Monday, January 12, 2009

Phenomena: Secrets of the Senses by Donna M. Jackson

Phenomena: Secrets of the Senses by Donna M. Jackson
Review by: Marlies

Before your next social gathering, do yourself a favor and read Donna M. Jackson’s Phenomena: Secrets of the Senses. When there’s a lull in the conversation, skip celebrity gossip and start a debate about whether animals can predict earthquakes. If you’re really brave, discuss fortune tellers and UFOs. By reading Phenomena: Secrets of the Senses, you’ll have something intelligent to say on a broad range of topics related to the senses.

Children and teenagers who read this book will realize that science is more about questions than it is about answers. And these questions stem from a need to help real people.

For instance, Cheryl Schiltz had a bad reaction to antibiotics and lost her sense of balance. She participated in a research study and was able to test a stamp-sized Tongue Display Unit that contained 144 electrodes. The impulses carried sensory information to her brain and buzzed Cheryl’s tongue when she drifted to the left or right, backwards or forwards. Adapting to the buzzes, she learned how to regain balance.

The book debunks myths, but it also raises possibilities. After reading it, your children might reconsider science as a career path. They’ll see that although scientists have learned a lot, there is much left for them to discover.
More Info:
  • Reading level: Ages 9-12
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316166499
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316166492
  • Source: Review copy from publisher

Head over to Picture Book of the Day for more Nonfiction Monday selections.


  1. This looks like a book that might interest both my 10-year-old and my 14-year-old. And ME! Thanks. :-) I have been enjoying your blog.

  2. Mama Monkey,
    Thanks for stopping by! It's definitely a fascinating read. I hope you enjoy!