Tag archives for History
BOOK NAME: War Stories: True Stories from the First & Second World Wars
AUTHOR: Paul Dowswell
I have always had a passion for history but sometimes it can be a challenge to find history books suited for my age. You know what I mean, I’d find a gargantuan book that would put me to sleep in seconds. Well, I found a book that is perfect for anyone who wants to learn about the First and Second World Wars, or just wants to read about some cool true stories. This book explained both world wars very well so even if you already know a lot about them, you would still get a good understanding of what went on.
The stories had a nice variety and wonderful illustrations to start each one. Each story was very inspiring in its own way. I especially liked the one about when Christmas came on the front lines. Apparently all the soldiers in the trenches really wanted to celebrate. So the two opposing sides spontaneously came together to sing Christmas carols and play games. This story shows how with mutual understanding, obstacles can be overcome further conflict possibly prevented. I also really liked how they put the outcomes of the wars into perspective and they truly affected the people, the countries, and how it continues to affect all of us today.
This book is suitable for anyone who loves history and wants to learn more about it. Itmakes history fun, interesting, and easy to understand for kids and just about anyone else who picks it up. I really recommend this book for any kid. Happy reading!
BOOK NAME: A Kids’ Guide to America’s Bill of Rights: Curfews, Censorship, and the 100-Pound Giant
AUTHOR: Kathleen Krull
ILLUSTRATOR: Anna DiVito
This isn’t your average history book. This is a book with an easy to understand history of the Bill of Rights and how as a kid you can protect and use those rights. There are tons of engaging and silly illustrations which made learning the Bill of Rights a lot more easy and fun. This book goes over all the first ten amendments and gives you what you really need to know. I know most of you are thinking “What does a piece of paper some old guys wrote more than two hundred years ago have to do with me?” Actually, it turns out it has a lot to do with you! Everything you take for granted is most likely because of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Think about it, without these secured rights you might have been arrested for simply saying you think Spiderman is “lame.”
The author really gets the point across that the Bill of Rights is still very active today by using real life modern day examples and interesting cases in court. This book is great if you want a simple place to start learning about the Bill of Rights, need to understand it better, or you’re just a bit rusty and need a good review. This book is especially great for kids who love history or are interested in law. If you’re studying for your school’s Constitution test, what a great tool this can be to remember the number of each Right and what it really means. Good luck!
Hello! This week in Jordan was just as amazing as last or maybe even more. We started it off in the desert of Wadi Rum where we stayed in a Bedouin camp. Our first night there we went on an epic sunset camel ride. My camel was only one year old and had quite a spirit about him. Later in the evening we rolled down gigantic sand dunes. The sand was so fine it was like powdered sugar.
In the morning we loaded in to a four-by-four and began our unbelievable tour of the entire desert. There were times when we were going so fast I thought we might tip over. All the rock formations were massive. There was even one that looked like an enormous mushroom (soup anyone?).
Has anyone ever seen Lawrence of Arabia? On our tour we saw where he lived and where they filmed the movie. After a long day of exploring we sat around the fire and listened to the Bedouins sing and play their drum for us. We had a private concert. Everest fell in love with the drum and decided it was what he wanted for Christmas. With the help of our new friends, my parents found an awesome drum so can have our own little drummer boy for Christmas.
After our extraordinary stay in Wadi Rum it was off to Petra, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Our first night there we went to Petra at Night.
We walked through the winding sig that was lit up by thousands of candles. As we walked to the end we stood in awe of The Treasury, one of the most significant monuments in Petra. It really takes your breath away. We sat and listened to old stories and traditional music under the moonlight. We woke up the next morning and were off to Petra again. We wanted to see everything. We started on horseback and then walked through the Siq, which is kind of like a little canyon. Did you know a Siq is created by tectonics not water erosion? We approached The Treasury in daylight and again stood in awe. It was so different during the day. We then wandered for hours in this historic city filled with treasures, tombs and intricate carvings. Our final destination was The Monastery. We climbed hundreds of steps and all I could say when I turned the corner was “Wow.” It really made you feel so insignificant and miniscule compared to its scale. Now a few fun facts… Did you know that only 5% of Petra has been excavated? Did you also know that Petra was once home to over 20,000 inhabitants but no residential buildings have ever been found? Petra is AMAZING! Our last day in Jordan was spent at a castle, in a city, and in a village. Our first stop was Shobak Castle. Shobak was built in 1115 by the Crusaders. The castle complex was an entire town with a church, a jail, a school and much more. We then went to Amman which is the capital of Jordan and a blend of old and new. While we were there we visited the ancient Roman Theater, The Citadel and the Historical Museum. For dinner we shared one last mezze platter with our kind Jordanian friends and live music at a small local restaurant in a little village. Life doesn’t get any better. We all had tears in our eyes as we concluded this third leg of our world adventure. It has been the most incredible year and it is sooooo hard to imagine all the amazing people I have met and all the things I’ve done this year. Now we are off to Michigan to spend the holidays with all of my family. Merry Merry Christmas!!
