Book Recommendation: The Element In The Room

Track down the amazing matter around you and it can give you clues to the universe itself.

Join Sherlock Ohms, the super-scientific detective in The Element In The Room.  This engaging book by Mike Barfield– thoughtfully illustrated by Lauren Humphrey–leads readers on a scientific adventure to understand the complex foundations of the universe. Learn about the periodic table of elements and meet some historical characters in a brilliant new light.

There are many ways to enjoy this book; focus on one page a day, or read from cover to cover.  Each page is packed with information that educators and parents can use as inspiration; it makes a great resource to add to curriculum materials or for creative invitations to play.

Each elemental page has a “Find It” checklist! This creates a great opportunity to take learning off the page! Although, you may have trouble getting access to Nuclear Reactors, so finding Francium may be a bigger challenge than say, Tantalum which is found in almost every mobile phone, laptop and tablet – you most likely have a few of those around.

The best parts are the Atomic Comics “your graphic guide to discovering the elements” These one-page comics mix modern humor with science and history. Meet ancient greeks and alchemists of the past. Hang out with Robert Boyle, meet the ‘Noble Gases’ of Sir William Ramsay, go radioactive with the Curies. If I had this book as a child I would have been much more prepared for Chemistry class. Sherlock Ohms is all of us, and the secrets of the universe are waiting to be used and discovered.

The Element in the Room Book Cover
© Laurence King Publishing

Danielle Curry is the School Programs Assistant at the Springfield Museums.