Dig in, ‘Weird But True!’ is worth your time | Lifestyle

It wasn’t a very good trip.

You caught the toe of your shoe on a rock and you skinned your knee when you tried not to fall. Came down hard on your elbow, too, hurt your shoulder as you went, and you almost did a face-plant. You tripped, it wasn’t good but if you read “Weird But True! Know-It-All Rocks & Minerals” by Michael Burgan, you’ll at least know what kind of rock it was.

But first, let’s blow your mind: the sand on a beach and the gigantic boulders near it are both basically the same thing, in different stages of change. You thought rocks were just rocks, but you were wrong.

Basically, “a rock is a naturally occurring solid object usually made from minerals” and all the continents, every mountain, every island on Earth is made of one or all of three kinds of rocks: igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary. What’s more, it’s possible that those rocks, no matter what their size now, can “transform from one type to another,” like some kind robot toy.

OK, well, so there are rocks on the ground. Big deal?

Yes, it is a pretty big deal! Rocks may determine what kind of weather you’ll have. They may determine where you live, too, since you can live in some kinds of rocks. Look around and rocks can be landmarks, they can become caves, floors, weapons, jewelry and materials for artwork. Rocks can become statues. In mineral form, they can become food. In mineral form, in fact, they can be a part of the human body!

All right, so you’re convinced. You want to go play with rocks and maybe study them someday. Volcanologists study volcanoes and lava. Geologists and mineralogists study the Earth and the materials that make it. Archaeologists and paleontologists know all about old rocks and the things that used to live on the planet. And if you want to get involved now, this book will show you how you can become a “rockhound.”

In just a few short weeks, you may be helping your child find something interesting to do. If it’s educational, that’s even better. “Weird but True! Know-It-All Rocks & Minerals” offers up a new hobby to fit a budget.

To whet a kid’s appetite for rock hunting, author Michael Burgan begins with the basics by including color pictures and short chapters on rocks and minerals, their formation, and other scientific info that doesn’t feel one bit classroomy. Kids can learn at their own pace with this book and they can skip around, if that’s what they want, because there’s much to learn and Burgan makes it look like fun. For sure, with a pair of eyes, permission, and this book, your child’s summer vacation could really rock.

Don’t be embarrassed if you’re caught browsing this book. Adults will enjoy the many sidebars, photos, and other info inside this book, though it’s meant for kids age 7 to 12. So get “Weird but True! Know-It-All Rocks & Minerals.” Your kid will really dig it.

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