Guest Hollow’s Actions and Reactions Curriculum Book and Resource List

Literature-based chemistry and physics for grade-school kids that’s engaging and fun!

Welcome to the Guest Hollow’s Actions and Reactions Curriculum Book and Resource List! This list is to give you an idea of what will be needed if you are using Guest Hollow, LLC’s Actions and Reactions Curriculum. For details about the curriculum itself, please click here.

In order to use Guest Hollow’s Actions and Reactions Curriculum, you will need to obtain the scheduled books and other items separately. You may be able to borrow many for FREE from your local library! Check out the F.A.Q. below for tips on how to save money when using a literature-based curriculum.

Every purchase comes with a printable book list!

Every purchase of Guest Hollow’s Actions and Reactions Curriculum comes with a FREE printable book list to help you with your planning and shopping.

The printable version of the book list features:

  • The ISBN number and author’s name
    You can make sure your copy of the book matches the one in the schedule.
  • Notification of when each book or item is used
    You can plan ahead when to check out books from the library. Books used throughout the year are marked “multiple weeks,” so you can decide whether you want to purchase them vs. borrow them.
  • Books are ranked in order of importance
    Books are ranked in order of importance to help you choose which books you need the most and which can potentially be skipped.
  • Checklists for planning
    A handy checklist helps you plan if you are going to buy or borrow a book. It can also help you choose the format of your books (physical copy, e-book, or audio book).
  • Consumables are marked
    You’ll get advance notice of which items are consumable, so you’ll know what you may need to purchase and how many copies you may want to get if you are using the curriculum with multiple students.

Here’s an example of the printable book list:

Keep scrolling to see the full online book list (below the F.A.Q. on this page).

We’ve scheduled in lots of colorful, fact-filled, interesting and engaging books for this year’s science study! Before taking a look, we’ve addressed some common questions:

Book and Resource F.A.Q.

No. Depending on your student, the time you have available, your budget, and other factors, you can cull some of the books without hurting the program.

You can also use substitutes from your own home or local library. For example: There is a scheduled book about the states of matter. If you can’t obtain that book, you can use a different book that covers the same topic during the same week. Keep in mind that the scheduled books were all hand-picked for their content and presentation.

Some books are marked “unscheduled.” These books are optional and are not featured in the curriculum schedule. They are intended to potentially enhance your studies, and you can fit them in whenever you have the time for them (or ignore them completely, if you wish).

We were once homeschoolers, and we know what it’s like living on a budget. I wrote a blog post to help you SAVE MONEY when using a literature-based curriculum. In the post you’ll find handy tips on where to get books, what subscriptions can help out, what some libraries offer for free, where our customers go for used books, and how to find books our customers are selling when they are done. Take a look:

How to Save Money When Using a Literature-Based Curriculum

Our customers frequently resell their used Guest Hollow homeschool curriculum books on our Facebook Groups. Here’s a list of groups you can join and post in! We encourage you to try and recoup some of your investment in books when you are done by posting them for sale in our groups.

You may NOT resell, share, or distribute any of Guest Hollow’s digital products (or printed out copies of our digital products) which includes but is not limited to schedules, workbooks, printables, and other materials.

Every student’s reading ability and interest differs. If you have a reluctant reader or a student whose reading skills are not fully developed, you can do some of the following things:

  • Read books out loud
    You can read some or all of the books to or with your student. This is a terrific way to participate in what s/he is learning, too! Our children loved read-alouds, even in high school.
  • Use audiobooks
    Audiobooks can be obtained from or a variety of other places. There are some benefits to using audiobooks. They can be listened to in the car, during lunch, while doing chores, while keeping hands occupied (knitting, coloring, etc.), and other times when print books don’t work as well.
  • Don’t overwhelm
    It may not be the best choice to do more than one literature-based program at a time with a student who doesn’t like reading. Don’t be surprised if this reluctant attitude toward reading changes during the course of the program, though. Many of our customers have told us their reluctant readers learned to love reading using our curriculum!

Yes! Even though this curriculum is designed for grades 1-6, many customers have used it with students in middle school up to grade 8. You may need to find substitutes for the easier books that cover the same topics.

Warning! Preview all materials! We strongly recommend you preview all items to see if they are appropriate for your student. Every family is different in what they find offensive! Additional notes about some of the books are in the descriptions below.

Books and ItemsInformation and Notes
Exploring Creation With Chemistry and PhysicsExploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics (Young Explorer Series)

I really like the Young Explorers Series, as did my son. The books are comprehensive, with lots of activities, and are easy to use with a variety of ages. I use this one as a spine text that I build off of. It contains the bulk of the scheduled activities and “experiments” for this year.

