Results 1 to 4 of 4
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By farrarwilliams

Thread: Sassafras Science Vol 2: Anatomy reviews anyone?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Evolved CatInTheSun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    859

    Default Sassafras Science Vol 2: Anatomy reviews anyone?

    This just came out in June, and so far just the book. Curious if anyone has seen/read it yet. We're starting anatomy this year and will do it pretty hard core (kids claim they want to be MDs, so might as well use that interest). Thought this might be a fairly light and hopefully fun intro. They did enjoy George and the key to the universe series.

    Only the e-book is out, but then I'd just get the ebook. I didn't get the zoology one (yet), so I don't have that with which to compare.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Arrived farrarwilliams's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    DC
    Posts
    7,687

    Default

    I would be curious to hear too... I was so disappointed by the last one though that I don't think we'll end up getting it, even though we're also doing anatomy next year. It's such a great idea... I wanted to love it and I have a small hope held out that the second volume will be better...
    Disclaimer: Everything I'm saying is just my own opinion, based on my own experiences teaching and with my own kids and my own life. You should just ignore me if I'm annoying you. I don't mind.

    But if I don't annoy you, feel free to visit my blog:
    http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Evolved CatInTheSun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    859

    Default

    Farrar, I saw your comments on vol 1 which seemed more lukewarm that deeply disappointed. SO, what did you find so disappointing? Was the writing just that bad? Story too silly? Science too light? ??

  4. #4
    Senior Member Arrived farrarwilliams's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    DC
    Posts
    7,687

    Default

    I wouldn't say I was deeply disappointed, but the further I get away from it, I admit that I feel more disappointed than I did initially. Part of that is that the concept is so good but it didn't really deliver in my opinion. I mean, the basic idea of a fiction based science is great. And the specific set up for the book is clever too - the zip lines, the missions, the cell phones they have to use to report with, the mysterious man who's after them - it feels very current and cool. So... gah, the more I think about it, the more annoyed I feel they didn't really make it work. I mean, it was a perfect idea! They developed the basic concept so well! Why couldn't they make it work!?!?

    My problems were several things... The high number of typos really, really bugged me. I'm not someone who usually notices typos in books, but I found at least three or four every single time I read it aloud, which was just too many. The publisher actually contacted me after I complained about that in my blog review and I pointed out a bunch of them, so hopefully they will be fixing them and have found someone better to copy edit this one. The writing was also not great... but, I can actually overlook that to some extent. I mean, it doesn't need to be a Newbery level book in order to be worthwhile as a science curriculum or just fun to read and enjoy, you know? The writing in the George's Secret Key books is pretty mediocre, but the excellence of the science and the concept makes them totally worth reading. I did feel like in the end, the plot tension didn't really work in Sassafras, but I think the authors could get better at making it work.

    So those things are fixable or overlookable... But the thing I keep coming back to was that the science wasn't well-integrated. In the George books, George learns about the science in order to solve puzzles and accomplish things. Or, he has adventures and the supporting text (supposedly from the book he has, which is a cute way to integrate it) helps illuminate the science behind what he does and sees. In Sassafras, they have this mission to find things out... but it's often not for any particular reason, it's just because their uncle told them to. In the George books, the tension is tied to the science - he needs to find out which planet to go to in order to find the bad guy or he needs to figure out the science to save Eric from the bad guy. It's part of the plot. But in Sassafras, they basically listen to people ramble on about the science until the plot intrudes and they're tied up or stuck in a hole or whatever and have to get out - and the getting out doesn't usually include using what they learned about the animals. I felt like there should have been more ways in which they solved their problems using the animal science they just learned. And it just didn't happen.

    Okay, I rambled. I know some people liked it fine. I clearly think too much. And I've heard that if you use it with the log book or whatever it's called that it feels more integrated.
    CatInTheSun likes this.
    Disclaimer: Everything I'm saying is just my own opinion, based on my own experiences teaching and with my own kids and my own life. You should just ignore me if I'm annoying you. I don't mind.

    But if I don't annoy you, feel free to visit my blog:
    http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •