Monday, November 07, 2011

Review: Science Fair Season: welve Kids, a Robot Named Scorch and What It Takes to Win

What's better than an uplifting story about a kid who overcomes all odds? 12 different stories about such kids! And that's what Science Fair Season: Twelve Kids, a Robot Named Scorch ... and What It Takes to Win is all about. The book profiles 12 kids, 6 of whom are competing in the 2009 ISEF (the Superbowl of science fairs, if you will). I found each story to be riveting.—I'd pick up the book and couldn't put it down until I was done with the chapter. I never thought a book about science fairs would quite pull me in, but oh was I wrong.

Besides excellent storytelling, what makes the book truly remarkable is the diversity of the kids. Some are whiz kids from babyhood, while others fall into science unexpectedly. Some have parents that support them, while others come from painfully broken homes. Some manage to find their way to the very best schools, while one is home schooled. Some are of average income, and some are exceedingly poor. Some seem destined to win geek style contents, while others don't fit the profile at all. And yet, all the stories are amazing.

The odds that these kids overcome are just remarkable. You can't help but want to cheer them on. If you're a parent, or work with kids, or just have a soul, you need to pick this book up and read it. What an excellent reminder that people can achieve amazing things, even under the most trying circumstances.

In the end, much like Geeks, this book is really an excellent plug for getting involved in mentoring. Read it, and see how you can get involved.

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