Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Lucy's Lab: Nuts About Science

Lucy's Lab: Nuts About Science

Michelle Houts
Illustrator:  Elizabeth Zechel 
Fiction  Series
For ages 7 to 9
Sky Pony Press, 2017   ISBN: 978-1510710641

When Lucy arrives at school for the first day of second grade she is shocked to see that the oak tree that once stood in front of her first grade classroom is gone. It was the only tree that stood in front of Granite Elementary School so its absence is very obvious. What will happen to the poor squirrels who used to run up and down the tree’s trunk, she wonders.    Lucy mentions her concern to her cousin Cora, but Cora is not really interested in trees and squirrels. She is more of a princess and unicorn kind of girl.

Lucy, who is keen on science and nature, is thrilled when her new teacher, Miss Flippo, announces that this year the students will “become observers of the world around you. You will all become scientists.” The kids have a science lab in their classroom, they have a full size skeleton, and they are going to be learning about habitats.

As she is leaving school that day, Lucy asks the principal about the oak tree and is told that it was cut down because of something called Oak wilt. Later that afternoon she and Cora go to the library and Lucy finds a book that is full of information about oak trees. She learns that Oak wilt is a disease that causes oak trees to lose their leaves. Without the oak, the squirrels who used to run up and down the tree will be habitat-less.

That evening Lucy shares her concerns with her parents, and they suggest that she should try to convince her principal to plant a new tree in front of the school. Lucy does not know how to do this. Her parents tell her that she might share her thoughts on why replacing the tree is an important thing to do. Then she should also drum up some support for her cause. With these pieces of advice swirling around her head Lucy gets to work. She has some “convincing” to do.

In this entertaining often amusing and informative book we meet a young girl who loves science. What children will appreciate is the way in which Lucy uses knowledge and her voice to bring about change.