Sunday, December 8, 2013
Bridges and Tunnels: Investigate Feats of Engineering
The building of bridges and tunnels is a fascinating feat for engineers. Young readers curious about how these man made monstrosities are built will learn all about them. An engineer is a person who uses science and math to build. Some of the tools they use to draw an idea are levels, planes, protractors and geometry. Young readers will learn all the terminology engineers use every day. Each page has a “words to know” box that explains definitions for any young reader can easily understand. The “did you know” box shares fun facts about how engineers use their keen insights to avoid disasters.
The history of bridges and tunnels can also be found along with the workers stories and how they survived and died building these massive projects. In the case of many bridges, readers will learn how war, wind, fire and ice have caused them to collapse. For example: the London Bridge was originally a crude Roman bridge built in 52 CE. The bridge spanned the River Thames in England for centuries, but it fell many times. Experiments are listed with detail instructions so that readers can put what they've learned to the test. Simple structures can be made with things found at home, such as marshmallows and toothpicks. Homemade paper wheels can teach young minds how steam works. Various pages have “notable quotes” which provide inspiration from famous people.
There are 25 different projects in all. The back pages list other books, sites, a glossary and index to help readers find more information about engineering and to become better equipped with the terms used. Teachers and parents will enjoy sharing and learning with this handy tool that will inspire any math or science student.
BIBLIO:2012, Nomad Press, Ages 9 to 12, $15.95.
REVIEWER: Kristi Bernard
FORMAT: Middle Grade
Goosebumps Most Wanted: How I Met My Monster
Noah Bienstock, better know as Bean, has a strange and recurring underwater dream of a monster pulling him deeper into it's depths every night. He even finds himself, especially when under stress, having this same dream during the day. His mother thinks the dream occurs because he is worried about the swim tryouts. But, Bean and his best friend Lissa know its because of Harlan, the big ugly bully of the school and his constant pushing, shoving and confiscating of lunch money. It has turned Bean into a quivering mess. When the new neighbor kid Monroe shows up, things begin to feel even more strange for Bean. You see, Monroe has no problem standing up to Harlan, but with a little convincing from Bean he does back down. In his anger, Monroe decides to run it off to calm himself down. From a distance Bean can see fur and fangs. Could his new found friend and neighbor be a real monster? Is this the dream that Bean should now consider a warning? It will be up to him to find the courage and confront the monster.
Stine has created another amazing tale of horror and intrigue any young reader can sink their teeth into. If parents and teachers are having trouble getting boys interested in reading, this story is a real attention grabber. Vivid imagery sets the tone for a fun and fast paced read.
BIBLIO:2013, Scholastic, Ages 8 to 12, $6.99.
FORMAT: Middle Grade
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Title: Flowers By Number
Author: David Shapiro
Illustrations: Hayley Vair
Publisher: Craigmore CreationsISBN: 9780984442287
Do you have a child who loves learning about nature and flowers? Your beginner readers will love Flowers By Number. Readers will learn various flowers, the regions they grow in and their Latin names. Twinflower grows in the north woods and mountain forests and are also referred to as Linnaea borealis. Trillium, flowers have a uniqueness about them, they have 3 petals, 3 bracts, 3 leaves and their name is based on 3. Beautiful illustrations show young readers exactly what these flowers look like. The back of the book allows readers to count the flowers again. Parents, nature lovers and teachers will love this showcase of flowers and where they can be found. Readers will definitely learn a lot more than counting.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Gary Paulsen writes great books for boys!
Author: Gary Paulsen
Illustrator: James Bernadin
Publisher: Random House Children's BooksISBN: 9780385742313
Have you ever noticed how hard young love can be? Kevin Spencer has got a ridiculously bad crush on Tina Zabinski. Unfortunately, he isn't real good at asking beautiful girls out on dates. But, he has a plan. Basically he is going to take it slow and play it cool before he makes his move, that is until Tina is caught hanging out with Cash Devine, a new kid at school. Kevin now decides it might make more sense to take a more scientific approach regarding matters of the heart. Kevin attempted to observe his parents but that was a disaster. He cooked a fantastic dinner for them only to have them become suspicious, clumsy and wonder why he was spying on them. He went to Auntie Buzz, who lived over the garage, but her advice was outdated and a little nutty. In a last attempt of desperation he went to his sister Sarah. To his surprise she contacted her girls clan and set up a boot camp for Kevin, but that didn't work either. All Kevin got was a bunch of criticism from the know-it-all girls who at the end of the day thought he was a lost cause. Kevin then decided he must get aggressive. He needed to observe a relationship from the very beginning so that he can learn how it develops and ultimately how it works. His great idea is to help his brother find a girlfriend, with the hopes of learning how to get and keep Tina' attention.
Paulsen has created another hilarious tale for middle grade boys to enjoy and laugh along with the characters. School shenanigans of adolescents will have young readers laughing and turning the pages for more of this really fast paced read.