For those of you who are not Christian and would like to see an example of the Christian content in this book, please click here to see my list of Christian content in the first 4 chapters, to see if this book could be a fit for you or not.
Printable Timeline / Book of CenturiesGuest Hollow’s Printable Timeline / Book of Centuries

If you don’t already have a timeline, our printable and customizable timeline is a great option for the timeline entries in the curriculum.
Archimedes and the Door of Science

Note: This book is for older students or as a read aloud to younger students (3rd grade and up).
Archimedes and the Door of Science (Living History Library)

“Jeanne Bendick, through text and pictures, admirably succeeds in bringing to life the ancient Greek mathematician who enriched mathematics and all branches of science. Against the backdrop of Archimedes’ life and culture, the author discusses the man’s work, his discoveries and the knowledge later based upon it. The simple, often humorous, illustrations and diagrams greatly enhance the text.
Illustrated by the author.”
Choose one of the following:
Splat!: Wile E. Coyote Experiments with States of Matter
Option 1 (for younger students):
Splat!: Wile E. Coyote Experiments with States of Matter

A fun and silly way to learn about the states of matter and their properties down to the atomic level!
“Wile E. Coyote wants nothing more than to get hold of Road Runner. Watch as he uses liquids, solids, and gases in clever ways to catch that bird. Will the states of matter help him succeed? Or will his schemes dry up in the hot desert sun? Look inside to find out!”
Click here to preview this book online.
The Solid Truth About States of Matter With Max Axiom, Super Scientist
Option 2 (for older students, or as a read-aloud):
The Solid Truth about States of Matter with Max Axiom, Super Scientist

I used these comics in my homeschool. They are fun and highly visual ways to learn about science concepts.
What Floats in a Moat?What Floats in a Moat?

A silly story that explains why Archie’s barrel finally floated thanks to what Archimedes discovered about displacement and volume.

“A goat and a hen turn a playful exploration of physics into scientific fun that rises to the top!

Archie the Goat has a delivery to make. He has several barrels of buttermilk that the queen needs, but in order to get them to her, he needs to cross the moat.

Testing several different theories to find out what will float and what will sink, Archie and his friend Skinny the Hen don’t succeed at first, but they do try, try, try again (and again). And with reason and persistence, they’ll get that buttermilk where it needs to be!”
What Was the Gold Rush?What Was the Gold Rush?

You’ll read this book after reading about the gold rush and properties of gold in the spine text! It’s a great way to enhance your child’s learning, build retention, and introduce a bit of history, as well!
My son LOVED this set of books and read them avidly, despite being a reluctant reader at the time. They make great read-alouds for younger children and are easy enough for older kids to read themselves without being overwhelmed.
Choose one of the following:
Who Was Isaac Newton?

Option 1 (for younger students):
Who Was Isaac Newton?

“Isaac Newton was always a loner, preferring to spend his time contemplating the mysteries of the universe. When the plague broke out in London in 1665 he was forced to return home from college. It was during this period of so much death, that Newton gave life to some of the most important theories in modern science, including gravity and the laws of motion.”
World History Biographies: Isaac Newton: The Scientist Who Changed Everything

Option 2 (for older students, or as a read-aloud):
World History Biographies: Isaac Newton: The Scientist Who Changed Everything

“Born in England in 1643, Isaac Newton grew up in the age when Renaissance thinkers were challenging accepted ideas throughout Europe. Fascinated by all earthly science, Newton developed laws of motion and universal gravitation which also furthered our understanding of the movement of celestial bodies. This vibrant biography profiles the famed physicist as an acclaimed mathematician, astronomer, alchemist, philosopher, and inventor as well. Readers will discover the genius who inspired Alexander Pope to write, “
Choose one of the following:
Down Comes the Rain
Down Comes the Rain (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)

“After rain comes down, the sun comes out and dries the puddles. But the water isn’t gone. The heat from the sun has turned it into water vapor-it has evaporated. Eventually, this moisture in the air condenses to form new clouds. Soon the rain will fall again. Read on to find out all the ups and downpours of the water cycle!”
The Magic School Bus At The Waterworks
The Magic School Bus At The Waterworks

“The classic title that started the award-winning series! Join Ms. Frizzle and her students as they follow the trail of water, from its sky-high source to the school bathroom sink on this wet and wild fieldtrip. After parking the school bus on a cloud and shrinking to raindrop size, Ms. Frizzle’s class gets to see the waterworks from the water’s point of view.”
Choose one of the following:
Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride
Option 1 (for younger students):
Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride

Mix up a bit of history with science with this book that tells the true story of the first hot-air balloon ride. Your students will read it after learning about hot-air balloons in the spine text.
Sky Sailors
Option 2 (for older students):
Sky Sailors: True Stories of the Balloon Era
*This book is only available used.

This book has lots of fascinating and true tales of early flight in balloons. There is plenty of science mixed throughout and everything is told in a way that totally held my attention. 

