My daughter is a 3rd grader, but she reads at 8th grade level, and she is 2 grade levels ahead in math.

She reads everything she gets her hands on.

She took some chemistry activities, and she loved them. ("Mad Science", "Ooo, goo and stinky too",...)

She knows that matter is made of atoms, and that atoms are made of protons and electrons.

I'd like to find some chemistry books that would be appropriate for her. A good book would be one that starts from beginning, help her connect together the stuff she already knows, and then take her further.

My reason is that I don't want school to be too easy for her. I want to nurture her curiosity, love of challenge, and motivation to study.

On the other hand, I don't want to push her even further ahead in the subjects that she has to take in emementary or middle school anyway -- because that would make our dealing with the school system even more complicated... So, I think Chemistry and Physics are good subjects.

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    $\begingroup$ While recommendation questions are in general off topic network wide, this seems well-defined enough for me to allow it. If anyone disagrees, feel free to voice your opinion :) $\endgroup$ Apr 19, 2013 at 18:17
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    $\begingroup$ Not long enough to be an answer, but since she reads at 8th grade level and is advanced in math, why not look for a middle school level physical science textbook? Check to see which book your district uses and then check it out from a library. $\endgroup$
    – Ben Norris
    Apr 24, 2013 at 11:31

1 Answer 1


One of the best is The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments. By today's standards, this book is considered "dangerous", but keep in mind that it was written for teenagers in the 1960s. In any case, parental supervision should always be required in chemistry, and if you carefully research the experiments before doing them you should be fine. It takes you all the way through technique, building apparatus, and safety. The only problem is obtaining chemicals: the sources cited therein are hopelessly outdated (i.e. your will NOT find most of this stuff in drugstores anymore), and you will need to use educational supply companies to obtain small quantities of chemicals. Have fun!

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the recommendation. But books with experiments are actually easy to find. I want a book that covers the theory. $\endgroup$
    – Marjeta
    Apr 23, 2013 at 15:32
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    $\begingroup$ It does cover some theory. Very simple, but some theory. For example: Faraday's candle (nice example of scientific method), measurement, industrial and home processes, brief history, periodic table, mixtures, solutions, acids/bases, element chapters are nicely contextualized, basic equation balancing, and even some very basic organic chemistry. I think this is an awfully good introduction to the whole topic. In contrast, Thompson's excellent Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments, while more up-to-date, is mainly about experiments. $\endgroup$
    – user467
    Apr 23, 2013 at 15:51
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    $\begingroup$ @Marjeta Experiment is frequently the best way of explaining the theory. $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    Apr 24, 2013 at 8:30

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