Fun and necessity all rolled up in one; that’s the only way to describe National Geographic Kids’ new pocket-sized handbook, 100 Things to Know Before You Grow up.
Written by author and reporter Lisa M. Gerry, this little book includes every tip, trick and skill you should know to have a successful childhood. The book opens with the dying art of making homemade “snow cream” (once a favorite childhood treat) and goes full steam ahead from there. Children ages 9 to 12 (grades 4-7) who want to make personal improvements can learn all sorts of things, like how to get over an embarrassing situation, how to say “I’m sorry,” how to help someone who’s choking, and even how to have a thicker skin.
Children who want to be more resourceful can learn how to make an edible gift, pump gasoline, write a check (a dying art!), and the art of how to say NO!” There are tips on tying basic knots, doing laundry without ruining your clothes, writing a “Thank You” note, and the crucial skill of balancing a spoon on your nose.
This fun and resourceful book does everything from instructing children in the fine art of snacking and dining to teaching them how to pack a suitcase and how to save the planet. Each tip is covered in a brief two pages to avoid boredom, and each is coded with the ASK acronym as a heads-up to whether the tip is about attitude (curiosity, responsibility, empowerment), skills (observation, communication, problem-solving) or knowledge (new frontiers, critical species, our living planet). It is also packed front to back with lively graphics, charts, numbered steps, and eye-popping full-color photos of the great outdoors.
The fact that this book can be consulted for factual information on a subject or micro-subject—and the subjects are in no particular order—means that the book does not necessarily have to be read in chronological order (from beginning to end), but can be consulted as questions, curiosity, and incidences arise. This makes it the perfect “go to reference book” for inquisitive and adventurous middle grade readers. More specifically, it should be great for science classes, social skills classes, and discussions on nature, or it can even double as a supplemental text for solving mysteries.