I want to thank Master Books for providing me with a copy of The Electrifying Nervous System in return for my honest review.
I have a confession to make. I’m still hiding the materials Master Books sends me to review. It’s not that I don’t want to share them with my kids. Of course, I’m thrilled they have such quality material to read. It’s just… they take the books and then I can’t read them and tell you about them.
I can’t blame my children. Everything we read from Master Books is beautiful, graphically designed, and really interesting. So I hide them until after I’ve written a review. Tonight, the boys found The Electrifying Nervous System by Lainna Callentine, M.Ed., M.D. (Master Books, 2014). It’s the first book of a new nine-book (well, it will be nine books) middle grade anatomy series God’s Wondrous Machine…..
Friends, you nearly didn’t see this review. I’d read the book, but you should have seen me trying to wrestle my copy away to take pictures and to reference it as I write. It almost didn’t happen.
We use a number of resources for science each year, so I really appreciate having materials that I can adapt to fit our needs, whether I use them as a unit study, a great book to read and have the kids narrate, or as a full-on curriculum. The God’s Wondrous Machine series is perfect for any of those uses, and has an optional Parent Lesson Planner which will be available in April (2015) and will include tests, and resources for the second book in the series The Breathtaking Respiratory System, which is also available in April (though you can pre-order both right now).
Here’s what Dr. Callentine covers in The Electrifying Nervous System:
- Vocabulary: There are 42 vocab words and phrases for kids to work on, right at the front of the book. These are divided into 3 levels, since this is a multi-grade book. I love that the vocab is first, as I’m pretty sure almost no one reads the glossary at the back of a science book. I know my boys will likely memorize these terms because they’ve been presented as important. Also, they’re challenging. What 3rd to 6th grade child doesn’t want to be able to tell you what homunculus or oligodendroglia means?
- Chapter 1 ~ Historical Points of Interest ~ There is a fascinating chapter on the history of neurology.
- Chapter 2 ~ Looking Inside the Brain ~ This covers the ways doctors can see and study the brain in patients.
- Chapter 3 ~ The Basics of the Nervous System ~ Neurons, their parts and the way they work as well as a fascinating story about medical research. Dr. Callentine is a great storyteller.
- Chapter 4 ~ The Anatomy and Physiology of the Nervous System ~ A detailed chapter on all the parts of the brain and what they do, along with more great stories.
- Chapter 5 ~ The Developing Brain ~ The brain as it develops from the fetal stages to the mature, adult brain.
- Chapter 6 ~ A Case for the Brain ~ This covers the skull, the fluid, blood vessels, and protecting the brain.
- Chapter 7 ~ The Blood Brain Barrier ~ This talks about the way God has protected the brain and spinal cord.
- Chapter 8 ~ The Backbone ~ All about the spine and the dermatomes.
- Chapter 9 ~ The Atonomic Nervous System ~ Kids will learn about the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system branches.
- Chapter 10 ~ Health Facts ~ Interesting things the brain does that kids can see, nutrition for the brain, careers in neuroscience, and ways to keep the brain healthy.
- Chapter 11 ~ Wacky, Weird, and Wow ~ Strange facts and stories about the brain. The kids will love this chapter.
Like all the other Master Books I’ve read, this one is comes from a strongly Christian worldview. There are Bible verses and fun facts about God’s design throughout the book next to little gears that read “I am wonderfully made.” Amen. Indeed we are.
I’m really enthusiastic about Dr. Lainna Callentine’s new God’s Wondrous Machine series. My boys are on the upper end of the recommended age spectrum, but the material is challenging and in-depth enough that I don’t see any problem with having them read these 80-page books on their own as supplemental science in the middle school years. They’ll be thrilled to receive The Electrifying Nervous System in the morning.
I’ve really got to find a better place to write these reviews. Wrestling the books back from my excited kids is taxing.
Purchase The Electrifying Nervous System, The Breathtaking Respiratory System, and the Parent Lesson Planner (for the Nervous and Respiratory Systems) at
Amazon: The Electrifying Nervous System (God’s Wondrous Machine) and pre-order: Elementary Anatomy: Nervous & Respiratory Systems Parent Lesson Planner (God’s Wondrous Machine) and Breathtaking Respiratory System (God’s Wonderous Machine)
Christian Book: The Electrifying Nervous System–Student Book and pre-order Elementary Anatomy: Nervous & Respiratory Systems Parent Lesson Planner and The Breathtaking Respiratory System, Volume 2
More Master Books Reviews at Thinking Kids
- Bugs: Big & Small God Made Them All
- Intro to Archaeology & Geology Curriculum
- The New Astronomy Book
- Studies in World History, Volume 1
- The Flood of Noah
- It’s Not Greek to Me!
More Creation Resources for 8-12 Year Olds Reviewed at Thinking Kids
- Jonathan Park Adventure Audiobooks by Pat Roy
- Bugs: Big and Small God Made Them All by William Zinke
- 44 Animals of the Bible by Nancy Pelander Johnson
- Growing Up God’s Way for Girls by Dr. Chris Richards and Dr. Liz Jones
- Growing Up God’s Way for Boys by Dr. Chris Richards and Dr. Liz Jones
Or just check out the Thinking Kids book review indexes for:
Thinking Kids Pinterest Book Boards
- Christian Books for Preschoolers
- Christian Books for 4-7 Year Olds
- Christian Books for the Middle Grades
- Christian Books for Middle School
- Christian Books for High School
- Christian Books for Kids’ Devotions
- Christian Books about Parenting
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~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.