Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Art of Science by Ransom Noble


Janie Hunter’s plans for seventh grade (including weekly jam sessions, Art Club, volleyball, and maybe Pom Squad) change when she qualifies for a special science program. Even when her grades drop, her mom doesn’t allow Janie to drop the special program.

Life becomes complicated with trying to find a balance between her popular friends and the bright kids in her classes, her academic classes and her love of art, and friends and classmates who won’t get along. The biggest surprise comes when she discovers she may be able to combine science and art.


Janie Hunter begins seventh grade looking forward to doing activities that she enjoys. Her mother has other ideas, she thinks it's time for Janie to start preparing for college and Art club isn't a part of that plan. When Janie qualifies to get into Argonauts, a special after school science club she has to find a way to make her mom happy and do the things she loves.

When Janie’s dropping grades and her first dance come to her mother’s attention, Mom intends to steer her in the ‘right’ direction.

To make matters worse, a boy at school threatens to make her miserable, though his motives aren't clear. Janie just wants everyone to get along, but even her friends can’t manage that.


Sophia met Janie outside the school. “Mom says we’re to be home right away, Janie.”

I’m on my way.”

I’m driving us. Get in the car.”

Janie grimaced. “I’ll walk.”

Sophia rolled her eyes. “Don’t be difficult.”

I’m not difficult.” Janie got in the car with her sister. “You don’t have to rub it in all the time. You got your license last month.”

I don’t mean it that way, Janie. I’m just wondering why Mom wanted us home so fast.”

Wait …” Janie paused, completely shocked for a moment.

Doesn’t Mom have to work?”

Sophia shook her head. “I guess not. She just called the school to tell me to pick you up. We’re supposed to go directly home. I don’t know what’s going on either.”

Janie’s fingers traced the raised patterns on the cover of the book sitting in her lap. What could this be about? She and Sophia didn’t speak again on the drive. When Sophia pulled the car in the driveway, Janie realized she was missing the first Art Club meeting. Too late now; she hoped the teacher would allow her to join next time.

Sophia and Janie walked in the house, dropping their book bags by the door. “Mom? Dad?” Sophia called.

We’re in the dining room,” her mother called back. “Please join us, girls.”

Four wineglasses sat on the table, filled with white grape juice, Mom’s favorite family celebration drink. Janie and Sophia sat in their usual seats. “What’s the big deal, Mom? Did you get a promotion?”asked Janie.

No, guess again.” Mom’s smile was bursting with happiness.

Janie didn’t remember the last time she smiled like that.



Janie’s heart pounded. “What did I do?” It had to be something good, or Mom wouldn’t be smiling, right?

You got into Argonauts at school.” Mom’s smile grew larger.

I’m so proud of you, honey.”

What?” Janie hadn’t heard of such a thing before.

Mom explained, “It’s a special program at school. On Wednesdays, you’ll stay after school for two hours with some other very smart children, and you get to do exciting science stuff. Doesn’t that sound like fun? Let me remember: They said you’ll be studying chemistry, physics, electronics and robotics. It will prepare you for the future.”

Janie didn’t say anything. Why did everything have to be working toward the future? At thirteen, college seemed far away to Janie.

Wow. Congratulations, Janie,” Sophia said quietly.

Yes, congratulations, Janie,” her dad added.

You’ll get all the information about it tomorrow.”

But volleyball meets on Wednesdays!”

Her mother continued like she never heard her. Most likely, she didn’t. “And Dad will be able to pick you up afterwards. Isn’t this wonderful?” Mom smiled down at Janie.

But what if I don’t want to quit volleyball?”

This is going to help you get into college, Janie. This is important. You can play volleyball on the weekends or next summer.”

Janie gulped down some grape juice.

And we’re going out to dinner to celebrate.”

Janie sat quietly the rest of the evening. The decision had been made. She thought her dad must not have mentioned Art Club yet, since her mother didn’t add that to the lecture.

Facts Sheet for The Art of Science

Title: The Art of Science

Author: Ransom Noble

Illustrator: Stephen Macquignon

Category: Young Adult

ISBN 10: 0-9818685-4-1

ISBN 13: 978-0-9818685-4-7

Pub Date: April 2009

Price: $12.99

Pages: 87

Publisher: 4RV Publishing, LLC

Language: English

Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches

Shipping Weight: 8 ounces

Web sites:

Find Ransom Noble at

Find Stephen Macquignon at

Visit 4RV Publishing at

Media Contact:

Ransom Noble


  1. An oddity of teen life -- girls will read books and stories where the main character is a male, but boys don't reciprocate, which is their loss.

    Girls will thoroughly enjoy The Art of Science, and so would boys IF they would wider their reading horizons.

  2. Great synopsis and excerpt. It is unfortunate that boys are picky about what they read. Most prefer adventure, science fiction and never know what they're missing. Girls should love this story so it has a large audience.

    Best of luck, Ransom.


  3. Thanks for being my guest, Ransom. I hope you have a great deal of success with the book. It's a good story.

  4. Thank you so much for hosting me, Nancy.