The Fort on Fourth Street: A Story About the Six Simple Machines

Book: The Fort on Fourth Street: A Story About the Six Simple Machines
Author: Lois Spangler
Illustrator: Christina Wald
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1607186205 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1607186209 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-1607186328 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 1607186322 (Paperback)
Related website: (author), (illustrator), (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 5-8
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
Disclosure: Any books donated for review purposes are in turn donated to a library. No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.

Spangler, Lois. The Fort on Fourth Street: A Story About the Six Simple Machines (published in 2013 by Sylvan Dell Publishing, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464). What is a machine? Most of us would immediately think of a copy machine or heavy-duty factory machines or something like that. However, the six simple machines that Grandpa and his grandchild use to build a fort in the backyard on Fourth St. are a wheel and axle (wagon), wedge (saw), screw (wood screws), pulley (pulley with rope and basket), lever (crowbar), and incline plane (ramp). As the pair build the fort together from start to finish, can you guess the surprise ending that awaits the reader at the conclusion of the story?

This fun, rhyming text, after the order of “This Is the House That Jack Built,” introduces young students to the scientific concepts behind the six basic machines that have been in use for hundreds of years as illustrated by everyday objects that children are familiar with. The “For Creative Minds” educational section contains more information on the “Simple Machines,” a “Match the Machines” activity, questions about “Measuring Tools,” and suggestions for “Hands On: Building a Fort.” More free activities are available online at the publisher’s website. One might wish that all science could be presented in this cleverly written way.

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