Updated: Jun 26, 2021
How are nuclear bombs made? How were all these elements made/discovered? Who discovered them? Is there really such a thing has a “good” and a "bad" chemical? Discover all these answers and more in The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean.
The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean is a crash course in chemistry and the periodic table. Weaved with facts, antidotes, and humor, Mr. Kean skillfully shows how science doesn’t have to be monotonous. Any other challenging book on the periodic table would have bored me, but this kept me on my toes, filling me with knowledge, and it also kept me laughing cover to cover. Think of it like a very long, but interesting, bedtime story, and be sure to keep it near you.
Short note about reading level: My science teacher gave me this book in fifth grade, and I tried reading it, but honestly, I couldn’t catch all the lessons. It got shelved away for a year, and I cracked open the book again at the start of sixth grade. Even though it was a little challenging and even though I had to read it twice, I finally caught the gist of the novel, and I was able to enjoy it, as well as being able to learn many interesting facts about the elements.
“Really excellent... I can’t recommend The Disappearing Spoon highly enough... the stories associated with the various elements and experiments designed to test one hypothesis or another make great reading... Get the book.” -Jon Carroll, San Francisco Chronicle
“Ebullient... Kean turns The Disappearing Spoon into a nonstop parade of lively science stories... A timely conversation piece.” - Janet Maslin, New York Times