You Can’t Wear These Genes
by Shirley Duke
Let’s Explore Science Series
“You have your mother’s green eyes.”
“Your chin comes from your father.”
“You must get your musical ability from your parents.”
People have always noticed traits, or characteristics, that are similar between parents and their kids. Some of these traits, such as eye color and a dimpled chin, can be easily seen. Other traits, like blood type and personality, cannot be seen.
Parents pass down traits to their offspring, or young. The offspring have these inherited traits for the rest of their lives. Genetics is the branch of science that studies how traits are passed along.
My first science book as the author! It’s been a dream of mine to write a science book and now I have. This one, and the other one I wrote, are in the Let’s Explore Science series by Rourke. This is the book I’m featuring on the Nonfiction Book Blast panel at 2011 ALA in New Orleans.
This introduction to genetics covers the basics of what it takes to pass along hereditary material and how it is manifested in offspring of humans, touching on animals and plants. Complicated terms and processes are explained on a reading level accessible by elementary readers. Labeled graphics and large photos help clarify the text and make the book appealing and bright.
Beginning with the basic building block, the cell, after defining genes and DNA, the chapters continue with boy or girl, combining traits, problems with genes, and the future of genetics. Short sidebars scattered throughout the text give additional information and break up the text into readable chunks. The book contains a strong glossary, index, and website information, plus a picture and bio of the author—that’s me!
This complicated subject is made easier to understand in You Can’t Wear These Genes and explores the very beginnings of genetics while making it accessible to young readers (something I had a great deal of experience doing as a teacher). The wealth of knowledge being discovered in this complex field is arriving weekly and this book is an excellent way for young scientists to begin to understand how the cycle of life and growth occur.
Create your own DNA sequence. Use this activity to put together base pairs. As each pair is joined, write down the sequence for 20 pairs and then read the information below the model. Then look up what components create the “rungs” of the DNA ladder. Draw a simple diagram and label the parts.
Here’s a good place to start for more information.
Here’s more excellent information about genetics.
Nonfiction Monday is at Mother Reader. Take a look at many more great nonfiction books there.
National Science Standard: reproduction and heredity
Book is author’s own copy