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In Search of the Fog Zombie - A Mystery About Matter - Summer Camp Science Mysteries
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About the Author

Lynda Beauregard wrote her first story when she was seven years old, and hasn't stopped writing since. She also likes to teach kids how to swim, design websites, direct racecars out onto the track, and throw super balls for her cat, Becca. She lives near Detroit with her two lovely daughters, who are doing their best to turn her hair grey. Der-shing Helmer is a high school biology teacher who originally went to college to learn about reptiles. After she graduated she decided to try teaching instead. In her spare time she likes to write and draw comics and read a variety of books!

Reviews

Gr 3-6-These books are a fun way to teach basic science, and they are particularly good for readers who struggle with gleaning information from wordy textbooks. In the first title, twins Alex and Angie lose some of their enthusiasm for Camp Dakota when they arrive to find it hidden behind a thick veil of fog. Along with some new friends, they discover that there is a mystery to be solved. A series of science-related clues leads them to discover the truth about the Fog Zombie. Basic science principles are scattered throughout the story, supported by bubbles of information to give further explanation. The kids learn about the buoyancy of salt water, evaporation and condensation, and more. The same gang is back in Cabin Thief. Obnoxious Carly is accusing one of the other campers of stealing an important medal from her cabin. As other things start disappearing, the kids are determined to find the culprit. Once again, scientific know-how helps solve the case (along with an awesome art project). A counselor cleverly teaches the kids about light refraction by sharing a Native American legend. They also learn about reflections and mirrors as well as shadows. Imagine a Scooby-Doo episode with Velma in charge and you get the feel for this brainy way to solve a mystery. Bonuses at the end of each volume include simple science experiments and a synopsis of the principles related to the mystery.-Carol Hirsche, Provo City Library, UT (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

"A summer camp in the wilderness is the setting for these science-based full-color graphic novels. Each book focuses on one concept, and involves campers in a mystery they are able to solve with the help of scientific knowledge. Informational bubbles are strategically placed throughout, and science demonstrations and explanations are interspersed. Sometimes a demonstration or explanation is needed to help solve the mystery, and other times a demonstration is part of a camp activity. The books each contain experiments for readers to try, providing further understanding of the science and the story. Special features include a glossary of 'Mysterious Words' and a page reviewing the science facts used to solve the mystery. Positioning science in real-life situations, even if a bit didactic at times, is a strong point of this series." --Library Media Connection

--Journal

"The Summer Camp Science Mysteries, a new line of educational graphic novels, features a multicultural group of summer campers who use science to explain various menacing phenomena. This first volume covers the case of a purported zombie that dwells in the fog-laden area surrounding the camp. Sure enough, it's just a matter of thinking straight, keeping a calm head, and applying knowledge of various subjects--matter, condensation, the periodic table of elements, code-breaking--before the real, harmless cause of the fog is uncovered. It is doubtful that even less attentive readers would miss that this is a science primer thinly disguised with a narrative. However, the frequent informational asides and suggested experiments (both in the story and in the addenda) should prove fun and fascinating for the curious. The art skillfully suggests enthusiasm through animated facial expressions, and its cartoon aesthetic imbues the story with a light touch." --Booklist

--Journal

"Following cryptic clues left by a counselor, a quartet of young campers track down the source of mysterious noises in this science-laden series kickoff. The instruction begins before the story does, with a disquisition on the nature and states of matter, and continues after the denouement with a pair of experiments and a page of explanations. In between, 9-year-old twins Angie and Alex settle in at Camp Dakota, where they're treated to successive scientific demonstrations. These include: air pressure in action, with an overturned glass in a bowl of water; comparative density, with eggs in fresh and salt water; and heat-related expansion and contraction with a suspended weight. They're also treated to eerie nighttime moans ascribed to a local zombie that turn out to have a natural cause. Helmer places a multicultural cast with oversized, rolling-flashlight eyes in neatly drawn sequential panels--between which Beauregard occasionally shoehorns further science facts--and tries to crank up the suspense with lots of atmospheric fog and night scenes. The fictional plot is really just a vehicle, and if the science is largely extraneous and sometimes simplistic (gravity doesn't just pull objects 'toward Earth's surface'), at least there's plenty of it. The load-out continues in #2, The Nighttime Cabin Thief: A Mystery About Light, and two more Summer Camp Science Mysteries. Alas, nary a zombie in sight--but budding 'braaaiiinnns' may be tempted to repeat some of the experiments for themselves." --Kirkus Reviews

--Journal

"These books are a fun way to teach basic science, and they are particularly good for readers who struggle with gleaning information from wordy textbooks. In the first title, twins Alex and Angie lose some of their enthusiasm for Camp Dakota when they arrive to find it hidden behind a thick veil of fog. Along with some new friends, they discover that there is a mystery to be solved. A series of science-related clues leads them to discover the truth about the Fog Zombie. Basic science principles are scattered throughout the story, supported by bubbles of information to give further explanation. The kids learn about the buoyancy of salt water, evaporation and condensation, and more. The same gang is back in Cabin Thief. Obnoxious Carly is accusing one of the other campers of stealing an important medal from her cabin. As other things start disappearing, the kids are determined to find the culprit. Once again, scientific know-how helps solve the case (along with an awesome art project). A counselor cleverly teaches the kids about light refraction by sharing a Native American legend. They also learn about reflections and mirrors as well as shadows. Imagine a Scooby-Doo episode with Velma in charge and you get the feel for this brainy way to solve a mystery. Bonuses at the end of each volume include simple science experiments and a synopsis of the principles related to the mystery." --School Library Journal

--Journal

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