Kids Book Review: Fort Applegate and The Battle of Wounded Knee

fort_applegateBook Review of: Fort Applegate and The Battle of Wounded Knee by Brian Wu

Genre: Children, Fiction

This book was sent to me as an advance review copy by the author for no compensation.  All opinions expressed are my own. It is available for pre-order through Amazon, and will be available early in November.

Fort Applegate and the Battle of Wounded Knee is an educational foray into the science of the immune system: specifically, what happens inside the body to fight off infection. Nolan Applegate is out for a day of exploring the woods behind his parents house and searching out the perfect spot for a fort.  Right in the middle of his exploration, he falls in a stream and cuts his leg.  He’s been learning about the immune system in school, and he knows he needs to go home and wash the abrasion to help get rid of the bacteria from the stream.  He imagines his body is a lot like a fort and the many different things that happen beneath his skin to protect and heal from the cut are like a battle–the battle of wounded knee.

Technically, this book is for kids around the age of 9. Though not quite a middle grade novel, it does have a couple of chapters and full pages of words.  Even so, I think Sophia will be able to enjoy it a little at a time. The story is engaging and presents science to younger kids with a winning combination of age-appropriate narration and scientific explanations.

One thing I particularly loved about this book was the abundance of actual educational information.  Even though the immune system was reimagined into a more relatable context, the proper medical terms were still included and everything was thoroughly explained. Cytoplasm, Lymph Nodes, and the different kinds of cells working in the immune system are all explained briefly in the text and a little more thoroughly in the glossary.  I just think it is great to go ahead and teach kids the actual words.  Sure, they might stumble over Cytoplasm or butcher the pronunciation completely, but they’ll learn eventually and you can’t learn without trying.

Overall, I thought this was a cool blend of education and entertainment, and am looking forward to spending a little more time reading it with Sophia.

I really liked it: 4 out of 5 stars

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