Geiá sou [hello], readers, guess where I was this week… Athens. Athens is full of history and culture. We started in Delphi, the center of the world. According to Greek mythology Zeus released two eagles at opposite ends of the world and they met in Delphi and that’s why they call it the center of the world. We also had the chance to see the stadium where the first Pan-Hellenic Pythian Games took place. These were only second in importance to the Olympics. When these games took place they didn’t wear anything except grape vines, phew… at least they wore clothes when we were at the Olympics in London. The winners at the Pythian Games were awarded with a palm tree twig or a wreath of laurels. After exploring the wonders of Delphi we drove south to Athens.
Our first day we went for a serendipitous wander through the soulful streets of Monastiraki. My mom bought a pair of Greek sandals from the same man who made sandals for John Lennon. We also visited… dun dun dun dunnnn… the Parthenon! It is just as amazing as it sounds. When you stand next to it you seem so insignificant, the pillars tower over you.
The Parthenon was built in honor of the goddess Athena, who the people of Athens considered to be their Patron. They started building the Parthenon in 447 B.C. and it was finished in 432 B.C. It has survived all kinds of wars, invasion, and natural disasters for over 20 century’s. Across from the Parthenon is the Acropolis museum. It is one of the most amazing museums I have ever seen, even though most of the pieces from the Parthenon are in the British museum.
Next to the Parthenon is the world’s first theater, built in honor of Dionysus. They performed dramas and comedies over 2,600 years ago. Only boys were allowed to act in the plays and they had to wear large masks so the people in the audience could clearly tell the part they were playing.
For Thanksgiving we visited friends that we met during our first world trip 8 years ago. They invited us to their home and cooked a super yummy turkey lunch that had us stuffed just like the turkey. We had a great time with Sophia, Melina and their mom and dad.
Our last day my dad and I did something super special, we went on a Segway tour through the city. They were super fast and super duper fun. We explored every nook and cranny. Our guide Pluto even took us to his favorite restaurant to have a look. It was so awesome we came back there for dinner. They had live music, people dancing on the tables and throwing plates on the ground “Oppa” and delicious traditional Greek food. Antío [goodbye], from Aubrey!
Hello readers! Guess where I was this week. You give up… okay I’ll tell you… this week we were on the Greek island of Skopelos where they filmed the movie Mamma Mia. The island was amazing and full of beauty. We woke up every morning gazing at the ocean. We toured the little island one day in an open top jeep and went to see many of the places where they filmed the movie. Have you ever seen Mamma Mia!? Mamma Mia! means a lot to me because I was in the play a couple of years ago and played the role of Donna.
Another day we hiked in fields of eight hundred year old olive trees and watched some local families make olive oil. First they pick the olives, then they remove the stems, then they cleaned them, then they mix them into a paste, and finally they separate the oil and the solids. After watching it being made we had to try some. We had it on everything from salads to bread. Greece is the third leading producer of olive oil in the world and it is delicious! Did you know you know that in Greek mythology Poseidon (God of the sea) and Athena (Goddess of wisdom) were in a battle over who would rule the city? Each god brought one gift to the people. Athena brought the olive tree and Poseidon brought the salty water of the sea. The people of the city chose the olive tree, the symbol of peace and named Athens the capitol city after Athena.
One evening we received a very special blessing from a priest at the church right above our house. The sun was setting over the Aegean Sea and the bells were ringing. He seemed like the grandfather to all the children in the town.
