Monthly Archives: December 2012

Climate Change

It’s a good solid little book. It starts by defining climate and climate change, then goes on to describe several factors that influence climate change, both natural phenomena like the tilt of the planet and volcanoes, as well as human … Continue reading

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Wetlands

This was not one of the better books in this series.  It was a bit bland, a bit repetitive about the chain of life, and not as well-organized as I could’ve hoped — it’s got a two page spread describing … Continue reading

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Why Is There Life on Earth?

It’s fine.  It describes Earth as the “Goldilocks” planet, since it’s just right for life.  It goes into detail listing what features are necessary for life, and why none of the other planets in our solar system are suitable, and … Continue reading

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The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs

The best thing about this book is that it shares with students the way scientific knowledge unfolds: it begins by describing the discovery that many frogs were going extinct very suddenly from an unknown cause, then it proceeds to describe … Continue reading

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Crime-Fighting Devices

Bright graphics and color photos illustrate this really rather comprehensive look at assorted tools used in fighting crime.  It’s up-to-date at this time with a lot of modern technology, giving a brief explanation as to how each device operates.  It … Continue reading

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This Book Might Make You Gag

Kids will love reading  gross facts and trivia of common practices from ancient times to present.  The format is colorful and small paragraphs of text accompany large photographs.  A facthound internet site offers titles and information about related books but … Continue reading

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Canoeing

This book is a terrific overview of what a beginning canoeist needs to know about the sport.  Different styles of canoes have different purposes.  Terms to know, equipment, and safety hints are explained.  Canoeing provides a unique way to experience … Continue reading

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Why Rabbits Eat Poop and Other Gross Facts about Pets

The title of this book says it all.  Everyone who has owned a pet has noticed some rather gross behaviors at one time of another.  This book explains the reasons behind the sometimes disgusting actions.  With each turn of the … Continue reading

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Nola’s Worlds #1: Changing Moon

Granted, I’m not a huge fan of graphic novels to begin with, but I’ve read some I liked.  Not this one.  The artwork is visually appealing and all, but the story is lame and incomplete.  It takes seven pages to … Continue reading

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The Mysterious Message

Based on the characters from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, this story takes place at some indeterminate time in the midst of Belle’s stay at the castle, after she’s stopped being fearful, but before she’s fallen in love with the … Continue reading

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The Trouble with May Amelia

The sequel to Our Only May Amelia, this tells of the continuing adventures of a young girl growing up in Southwest Washington around the beginning of the 20th century.  Her family is a poor farming family, amid a community of … Continue reading

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Captain Hannah Pritchard: the hunt for pirate gold

This is the second book in this series I’ve read (though it’s actually the third book in a trilogy — I never read the one in the middle), and I’ve really enjoyed both.  Set during the Revolutionary War, it tells … Continue reading

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Homes

A small spiral bound book with alternating pages of heavy board and transparency film, it provides basic information for young readers about different types of homes, from prehistoric caves to modern city sky-scrapers.  Each two-page spread (with one tranparency in … Continue reading

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Maudie and Bear

The illustrations are fabulous: they’re charming and sweet and inviting.  But then you start reading.  There are actually several short stories, but they’re all rather dull and stilted in the telling: this said Maudie, that said Bear.  Maybe they’re meant … Continue reading

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What’s so funny? Making sense of humor

Given that it’s meant to be about humor, it’s rather dry in the telling.  It’s got some good information.  I learned some stuff.  It’s got some jokes and comics sprinkled throughout, but there’s no color to make it visually appealing. … Continue reading

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All About Grandmas

A picture book for kids to share with their grandmas, the illustrations are cheerful and fun, and depict a whole variety of grandmas.  The rhyming text celebrates the variety of grandmas found in our world:  different ways they look, different … Continue reading

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The Wild Book

It’s got a beautiful cover, and the author has received all sorts of awards for other books, but I had a hard time really getting into this one, or imagining who would.  It’s a work of historical fiction set in … Continue reading

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A Black Hole is not a Hole

This is a very readable book tackling some seriously complex science in an approach that is rather conversational.  Just when one explanation brings up some question the reader wonders about, that’s the next thing they explain.  And yet it doesn’t … Continue reading

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The Brothers Kennedy

It’s a very sentimental, idealistic version of history, focusing on the family relationships between the famous Kennedy brothers.  Still, who says there’s anything wrong with sentiment and idealism?  The soft water-color illustrations are stunning and really draw the reader in … Continue reading

Posted in 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, R* - Highly Recommended | Comments Off on The Brothers Kennedy

Swing

Really flashy graphics and color photos are visually appealing, but REALLY low on substance: it’s got a couple of sentences in large font on each two-page spread — mostly pictures. Great binding, though!  Still, not worth the cost of the … Continue reading

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Far from Shore: Chronicles of an open ocean voyage

As a personal souvenir of her trip, maybe to share with family & friends, this is a beautiful book, but as a published work for the general public, I don’t think it’s got enough focus (or is it an issue … Continue reading

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The Elsewhere Chronicles book five: the parting

Okay, so maybe I’m not a fair judge, as I haven’t read the first four books in the series, and maybe I would like it better if I had, but the reality of series is that students don’t always come … Continue reading

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Making Friends with Mother Goose

There are better versions out there.  This is a simple volume of 13 traditional nursery rhymes, one rhyme on each two page spread, accompanies by full-page painted illustrations.  The illustrations were a bit bland and washed out.  But it’s got … Continue reading

Posted in 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, Kindergarten, NR - Not Recommended | Comments Off on Making Friends with Mother Goose

Faith: five religions and what they share

This is a beautiful, informative, and valuable book.  Our world is so often torn apart when we look at the things that divide us.  This is a text on comparative religions that uses the approach of looking at similarities.  It … Continue reading

Posted in 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, R* - Highly Recommended | Comments Off on Faith: five religions and what they share

Your Moon, My Moon

This book is one that just makes you go, “ahhh…”  For every kid who has relatives who live far away, this touching book about a grandmother missing her grandson will touch home.  The text is downright poetical. The illustrations are … Continue reading

Posted in 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, Kindergarten, R* - Highly Recommended | Comments Off on Your Moon, My Moon