Hampton grad authors children’s book about physics
Hampton resident Kaityln “KK” Stoltz hopes a children’s book she wrote will spark excitement in younger generations about science, technology, engineering and math.
“Physics Fun: For Younger Ones” was released April 30 by indie Christian publisher By Grace For Glory Publishing.
The 54-page book has rhyming text, illustrations and easy descriptions of complex concepts to help young readers visualize what they are learning.
“Unfortunately, the STEM subjects have gotten a bad reputation for being boring and lacking creativity,” said Stoltz, a 2008 Hampton graduate who earned a mechanical engineering degree from Pitt and worked for two years as an engineer before quitting to start a family. “But in engineering and physics, it’s actually quite the opposite.
“Understanding how everything works around you, and then using your own mind and creativity to develop solutions to problems, is exhilarating.”
By Grace For Glory Publishing owner Paul Spencer enjoyed working with Stoltz.
“Kaitylyn had to begin to think creatively about how she could answer these questions in a way her kids could understand,” said Spencer, a 2009 Hampton graduate who lives in Avalon. “She and I had a fun time reviewing and revising the text as she first wrote it, making sure that each concept was explained as fully as possible without giving detail that the kids would not understand.
“The trick was giving each stanza a singsong meter and rhyme.”
Spencer said he, Stoltz and illustrator Ashley Shiosaky came up with ways to visually depict the concepts being discussed.
“All three of us had to be fairly creative at points to make sure that the illustrations made sense with the text and would add a level of understanding for our young audience,” Spencer said. “The visuals drive home many of the scientific points that Kaityln made.”
Stoltz, whose maiden name is Kreutzer, said her husband, Bob, an engineer, encouraged her to write the book.
“I thought he was crazy,” Stoltz said.
She said the book, her first, took more than two years from start to finish.
Stoltz dedicated the book to her high school physics teachers, Joshua Weaver and Jamie Pugliese.
“She gives me more credit than I deserve and am so touched to think I was able to influence her life in a positive way,” said Weaver, the Grove City schools assistant superintendent. “This is truly the ultimate compliment.”
Pugliese said she is overjoyed that many other people, young and old, will be inspired by Stoltz through the book.
“When she emailed me to tell me about the effect I had on her life and that she had written a physics book for small children, I was overwhelmed,” said Pugliese, who still teaches at Hampton.
Stoltz said she is excited her three children, ages 1 to 5, know she is a published author.
“(They) are so excited to tell people that Mommy wrote a book,” Stoltz said. “My oldest, Kalea, read it with my husband for the first time and when the book was over, she said ‘wow, that was really good.’”
The book costs $18 and is being sold by Amazon and at Riverstone Books in McCandless, where it also is available online. The author’s website, kkstoltz.com, has a direct link to the Amazon ordering page.