Later in the week we had our Friday Night Dance Night which is a tradition we’ve had in our family for a really long time. We put on funny hats, use kitchen utensils as microphones and dance around. We of course danced to the Mamma Mia! soundtrack this week. After all the crazy dancing we needed some Greek fuel so we set out for the local taverna. The food here has been amazing. Some of my favorites are saganaki (fried cheese) and tzatziki (cream yogurt with cucumbers.) We had a great time eating, dancing, and exploring Skopelos, but now it is time for one of the greatest history lessons ever, so we are off to Athens. Talk to you next week.
Hey there readers, how’s it going? This week we were in Dihovo, Macedonia. After 18 months on the road we realize it’s not the places we go but the people we meet that make the journey special. This week we met some pretty fabulous people. The family that ran our bed and breakfast couldn’t have been any more hospitable, friendly and welcoming. We joined them for a traditional lunch one day and met every one from the great aunts to the second cousins. There were even two girls around my age Matea 11 and Alexandra 14. We had a great time together playing cards and eating ice cream. We also did tons of other fun things.
We went on an absolutely, positively, amazing hike in the Baba Mountains. When we got to the top it was pouring rain, we were sopping wet and the wind was howling, but that added to the awesomeness. Our guide taught us a lot about mushrooms and showed us which mushrooms were poisonous and which ones weren’t. If you eat one type of mushroom you will slowly die for two to three years.
Another day we visited the ancient ruins of Heraclea Lyncestis which was founded by Phillip II in 168 B.C. It is the remains of a roman village. There is an amphitheater, church, the foundation of many houses, and beautiful floor mosaics. We also visited the American corner in Bitola. There is a little library area were Americans can go and read. They also have activities and classes offered in English.
For Halloween many American children and some Macedonian children went trick or treating and to a party there. Our last day we went into town and explored the old bazaar which oddly enough was filled with new stuff. The market was full of fruits and vegetables. Apples are in season and so delicious that we decided to get a four pound bag of every kind you can imagine. Another week filled with amazing people and things. Ciao for now, Aubrey.
Hi guys, I hope you had a great week, because mine sure was fantastic. We spent our days on Lake Ohrid, Macedonia which is one of Europe’s deepest and oldest lakes. Do you even know where Macedonia is? You don’t… okay I’ll tell you. It is a little country bordering Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania, and Montenegro. We had an amazing time touring the city on the shores of the lake.
Did you know the man Saint Clement who invented the Cyrillic Alphabet was from Ohrid? The Cyrillic Alphabet is used by over 250 million people all over the world. Every single letter of the Cyrillic Alphabet has it on unique sound. We also visited a place called the Bay of Bones which is a recreation of an old Macedonian village dating back to between 1,200 and 700 B.C. At this site they have found artifacts dating back to 2800 B.C. We visited the 2, 500 year old amazing churches filled with the most outstanding frescos (paintings) I have ever seen.
The next day we went on an amazing hike in the beautiful Galichia Mountains. The leaves were just starting to change from green to scarlet, golden, and orange which made it even more gorgeous. We went on a stunning boat ride and saw naked algae… awkward. We also went to their farmers market and saw the biggest cabbage I have ever seen. They were bigger than basketballs. One Macedonian treat that cannot be beat is the baklava. It is a sweet treat swimming in honey.
Something else very special and spooky happened this week… it was Halloween. In Macedonia no one celebrates Halloween so we got a lot of funny looks while we were walking through the village all dressed up in our costumes. I was a mouse with a bow tie…cheese please, Everest was Dracula… I want to suck your blood, Mom was a sheep… baaaa, and Dad was a crayon. We trick or treated at any door my mom could find and got some yummy candy. What’s your favorite type of candy? My favorite might have to be Twix… yumm. It truly was a spectacular week. Until next time Aubrey.
You’ll get an extra hour of sleep this weekend! Daylight saving time ends for most of the U.S. on November 4.
Daylight saving time isn’t observed everywhere in the United States. Some places, like American Samoa, Hawaii and most of Arizona, don’t change their clocks. For those places that do observe it, though, the law says that people must set their clocks back one hour to standard time at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday in November. This Sunday, the sun will set an hour earlier. During daylight saving time, there’s less light in the morning and more light in the evening.
