By Cy Tymony
Andrews McMeel Publishing www.andrewsmcmeel.com
4520 Main Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64111-7701
"Wow! That looks cool!" was the initial response I received from my pre-teen son when showing him this neat little book. After spending some time reading it, he was able to explain many of the "sneaky" uses for everyday items and even went so far as to say, "This book has the potential to become my favorite!"
If you have sons (or daughters) who are interested in gadgets, spies, or just have inquisitive minds, this is a great book for them. In fact, this is a great book for the parents of the above group also. I found myself fascinated by the introduction, which gives background on many of the spy gadgets we have all dreamed about as children and brings to life some of the background of the resourceful people responsible for those gadgets.
The best part of this book is that it takes everyday items that you have around your house and helps you use them in new and inventive ways. Just reading through the book gets your creative juices flowing and helps you to envision the ordinary objects around you in a new light. I am sure I will never look at a shoelace or a calculator in the same way again!
The book is divided into four parts: Part I-Sneaky Science Tricks, Part II-Sneaky Gadgets, Part III-Sneaky Survival Techniques, and Part IV-Gadget Jacket. While each section is interesting in its own right, I believe the first part about sneaky science tricks could easily be integrated into most any homeschool science curriculum. Also included, at the back of the book, is a resource section listing various applicable websites, recommended reading, and magazines. I can imagine using this smaller book as the springboard to a unit study on spies, gadgets, inventors and so on. The possibilities are almost limitless.
The retail price is $10.95, and I would think most homeschoolers would find it well worth the investment. I understand that the author, Cy Tymony, has also written three additional books and has a website, www.sneakyuses.com. I'm sure this book will be a well-worn resource in our house and that we will also take the time to explore the other books (and the website) offered by Mr. Tymony.
Product review by Melanie Bunnett, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, July 2006