Note: Death is mentioned, but nothing too graphic. You should preview if you want to use this with young or sensitive students.

“For more than a century before airplanes, people explored the sky in balloons. From 1783 to the early 1900s, aeronauts flew into storms, crossed large bodies of water, sailed over enemy armies, and soared to deadly altitudes. Illustrated in full color with dramatic period artwork, Sky Sailors by David L. Bristow presents the stories of the pioneers of human flight, such as daredevil Sophie Blanchard from Napoleon’s France, and Salomon Andree, who lead an aerial assault on the North Pole in 1897.”

This sweet movie is perfect to wrap up learning about hot air balloons!
The Hindenburg Explosion: Core Events of a Disaster in the Air
Note: This is a book about a disaster that injured and killed people. It’s written for younger grades, but you may wish to skip it, if your student is very sensitive.
The Hindenburg Explosion: Core Events of a Disaster in the Air (What Went Wrong?)

Your student will read this book after learning about hydrogen. This book really illustrates that hydrogen is highly flammable!

Click here for an online preview of the book.
What's Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew?What’s Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew? (Wells of Knowledge Science Series)

In this book, children will follow a trail of shrinking animals and things until they get to molecules, atoms, electrons, and even quarks!
Mythbusters Season 5Hindenburg Mystery 

The Mythbusters team takes on the Hindenburg explosion!
Choose 1 of the following 2 books:
Lift-the-Flap Periodic Table
Book 1: Lift-the-Flap Periodic Table

Everything in the Universe is made up of just 118 chemical elements, all of which are listed in the Periodic Table. Lift the flaps in this informative book and discover which elements are crucial to life, which are smelly, explosive or radioactive and lots more. An essential introduction to the building blocks of chemistry, with over 125 flaps.

Science Comics: The Periodic Table of Elements: Understanding the Building Blocks of Everything
Book 2: Science Comics: The Periodic Table of Elements: Understanding the Building Blocks of Everything

Learn about the Periodic Table of Elements in this colorful comic.
Did a Dinosaur Drink This Water?
Note: This books mentions billions of years.
Did a Dinosaur Drink This Water? (Wells of Knowledge Science)

Your student(s) will read this after making a model of a water molecule in the “Try This” activity from Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics.

The author explains the complete water cycle and also discusses ocean currents, ocean and lake habitats, and hydroelectricity. He also touches on water pollution and our responsibility to keep our water clean.
Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs
Note: This is a Christian book.
Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs

This book explores the idea that the dragons of legend were really dinosaurs. You’ll want to read it before (or after) the book above.

“Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs is a juvenile nonfiction title enjoyable for all ages! It takes you back to the days of these amazing creatures and their presence in various cultures including Asia, the Americas, and Europe. Read of thrilling historical battles between dragons, and saints, and their ability to terrorize medieval castles. Mystical fantasies brought to life, as the truth is revealed.”
Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe
Note: This is not a book to read (at this age), but rather is for browsing through the amazing pictures and perhaps reading some of the captions. Kids can read the text in more depth when they are older. My son thumbed through this book multiple times over the years. It’s a must for any homeschool library. This book is also used in Guest Hollow’s Chemistry in the Kitchen.
Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe

“Gray, an element collector and Popular Science columnist, has created a visual homage to the periodic table of the elements. The book begins with an introduction to the arrangement of the periodic table. The first 100 of the elements are each profiled on a two-page spread. The left-hand side of the spread features a large color image of the element in its true form, when possible. The right-hand side includes various images of ways the element appears in the world and explanations of some of the compounds in which it can be found. For example, the Selenium entry includes images of selenium sulfide medicated shampoo, Brazil nuts (which are high in selenium), and a red vase that gets its color from a selenium glaze. Most of the images are items from the author’s personal collection.”
The Story of SaltThe Story of Salt

“Based on Mark Kurlansky’s critically acclaimed bestseller Salt: A World History, this handsome picture book explores every aspect of salt: The many ways it’s gathered from the earth and sea; how ancient emperors in China, Egypt, and Rome used it to keep their subjects happy; Why salt was key to the Age of Exploration; what salt meant to the American Revolution; And even how the search for salt eventually led to oil. Along the way, you’ll meet a Celtic miner frozen in salt, learn how to make ketchup, and even experience salt’s finest hour: Gandhi’s famous Salt March.”
Basher Science: The Complete Periodic Table: All the Elements with Style!Basher Science: The Complete Periodic Table: All the Elements with Style!

My son loved the Basher series of books.