What is daylight saving time? Get the scoop in this News Bite.
Spend your extra hour this weekend reading a good book! Get recommendations from other kids on the DogEared Books Blog.
Photograph by Jellybean12, NG Kids My Shot
When you stay home sick, you think you are in the worst situation possible. But after you read this book, you will be thankful it is just a cold! This story is all about the slow process of the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia and how our entire country was affected. It was 1793, and Philadelphia was the largest city in America at that time. it was also the seat of our nation’s government. The political leaders were so spooked by the fever that they fled the town, leaving their positions unoccupied. Even our president, George Washington, left Philadelphia. At that time, Congress was housed in Philadelphia and because of the epidemic, they could not meet. This incident led to the creation of the rule that the president can convene Congress outside of the capital if the situation threatens the country’s well-being. It was amazing at how this fever made the whole country come to a standstill.
The argument between well-known doctors on treatment and causes were almost as persistent as the illness itself. The cause of the illness wasn’t found until later studies, but at the time many people thought it was because of the filth around the city of Philadelphia. There were no sewers or running water, but instead there were open ditches and wells. As the city was struck by the epidemic, they decided to do a city-wide cleanup so the disease would not continue to spread. Many of our modern city regulations on public health were a result of the changes made in Philadelphia due to yellow fever.
I recommend this book for kids in middle school who are interested in non-fiction or are looking for something new to try. I enjoyed this book because we hear about many illnesses that existed in other countries like the infamous black plague, but we normally don’t study the epidemics of our own country.
Hi readers. Wow, what a week… it started in Serbia. Do you even know where Serbia is? Serbia is a little Balkan country bordering believe it or not, eight other small countries. We visited Belgrade the capital city. Our first afternoon we explored the old ramparts, and oddly enough there was a photographic exhibit on the USA. There was a beautiful picture from every state. Later that night went to the bohemian quarter, perfect for us, and we listened to traditional music.
Our next day we wandered and ate dinner at the coolest opera restaurant, we pulled a rope for our waiter to come and sat in a vintage opera box. At the end of the night a pianist and a violinist came and played, the violinist was hilarious.
We felt the soul of the city the minute we arrived in Krakow, Poland. There were tons of charming cafes, restaurants, and cathedrals. We stayed in the center of the Jewish Quarter which is the more bohemian, residential part of town. The days were filled with so many fun things, and a couple of very sad things, too. We zipped around town in a golf cart with a college student who told us all about their history. Did you know that at one point Poland didn’t exist and if anyone even said Poland they would be shot by a communist leader?
On the tour we went to many churches, synagogues (Jewish temples) and museums. One of the churches had a stone water fountain. If you drink from the fountain you are suppose to live for at least 100 years. We tried it, but it tasted like rotten eggs… icky!
We could see the Rocky Mountains from the window of our airplane as we arrived in Denver. We spent two great days exploring the city and then we went to the town of Golden for my cousin Ryan’s wedding. On the way we saw the Continental Divide, the line that divides the flow of water between the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean.
We had an awesome time seeing aunts, uncles, and cousins. The wedding was at a beautiful cathedral and the reception was super exciting. We danced until midnight (well most of us did.)
BOOK NAME: National Geographic Readers: Titanic
AUTHOR: Melissa Stewart
Most of us know the story of the Titanic. A huge ship, which everyone thought was unsinkable, hit an iceberg and sunk. Less than half of the passengers survived. Yet here’s something you might not know: The reason such a small percentage of people survived was because there were not enough lifeboats for everyone to board. Before the ship had set sail, lifeboats had been taken out so that first-class passengers could have more room on the deck!
The new National Geographic Kids book, Titanic, has many interesting facts about the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic. Did you know that the last living survivor of the tragedy, Millvina Dean, was three months old when she boarded the Titanic, and she passed away in 2009?
I learned so much from reading this book! There are also paintings that look real! I would recommend Titanic to anyone ages 7 and up.
I would also like to tell you about the new National Geographic Kids program, “Super Readers”! There are different book levels for super readers, depending on how advanced they are in reading. For every four books you read, you can go online and get a prize! Although the books are thin and easy for older kids, I would still recommend it to children at any age. Enjoy the program, and keep on reading!
