Molecules framing photos of athletesSuper Gear: Nanotechnology and Sports Team Up is just the book you want around during the Olympics. And it will appeal to sports-obsessed middle schoolers anytime. It tackles the fascinating world of nanotechnology, explaining what nanotechnology is, describing how it’s used in sports equipment, and delving into some of the ethical questions this new science raises.

The book is well-designed to keep a young reader’s interest. The text is lively, with an accessible, welcoming narrative voice. Tough concepts are explained with friendly examples and similes. And there are  beautiful photographs and illustrations on every page. Easy-to-do experiments scattered in sidebars throughout the book invite readers to explore the scientific content of the book.

The biggest obstacle this book will face is adult readers who assume nanotechnology is too complicated for middle schoolers. But middle schoolers who get hold of it will love the book and eat up the science. You may even discover it in some equipment bags on the sidelines of the soccer field.

Those middle grade fans will be charmed by this video about the author’s first day in 7th grade science class!

Super Gear: Nanotechnology and Sports Team Up, by Jennifer Swanson. Charlesbridge: 2016.

Children around a globe.

I participate in the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge, hosted by Allyson Beecher at Kid Lit Frenzy. Every Wednesday you’ll find link-ups to nonfiction picture book reviews. Visit and find some great new books!