Chemistry was one of my hardest classes in high school, mainly
because it had so much math in it! My lab partner and I leaned
heavily on each other to make it through that class. She claims
I got her through it, but that's not how I remember it. I wish
I'd had a book like Chemistry for Everyone when I was
taking the class.
Chemistry for Everyone was written by Suzanne Lahl,
Ph.D., because she got tired of hearing how many people hate chemistry
when she would tell them she's a chemist. Doctor Lahl wrote the
book as a "non-threatening introduction to chemistry" for students
to read before they began the class. However, it can also be used
as a reference when a student doesn't understand a concept during
the chemistry course.
This little paperback is 93 pages long, and it measures 10 x 7
inches. It's small, which helps it to seem friendly and not too
heavy or scary. The font inside the book is a good size for reading,
and there are hand-drawn illustrations mixed throughout the book.
Each chapter explains a particular concept and concludes with review
questions to help the student assimilate the information.
The book covers the following topics:
- Chemistry Homework and Test-Taking Tips
- The Atom and the Periodic Table
- Scientific Notation
- Using Your Calculator
- Significant Figures
- The Mole and the Molarity
- Units and Conversions
- Acidity and Basicity
- The Ideal Gas Law
- Chemical Reactions
Although this book provides clear explanations, the terminology
can still be a shock to a student just beginning to study chemistry.
There is a glossary at the back of the book as well as a list of
abbreviations and additional reading suggestions. The book's size
makes it simple to flip to the back of the book for a definition
whenever you need to.
I'll be perfectly honest. This book was helpful to my daughter,
once she got over the vocabulary-shock. But it was even more helpful
to me since it has been so many years since I studied chemistry
myself. I needed a refresher course so I would be able to answer
my daughter's questions as she worked through her chemistry textbook.
Reading Chemistry for Everyone helped me get on the same
page as my daughter without having to read her entire textbook.
I definitely recommend it for any student who isn't exactly science-minded
or for parents who needs a refresher course on chemistry to help their high
school student succeed.