Albert Hopper, Science Hero

Holt. Aug. 2020. 144p. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781250230164.
Gr 1-3–Albert Hopper is on a mission to travel to the center of the Earth. In his carefully crafted worm-like ship, Wiggles, Albert is joined by his niece and nephew as they encounter extreme temperatures, magnetism, and other unexpected conditions. Of course, nothing goes as planned. The premise of this book is fun and has potential, but the execution misses the mark. Young readers will learn about the different layers of the Earth but given the short length of the book, many details are left out. This skimming of the scientific components leaves many unanswered questions, and details of the story are unexplained. This book could be paired with a science program about the layers of the Earth to fill in some of the information gaps. The black-and-white illustrations are simple with green accents (and green frogs) and don’t do much to advance the story. They do break up the text, making the book more accessible for younger readers.
VERDICT An additional purchase for larger libraries looking to expand their early chapter book sections.

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