Is there a teenager in your life who is fascinated with chemistry? Maybe one that needs to be. Here are a couple of book ideas to stir them up this holiday season. Who knows you could ignite a chain reaction.
"The Periodic Table, Its Story and Its Significance" by Eric Scerri. This Philosopher, Chemist, UCLA Lecturer and Editor of the "Foundations of Chemistry" professional journal offers up the first significant book on the periodic table in 40 years. Straight foreword and easily understandable this book outlines the history and philosophy behind the iconoclastic table that everyone remembers from school days. This is a must have book for a budding young chemist's personal library. It allows us to peer into the future with its coverage of new trends within the periodic system.
Cambridge Press always on the cutting edge offers up Nina Hall's "The New Chemistry". This collection of essays from top scientists the world over is a surprisingly easy read. It delves into the multiple directions and applications of chemistry in the now and future time frame. Full of ideas for hip young folks with their eyes to the future. Chemistry touches almost everything around us and this book offers up more than one road foreword.
Fall down funny, totally readable and straight to the heart of understanding chemistry is "Cartoon Guide to Chemistry". This absolutely uproarious and fun approach to not only basic principles of chemistry but the scary stuff too like thermodynamics and organic chemistry. Authored by Larry Gonick and Craige Criddle it is a wickedly funny look at chemistry and how it works. For working chemists with a sense of humor a library favorite. For the kid who is struggling with chemistry this is a delightful way to get some of the basics down.
"Fritz Haber: Chemist, Nobel Laureate, German, Jew a Biography" by Detrich Stoltzberg is now available in English. Fascinating tale of one of the brightest young men of the twentieth century. He was there as an innovator in the early days with thermodynamics and electrochemistry. He received the Noble Prize for his synthesis of ammonia which had applications in both fertilizer and explosives. He developed chemical weapons for Germany during WWI and was expelled by the Germans during WWII. Great introduction to the inside world of Chemistry and its history.
Let the elf in you give rise to greatness in the youth around you. A glimpse at the universe through its molecular bonds. Oh yea if these don't work try a book on bread baking where lessons in bio-chemistry come to life right in the kitchen. But no beer making kits til they're twenty-one.