“Do you confuse boron with barium or chlorine with fluorine? Fear not! Basher Science has come to the rescue by mixing science and art to create a unique periodic table. From unassuming oxygen to devious manganese, the incredible elements show you the periodic table as you’ve never seen it before.”
Rock Candy Crystal Growing Experiment Kit

Use this kit after reading about crystals in the spine text. This is the kind of thing my kids LOVED getting at the beginning of the school year. It really built excitement for the upcoming studies!
Newton's BeadsNewton’s Beads

With Newton’s Beads, you’ll learn how you can use physics like inertia and potential energy to empty 50 feet of beads onto the floor in about five seconds or 250 feet of beads in about 30 seconds! We know what you’re thinking, “Dumping the beads onto the floor is proof of gravity. It doesn’t defy it.” You’re right, but these beads pour onto the floor while you still hold their container upright. It seems impossible, but Newton’s Beads will make you a believer in the time it takes for them to stream to the floor.
Silly PuttySilly Putty

Play with some real silly putty after reading about it in Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics!
Snowflake BentleySnowflake Bentley

“From the time he was a small boy in Vermont, Wilson Bentley saw snowflakes as small miracles. And he determined that one day his camera would capture for others the wonder of the tiny crystal. Bentley’s enthusiasm for photographing snowflakes was often misunderstood in his time, but his patience and determination revealed two important truths: no two snowflakes are alike; and each one is startlingly beautiful. His story is gracefully told and brought to life in lovely woodcuts, giving children insight into a soul who had not only a scientist’s vision and perseverance but a clear passion for the wonders of nature. Snowflake Bentley won the 1999 Caldecott Medal.”
Choose one of the following:
Who Was Marie Curie?
Option 1 (for younger students):
Who was Marie Curie?
World History Biographies: Marie Curie: The Woman Who Changed the Course of Science
Option 2 (for older students, or as a read-aloud):
World History Biographies: Marie Curie: The Woman Who Changed the Course of Science

“”This short book is written in a clear, readable style, detailing the events of Marie’s life that will be of interest to teen readers… It will be an excellent and accessible resource for libraries. Readers will find the prose engaging and Marie’s story interesting and inspiring.”
Marie Curie Lapbook

This is a lapbook that goes with the book above. All of the cut-outs and answers are provided. There is also a cute printable book report paper with room for an illustration, at the end of the PDF.
Geyser Tube SetGeyser Tube Set

Take the “Try This” activity from the Exploring Creation book to a new level!

★ Learn the science behind the internet sensation, make your own diet soda and Mentos geyser
★ No more wasting soda trying to get all the Mentos in the bottle at one time, this is a fool-proof method for making a 25-foot geyser
★ Comes with a roll of Mentos but you can try other activators to see what works best, it’s all part of the science
The Dynamic World of Chemical Reactions with Max Axiom, Super ScientistThe Dynamic World of Chemical Reactions with Max Axiom

“In graphic novel format, follows the adventures of Max Axiom as he explores the science of chemical reactions.”
Milk: From Cow to Carton

There are several different science concepts in this book! You’ll read it during the week your student learns about colloids (milk is a colloid). Your child’s learning will be extended with a free (optional) lapbook about cattle that is linked to in the schedule.

One Smart Cookie: (A Graphic Novel)

Your student(s) will read this book after reading that cookies are a heterogenous mixture.

Silly snack-hunting squirrels Norma and Belly are back! Don’t miss their latest hilarious cookie caper in the fourth comic in this award-winning and Eisner-nominated series.

If you had a fortune cookie fortune that read: “Feed this cookie to a squirrel” would you do it? Norma thinks you would! And she quickly she gets to work devising a plan with friends Belly and Little B to sneak through the MR.FORTUNE cookie factory to get their own fortunes squirreled away inside of the treats.

Follow along on another spectacular caper that goes (definitely not) exactly as planned. With high tech climbing gear (suction cups), computer hacking (lucky password guessing), and squirrels in spy suits, they might just pull this one off and get that sweet, sweet (cookie) reward.
Milk: From Cow to CartonMilk: From Cow to Carton

There are several different science concepts in this book! You’ll read it during the week your student learns about colloids (milk is a colloid). Your child’s learning will be extended with a free (optional) lapbook about cattle that is linked to in the schedule.

Beloved children’s author Aliki takes readers on a guided tour that begins with grazing cows, proceeds through milking and a trip to the dairy, and ends with some different foods made from milk. This s a fun-filled and informative explanation of milk’s trip from green grass, to cow, to a cool glass on the table.

This is a clear and appealing science book for early elementary age kids, both at home and in the classroom. 
Fortunately, the MilkFortunately, the Milk

This is a fun story you’ll read after learning about colloids!

“Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious New York Times bestselling story of time travel and breakfast cereal, expertly told by Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Skottie Young.”
Choose one of the following:
Forces Make Things Move
Option 1 (for younger students):
Forces Make Things Move (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)

“There are forces at work whenever you throw a ball, run up the stairs, or push your big brother off the couch. Want to learn more about the forces around you? Read and find out!”
Explore Forces and Motion!: With 25 Great Projects
Option 2 (for older students, or as a read-aloud):
Explore Forces and Motion!: With 25 Great Projects

“Physics becomes accessible and interactive through activities such as a experimenting with a water cup drop, building a bridge, and spotting magnetic field lines. Simple machines such as levers, pulleys, and wedges are used as vehicles for discovery and comprehension of the foundational concepts of physical science. Using a theme familiar to everyone—motion—this book captures the imagination and encourages young readers to push, pull, twist, turn, and spin their way to learning about forces and motion.”
Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of FranceMesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France

“But soon the straightforward American inventor Benjamin Franklin is upstaged by a compelling and enigmatic figure: Dr. Mesmer. In elaborately staged shows, Mesmer, wearing a fancy coat of purple silk and carrying an iron wand, convinces the people of Paris that he controls a magic force that can make water taste like a hundred different things, cure illness, and control thoughts! But Ben Franklin is not convinced. Will his practical approach of observing, hypothesizing, and testing get to the bottom of the mysterious Mesmer’s tricks? A rip-roaring, lavishly illustrated peek into a fascinating moment in history shows the development and practice of the scientific method—and reveals the amazing power of the human mind.”
A Crash Course in Forces and Motion with Max Axiom Super Scientist: 4D An Augmented Reading Science ExperienceA Crash Course in Forces and Motion with Max Axiom Super Scientist: 4D An Augmented Reading Science Experience

“Max Axiom demonstrates the laws of motion at an amusement park.”
Choose one of the following:
Look to the Stars
Option 1 (for younger students):
Look to the Stars

“As one of a handful of astronauts to have walked on the moon, Buzz Aldrin has a unique perspective of space. And he serves as an amazing guide as he introduces us to the pioneers of space. From Copernicus to the Wright brothers, from the Apollo program to dreams of future travel, he reminds us that mankind has always looked to the stars.

Buzz’s informative, kid-friendly text is paired with beautifully detailed illustrations by renowned illustrator Wendell Minor, and offers the perfect introduction to everything space related, including the development of the first rockets, America’s space race with Russia, details of all the Apollo missions, and the space station.”
Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon
Option 2 (for older students, or as a read-aloud):
Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon

“Here is a rare perspective on a story we only thought we knew. For Apollo 11, the first moon landing, is a story that belongs to many, not just the few and famous. It belongs to the seamstress who put together twenty-two layers of fabric for each space suit. To the engineers who created a special heat shield to protect the capsule during its fiery reentry. It belongs to the flight directors, camera designers, software experts, suit testers, telescope crew, aerospace technicians, photo developers, engineers, and navigators.”
Choose one of the following 2 books:
Gravity is a Mystery
Book 1 (for younger students):
Gravity Is a Mystery (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)

“What goes up must come down.
Everybody knows that. But what is it that pulls everything from rocks to rockets toward the center of the earth? It’s gravity. Nobody can say exactly what it is, but gravity is there, pulling on everything, all the time. With the help of an adventurous scientist and his fun-loving dog, you can read and find out about this mysterious force. “
Science Comics: Rockets: Defying Gravity
Option 2 (for older students, or as a read-aloud): Science Comics: Rockets: Defying Gravity

Rockets explores the 2,000 years that rockets have been in existence and dives into Newton’s Laws of Motion―learning all about gravity, force, acceleration, the history of rockets made in the past, and rockets of the future!

PowerUp Paper Airplane BookPowerUp Paper Airplane Book

I’ve included a link to a free paper plane website, but this book is much nicer as it has glossy paper templates that are lots of fun. Younger children may need help with folding the planes.

“This big (10″ x 12″) book comes complete with 40 sheets of flight-tested, ready-to-fold paper, printed on both sides in a variety of 20 colorful patterns, including leopard print, wood grain, hot rod flames and lose-it-on-the-lawn grass.”
Who Was Galileo?Who Was Galileo?

“Like Michelangelo, Galileo is another Renaissance great known just by his first name–a name that is synonymous with scientific achievement. Born in Pisa, Italy, in the sixteenth century, Galileo contributed to the era’s great rebirth of knowledge. He invented a telescope to observe the heavens. From there, not even the sky was the limit! He turned long-held notions about the universe topsy turvy with his support of a sun-centric solar system. Patricia Brennan Demuth offers a sympathetic portrait of a brilliant man who lived in a time when speaking scientific truth to those in power was still a dangerous proposition.”

Choose 1 of the following 2 books:
Energy Makes Things Happen
Book 1 (for younger students):
Energy Makes Things Happen (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)

“Did you know that energy comes from the food you eat? From the sun and wind? From fuel and heat?
You get energy every time you eat. You transfer energy to other things every time you play baseball. In this book, you can find out all the ways you and everyone on earth need energy to make things happen.”
The Powerful World of Energy with Max Axiom, Super Scientist
Book 2 (for older students, or as a read-aloud):
The Powerful World of Energy with Max Axiom, Super Scientist

Note: Millions of years is mentioned on p. 20.

