May 6, 2013

Are you ready for an exciting new mystery series? I can’t wait for you to try out my new EINSTEIN ANDERSON books! 12-year-old Adam "Einstein" Anderson loves science, as I do, and thinks it’s fun to know about the natural world and figure out mysterious puzzles.  He and his best friend, Paloma Fuentes, have a great time outsmarting adults and using their wits to convince the school tough guy that brains can win out over brawn.  Neither Einstein nor his friends are really geniuses - they just use the science they know to figure things out. 

Since most of my books are nonfiction, lots of kids wonder how I happened to write Einstein Anderson: Science GeekThe story began back when I was a science teacher in a New York City Junior High School.  I’m sure that many of you will recognize the scene:

It was mid-June.  My ninth-graders had finished their state exams and we were really done with the science curriculum for the year.  Outside the classroom windows we saw blooming flowers and sunny skies - summer vacation was nearly here and to top it off, my students were moving on to high school next fall.  They liked science but saw no reason to study hard at this point - in fact, the kids were pretty much bouncing off the walls…

In a desperate effort to keep the class focused on science (actually, on anything!), I began telling them stories involving puzzles or mysteries.  At the end of the story I’d ask students to figure out a solution to the problem.  The one who figured it out became "Einstein for a Day."  These mystery stories became incredibly popular with my classes.  Kids were vying to become Einstein.  I decided to write stories like these with an "Einstein" character and publish them.

In truth, the character of Einstein was based on me when I was a kid, and also a little bit on my sons, Robert and Michael, who loved science, too.  In the times when I was in elementary school, pretty much every class had its science geek or nerd and I was the nerdy one who loved to quiz my classmates to see who could name the planets in order going out from the sun (in those days there were nine planets and I still miss Pluto!) or see who would fall for the old standard:  "Which is heavier, a pound of feathers or a pound of rocks?"  I also loved silly puns - in fact I still like to make my wife cringe!

Kids loved the Einstein books when they were first published years ago. So, when we started our digital publishing company, StarWalk Kids Media, I thought it was time to update Einstein, give him a smart phone and a laptop and some more diverse and tech-savvy friends, and bring the series to life once again so that you guys can try to become "Einstein for a Day."

I know that you guys love games and puzzles and everyone likes to solve mysteries, so every Einstein Anderson story comes with a hands-on science project or experiment that you can do at home or at school. The projects also contain lots of valuable science information and they are just plain fun. But read carefully - sometimes the clues are false!  For example, in The Impossible Shrinking Machine the sun shines directly on the same house door both in the early morning and late afternoon.  That’s impossible! (Do you know why?) And that’s the clue to the solution. 

Please try a few experiments in your kitchen or classroom and let me know how it goes.


I have a special treat for all my readers. This graphic is called a "QR Code." Click on it or scan it, and you can download a copy of one chapter from the first Einstein Anderson book. Please try it out, and then click on comments below to tell me what you think!


Have fun with Einstein Anderson, Science Geek!

Posted by: Seymour Simon

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