[originally published on MackinCommunity.com]
It’s the dog days of summer and it’s getting more difficult to get my kids interested in reading. In addition to being active outdoors, my teenage sons have been spending time playing computer games and watching YouTube videos about the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. And for some reason there’s been a lot of talk about finding “the best roller coaster!”
Thankfully, three Minnesota-based publishers are releasing books my teenagers are interested in. These three nonfiction series books are filled with colorful pictures, intriguing sidebars with fun-facts, as well as lists of sources for further learning and discovery.
This August, Cherry Lake Publishing has extended their Unofficial Guides series. In addition to the Minecraft books, eight Fortnite guide books by Josh Gregory have joined the series. Fortnite is a video game sensation that has taken the world by storm. My son and nephew are just two of the hundreds of millions of players around the world who play this massive multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG). Much like Minecraft, the game combines construction and problem solving with competitive online battles. In the books, readers will learn everything they need to know to get started; from learning about the making of the game to being prepared for their first online Battle Royale match. Each book focuses on a different element of the game, including my son’s favorite, Fortnite : Building.
Lerner Publications Company is releasing a new series by Searchlight Books™ called New Frontiers of Space. Although it’s written for middle-schoolers, my 16-year-old son really enjoyed these books. The combination of rich informational text, fascinating photography, and interesting sidebars filled with true facts make this book series a hit at my house. With a focus on STEM and the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, these books enable readers to explore space, traveling to Mars, astronaut training, and even the Hubble Space telescope. The Cutting-Edge Black Holes Research book takes a deep look into the most mysterious object in the universe–black holes. With the most up-to-date information available, author Kevin Kurtz encourages readers to think critically about space discoveries.
Since there are only two amusement parks in Minnesota, I’m hoping this book series will quell my sons’ desire to “find the best roller coaster” this summer. Next month, Capstone Press is releasing a new book series entitled Amusement Park Science. This series of four books dives deep into the science of amusement park rides. In Motion at the Amusement Park readers learn about Newton’s first law of motion and g-forces. If it wasn’t for the stomach-dropping science behind the rides and attractions, your day at the amusement park would be a dud. Middle-schoolers will enjoy this great introduction to physics written by Tammy Enz, a civil engineer.