Your Atomic Self: The Invisible Elements That Connect You to Everything Else in the Universe by Curt Stager.

From the very beginning, I was hooked on this book. Understanding the elements leads one to philosophical thoughts, apparently, and some to be poetic in their description. I had no idea when I started the book that I would be so amazed by it. While I generally am interested in atomic theory, I find most media presents it in a way that is still above the level of someone who has not reached an understanding of the elements. So, it remains mysterious and out of reach.

Maybe it is partly due to being a book instead of video, that is easy to read over and over or flip back through for better understanding, but I think also because Stager addresses elements individually, starting with the simplest (and oldest) and progresses from there. Reading a segment at a time focuses on the special aspects of each of eight elements that are essential to our bodies and life on the planet. The interaction between them to form life is awesome to understand and contemplate, leading to excitement, poetry and philosophy. It is obvious how much Stager loves the subject and wants to share it. A reading of the book may very well enrich your life, to look around you and see the elements at work in your lives. Open your eyes to this world and universe of elements and see how we are all linked within them.

I absolutely love picking up some random book to read and having it be such an important experience! As a tribute, I have created a crossword puzzle for it.

related-matter, atoms, composition of the human body, elements, molecules, organic chemistry and biochemistry, quantum physics, hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, iron, sodium, calcium, phosphorus
RL=adult, but accessible to 7th and up

Previous Choices

March 2015 - Saving Lucas Biggs by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague
January 2014 - One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
December 2013 - Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
November 2013 - For the Win by Cory Doctorow
October 2013 - Loose Threads by Lorie Ann Grover
September 2013 - Four Hats in the Ring by Lewis L. Gould
August 2013 - The Color of Absence ed by James Howe
July 2013 - Paintings From the Cave by Gary Paulsen
June 2013 - Silent To the Bone by E. L. Konigsburg
May 2013 - The Broken Lands by Kate Milford
April 2013 - Hidden by Helen Frost
March 2013 - Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
February 2013 - Palestine Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter
January 2013 - Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow
December 2012 - Darius Bell and the Glitter Pool by Odo Hirsch
November 2012 - Grimpow: The Invisible Road by Rafael Ábalos. trans by Noël Baca Castex
October 2012 - This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
September 2012 - Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel
August 2012 - Bowman's Store: A Journey to Myself by Joseph Bruchac
July 2012 - Rules of the Universe by Austin W. Hale by Robin Vaupel
June 2012 - Rebuild the Dream by Van Jones
May 2012 - The Cheshire Cheese Cat by Carmen Agra Deedy & Randall Wright. il by Barry Moser
April 2012 - Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
March 2012 - Tamar by Mal Peet
February 2012 - The Romeo and Juliet Code by Phoebe Stone
January 2012 - The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
December 2011 - The Chronicles of Harris Burdick by 14 authors
November 2011 - Yoga of the Heart by Alice Christensen
October 2011 - Inside the Walls of Troy by Clemence McLaren
September 2011 - Heart of a Samurai by by Margi Preus
August 2011 - The Goldsmith's Daughter by by Tanya Landman
July 2011 - Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
June 2011 - A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
May 2011 - Mindblind by Jennifer Roy
April 2011 - The Heart of a Chief by Joseph Bruchac
March 2011 - Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld. il Keith Thompson
February 2011 - The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
January 2011 - The Danger Box by Blue Balliett
December 2010 - The Cardturner by Louis Sachar
November 2010 - The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan
October 2010 - Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox
September 2010 - The Water Seeker by Kimberly Willis Holt
August 2010 - Eli the Good by Silas House
July 2010 - The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
June 2010 - When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
May 2010 - The Smile by Donna Jo Napoli
April 2010 - Eva by Peter Dickinson
March 2010 - Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
February 2010 - Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits by Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson
January 2010 - Firebirds Soaring ed by Sharyn November
December 2009 - Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. il Keith Thompson
November 2009 - City of Fire by Laurence Yep
October 2009 - Steinbeck's Ghost by Lewis Buzbee
September 2009 - Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith
August 2009 - Paper Towns by John Green
July 2009 - Wild Things by Clay Carmichael
June 2009 - Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass
May 2009 - Starclimber by Kenneth Oppel
April 2009 - Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass
March 2009 - The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
February 2009 - The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
January 2009 - The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
December 2008 - Something Rotten by Alan Gratz
November 2008 - Paint the Wind by Pam Munoz Ryan
October 2008 - Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan
September 2008 - The Freedom Writers Diary by The Freedom Writers with Erin Gruwell
August 2008 - Sabriel and Lirael by Garth Nix
July 2008 - A Midwife's Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
June 2008 - Madapple by Christina Meldrum
May 2008 - A Swift Pure Cry by Siobhan Dowd
April 2008 - The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
March 2008 - Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
February 2008 - Click by 10 authors
January 2008 - Firebirds Rising ed by Sharyn November
December 2007 - Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
November 2007 - The Secret of Sarah Revere by Ann Rinaldi
October 2007 - Fly By Night by Frances Hardinge
September 2007 - Wind Rider by Susan Williams
August 2007 - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J K Rowling
July 2007 - The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
June 2007 - Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt
May 2007 - Firehorse by Diane Lee Wilson
April 2007 - The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages
March 2007 - A Bone From A Dry Sea by Peter Dickinson
February 2007 - Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel
January 2007 - Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
December 2006 - Victory by Susan Cooper
November 2006 - The Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce
October 2006 - A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements

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