What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that famed cartoonist-inventor Reuben "Rube" Goldberg is both namesake and inspiration to the title character in Anna Humphrey's Ruby Goldberg's Bright Idea. Science-obsessed and somewhat self-involved, the fifth grader sets her heart on winning first prize at the science fair -- and helping her grandpa -- with a Rube Goldberg-type machine. The book presents plenty of scientific facts and ideas, as well as warm friendships and loving families. Parents of young children should note, however, that a beloved pet dies, causing sadness and concern for its owner.
What's the story?
True to her namesake, cartoonist-inventor Reuben Goldberg, the narrator of RUBY GOLDBERG'S BRIGHT IDEA decides to build a Rube Goldberg machine -- a complex system of actions and reactions that accomplish a simple task -- for her school science fair project. She suspects her most serious rival, a boy named Dominic, is only friendly to her because he's out to steal her ideas. As Ruby struggles to come up with a great concept, a family member's personal loss brings unexpected inspiration. But, as she focuses on the project, she begins to neglect her friendships. Her sister, Sarah, and Dominic help her become a better friend and gain a new perspective on what she's learned.
Is it any good?
A heartwarming story with little character development or depth, Ruby Goldberg's Bright Idea offers great values and lots of good fun with science. Ruby and her grandfather have some tender moments, and there's a sweet encounter with a grumpy neighbor. Kids who enjoy scientific experiments and engineering-type projects will have fun following Ruby's process of invention, trial-and-error, and success as she builds her Rube Goldberg machine. Vanessa Brantley Newton's cheerful black-and-white illustrations help readers visualize the characters and inventions.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about science fairs. What kind of experiment or project might you make for a science fair?
What other books have you read about kids who love science? Do they make science more appealing to you?
Try building your own Rube Goldberg machine. What task do you want it to perform?
|Illustrator:||Vanessa Brantley Newton|
|Topics:||Arts and dance, Brothers and sisters, Friendship, Science and nature|
|Publisher:||Simon & Schuster|
|Publication date:||December 31, 2013|
|Number of pages:||144|
|Publisher's recommended age(s):||8 - 12|
|Available on:||Hardback, iBooks, Kindle, Nook|