Join Max Axiom as he explores the science behind energy! The back of the book has an optional experiment, discussion questions, and writing prompts.

Digging a Hole to Heaven: Coal Miner Boys
Note: Evolution is mentioned on page 2. Skipping that page doesn’t affect the story, at all.
 Digging a Hole to Heaven: Coal Miner Boys

Read this story after learning about coal in Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics.
This books is a great way to mix a bit of science and history! You can also use it to teach compassion towards those who work in difficult conditions and to teach gratefulness when you compare your child’s chores to the work day of the child in the story!
Choose one of the following:
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Picture Book Edition
Option 1 (for younger students):
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Picture Book Edition

“When fourteen-year-old William Kamkwamba’s Malawi village was hit by a drought, everyone’s crops began to fail. Without enough money for food, let alone school, William spent his days in the library . . . and figured out how to bring electricity to his village. Persevering against the odds, William built a functioning windmill out of junkyard scraps, and thus became the local hero who harnessed the wind.

Lyrically told and gloriously illustrated, this story will inspire many as it shows how – even in the worst of times – a great idea and a lot of hard work can still rock the world.”
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Young Reader's Edition
Option 2 (for older students, or as a read-aloud):
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Young Reader’s Edition

“When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba’s tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season’s crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family’s life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William’s windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land.

Retold for a younger audience, this exciting memoir shows how, even in a desperate situation, one boy’s brilliant idea can light up the world. Complete with photographs, illustrations, and an epilogue that will bring readers up to date on William’s story, this is the perfect edition to read and share with the whole family.”
The Sun: Revised EditionThe Sun (Revised Edition)

“In this completely updated edition of The Sun featuring beautiful full-color photographs, Seymour Simon presents a fascinating introduction to the star that is the center of our Solar System. Young readers will love exploring the wonders of the sun, from the constant nuclear explosions at its core to the sea of boiling gases that forms its surface. This nonfiction picture book is an excellent choice to share during homeschooling.”
Solar Powered Car

Choose a solar powered toy to build and/or play with.
Sound Waves and CommunicationSound Waves and Communication

“Sound waves are all around us creating a multitude of different frequencies. Some we can hear, and some we cannot hear. Discover the ways in which animals, insects, and birds communicate through sound as well as how sound is beneficial for other uses — even if we can’t hear it! High-interest, informational text paired with vibrant images and photos, intriguing facts, and a helpful glossary and index will keep readers engaged from cover to cover. A Think Like a Scientist activity that supports STEM instruction is included at the end of the book for students to apply what they’ve learned about sound.”
The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract ArtThe Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art

“In this exuberant celebration of creativity, Barb Rosenstock and Mary GrandPré tell the fascinating story of Vasily Kandinsky, one of the very first painters of abstract art. Throughout his life, Kandinsky experienced colors as sounds, and sounds as colors—and bold, groundbreaking works burst forth from his noisy paint box.”
Choose one of the following:
Zipping, Zapping, Zooming Bats
Option 1 (for younger students):
Zipping, Zapping, Zooming Bats (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)

This book can also be checked out online, for free, via the Internet Archive Library.

“Bats fly into the spotlight in this exploration of such basics as where the live, how mothers raise their pups, and how they hunt for food. Included as well is a simple plan for a building a backyard bat house. “
The Bat Scientists
Option 2 (for older students, or as a read-aloud for younger students):

The Bat Scientists (Scientists in the Field Series)

“Dr. Merlin Tuttle and his colleagues at Bat Conservation International aren’t scared of bats. These bat crusaders are fascinated by them, with good reason. Bats fly the night skies in nearly every part of the world, but they are the least studied of all mammals. As the major predator of night-flying insects, bats eat many pests. Unfortunately bats are facing many problems, including a terrifying new disease. White-nose Syndrome is infecting and killing millions of hibernating bats in North America. But Dr. Tuttle, with the help of his fellow bat scientists are in the trenches—and caves—on the front line of the fight to save their beloved bats.”
Ruby Goldberg's Bright IdeaRuby Goldberg’s Bright Idea

“Ruby wants first prize at the fifth grade science fair—and she thinks her quirky, creative, Rube Goldberg–esque invention is just the way to get it! Rife with “depth and charm,” this story is peppered with engaging science facts and insights.”
Stellaluna Stellaluna

“Knocked from her mother’s safe embrace by an attacking owl, Stellaluna lands headfirst in a bird’s nest. This adorable baby fruit bat’s world is literally turned upside down when she is adopted by the occupants of the nest and adapts to their peculiar bird habits. Two pages of notes at the end of the story provide factual information about bats.”
Choose one of the following:
A Wizard from the Start: The Incredible Boyhood and Amazing Inventions of Thomas Edison
Option 1 (for younger students):
A Wizard from the Start: The Incredible Boyhood and Amazing Inventions of Thomas Edison

