It is true that there has been a dearth of exciting chemistry books for children in recent years. The latest chemistry book, published in 2010, and presented with a fun and educational angle, is the one by authors Simon Basher and Dan Green. It is a hard-cover book, available for $10.00 from amazon.com entitled ‘Basher: Chemistry: Getting a Big Reaction.’ The book presents basic concepts of chemistry by giving each a character that a child can relate to. For example there is a character for the Periodic table.
Readers who find this book useful may also enjoy another book by the same author, entitled ‘The Periodic Table: Elements in Style’ published by the New York publishing house, Kingfisher. In this book, every element is given a character that kids may find funny, and thereby the subject becomes naturally interesting.
In this book, though, hydrogen is the only element that the author devotes an entire chapter to. The rest of the elements are described by groups as the alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, noble gases, etc. The bulleted facts and short glossary at the end of the book, render a learn-at-a-glance approach and can be used as a fun and ready reference even by older students of chemistry.
A much more informative book for a target readership in the range of 10 to 14 years would be the 2005 book, ‘Eyewitness Chemistry’ written by Ann Newmark and published by D.K. Publishing, Inc. This book has beautiful illustrations comprised of both high quality photographs and line drawings that demonstrate concepts as well as objects a child can relate to, and by virtue of the book’s lucid descriptions, can now understand their composition. Another cool feature of the book is a list of museums in sidebars that parents can take their children to and better understand a particular concept that is discussed in the book, through an exhibit present in the museum. So this can be a truly useful resource not only for children, but also for parents who want to plan family outings that are also educational.
Also, if you are looking more for a textbook for your children, yet something not exactly along the traditional lines of schoolbooks, you might want to take a look at the 2006 book brought out by the American Chemical Society and published by W.H. Freeman and Co. This book discusses basic concepts in the light of social, environmental and political issues. It captures the attention of the young thinking mind, not particularly in preparation for high-school or college courses in chemistry, but to incite a global understanding of the fundamentals of chemistry and its significance in real life.