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Maurice on the Moon (The Maurice Series Book 1) by [Daniel Barth]

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Maurice on the Moon (The Maurice Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 18 ratings

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Length: 116 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


"This one absolutely merits a 'Full Moon'!"

"Real Science Fiction Finally Returns!" review

"Maurice on the Moon is awonderful science fiction novel for the middle grade reader; appropriate as anenjoyable independent read as well as a perfect tool for classroom instruction.  Currently, I am reading Mauriceon the Moon to my fifth grade class as a read aloud to accompany ourscience unit on space. They love it!" review

"Maurice is a delightful protagonist, he's inventive and impulsive, stubborn and persistent."  -Teacher's Journal

From the Author

The idea for Maurice on the Moon originally sprang from anassignment that I gave to my astronomy students; in trying to get them tounderstand what other planets were like, I asked them to imagine what theirfavorite sport would be like if it were being played on Mars or the Moon.   As anassistant track coach, I asked them what it would be like if you could jump 30feet high in the low lunar gravity instead of just five feet as we did here onEarth!

Maurice also sprang from my childhood, much of which wasspent watching the astronauts explore space and eventually walk on theMoon.  The NASA astronauts were myheroes, and I hoped that by the time I was an adult, I would be able to followin their footsteps and maybe live and work on the Moon myself.  Things were changing so fast in the 60's and70's that almost anything seemed possible.And even though we aren't there yet, I still fully believe that one day,people like Maurice will live, work, and even spend their childhood on theMoon.

I made Maurice a bit like my brothers and my sons; Mauriceis clever, sometimes too clever for his own good, a boy who cannot resist achallenge or a puzzle, Maurice blurs the line between determination and stubbornness.  Like so many boys, Maurice is not content withthe place his parents have worked so hard to provide for him; the horizoncalls, and in an age of space exploration and colonization, there are manyworlds for Maurice to explore.  Above allthings, Maurice wanted to go to space and explore his nearest celestial neighbor.  Like me, he spent time gazing up at it with atelescope, watching the phases change from day to day, and looking forward toeclipses.  The alien planet Mauricewanted to explore was the Earth!

As an author, the idea of a boy from the Moon who wants toexplore the alien planet of Earth was a wonderful hook for a story; adelightful twist that would capture the imagination of young and old alike.  As a scientist and a teacher, the chance totell a story about the Moon was a chance to share my love of science and astronomywith my readers.  As you follow Mauriceon the Moon, you learn about lunar surface the same way Maurice does, byexperiencing it first-hand.  For instance,we all know that the same side of the Moon always faces the Earth (we never seethe far side!), but few people realize that for someone living on the Moon, theEarth would never travel across the black, lunar skies!

As Maurice goes to school, works with his father in themines, and even as he schemes with Cassie on ways to get to the Earth, thereader learns a great deal about the Moon and its environment.  Through all of Maurice's adventures, webecome so familiar with the Moon, that when Maurice finally journeys to theEarth for the first time, we too, experience it as an alien and unfamiliar place.  It allows us to see our familiar home withnew eyes, and with a new appreciation for its many gifts.  Maurice struggles to cope with manyunfamiliar things like weather, houses with windows that actually open, and roofswithout any meteor shielding at all; most of all, a landscape so full of life, "youcould hardly see the rocks or geology of the place."  I hope that in reading Maurice on the Moon,kids would learn to fall in love with the Earth and its precious environment.

I did not set out to write an 'educational book'.  The first draft of Maurice was a short storycalled 'Jump Like and Earthman' (it eventually became chapter 8 or Maurice on theMoon!).  This story was presented to theTemecula Writer's Club in the fall of 2002, and the novel was written andpolished over the next six months.  Inthe fall of 2003, I decided to return to Claremont Graduate University topursue my doctorate in Science Education, and I took Maurice on the Moon with me.  Developing the Science Through Literatureconcept in my doctoral thesis research, I was able to clinically test the ideaof teaching science in the classroom with science fiction literature instead ofa traditional textbook.

The curriculum for Maurice on the Moon uses the power of thestory to fascinate children as it introduces new concepts in astronomy andphysics effortlessly into the curriculum.As students read about Maurice and Cassie and their adventures on the Moon,they participate in classroom activities that tie in with the story andintegrate the science with mathematics, art, and writing.  The Maurice on the Moon curriculum emphasizesAuthentic Performance Tasks, as recommended by Common Core Standards; scienceis a verb, and children learn science best when they are doing it!

Clinical testing evaluated a mixed group of 6th-8thgrade students who were at risk and attending summer school due to failingacademic performance, a significant percentage of the study group were ESLstudents.  After a four week unit ofEarth and space science with Maurice on the Moon as their only text; readingthe book and using the curriculum for one class period per day, the averageimprovement on a standards-based exam was 34%.ESL students' scores improved an average of 29%; and more than 90% ofthe kids in the study said they would recommend both the book and the class totheir friends.  The results were clear,students who do more science, learn more science; and students who read relevantscience fiction are inspired to do more, and participate more fully in theeducational process.  The subsequentexperiences of teachers and home school parents across the United States havemirrored the results of this research; kids love Maurice on the Moon, and itbrings results in the classroom!

The experience of the book, integrated with the curriculumwas finally realized when the creative team at Funderstanding partnered withDr. Barth to produce Maurice on the Moon  - Interactive Edition for the iPad in2012.  The Maurice on the Moon text onthe iPad offers glossary support, and allows the student to explore Wikipedia andthe web as they link to science concepts in the story.  Pictures, interactive graphics, quizzes, andexciting authentic performance tasks that get kids to put the books downand do science!  An interactive edition of TheDoomed Colony of Mars is due in the fall of 2013.

The Maurice Series takes the Science Through Literature concept forward; as the seriesprogresses, the characters grow and age, and the central science topics of thebooks likewise grow and progress.  In TheDoomed Colony of Mars, Maurice meets Shannon Kappel, and they explorethe Red Planet together, seeking a saboteur who is trying to destroy thecolony!  This book uses the metaphor ofthe saboteur who destroys critical systems the colony needs to survive as aplatform for studying environmental conservation and resource development.  The curriculum supports national common corestandards for environmental science and astronomy.  The third book of the Maurice Series is Crisison the Far Side, explores computer science and information technology.

Product details

  • File size : 462 KB
  • Publication date : May 28, 2012
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 116 pages
  • Publisher : Funderstanding, LLC (May 28, 2012)
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Language: : English
  • ASIN : B00870L6ZS
  • Lending : Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 18 ratings

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
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Reviewed in the United States on January 24, 2013
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Reviewed in the United States on June 20, 2012
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