John Hawkins is in yet another new school as he begins the 7th grade. His life would be just fine except for the fact that Dowser, the school bully, has it out for him.
Things change when his passion for robotics lands him an invitation to be a part of a secret club. John joins Malena, Natsumi, Hector, and Kimmey as the newest member of the League of Scientists. Together, these friends pool their knowledge of biology, technology, logic, and chemistry to unravel the mysteries that haunt their quiet town of East Rapids. The League is in a race to solve the secret of the ghost who is terrorizing the middle school pool.
Join the League as they tackle the supernatural in Ghost in the Water, their debut adventure in the exciting League of Scientists mystery series.
Ghost in the Water
Product Type Paperback Pages 192 ISBN 978-0-9700106-2-9 Dimensions 5.5” x 8.5” Age Range 10-14 Grade Range 5-9 Language English Publication Date December 2014
"Part of what makes this book such an effective means of fostering readers' curiosity and familiarity with science, technology, and a host of other topics is the naturalness with which they are woven into the story. There's never a moment where the considerable amount of educational material feels inserted. The main characters, who are bright, energetic students the same age as the intended audience, ring true. Their banter and camaraderie feels authentic, as do the fears, challenges, and victories they navigate from day to day. Meanwhile the story, a compelling mystery, is loaded with chemistry, physics, biology, robotics, math, technology, language arts, and more, and because the context in which these are delivered is engrossing and relatable, readers devour it with pleasure. A 55-page teacher's guide (downloadable free) provides ideas and strategies for using the book as a teaching tool."
—Tillywig, "Brain Child" Award Winner
"This is exactly what science is about: curious kids using their knowledge to solve challenges. These kids tackle the problem of a haunted swimming pool that is disrupting the whole town. Watching the youngsters unravel the mystery is a great reminder that science is not just something done by old guys in white lab coats. This book is a wonderful kid-sized science adventure!"
—Alexander Pancic, Chemistry and Engineering, The English High School Jamaica Plain, MA
"Ghost in the Water is a perfect book for mystery lovers and science enthusiasts of all ages! It reminds us that knowing science and math can make a difference, even in middle school. I especially love that girls are key members of the League. They will inspire and spark interest in girls beginning to explore STEM careers. I wish I had a book like this when I was growing up!"
— Naiyma Houston, Founder and Director, Upper Hand to College, Ventura, CA
"When I first got asked to do the review, I was not sure what to expect. My son is a big science lover so I knew it was something I wanted to look further into. However, I never could have dreamed that the books would be as amazing as they are. Whether you have a book lover, science lover or reluctant learner, these books are sure to add some fun and exciting learning. I used these books as part of my current teaching role as a homeschooling mom, however, as a former classroom teacher, I would excitedly use them in a more traditional classroom too!
"I am very impressed with the Science, Naturally! books and would recommend them highly if you are looking to add some seriously fun learning to your homeschool or traditional classroom."
— Amy, Teacher
Read more of the review here.
"This novel is about a group of middle school students who solve mysteries using science and math. The League of Scientists is a diverse group of seventh graders who all love a different STEM discipline and who have formed deep friendships. In this first book in the series, the school’s star swimmer thinks he sees a ghost in the pool one morning. The League decides to crack the case using logical thinking and deductive reasoning to help get the swim team to overcome its fears. Ghosts in the Water: The First League of Scientists Mystery by Sue Garcia would appeal most to late elementary school and early middle school readers. It is a fast-paced, easy, and engaging read that pulls in science and math content in a way that does not feel forced. The reader is exposed to just enough binary coding, marine biology, archaeology, and chemistry to have his or her curiosity piqued. The teacher’s guide has many suggestions for fun ways to explore topics in more depth. The one aspect of the novel that I found regrettable is that few of the teachers are portrayed in a positive light. There is one “cool” teacher who supports the League and an understanding principal who gives the group a lot of leeway, but most of the educators at the League’s school are angry, impatient, and unsympathetic. A teacher even turns out to be one of the villains in the story. Overall, I highly recommend this book. I think that it would provide great opportunities for collaboration between math teachers and science teachers."
—Ryan McLaughlin, Berkeley Preparatory School Tampa, Florida
508 MATHEMATICS TEACHING IN THE MIDDLE SCHOOL ● Vol. 21, No. 8, April 2016
“With ‘Ghost in the Water,’ the author has given a younger generation a highly readable adventure/detective story that carries an important lesson… I see a great, bright future for the League of Scientists.”
—James Randi, Founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation
"Middle-schoolers will thoroughly enjoy this captivating adventure! Students who love science will relish the connections between the life and physical sciences. More importantly, students who don’t love science… yet… will experience the thrill of using it as a tool of discovery—and may be inspired to venture more into the ways that being curious about science can help them navigate and enjoy their world. I highly recommend this fun and inquiry-inspiring book!"
