Posts from the ‘reference book’ Category

SAVE SMART, START YOUNG

A Guide to Investing for Kids: Teaching Them About Money While They Are Young

Written by Stephanie R. Baker

This book is based on the author’s theory that children who learn how to be financially independent and conscious of tracking their own expenses grow up not only to be self-aware but good global citizens. Baker gives reasons for children to learn fiscal responsibility like how to invest and be responsible for handling their own money by choosing their own purchases wisely. They learn financial independence from their parents and awareness of community needs around them. These children acquire goals and dreams of future financial success.

Children may learn how to invest by talking with their parents and picking up knowledge from schools and community programs. There are many different platforms offered for children’s investment, and Baker lists several of them with links to finding them on the internet. Alternatives to stock investment include lotteries and investing in independent funds that parents set up for them. Certainly, if many children would choose investment and financial independence the entire world community would benefit both in the short and long term.

I think this book is a worthwhile investment for parents and grandparents to consider in creating strong, resilient, independent, successful citizens of the future. Recommended for children age eight years and older to read and discuss with parents and teachers.

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#FindYourPark #NationalParkWeek

It’s National Park Week – April 21-29!

Dreaming about summer vacation? Ready, set, go!

This week, you are invited to explore the parks of our National Park system. This year’s theme is “Park Stars.” There are many resources to help you explore the dozens of ways that you can explore our national parks throughout the country this year.

Here are three resources to bookmark:

National ParkWeek.org to detail special programs and discounts for this week.

National Park Calendar Service calendar of events will alert you to special events all over the country and the exact dates they are featured.

National Park Foundation offers free guides for hikers, historians, family excursions, or a romantic stroll.

The Little Miss HISTORY Travels to…book series will enlighten and inspire everyone in the family and prepare you for that once in a lifetime family vacation. Check out the whole series at http://LittleMissHISTORY.com

 

 

THE FIRST WORLD CONFLICT

World War I in 50 Events

Written by James Weber

The author has taken a chronological/event-based approach to narrating the events of World War I. This book is divided into four main sections. The introduction discusses the groundwork leading to the outbreak of work going back to the end of the Franco-Prussian War and the enmity between France and Germany. It continues to the Battle of Mons. The next section picks up with the Russians suffering defeat at Tannenberg and ends with the British initiating military conscription. Section Three shows the tide of war changing as the Allies become actively engaged in Caporetto and concludes with the Turkish losing at Megiddo. The last section covers events from the Central Powers collapse and surrender to the signing of The Treaty of Versailles. Unfortunately, the severe terms of the peace treaty lay the groundwork for simmering tensions, the rise of dictators, and the conflicts leading up to World War II.

Each event is discussed in a few pages. Weber singles out the most important issues, including photos of battle scenes and portraits of the important players. The text is set in large font, although the illustrations are rather small. While the information is not extensive on any one particular topic, the author manages to create a rather detailed, easy to read reference study. I would recommend the book to history buffs, middle and high school students and home school parents who wish to learn about the topic.

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#Wednesday’s Winners

Two more finalists in the Cybils Bloggers’ Literary Awards:

Easy Reader

HUNGRY THIEVES

There’s a Pest in the Garden

Written by Jan Thomas

 

Another easy reader in the farmyard friends’ series. Duck, Sheep, Dog, and Donkey are upset that there is a pest invading their garden. He is eating their favorite and not so favorite foods like beans, corn, peas, and turnips. Duck thinks he has a plan, but it turns out that all the animals must work together to find a permanent solution to keep pests out.

The familiar characters and speech balloons allow readers to follow the simple dialogue and story plot. Children are led to understand that cooperation and working together is the way to solve a common problem. Recommended as an early stage independent picture reader or read aloud.

 

 

 

 

Early Chapter Book

RISING TO THE OCCASION

Survivor Diaries: Overboard!

Written by Terry Lynn Johnson

This book is part of a series that focuses on real-life survival stories to teach important life-saving skills. In this book, Travis and his family are vacationing in Washington. At the beginning of the tale, the family is sailing on a fifty-foot whale-watching boat with other tourists. While the group is preoccupied sighting whales, a huge wave capsizes the boat. Travis frantically yells for his family; he finds himself under water. Marina, the captain’s seaworthy daughter is nearby.

