Dr. Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., has two blog posts at About.com, one dated 12-7-07 and one dated 8-5-08, about an excellent chemistry book for children (or beginning adults): The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments. Her post also has a link to her own “Home Chemistry Kit” and her “Home Experiments.”
Dr. Helmenstine says:
The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments, written by Robert Brent and illustrated by Harry Lazarus, is a children’s book published in the 1960s that was intended to explain to kids how they could set up a home chemistry lab and conduct simple experiments. Supposedly the US government had the book removed from libraries and banned for sale on the grounds that the projects were too dangerous for its intended audience. I would have to agree that you probably don’t want your kids making and igniting hydrogen in the garage, but for the aspiring chemist who can adhere to the safety precautions, this remains one of the best do-it-yourself chemistry books around. You can download the pdf of The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments to save on your computer or print. It is sort of funny that a book that is banned from the public library is legal to download and read, but it’s true.
As she says in her post, you can download a PDF copy of the book for free!! Go to her blog for the PDF download!! I’ve looked through the book, and it looks readable, accessible, well-organized, and practical.