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Sneaky Books

A help for people who can't seem to get the hang of things.
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I had my exams start on Friday, and I still can't seem to get my head around some of the finer points of History, Chemistry and Biology. Would it be possible for some enterprising being writing a book that sneakily incorporates elements of certain topics? Eg, you're writing a story about some soldiers during World War One, but underlying, you mightn't know it, but you find out/learn about the Schliefflen Plan.

It mightn't be loads of information, like how to write down oxidation and reduction reactions, or how to put things in scientific notation, and in this respect it could be seriously impared, but it could be enough to help with the basics of some topics. (Like Chemistry, History and Biology, and maybe some French and German too!)

froglet, May 14 2005

Vaguely Related http://technology.t...509-1609299,00.html
About how we think about things and how it is possibly 'good' for us. The section on video games is rather interesting. [froglet, May 14 2005]

Schlieffen Plan http://en.wikipedia...iki/Schlieffen_plan
[jutta, May 15 2005]

(?) Historical fiction for middle schoolers http://www.fcps.k12...research/hisfic.htm
Sorted by date that the story takes place. [jutta, May 15 2005]


       This happens automatically for canonical literary works and anything written in a different language than one's mother tongue, and also in such genres as science fiction and historical novels. In fact, anything which is correctly researched or relies on technical insider information is educational. It's more a question of how one reads something. Having said that, inaccuracy would be a pitfall here, and how would you know if an author had got it wrong?
nineteenthly, May 14 2005

       Maybe get them proofread by someone who knows about these things?
froglet, May 15 2005

       There's some educational fiction out there, just not enough, and it's not good enough.   

       When he was young, Isaac Asimov wrote a series of hard-boiled sci-fi mysteries set on the different planets, and clearly intending to, at least in the first few pages, communicate what was known about them. Some of the dialogue is terrrible, and most of the facts are now outdated.   

       If you like comics, there's Larry Gonick's series of educational comics. (I have the history of the universe parts 1 and 2, statistics, and genetics.) It's not much in terms of storylines.   

       In "Conned Again, Watson!", Colin Bruce writes Sherlock-Holmes-stories around statistical puzzles. Some work, some turn out a bit dry.   

       If you don't need traditional storylines and are old enough to read adult books, there's the entire field of "literary nonfiction" with great writers and compelling characters.   

       "Flatland" was part political satire, part geometry lesson.
jutta, May 15 2005

       I've read a number of fiction books based on heavy doses of history lessons - any of the Sharpe series, for a fine example. But there is a drawback to learning exam-proof history from fiction, demonstrated by Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrell, set in the same period. Whereas Bernard Cornwall details the liberties he has taken with history, Susanna Clarke contains at least one glaring mistake that would flag your ignorance of real history to an examiner.   

       In general, how are you going to be able to tell which parts of the story are real, and which artistic invention to keep the plot moving?   

       Read fiction for fun and background, but stick to textbooks if you want to study for exams - John Keegan, Richard Feynman, amongst others, have written excellent ones, so they are out there.   

       Sorry, but fishbone.
DrCurry, May 15 2005

       I was thinking of Asimov as well. However, the Lucky Starr novels are seriously outdated. You may find his non-fiction as entertaining as his fiction though, and up to a point they are as good as textbooks. Of course, some of that may also be out of date. There are also books like 'Planiverse' and 'Dragon's Egg', as far as science fiction's concerned, and something like Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' has a whole load of information on a wide range of subjects. His other stuff is also quite informative on history.
nineteenthly, May 15 2005

       P.S. I think your bigger problem is waiting until a few days before the exams before admitting you have a problm with these subjects. If you don't get thrown out of school, next year, go to your teachers for extra help early in the term.
DrCurry, May 15 2005


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