Horoscopes: Reality or Trickery? (A 9-13 year old STEM book)
Horoscopes: Reality or Trickery? (A 9-13 year old STEM book)
Have you ever wondered if astrology is real or just a hoax? Find out if the evidence holds up to scrutiny, then decide for yourself.
Have you ever wondered if astrology is real or just a hoax? Find out if the evidence holds up to scrutiny, then decide for yourself. Read more
Horoscopes: Reality or Trickery? is a book of scientific inquiry for ages 9 to 13. It's designed to help kids understand the scientific method and develop critical thinking skills by posing thoughtful questions and providing ways kids can test the validity of astrology, or horoscopes.
Throughout this approximately 90-page book, kids learn about the development and history of astrology dating back to at least 3000 B.C. Because astrology has to do with the moon, planet, and stars, they also learn some interesting astronomy facts along the way.
In Horoscopes: Reality or Trickery? kids read the arguments both for and against the validity of astrology and learn about scientific studies that find astrology to be faulty.
Kids also discover in this book the tricks astrologers use to create horoscopes that create the illusion of being valid forecasts or assessments of personality. Kids also do a fun personality test to help them see how horoscopes are created. Then they have the opportunity to test the validity of some horoscopes in real life, which the book shows them how to do. There's a total of seven activities in the book to entertain and educate kids on the scientific process and making deductions as they sleuth for the truth about astrology.
The idea behind this STEM book is to help kids come to their own conclusion that horoscopes are a hoax by giving them the facts and tools needed to come to their own logical conclusion. Horoscopes: Reality or Trickery? is a fun way for kids to develop critical thinking skills.
The cover illustration for Horoscopes: Reality or Trickery? was drawn by my talented daughter, Cassie King. She will also do 12 black and white drawings for the interior.
The book is approximately 15,000 words and will be approximately 90 pages depending on the final format. It will also contain sidebars of interesting facts and a glossary.
Why this book is important
In an age of growing scientific advancement, it would seem the belief in pseudoscientific and extraordinary claims should be on the downshift. Yet, according to a 2012 Omnibus Poll, 45% of American adults believe in ghosts and 32% believe people can interact with the dead. A 2009 Harris Poll found 26% of people believe in astrology. These statistics indicate a need to better-educate kids in areas of science and help them develop critical thinking skills.
Why is are critical thinking skills so important? They're a necessary skill for kids to develop so they'll be able to face the world as adults and know how to evaluate information and real-life situations both in their personal lives and in the world around them. Regardless of career path, clear rational thinking leads to better problem-solving. The ability to analyze, evaluate, reason, make decisions, and problem-solve is not only a highly desirable trait for employment. It's crucial for career advancement, not to mention making sound decisions in their personal lives.
Horoscopes: Reality or Trickery? is the first book in my series Sleuthing for Explanations. In this series, each book will cover a specific form of pseudoscience, hoax, or extraordinary claim. Kids will learn about the history and background of the claim as well as scientific studies on the claim and their findings. Throughout each book, I'll pose provocative questions that make kids really think about the claims. I'll also provide kids activities to keep them interested and help them learn about the scientific process.
My fundraising goal
My fundraising goal will cover the cost of publishing software and incidentals, printing Horoscopes: Reality or Trickery?, and other backer rewards, plus a few bare-bones expenses such as acquiring distribution and very minimal marketing.
If my goal is exceeded, it will be used for the following:
- Larger print run
- Marketing and advertising to parents, teachers, schools, and public libraries
- Review copies and news releases sent to media
- Marketing to bookstores
- Trade fairs
- Other marketing strategies
If I reach $30,000 in pledges, every backer who pledges $20 or more will also receive an ebook of Horoscopes: Reality or Trickery? This is in addition to the rewards that come with your pledge.
The manuscript and cover design for Horoscopes: Reality or Trickery? are already complete.
January -February: Kickstarter campaign underway; manuscript will undergo final editing; black and white illustrations to be completed; the book will be formatted for publication.
March: The book will go to the printer. A distributor will be retained. Marketing and advertising preparation will begin.
April - May: Books and rewards will be shipped to backers. Books will be shipped to the distributor. Marketing and advertising will begin. Book will debut in bookstores.
Risks and challenges
There are no risks to the backers of this project. It's already near completion, and I'm experienced in publishing, so I know what to expect and what needs to be done to complete the project. If the project is fully funded, those funds are sufficient to fulfill the rewards to all of the Kickstarter backers to my project.
The only 'ifs' have to do with marketing and advertising and a print run large enough to supply a distributor and booksellers. In other words, if the campaign doesn't exceed my goal by quite a bit, I'll be very limited in the advertising and marketing I can do. It would also limit the print run meaning I would likely have to sell the book as a print-on-demand book for a period of time. But this will not affect backers in any way. They'll receive their copies of the book and any other rewards because this has been projected into my Kickstarter project goal.
The only potential risk is that something could arise that puts the project a month behind. This is highly improbable, but it's true unforeseen circumstances can arise. So backers should be aware that in a worst-case scenario, their rewards could be shipped a month later than anticipated.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)