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More Short Mysteries You Solve with Science! Review by Brittney Rutherford

One Minute Mysteries
(Bilingual Edition – English/Spanish)
Eric Yoder and Natalie Yoder
Science Naturally
725 Eighth Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003

If you have children who like science, or conversely, you're trying to encourage a little more interest in this area, I suggest you look into More Short Mysteries You Solve with Science! For children that like mysteries, logic problems or riddles, this book might make science even more appealing. Written by a father and daughter team as part of the One Minute Mysteries series, this book aims to show the real-life applications of science and how it surrounds us as part of our everyday life. 

The book is divided into 45 short stories, across five sections. There are ten stories each in Life Science, Earth and Space Science, Physical and Chemical Science, and General Science. The remaining five stories are part of the Mathematics Bonus Section.

All of the stories basically follow the same format. Each story usually involves a few people having a discussion, and they often encounter a problem, or someone doesn't understand how their friend or family member reached a certain conclusion. The answer to the problem is always based in simple scientific truth. The stories are only one page in length, with the facing page in Spanish. The following page spread includes the answer, also with English on the left, Spanish on the right. The answers are usually a short paragraph or two that still continues the dialogue between the original characters. There are small black and white photographs on the answer pages that are relevant to the mystery.

This book is excellent for helping children see how science really is part of their life all day, every day. The Mathematics Bonus Section also gives a sneak-peak into how the similarly titled math books can offer the same experience with mathematical concepts. The fact that it is bilingual makes it useful for second language learners and for using in bilingual homes, schools, co-ops or tutoring environments.

More Short Mysteries You Solve with Science! is recommended for ages 8-12, and I find this accurate. My 9 year old is usually quick to reach the correct answers, but my 7 year old has reached the correct answer first too, and they both enjoy the stories. The short nature of the stories makes this a great book for my family. As homeschoolers, it's always so hard to “fit it all in” when there are so many excellent books and programs out there. Now I can add in a little extra science throughout the week without it actually feeling like work. We read a couple stories at lunch, or before bedtime, and the kids excitedly yell out the answers. If they don't know the answer right away, I'll re-read the passage, asking them to listen for clues to the specific question. It's still a quick and painless way to spend a few minutes together, thinking about the world around us.

-Product review by Brittney Rutherford, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2016