You will not be bored this summer.
Will. Not. There's no way you'll give Mom any reason for extra chores. You'll keep busy enough so that Dad doesn't come up with "ideas" for your time. You'll find something to do that doesn't involve more "When I was your age …" stories.
No, you're determined that the "B" word will not be in your vocabulary this summer -- and with "Cool Science Tricks" by Daniel Tatarasky in your hand, it's a snap.
Go find something to do.
You've heard that a thousand times in your life and you'll hear it a thousand more -- but how cool would it be to find something to do that nobody else does, and then make your friends and siblings wonder how you did it?
You can -- through science. And you can stop groaning now, because what you'll find in "Cool Science Tricks" isn't like what you'd find in school. These science activities are actually fun to do.
Take, for instance, a lava lamp. By following the directions in this book, you can make one yourself. You'll also learn how to make a "witch's brew" with water and a few things you probably have around the house, and how to "supercharge" a tennis ball so that it bounces super high.
No doubt you've got paper around, too, and that's good because a lot of the tricks in this book use plain old paper. Did you know that it's possible to step through a postcard? Or that you can baffle adults with three cuts to a business card? With the directions you'll learn here, paper will show you how water pressure works, how your eyes trick your brain, and how you can bust a pencil with a dollar bill.
Find out why you can't break an egg with one hand. Learn a survival skill with a soda can and toothpaste. Find out how to move a straw without touching it. See how easy it is to snatch coins out of the air. Learn how to amaze your little brother, wow your little sister, and make grown-ups gasp at your incredible awesomeness.
No doubt by now, your child is eager to find some unusual summertime fun. "Cool Science Tricks" will give him that and more, but before the enjoyment commences, be sure to read -- and read, and reread -- pages 8 and 9.
Those contain the warnings that author Daniel Tatarsky has added so your child remembers to ask for help, should anything be remotely dangerous. And yes, there are activities here that could be potentially iffy, including some with fire, candles, and matches.
And that leads me to this: "Cool Science Tricks" is a very good book filled with experiments that any red-blooded kid will love and there's actual learning to be had here, but know your audience -- and if he (or she) is a trustworthy, curious 7- to 10-year-old, then it will be a welcome summer addition for you both. Give a kid like that "Cool Science Tricks," and the only "B" word that applies is "brilliant."
• Terri Schlichenmeyer, aka The Bookworm, has been reading since she was 3 years old and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 12,000 books.