BOOK NAME: You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Suffragist!
AUTHOR: Fiona MacDonald
CREATOR: David Salariya
ILLUSTRATOR: David Antram
This book is part of a well known series that explain different historical events in an easy to understand and fun way. These books are nice if you want an interesting short read sometime. This one is about American women fighting for suffrage, which is another way of saying their right to vote. These people were called suffragists. There was a time when only men could vote and women started fighting for that same right. It finally happened with the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920. Many people were happy because they had all worked together for this cause; not just women, but men and African Americans too. But what I really found interesting was that not all women approved of their receiving the right to vote! Many scorned the actions of these brave suffragists, some of whom even went to jail.
The book has interesting drawings of some of the extreme actions that suffragists took for women’s rights. It even provides handy hints throughout it to show you what you should have done if you had been a part of this cause. The other books in this in the series cover many different topics such as what it was like to be a Roman soldier, a Victorian servant, or a castle dweller. So pretty soon you could be a history expert! I will never get tired of this series because all of them are great and they come out with new ones all the time. Happy reading!
BOOK NAME: Stolen Into Slavery: The True Story of Solomon Northrup
AUTHORS: Judith and Dennis Fradin
Hello, guys. Check out this awesome new book! Stolen Into Slavery: The True Story of Solomon Northrup by Judith Fradin and Dennis Fradin has made me look for other books like it.
This wasn’t the funniest book I’ve read, and I definitely love books with lots of humor in them, but I don’t think it was meant to be funny. It’s about slavery, after all, so it’s pretty serious. It was set during the time of the Civil War. The main character, Solomon, is a free black man from New York. The ironic thing is that even though Simon is a free man, he is kidnapped and forced to be a slave in the South. It’s so frustrating to see how much he wants to get in touch with his family but can’t because he can’t trust just anyone to deliver mail or messages to them!
I thought this was a great book. I learned a lot while I was reading it and thought a lot about it after I was done. And even though it was as educational as a school book, it wasn’t just a list of facts. Stolen Into Slavery really grabbed my attention right away because it was about a specific person and his life. It has probably been my favorite to review too!
Don’t forget to fall back this Sunday! Daylight saving time ends for most of the U.S. on November 6 this year. The law says that people must set their clocks back to standard time at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in November. That means changing the clock back one hour at 2 a.m. During the winter months, there will be a bit more light in the morning, but the sun will set earlier in the evening.
Some places, like American Samoa, Hawaii, and most of Arizona, don’t mess with Father Time. But why do we move our clocks one hour forward in the spring anyway? There was no standardized time until train travel became common. The U.S. railroad industry established time zones with standard times in 1883, and Congress made the railroad’s system a law in 1918. The next year, the decision of whether or not to observe daylight saving time was left up to individual jurisdictions.
When updating legislation in the 1980s, Congress noted that daylight saving time has many benefits, including “more daylight outdoor playtime for the children and youth of our Nation.” Not everyone agrees that this is beneficial, however. Till Roenneberg, a chronobiologist at Ludwig-Maximillans University in Munich, Germany, says that our bodies never really adjust to the different light schedule during daylight saving time.
Photograph by Christian Loidl, My Shot
BOOK NAME: Witches: The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem
AUTHOR: Rosalyn Schanzer
Do you have any warts or moles? If so, just be glad you didn’t live in the late 1600s in Salem, Massachusetts! Back then, these were considered to be the marks of a witch.
This book is about what happened during that time. It started when two young girls, cousins named Betty Parris and Abigail Williams, started having mysterious “fits”. Fits were when the girls would twitch and contort their bodies into strange shapes. This was very frightening to their family, and so they took the two girls to see a doctor. The diagnosis was that they were bewitched! During the fits, the girls would claim that a witch’s spirit was poking and hurting them. These stories seemed believable at that time because some respected men had written books about terrifying stories of witchcraft and the terrible things that witches do. Since almost everyone had read these stories, they were certain that witches existed.
The townspeople had never thought that a witch would threaten them, so when the news of the bewitched girls spread, there was mass hysteria. The two afflicted girls were pressured into naming who was the witch. The girls finally came up with three names and the accused women were put on trial. The accused had to pay the jail for every day they were locked up! Even if you were found innocent, you wouldn’t be released until all the fees were paid. And the hysteria didn’t stop there. In all, dozens of people were accused of witchcraft. They ranged in age from 4 to 90 years old and 19 of them were eventually hanged.
