An excellent and understandable introduction to chemistry, September 1, 2006
While most of the one year chemistry texts cover more or less the same principles, the order varies, the illustrations are similar, but they vary most in the way they explain the material. It is in the vocabulary they use and develop that helps the student develop the intuitions, understanding, and skills the authors are after. This is a very well written text that is useful for non-chemistry majors as well as science students needing an introductory course in chemistry.
I am reading and working through this text with my 13 year old son. Yes, he is bright and interested in science, but the text is clear enough for both of us to be able to grasp and understand the principles each section of each chapter is presenting to us. Not only does this text focus on teaching the basic principles of chemistry, it also includes historical notes in the margins, and the text focuses on the practical uses of chemistry to illustrate its principles through practical applications. While other texts also have these features, I believe this text to be quite accessible to even those without a strong previous grounding in science.
Each chapter begins with a series of bullet points introducing what is going to be discussed along with a short essay. I like the marginal notes and illustrations as well as the "Give it some thought" feature that asks the student a question or two in order to clarify understanding and ensure a grasp of the principles introduced in that section. Like most modern textbooks, there is also a liberal use of color to aid in presentation and guide the eye. The authors also provide occasional "Strategies In Chemistry" boxes that encourage the student to develop a certain kind of thought process and ways in looking at the principles of chemistry.
At the end of each chapter is a section called Summary and Key Terms that hits the highlights of each section in a paragraph or two with the key terms in boldface. Then there is a section called Visualizing Concepts that have basic problems with illustrations in order to get the student to work mentally on the material learned. The section of problems has a series of questions for each section with the red numbered questions having the answers in the back of the book.
There are also a series of handy tables provided as appendices and standard charts on the inside of the front and back covers including the periodic table. Again, many of these features are included in other texts because there has been quite a bit of convergence on what is to be taught in a one year introduction to chemistry course. The differences are in the way things are said more than what is covered.
I think this is an excellent and very useful text for learning the basics of chemistry and why it matters in our world.
I am using editions 8 and 9 of this title to teach chemistry to some very bright homeschoolers. It seems to be a great book for the advanced student. I find it well organized, methodical, and clearly written. I would not recommend it for the student who is weak in science/math, as it covers a lot of ground. Still, if your student is homeschooling because school is too slow, go for it. If you buy used, be very sure you are getting the disk, it’s an essential element of the curriculum.