplies needed to do all of the projects and places where they can be found.

The projects begin simple like how to build a circuit: simple, series, or parallel. They get more difficult until at the end, you can build a four-legged robot or a bipedal robot (just to name a couple).

Each project starts with a short introduction then lists the materials needed, total time it should take, and the steps involved. There is also a “Caution” for each project that lists things to think about to perform the activity safely. At the end of the project is the “How it Works” section so that kids don’t only make the item in the project, but they know why it works. The last thing listed in each project is the STEAM connection.

There is a helpful glossary at the end of the book and a page with links to other resources about robotics.

Awesome Robotics Projects for Kids is a great way for kids between the ages of 5 and 10 to have fun and learn at the same time!

Review: Dinomummy by Dr. Phillip Lars Manning


31-zEtGLUdL._Title: Dinomummy

 Author:  Dr. Phillip Lars Manning

 Genre:  Science

 Publisher:  Kingfisher

 Publication Date:  2007, First Edition

Description: Imagine finding the body of a dinosaur so well preserved that you can run your hands over its bumpy, scaly skin. Dinohunter Tyler Lyson unearthed such a creature–a dinomummy–and he named it Dakota. Dinomummy is the story of hadrosaur Dakota’s perilous life in Hell Creek, on the floodplains of prehistoric North America. It is also the story of Tyler and Dr. Phillip Lars Manning and their quest to unlock the secrets of one of the best-preserved dinosaurs ever found. What did Dakota Look like? Why did it die? How did its body survive for millions of years? The incredible answers build a uniquely intimate picture of one very special dinosaur’s life and death.


What an interesting book! Tyler Lyson was only 16 years old when he found Dakota, the dinomummy. I like how Dr. Manning pulls everything together. He starts out with the story of Dakota and how the life of a dinosaur could have been in the area of South Dakota millions of years ago and then goes on to explain how Tyler found Dakota and what happened after the finding. He also includes a lot of  interesting facts about dinosaurs. It is written for ages 9-11 but I found it interesting and informative. Did you know that a dinomummy isn’t just a fossilized skeleton but also has some fossilized soft tissue like skin or organs? I didn’t! How cool is that?

I’m out of these in my store but it’s still available on Amazon.