This non-fiction book gives you a lot of facts about the trials of the witches and what happened to them and their families afterward. If you love reading about history, then this is a good book for you. I would recommend this book for ages 10 and up because of the topic. I found this to be a very interesting book, so you may want to read it too.
Sunday is the tenth anniversary of 9/11. On September 11, 2001 terrorists hijacked four planes and flew two of them into the World Trade Center in New York City, another crashed into the Pentagon building near Washington, D.C., and the remaining plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. The National Geographic Society was directly affected that day, as two Society employees were on one of the planes. Many people will be remembering the events of that day. The memorials at the World Trade Center site and at the Pentagon will continue to help people remember 9/11 long into the future.
National Geographic Kids magazine interviewed students from a school four blocks away from the World Trade Center when they returned to their school five months after 9/11. In the September 2011 issue, you can find out what some of the students are doing ten years later.
Photograph by Matt McClain, The Washington Post/Getty Images
BOOK NAME: The Secret of the Yellow Death: A True Story of Medical Sleuthing
AUTHOR: Suzanne Jurmain
Do you remember the last time you were sick…really sick? Did you have an icy chill that coursed through your body, followed by a horrible head ache and painful stomach ache, an excessive temperature, yellowing skin and eyes, black vomit containing blood, violent muscle spasms, and excessive bleeding? I assume your symptoms weren’t as severe as the ones that were mentioned. The symptoms being described are linked to one of the most deadly and mysterious diseases in the medical world, yellow fever.
Throughout history, yellow fever has killed over 100,000 people. Both the yellow fever germ and its infecting agent pretty much remained a mystery to scientists for a long time. In a major outbreak in the early 1900s, a group of dedicated scientists decided to try and crack the case of the unknown killer. Walter Reed was the leader of this group of scientists. His co-workers were Jesse Lazear, Aristides Agramonte, and James Carrol. Carlos Finlay was a scientist who conducted independent research and studies related to yellow fever. Through long months of hard work, a complicated series of experiments, and countless failures, this team of scientists searched for answers on why this disease was taking so many lives. Then something finally arose. The work of brave volunteers, dedicated research, and even the tragic death of a scientist, helped one of the greatest medical breakthroughs in history be made, the prevention of yellow fever.
This is the first non-fiction book that I blogged on this year. Yellow fever and the scientists’ quest to discover its source seems like something out of a science fiction movie. All of the odds were against them since they knew very little about the yellow fever germ and how it spread. I am amazed at the teamwork, perseverance, and logic of the scientists trying to crack the yellow fever case. Despite the risks and the fact that they had very little information on yellow fever, the scientists still managed to find the preventative strategies to save thousands of people all over the world from getting infected with yellow fever. The gruesome description of the disease that I referred to earlier was based off of all of the detailed information in the book. The book is short, making it a quick read during your spare time, so I highly recommend picking it up. Another amazing thing is that many modern day scientists are trying to find preventative measures and cures for diseases that are just as mysterious as yellow fever. In fact, a new cure for a disease may be found while you are reading this blog!
BOOK NAME: Red Scarf Girl
AUTHOR: Ji-li Jiang
“The world had turned upside down” (36). Ji-li Jiang writes about her experiences during the Cultural Revolution in China in the memoir, Red Scarf Girl. This book shows that in times of unrest you should not be carried away by false promises.
Ji-li Jiang, a thirteen year old girl, lives with her family in China. Chairman Mao Zedong, the leader of Communist China, has begun the Cultural Revolution and is enforcing strict laws that no one should follow the four olds. Ji-li is smart and always succeeds in school. But now, being smart is a four old. Ji-li is a common target of the school’s Red Guards because she is from a landlord family and that is a crime. In the midst of the Cultural Revolution, Ji-li’s family is falling apart. But, Ji-li also wants to help her country. Read the book to find out which side she will take – her family or Chairman Mao.
