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Inside Practically Paradise

Heinemann’s Investigating Cells series has me delirious with joy

Seldom do I become so excited about a series that I call the individual titles my babies and show them off to everyone around me. The Investigating Cells series by Heinemann has caused this state of delirium.

The Investigating Cells series was an answer to my requests / pleas / demands/ even whines for more books directly related to middle school science cell studies. The first year I arrived at JFK the entire curriculum for seventh graders seemed to revolve around cells. At the end of the year, one of the science teachers used grant money to provide tours of a life-size cell her students spent hours building. The library, however,  was not able to support an in-depth study of cells, so I started to request more books from various publishers.

Heinemann answered my call with these titles:

  • Animal Cells and Life Processes
  • Cell Systems
  • Plant Cells and Life Processes
  • DNA and Heredity
  • Cells and Disease

These titles are exactly what I needed. The covers are appealing with colorful illustrations of microscopic views of cells. Each title highlights major achievements of several scientists. There is a variety of information packaged in ways to engage the readers. Charts, captions, text boxes, and narratives lead the reader through an in-depth exploration of each of these areas of cell study.

Students have enjoyed reading these titles. I have watched them avidly pouring over the text and re-reading sections. Students have compared the illustrations and photographs with what they’ve seen under microscopes. Several commented that looking at the photographs was better than looking at the slides because the photos were focused and detailed, while looking through a microscope could be a hit-or-miss experience.

I double-checked my collection and the only other recent series of titles focusing on cells was published by Rosen in 2005. I’m going to keep my eyes out for other cells series. Be sure to let me know if you’ve seen a great one recently.


  1. Yay! Great to see your LAB work pay off. These covers look amazing!