“Thomas Edison had a thirst for knowledge, taste for mischief, and hunger for discovery—but his success was made possible by his boundless energy. At age fourteen he coined his personal motto: “The More to do, the more to be done,” and then went out and did: picking up skills and knowledge at every turn. When learning about things that existed wasn’t enough, he dreamed up new inventions to improve the world.
From humble beginnings as a farmer’s son, selling newspapers on trains and reading through public libraries shelf by shelf, Tom began his inventing career as a boy and became a legend as a man.”
Thomas Edison: Young Inventor (Childhood of Famous Americans)
Option 2 (for older students, or as a read-aloud for younger students):
Thomas Edison: Young Inventor (Childhood of Famous Americans)

We had quite a few book in this series on our homeschool shelf over the years!
Eye to Eye: How Animals See The World
Note: Evolution is mentioned in this book.
Eye to Eye: How Animals See The World

“In his latest eye-popping work of picture book nonfiction, the Caldecott Honor–winning author-illustrator Steve Jenkins explains how for most animals, eyes are the most important source of information about the world in a biological sense.”
A Ray of LightA Ray of Light

“The wonder of light has fascinated readers for ages. Walter Wick’s mesmerizing photographs paired with simple yet fascinating text and scientific observations help readers understand the secrets and complexity of light.

You will learn what light is made of and how it fits alongside everything else in the world. Walter introduces readers into the mystery behind incandescence, light waves, the color spectrum, and iridescence as well as how we perceive light in our world and beyond.

Walter Wick demonstrates that science and art both offer ways to observe the world around us.

A Ray of Light is perfect for the STEM curriculum as it incorporates the early disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”
HeatHeat (The Science Behind)

This book not only explains heat, it also has a fun activity: make sunlight smores!

“This book explores the awesome science behind heat. Topics include energy, the Sun, and friction.”
Choose one of the following:
Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein
Option 1 (younger students):
Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein

“When he was born, Albert was a peculiar, fat baby with an unusually big and misshaped head. When he was older, he hit his sister, bothered his teachers, and didn’t have many friends. But in the midst of all of this, Albert was fascinated with solving puzzles and fixing scientific problems. The ideas Albert Einstein came up with during his childhood as an odd boy out were destined to change the way we know and understand the world around us . . .”
Who Was Albert Einstein?
Option 2 (older students or as a read-aloud to younger students):
Who Was Albert Einstein?

Note: This book mentions how the Nazis murdered Jews in WW2 and talks about the atomic bomb(s) dropped on Japan.

“Everyone has heard of Albert Einstein-but what exactly did he do? How much do kids really know about Albert Einstein besides the funny hair and genius label? For instance, do they know that he was expelled from school as a kid? Finally, here’s the story of Albert Einstein’s life, told in a fun, engaging way that clearly explores the world he lived in and changed.”
I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871I Survived #11: I Survived the Great Chicago Fire, 1871

After reading about heat and fire in Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics, your student will read this exciting, historical book about the Chicago Fire of 1871. Use as a read-aloud for younger students with less reading ability.
Ice Cream: The Full ScoopIce Cream: The Full Scoop

“Cool and smooth and sweet, ice cream has long been a favorite treat. It cools you off when it’s hot and is too delicious to resist even in cold weather. How did it get to be so scrumptious? Best-selling author/illustrator Gail Gibbons dishes out the latest scoop on ice cream production. Ice cream has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a mixture of snow, milk, and rice. Gail Gibbons details the many firsts in ice cream history, from the earliest ice cream crank to the original waffle cone. Children’s mouths will be watering as they follow ice cream’s journey from farm to factory to freezer.”
The Magic School Bus And The Electric Field TripThe Magic School Bus And The Electric Field Trip

“Small enough to squeeze through power lines, Ms. Frizzle’s class learns how electric current travels through the town, lights up a light bulb, heats up a toaster, and runs an electric motor. Fans of the Magic School Bus won’t be left behind by this simple and informative introduction to the generation and distribution of electricity.”

Seymour Simon books are so beautiful and chock full of information that is easy-to-understand! My son used to love them and check them out from the library all of the time.
How Ben Franklin Stole the LightningHow Ben Franklin Stole the Lightning

“Ben Franklin was the most famous American in the entire world during colonial times. No wonder! After all, the man could do just about anything. Why, he was an author and an athlete and a patriot and a scientist and an inventor to boot. He even found a way to steal the lightning right out of the sky.