I would definitely suggest others to read this heartfelt book. Since the author narrates her story, you get a firsthand source of the pain and torture of China’s Cultural Revolution. It was spine chilling to see how landlord families were made to climb up chimneys and sweep the streets. At the end of the book, all the suspense is revealed as Ji-li talks about how her life has changed after the end of the Cultural Revolution. Red Scarf Girl taught me a lot about China’s history.
BOOK NAME: National Geographic Kids Almanac 2012
AUTHOR: National Geographic
Did you know that the smallest bone in your body is smaller than a grain of rice? Did you know that a lunar eclipse lasts about one hundred minutes? Did you know that there is a big annual celebration in Brazil called “Carnaval?” Did you know that the people of the Hindu religion celebrate a holiday called “Diwali,” which in English means “Festival of Lights,” that is also the meaning of the Jewish holiday called “Hanukkah?” You can learn all of that and so much more in the National Geographic Kids Almanac 2012!
In the book, there are different sections. You can read about amazing animals, going green, different cultures, the world billions of years ago, and even about how the world will be in the future! There’s also a game section, where you can play the same kinds of games that are in the magazine. I loved the quiz to stump your parents.
I would recommend this book to anyone. I flipped every page, always interested to know more. I had a lot of fun playing the games, too. Overall, I think the almanac is just like a great big issue of the magazine!
On the back of the book, it says “Dare to Explore!” That’s exactly what the almanac does; it makes you want to explore and discover new things.
Want to learn more about the almanac? Check out the video and get a sample of the amazing facts you’ll find inside!
BOOK NAME: Hana’s Suitcase
AUTHOR: Karen Levine
Do you want to learn about a Jewish girl who suffered during the Holocaust by searching for clues of their life? This is exactly what a Japanese woman does to learn about the Holocaust victim–Hana Brady. This true story is told in Hana’s Suitcase by Karen Levine.
Fumiko Ishioka, the curator of the Tokyo Holocaust Center, teaches her students about the Holocaust by using artifacts from Jewish children who suffered, one of which is Hana’s suitcase. The children want to know more about Hana, so Fumiko goes to Holocaust museums in Europe where she learns about Hana’s fate, and also about Hana’s brother, George, who survived. Fumiko gets George’s address and writes to him about the suitcase. George then comes to Japan to tell the excited students about Hana’s sad story. Hana Brady was a Jewish girl who was growing up in the 1930′s in Czechoslovakia. Little did she know her life would change drastically as the Nazi soldiers invade her country. Her parents are sent to concentration camps. Hana and George are sent to Theresienstadt, under Nazi lookout, and then to Auschwitz, a concentration camp in Germany. What happens to Hana over here?
Hana’s Suitcase is an amazing book which shows the pain of the Holocaust by focusing on Hana’s life. Actual photographs bring to life this young girl who suffered terribly. This book is filled with suspense as to whether Fumiko will find more clues about Hana’s life or not. I like how this book keeps switching between Hana’s life in the 1940′s and Fumiko and George living today. Hana’s Suitcase is touching to the heart.
BOOK NAME: The Kidnapped Prince
AUTHOR: Olaudah Equino
ADAPTED BY: Ann Cameron
In 1755 a young African boy, Olaudah Equino, was kidnapped from his people and sold into slavery. Never being exposed to any other people or cultures other than his own village, this frightened him greatly. His first taste of the world was the bitter and cruel ways of the white people, beating people of other races and treating them like animals. As Olaudah serves as a slave for most of his life, he learns the difference between right and wrong in many instances. On his journey to earning back the freedom he should’ve already had Olaudah travels halfway around the world, experiencing things that made him famous.
This was a book I was to read as part of my world history for school. I wouldn’t have picked this book off of a shelf and read it willingly, but I’m rather glad I did. Although the book is historical fiction and my tastes tend to lean more to the ‘steampunk’ style, I enjoyed it and actually learned some things from it. I was happy to read a book that featured slavery from the view of an actual slave. Olaudah Equino wrote his autobiography and it became a best-seller. Later, author Ann Cameron edited his biography to a story that could be enjoyed by all ages.
The Kidnapped Prince is a short chapter book, each chapter being about two pages long. I recommend this to anyone who can read and even to those, like myself, who have no interest in the history of slavery. This short read with increase your knowledge in slavery and peak your interests greatly, leaving you wanting more.