Twenty-First Century Books 2008; revised edition, 2013 

ISBN 9780822566021

80 pp. hardcover

Grades 6-10

What is matter made of? Scientists have been trying to answer this questions for thousands of years. The concept of the atom–the tiniest fragment of a substance that still retains the characteristics of that substance–dates to 450 B.C. Research over the ensuing centuries revealed atoms are made up of protons, electrons, and neutrons as well as even more minute particles such as quarks and leptons. Explore the story of how scientists unlocked the secrets of the atom and revolutionized the way we look at the world around us.

Twenty-First Century Books 2006; revised edition, 2013 

ISBN 9780822530565

80 pp. hardcover

Grades 6-10

The development of the theory of plate tectonics in the 1960s revolutionized our understanding of Earth and how it changes over vast periods of time. Plate tectonics explains how volcanoes form, why earthquakes happen, and what goes on deep inside the planet to cause to the continents to move. Learn about the exciting discoveries that led to our current understanding of plate tectonics and the scientists who played key roles in the process.

Twenty-First Century Books 2006; revised edition, 2013 

ISBN 9780822529101

80 pp. hardcover

Grades 6-10

Genetics is the science of heredity: how traits are passed from parents to offspring. Beginning with Gregor Mendel, a nineteenth-century monk, this book traces the history of the development of the science of genetics, in particular highlighting the genetic pioneers of the twentieth century who unlocked the secrets of DNA, ultimately cracking the code of life and revolutionizing molecular biology.

Reviews & Awards

National Science Teachers Association/Children’s Book Council Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12

The Horn Book Guide

“Johnson’s coverage [in Plate Tectonics] of the fundamental theory of the geological sciences provides a thorough and comprehensible explanation of this idea…Readers will appreciate the detailed narrative, helpful diagrams, photographs, and historical illustrations…”


“An excellent new series focuses on major theories in science, ideas that have withstood rigorous testing over a number of years. Generating the suspense of a well-written mystery, Plate Tectonics will help students of geology understand why the physical world is as it is. Splendidly written, this slim book will thoroughly engage any student (or teacher) who is remotely interested in the topic.”

School Library Journal

“…[Genetics] skillfully explains the discovery of DNA and the emergence of modern biotechnology, including how DNA is replicated, how genes are expressed and translated as cell proteins, and how the human genome is being mapped.”

Science Books and Films

“For its teen-years target audience, this book is an accessible introduction to atomic structure…”

Copyright © 2023 Rebecca L. Johnson

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