Is such a thing possible? Is it. Take a look inside and find Ben busy at work on every spread. Then find out how he used his discovery about lightning to make people’s lives safer.”
Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the WorldElectrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World

“When a Serbian boy named Nikola Tesla was three, he stroked his cat and was enchanted by the electrical sparks. By the time he was a teenager, he had made a vow: Someday I will turn the power of Niagara Falls into electricity. Here is the story of the ambitious young man who brought life-changing ideas to America, despite the obstructive efforts of his hero-turned-rival, Thomas Edison. From using alternating current to light up the Chicago World’s Fair to harnessing Niagara to electrify New York City and beyond, Nikola Tesla was a revolutionary ahead of his time. Remote controls, fluorescent lights, X-rays, speedometers, cell phones, even the radio — all resulted from Nikola Tesla’s inventions. Established biographer Elizabeth Rusch sheds light on this extraordinary figure, while fine artist Oliver Dominguez brings his life and inventions to vivid color.”
Charged Up: The Story of Electricity (Science Works)Charged Up: The Story of Electricity (Science Works)

“Describes how electrical energy is generated in power stations and how it travels through pylons, power cables, and wires into people’s homes.”
Snap circuits kitSnap Circuits

I bought my son a huge set of Snap Circuits, and he played with them for YEARS. They are easy enough for a little kid to use (my son was about 5 when he got his first set) and are fun & interesting enough for an older child to play with, too. My son played with them until he was about 12 or 13.

Click here to look at the manual to see some of the experiments / projects your child can accomplish with this set.
What Makes a Magnet?What Makes a Magnet? (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)

“In this new addition to the Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series, veteran author Franklyn Branley explains the properties and behavior of magnets. True Kelley’s charming illustrations will entertain readers as they discover for themselves what makes a magnet. Hands-on activities include making a magnet and compass.”
My kids played with their magnet set for years.
Choose one of the following:
Fun with Magnets
Option 1 (younger students):
My First Magnet Kit
Magnetic science kit
Option 2 (older students): Thames & Kosmos Magnetic Science
★ Includes 33 engaging experiments and games
★ Experiment with magnets of all shapes and sizes
★ Make invisible magnetic fields
★ Build an electromagnet
★ Includes 60-page full-color manual

Choose one of the following:
National Geographic Readers: Sea Turtles
Option 1 (younger students):
National Geographic Readers: Sea Turtles

“Who could resist celebrating sea turtles? They may seem like lazy ocean reptiles drifting with the oceans’ currents, but they are actually long-distance swimmers that spend their entire lives searching for food and a mate. What’s more, they come with their own built-in GPS, returning to the exact beach where they were born to lay their own eggs. Kids will learn all about these tranquil and mysterious animals through brilliant photography and illustrations, plus the trusted and distinctive content you love from NG Kids!”
National Geographic Kids Mission: Sea Turtle Rescue: All About Sea Turtles and How to Save Them
Option 2 (older students):
National Geographic Kids Mission: Sea Turtle Rescue

“Inspiring young animal lovers to get up close to sea turtles and the real-life challenges they face is what Mission: Sea Turtle Rescue is all about. Kids can connect their love of animals with their passion to help save them, discovering amazing true adventure stories, gorgeous photography, hands-on activities, fascinating information, and more. This introduction to sea turtles provides in-depth information about their habitats, challenges, and successes, so that kids can take action to help save these amazing endangered creatures.”
How Do You Lift a Lion?How Do You Lift a Lion?

“Explore the functions of levers, wheels, and pulleys, and learn how to lift a lion, pull a panda, and deliver a basket of bananas to a baboon birthday party!”
Mr. Ferris and His WheelMr. Ferris and His Wheel

This is a beautifully illustrated story about engineering that is a perfect read while your student is studying simple machines.
“Capturing an engineer’s creative vision and mind for detail, this fully illustrated picture book biography sheds light on how the American inventor George Ferris defied gravity and seemingly impossible odds to invent the world’s most iconic amusement park attraction, the Ferris wheel.

     A fun, fact-filled text by Kathryn Gibbs Davis combines with Gilbert Ford’s dazzling full-color illustrations to transport readers to the 1893 World’s Fair, where George Ferris and his big, wonderful wheel lifted passengers to the skies for the first time.”

Pinecone hedgehog

The terrific materials listed above are for Guest Hollow’s Actions and Reactions Curriculum! We encourage you to take a look!

Actions and Reactions Curriculum - Science and Physics

Actions and Reactions – A Grade School Introduction to Chemistry & Physics


In this full, literature-based curriculum, your child will learn about chemistry, physics, animals, scientists, some history, art, and even ice cream!

We’ve scheduled in tons of fun activities that get kids excited about science while building homeschool memories your family will cherish. Scroll down the page to see photos from real families using the curriculum, explore the topics your student will learn, and find out why so many families love Guest Hollow’s Actions and Reactions Curriculum!

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