Archives for September, 2011
The 2012 Hands-On Explorer Challenge is about to begin! If you’re a
legal resident of the United States or Canada (excluding residents of Quebec), and you will be
between the ages of 9 and 14 by July 1, 2011, you could win a trip to
Montana. The contest begins on September 20, 2011. Enter before January 7, 2012.
Looking for inspiration? Read excerpts from the 2010 Hands-On Explorer Challenge winning essays.
BOOK NAME: Masterpiece
AUTHOR: Elise Broach
After reading this book, you will never look at a beetle the same way again! Meet Marvin, a beetle living in a New York City apartment who is content with his normal life as a bug. But everything changes when the boy in the apartment, James, gets an ink set for his birthday. Suddenly Marvin discovers a talent he possesses, drawing! He dips his feet in the leftover ink and starts drawing miniature pictures. The drawings he makes are the bug size equivalent of regular art and so he makes miniature masterpieces. But all too soon, his amazing skill gets him into a heap of trouble. His parents warn him not to get mixed up in the world of humans, but it’s too late. With help from James, he manages to make a difference in the art world. In the process, Marvin not only learns a lot about humans, but also a lot about himself.
This was a book that I thought was really well rounded and would please a lot of bookworms. As a Rebecca Caudill nominee for 2012, I knew it would not be disappointing (I recommend you also read the other Caudill nominations since they always make for a good read). This charming story gets you to stop and think about what life is like for a bug. I love how you get to live the adventure through the eyes of a beetle and wonder what it would be like to live life miniature style. It definitely makes you appreciate the smaller things in life! Masterpiece would make for a great book to read over the summer. It’s fun, with just enough suspense to keep you turning the pages.
Did you know that your ears work even while you’re asleep? It’s true–your brain filters out the sounds for you. Your ears are able to hear an incredible amount of things, but noises that are too loud can damage them. Some common noises can be damaging to your hearing. Even cicadas can be hard on your ears. How do you know if a sound is too loud? Check out the interactive sound ruler on the It’s a Noisy Planet website to learn what kinds of sounds can damage hearing and learn more about how to protect your ears.
Image courtesy the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, “It’s A Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing” campaign
BOOK NAME: Julie Story Collection
AUTHOR: Megan McDonald
In this collection of six stories, Julie Albright, a nine year old girl, must face the difficulties of her new life after her parents’ divorce. She has to move to a new home with her mom, and only gets to see her dad on the weekends. She has to switch schools, and she’s pulled away from living across the street from her BFF, Ivy. And if none of this was bad enough, her parents don’t really seem to understand the pain.
But slowly Julie learns that the best way to deal with change is by making some changes of her own. She makes a petition which convinces the school to let her play on the boys’ basketball team. Her family (yes, both mom and dad!) participates in Ivy’s family’s Chinese new year celebration. She’s even the first fifth grader to run for student government president. It takes some time, but Julie makes some great friends at her new school, and soon gets used to her new life.
Read about Julie’s good times and hard times in the Julie Story Collection.
My favorite character in the book is Julie. She works so hard to make changes, and I think that her persistence is a true example. I also like Ivy, because I love to see all her Chinese customs. They are so different from our customs! I really loved them!
We have been planning for our trip around the world for several months and now I am super excited it is finally happening. The first stop was Singapore where we visited my friend from Santa Barbara, Sophia, who just moved there with her family.
Sophia goes to Singapore American School, and lives in a high-rise resort with a swimming pool, a gym and lots of other kids. Singapore is a big city that feels like America but it is a steamy and tropical place at the end of the Malaysian Peninsula in the South China Sea.
We went to an awesome water park and a place called Sentosa where we went zip lining and on a luge.
They were all extraordinarily fun. While we were at Sentosa, we went to Candy World, with a huge candy tree outside the store. It was overwhelming there was so much candy. Yum!
One night Sophia’s mom took us to a fish spa where there were little fish that ate the dead skin off our feet and made them nice and soft. We also went to a great Indian restaurant where we got to make Naan bread with the chef. It was delicious!
SINGAPORE IS AWESOME!
BOOK NAME: Oathbreaker: Assassin’s Apprentice
AUTHOR: S. R. Vaught
Aron Brailing lives in the world of Eyrie, a place where magical beings, shape shifters, and amazing creatures roam. Eyrie is divided into dynasts, and Aron lives in Dyn Brailing, one of the dynasts. Aron helps his family around the farm and cares for his giant winged lizard, Tek. One day, members of a guild of assassins arrive at his home. They decide to take Aron for their guild and train him because he seems to have a very powerful mind talent. However, that power was not able to save those close to him when trouble and war arose. Now Aron bears a terrible grudge against the lord of his dynast and his guards because they murdered his family, but if he harms anyone other than criminals, he will be an oathbreaker, hated by all in Eyrie. Can Aron pass the difficult tests and training to become an assassin?
This book was a great read because there was so much suspense. Even when you get to the” end” of the book, you will discover something quite surprising. There is no end! This book is fantasy, but this book also made some connections to things that are more realistic. In the book, it was mentioned that humans are what drove the magical beings from Earth and made them travel to Eyrie. Also, magic and human bloodlines mixed and produced ordinary people with just a touch of magic. Including humans and Earth in an otherwise fantasy world is a unique characteristic of the story. The author of the book uses excellent detail and I believe it’s quite clever that his story carries over to another book. Guess you will have to read both…I definitely am.