BOOK NAME: Glory Be
AUTHOR: Augusta Scattergood
Glory’s lazy summer had been slowing strolling along until a big event happened that didn’t just change her summer, but her whole life! Set in 1960s Mississippi, Glory Be introduces you to Glory, a regular eleven year old girl who bothers her older sister, causes trouble, and looks forward to the swimming pool during the blazing summers. She’s had every birthday celebration there since she could swim, but now there are rumors the pool might close. In fact, nothing in town has been the same since a Yankee girl named Laura and her mother have come from Ohio to stir things up. Apparently those folks in the north don’t care much for segregation. In fact, Laura evens goes so far as to help an African American girl drink out of the white’s only fountain!
Glory doesn’t know any different way of life because she has grown up with segregation. But now there’s all kinds of talk about change such as her best friend leaving her school if it becomes desegregated. All these different opinions are making Glory’s head spin as she witnesses first-hand the civil rights movement starting into motion. She is now faced with some difficult choices as she stands up for what she believes is right.
This book was truly amazing and readers will love it just because it is a good read, and they won’t realize they are learning at the same time. The southern spin on the book also makes it all the more enjoyable, opening up a new window to the world for me as a northerner. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn about an interesting topic in our nation’s history or just wants a book to brighten up dark days.
Has your family ever dreamed of exploring Costa Rica? Pottery Barn Kids has announced a sweepstakes for families. Only adults can enter the Pottery Barn Kids Dare To Explore Costa Rica sweepstakes. One family will win an amazing eight-day trip with National Geographic Expeditions to explore the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and Panama aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion!
BOOK NAME: Atherton: House of Power
AUTHOR: Patrick Carman
Atherton: House of Power by Patrick Carman is tremendously wonderful. You will expect adventure, action, and mystery. Atherton is a 3 layered land of the Highlands, Tabletop, and the Flatlands. The Highlands is the top of Atherton and supplies Atherton with all the water. Tabletop is where Atherton receives all the supply of food which is why there are slaves in Tabletop. The Flatlands is the place filled with creatures such as cleaners which have suction discs and are able to live on garbage waste and little water. A boy ,named Edgar, living in Tabletop, secretly goes near a cliff escaping from the plantation behind him. Edgar finds a mysterious book about his missing father. Since he can’t read he must reach the Highlands since they know how to read. The number one rule is to never climb the cliffs to the Highlands. Edgar climbs regularly, but the penalty is death!
Atherton: House of Power is a stupendous book because as I said it contains adventure, action, and mystery. My favorite character is Edgar because he was courageous enough to climb to the Highlands even though he most likely would have died just in search of his father. Mr. Ratikan is my favorite villain because he treats the kids ok for a person that uses kids as slaves. If I had to compare this book to another book it would have to be The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi because they both show a character trying to uncover a mystery. I highly recommend House of Power as a dystopian novel.
Want another opinion? Read Kyle’s review!
This spring, swarms of periodical cicadas will emerge on the east coast of the United States. These Brood II (or Brood 2), 1.5-inch long cicadas spend most of their lives underground, coming to the surface 17 years after they were laid as eggs by their mother! The cicadas start appearing after the temperature in the ground rises to 64°F. The year’s first cicadas have been spotted in the last few days.
They don’t sting or bite, but there will be millions of them crawling and flying around.
The mighty Zambezi was calling our name so we ventured up river to see The Falls from a different perspective. Our tented camp was right on the edge of the river. We spent our days listening to the one million liters of water thundering each second and watching the smoke it created hover over our heads.
One afternoon we went into town and visited a school. It is hard to imagine 60 students in one class with just one teacher, but in Africa there are often larger classes. Even though the school was built of four simple walls, all the kids were happy and learning. We wanted to do our part to help so we went to the school supply store and bought tons of paint sets, pencils, colored pencils, exercise books, erasers, and glue sticks. They all seemed so incredibly happy about our small contribution.
While we were in town we also went to the craft market. At every stop in Africa we have seen extraordinary crafts, but in Zambia the collection of artists and crafts was outstanding. To our right there were vibrant fabrics, to our left there were intricately woven baskets, and in front of us were wildlife oil paintings so real you thought the animals might hop off the canvas and bite (and of course my mom fell in love with one).
The patterns and colors of the fabrics are so beautifully African. The women use the fabric for everything; for their skirts, for their bags, and for their baby holders. Something else I noticed as we wandered through the shops is their creativity and the fact that nothing goes to waste. We saw people playing checkers with some rusty bottle tops in the sand. We also saw people taking old pieces of plastic and weaving them into bags and dresses.
Our final night in Livingstone was really special. We went out for an evening boat cruise. The sunset that night was stunning. The sky turned a fiery orange and the reflection in the turquoise water made it even better. Then to top off a perfect night we saw a herd of elephant (instant smile) at the water’s edge. They were admiring the awe-inspiring night just like we were. The Smoke that Thunders wowed us and will always be remembered, but the time had come to move on, so we are off to Malawi, the warm heart of Africa.
This Sunday, May 12, is a day for families in the U.S. and many other countries to celebrate their moms! President Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday in May to be set aside as a Mother’s Day holiday in 1914, and we have been celebrating every year since then.
Do you do anything special for your mom on Mother’s Day?
BOOK NAME: Laugh With the Moon
AUTHOR: Shana Burg
Clare is a thirteen year old girl who lives in Boston with her father, or at least used to. When her dad unexpectedly moves them to Malawi, Africa for two months, Clare is unwillingly dragged to a new place where they barely speak any English. Laugh With the Moon is an inspirational story about how Clare learns to cope with moving to what seems like “a whole other planet” and the aftermath pain of her mother’s death. Clare is faced with many challenges, but with the help from her new friends and father, she’ll learn valuable life lessons that will stick with readers forever.
I was stepping completely out of my comfort zone when reading this realistic fiction book but I really enjoyed it and found it extremely inspirational. I loved that Clare was portrayed as a normal girl that reacted to such drastic changes and challenges like a normal 13-year-old girl would. It helped connect to her and her story which made the book that much better. My favorite character in this book was Memory. I found her really intelligent, clever, and independent even when the world threw hurdles in her way. This book taught me that “grief isn’t a tunnel you walk through and you’re done”. It was extremely moving and I recommend it for ages 10 to 14.
National Kids to Parks Day is Saturday, May 18. National Kids to Parks Day is all about kids connecting with nature, so visit the National Kids to Parks Day website to find an event near you! As the National Park Trust mascot Buddy Bison says, “Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!”
You may have seen a dog accompanying a passenger on your local bus, but some wild animals have been spotted hitching a ride on public transportation! In 2002, a coyote climbed aboard a Portland, Oregon, light rail train and snuggled into a seat. Wildlife specialists removed the coyote before the train started moving. Cats, pigeons, and even rhesus monkeys have been spotted on buses and light rail trains!
It’s time to celebrate the national parks! April 27 is volunteer day, so look for opportunities to help out in your nearest national park.
National Park Week began on April 20 and runs through April 28. Is your family going to visit a national park this weekend?