"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Monday, February 15, 2021

Nonfiction review: STEM in the Final Four by Meg Marquardt

STEM in the Final Four
by Meg Marquardt is a middle grade nonfiction book which is part of a series which highlights the role of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in our favorite sporting events, such as the NCAA Basketball Tournament, often called the Final Four. The book is divided into five chapters. Chapter One is an introduction to the NCAA tournament and contains teasers how the four subjects of STEM might come into play throughout all aspects of the game and tournament. The next four chapters are dedicated to just one area of STEM each.

Because I am a mother of two daughters involved in the STEM field, one a Math teacher and the other involved in Science/medicine, and married to college basketball fan who follows the NCAA tournament carefully each year, I was really delighted with this book. I think any hook to interest students in the STEM fields is worth the effort. The target audience would be 3rd to 5th graders as the chapters were short using a large font. Concepts were introduced in simple terms with the aid of charts or photographs to help with explanations. I read the book quickly but I did pause long enough to read a few excerpts out loud to my husband. All school libraries that have students in this age range should consider purchasing the whole STEM in the Greatest Sports Events series.

What I liked about the book:

  • STEM fields take on a new, glossier feel when paired with a favorite sporting event, well known to even children.
  • The book did not bog down on long or tedious explanations.
  • It used lots of basketball photos and charts to keep even the most reading-resistant sports fan interested.
  • There are full resource information available in the back with a short glossary, index, and books to read for further study, making this a good tool for book reports.

What I didn't like about this book:

  • Unfortunately for the publisher the book must have been written before the NCAA tournament was canceled in 2020 because they referenced it as if it would soon happen. No one knew 2020 would turn out the way it did.

Source: E-book provided by the publisher.



  1. What a clever concept to get kids hooked into STEM through sports and sporting events!

    1. Yes, It was very clever. I wouldn't think that this will be a student favorite book but if a librarian can think up a project to get it in student hands, it would be a good one.

  2. This sounds like a great way to combine kids interest in sport with academic subjects. Thanks for sharing your thoughts


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