Travis is wearing a wetsuit and Marina has a life jacket, but her wrist is broken. As they drift farther away from the wreckage, Marina keeps Travis calm. After many hours and no rescue, they are finally thrown ashore on a beach. Hypothermia is setting in and Marina is becoming sick and disoriented. Travis must learn to overcome his fears, follow Marina’s instructions, build a fire, set up a shelter, and find water. The next morning with no rescue in sight, Marina sees eagles flying overhead and remembers an island that has a camera studying the nest. But can Travis overcome his fear of heights and somehow scale the tree to let humans know of their plight?

This is a story of adventure and courage. Marina and Travis undergo personality transformations and role reversals. Perhaps even more importantly, readers are taught how to survive if thrown overboard, avoid hypothermia, and learn basic survival skills. Hopefully, these will never need to be employed. There are a few powerful black and white illustrations that assist readers to visualize the adventure. The author includes a US Coast Guard approved section on illustrated, step by step survival techniques. While this book has been classified an early chapter book, I believe that the eight to twelve age range is a good target audience for this book.

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JUST DO IT!

Do The Opposite Of Nothing: The Ridiculously Simple Strategy for Serious Procrastinators…

Written by Nealey Stapleton

The author spends a lot of time in her introduction explaining procrastination and how it leads to clutter. When one procrastinates, none of a person’s goals can be achieved. Stapleton then spends a chapter on each of ten methods that might be employed to enable a person to succeed at decluttering and ending procrastination. I found a few to be especially valuable for myself. To avoid a sense of overwhelming frustration, I need to set aside a small, realistic amount of time and select one task to achieve before moving on to more ambitious plans. I am also guilty of the “homeless” mistake. A successful organizer needs to establish a spot for every object and make sure that it stays there.  Many of my friends and I are guilty of buying more than we need, resulting in a storage problem. Do you keep stuff for too long and procrastinate about going through those things that really have no useful purpose in your life?

There are a lot of simple things one can do to feel a sense of accomplishment and organization that will allow a more productive use of time and many of one’s important goals to be achieved. Stapleton provides a plethora of links and resources in each chapter. I must admit they do become repetitive and can slow down the flow of the book. However, I enjoyed the straightforward presentation and practical advice, which I plan to implement daily. Recommended for anyone who has too much stuff and too little time on their hands.

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SIZE DOESN’T MATTER

Deadly Animals: 25 Most Deadly Animals in the World That You Should Know!

Written by Hathai Ross

 

While this book contains a lot of interesting information, I would rate it 3.5 stars because the photos that are included are often undersized and unclear.

The author includes animals found all over the world. Their size varies from the tiny mosquito and tsetse fly to the huge animals like the hippopotamus and polar bear. Habitats range from the sea to the glaciers and arid deserts of the Sahara. Readers will find many familiar names like the lion, rhinoceros, leopard, and elephants, but also more unfamiliar species like the Brazilian Wandering Spider, the Blue-Ringed Octopus, the Cone Snail, and the Cape Buffalo.

Ross describes each animal, its habitat, why it is dangerous, and how it affects humans. Some facts that I found particularly interesting are that the Poison Dart Frog is the most poisonous animal on the planet, the poisonous Puffer Fish is a delicacy eaten by many people, and the cute Polar Bear is not afraid of humans, and when hungry enough will even eat its own cubs.

The book is a collection of individual chapters that provide reference information about each of the twenty-five animals selected. It is useful as a starting point of research on some of the most interesting and dangerous animals with which we share our planet. Recommended for middle-grade, young adult or adult readers interested in animal research.

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BRIDGING THE GAP

The Middle Ages: People of the Middle Ages – Kings, Queens, Minstrels and Merchants, Vikings and Knights – 2nd Edition

Written by Dominique LeBeouf

 

This book presents a simplified view of the Middle Ages, a period that is often overlooked and misunderstood in history. The author tries to support her view that the period was not stagnant and dark but rather vibrant. LeBeouf discusses each of the main classifications of groups living during this period. There are brief individual studies of a few like Saint Nicholas, Joan of Arc, and Alfred the Great. She discusses major groups of the period such as the Vikings, minstrels, merchants, clergy, vassals, women, and children.

The book is not particularly well-written and there are many editing errors. Its value lies in providing an overview of the entire period and allowing readers to investigate topics further. The book permits readers to choose areas for comparison, contrast, and discussion. Homeschool parents might want to feature particular topics. Classroom teachers might divide the class into groups to launch further study after previewing this summary.

Recommended as an introduction to the Middle Ages, but not as a verifiable historical guide for ages ten and older.

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