—Michael Roa, Science and Environmental Education Consultant, Sonoma County, CA
"John is the new kid in seventh grade. He doesn’t fit in until he is thrust into the top-secret League of Scientists. Along with Kimmey, Malena, Natsumi, and Carlos, John sets out to solve the mystery of a ghost appearing in the school swimming pool. The book is clever in applying the scientific method and explaining several chemical concepts... [It] will appeal to science-oriented middle schoolers. First in The League of Scientists mysteries, the book includes an extensive glossary.
—Gayla Parks, Librarian, Kearney (Missouri) Middle School, Library Media Connection, March/April 2015
“… I can heartily recommend this adventure in scientific thinking.”
— Ann Druyan, Co-writer of the Cosmos TV series and wife of the late Carl Sagan
“I loved this novel, and believe most readers of any age will too. It’s one great adventure with an educational theme!”
—Piers Anthony, celebrated science fiction and fantasy author of the “Xanth” and “Incarnations of Immortality” series
“I love this book! Kids will strongly relate to, and absolutely love, the cast of characters in this exciting mystery. The League of Scientists brilliantly intertwines mathematics and scientific concepts into an engrossing story. Middle schoolers will be quickly immersed in solving the mystery. From binary numbers to cell biology and robotics, this clever book makes scientific concepts exciting and the scientific method relevant. Teachers and parents will be impressed with how the book piques young readers’ interest in emerging scientific fields. Just as John, the main character, gains self-confidence and begins to believe in his abilities, so, too, will readers be encouraged to follow their curiosity, complete tasks and reach goals. There is a lot more going on in this town than what meets the eye…but I’ll let the League of Scientists reel you in. Grab this book and become a member of the League as John, Natsumi, Malena, Hector and Kimmey embark on this mysterious journey!”
—Renee Anderson, Curriculum and Professional Development Specialist, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Aurora, IL
"An easy read with a very powerful message! The League of Scientists creatively blends humor and gripping suspense with chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics and technology. The kids exhibit fear, anxiety, cooperation, communication and compassion, all while utilizing the scientific method. Science saves the day in this exemplary book. Parents and grandparents will enjoy sharing it with their kids. I will recommend the book to the administration to be a required reading for all faculty and students!"
-Kamaal Khazen, Dean of Applied Sciences
De La Salle Institute four year college preparatory school, Chicago, IL
"This book, the first of what I hope to be a series, is a treat. It isn't really a science book per se, but a book that any middle schooler would find enjoyable, or choose to read for an English class book review. It is fiction, it is a mystery, it touches upon school bullying, and it references, several times, the scientific method, or process by which scientists answer questions. There is a ghost in the school pool? Let's see if we can replicate that with chemistry. You want to blame it on the school bully? Oh, no, scientists don't work that way, with an answer they want to find evidence for—scientists use evidence gathered to formulate an answer. I enjoyed the book, and would recommend it as a pleasure book with a hidden agenda (and a hidden character, a shadowy presence, that leaves me wanting to read the next book right now)!"
-Lisa Pike, Associate Professor, Biology, NSTA Recommends
"A great book for mystery enthusiasts and science geeks of all ages, but especially middle grades. The characters are diverse and include smart girls (and boys) who understand the power of inquiry. Readers will be captivated by the entertaining story--and, all the while, they'll be learning how useful science and math can be...even for kids!"
-Diane Dexter, Central Library Services, Manhattan-Ogden School District, Manhattan, KS
"It's a great mystery story for kids, engaging, and chock full of science."
"The story promotes critical thinking, deductive reasoning, and working as a team."
"I like how it makes the kids think! It definitely increases their critical thinking skills!"
"This novel is the first “League of Scientists” mystery series, which blends mystery with the applied sciences. It provides a venue for scientific thinking along with intrigue and mystery. Seventh grader John Hawkins tries to fit in with the other students in a new school as he is targeted by the school bully. John’s interest in robotics leads to an invitation to join a secret science club, The League of Scientists. They join forces with their scientific knowledge to solve the mystery of the ‘ghost’ who’s terrorizing their swimming pool and who may cause them to lose their swim meet. The Glossary defines relative terms, while an Index provides easy navigation through the text. The first page and back cover of the book give excellent reviews from national educators about the quality of this story. One statement summarizes the praises: “This is exactly what science is about: curious kids using their knowledge to solve challenges.” It’s important that middle grade girls are an important part of the story since this should also pique their interest in science. When science and the supernatural come together, these disparate areas provide an intriguing mystery story!"
-Annie Laura Smith