Archive for February 27, 2013

Twenty Gold Falcons

Written by Amy Gordon

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Mystery fans will have much to enjoy in this rollicking tale, set in the present times, but related to a treasure that pre-dates the Depression era.Mr. Jenkins’ introduction to the Gold Falcons is a teaching moment that could lead to many more reading activities.

When her father dies, Aiden Farmer has to move from her beloved farm to the city of Gloria. From being a happy farm girl, she becomes “Farmer Girl”, mooed on, and booed on by classmates at the snooty, stuck-up private school she now attends. That is, till Mr Jenkins talks of the Gold Falcons. » Read more

Desert Baths

Written by Darcy Pattison

Illustrated by Kathleen Rietz

Outstanding Science Trade Book 2013 by National Science Teacher’s Association and the Children’s Book Council (click for more info)

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Bath time without soap and water? what an excellent way of introducing young readers to life in the desert where water is scarce and the heat unrelenting. In a simply told story Darcy Pattison takes her readers to the desert. The lyrical text showcases the beauty of the land, and the scruples of the animals who live there. » Read more

Super Grammar

Written by Tony Preciado
Illustrated by Rhode Montijo

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“A little bit of sugar makes the medicine go down, the medicine go down….” The authors of Super Grammar know that grammar is a difficult pill to swallow, but it is an essential medicine nonetheless if we are to communicate effectively. What will make grammar easier? They ponder. Aha! Heroes and villains (super heroes and super villains, really) who fight the good fight for grammatically correct, concise, and structured writing. What a fantastic concept. » Read more

Solar System Forecast

Written by Kelly Kyzer Whitt

Illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein

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Get ready for an interplanetary adventure in learning as the green alien leads us through the weathers of the planets and moons of our solar system. What a fascinating way of presenting facts that have to be studied in class, often through not very interesting text books. This forecast aligns itself to the Common Core, so teachers and parents know that what is presented here is what their students have to learn. » Read more

Bodyguards! From Gladiators to the Secret Service

Written by Ed Butts
Illustrated by Scott Plumbe

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The world is a large place; it is not possible to know every single thing about it, and no one is expected to have such knowledge. But, occasionally you come across a book that makes you realize the fascination of everyday facts. Bodyguards! is such a book.

Bodyguards have been around, but how many people know that it is a career that goes back to ancient times, has its own code of conduct, and very rigorous training procedures? The book is chock-full of facts and would make a great read for upper elementary and middle school students. You can just picture readers trading stories of ancient Egyptian bodyguards, and enlightening each other on the difference between a Samurai and a Ninja warrior. » Read more


Written by Tammy Gagne

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Adele is part of the Blue Banner Biography series brought out by Mitchell Lane. The premise behind the series is that reluctant readers would be attracted to a book, if it tells a story they are interested in. It addresses the complaints that keep children away from books — too long, too boring, too old, or just not interesting. Young children are interested in the lives of their favorite stars, whether they be in sports, music, performance or writing. This series provides the biographies of contemporary superstars. » Read more


Written by Penelope Arlon and Tory Gordon-Harris

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This is the kind of non-fiction book that boys (and girls) love. Lots of pictures, lots of facts in small bites, and all about a kid’s favorite subject: dinosaurs. Incorporating the latest scientific discoveries, this book attempts to organize the hundreds of known dinosaurs and what scientists have concluded about them. There is attention paid to recreating the time period in which the different species lived. Not only are there illustrations showing the plants and animals from the same time period, there are some prey/predator scenarios presented as well. » Read more

Miss Sally Anne and the Panther

Written by Bobbie Miller
Illustrated by Megan Lloyd

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Miss Sally Ann can rope a hurricane and tie it to her spinning wheel. She can knit in one hand and bake buttermilk bread with the other. But her biggest challenge is to face Fireeyes, a huge panther determined to have Miss Sally Ann’s bear skin coat for his aching shoulders. While she gathers onions for her stew, he comes eye to eye with her. » Read more

I am Albert Einstein

Written by Grace Norwich

Illustrated by Ute Simon

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Books serve many purposes. They encapsulate the learning of many generations. They carry forth the history and culture of a people. Big, heavy tomes can even act as door stops! Books entertain and educate.

Scholastic has brought out a new series that falls squarely in the ‘books that educate’ category. The series, entitled “I Am…”, presents the biographies of famous men and women in an easily comprehensible fashion.

Young Albert Einstein, who grew up to solve many a mystery of the universe, was an mystery to his parents. He did not go through the babbling, simple-word-speaking stage. At two years of age he barely spoke. When his sister was to be brought home from the hospital his parents told him that they were bringing home a “new toy”.  Albert took one look at the newborn and, finally,  spoke, “Where are the wheels?” » Read more

Escape From Mercy Hall

Written by Garth Edwards
Illustrated by Max Stasyuk

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The world behind the hedge is a strange one and three friends must adapt quickly to save themselves from kidnapping or worse. When Milly decides to run away from Mercy Hall, an abusive orphanage, George and Sam know they must help her. As they meet next to the hedge, it opens and three figures in hooded, orange robes grab her and drag her through the opening. George and Sam surprise the kidnappers and fight them off. Before they can go back, the hedge closes. » Read more

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