Posts tagged ‘children and responsibility’

AN EGYPTIAN ENIGMA

Mystery of the Egyptian Mummy: (Kid Zet Detective Book 4)

Written by Scott Peters

My first time reading a book in this series. Zet is a twelve-year-old boy living in the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes. He and his sister, Kat, run a pottery stall in the market to support their family. One night a mummy, guarded by a jackal, arrives at their home. Terrified, the siblings return to the market the next day to find that the whole town believes them to be cursed. Their business collapses. That makes them determined to solve the mystery.

What they discover is a much larger plot that will endanger the royal family and all of Egypt. As they artfully unravel clues to solve the mystery, readers learn a lot of information about ancient Egyptian history and culture.

Peters creates interesting characters and an engaging plot to keep middle-grade readers engrossed throughout the read. Educational and entertaining.

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THERE’S WORK TO BE DONE

The Bee in the Blackberry Bush

Written by C.S. Areson

Illustrated by Don Lee

 

Charming beginning chapter book presenting Christian values of the responsibility to help others even if it means placing the needs of others before oneself. The protagonist is an adorable worker bee who has no name as do all the others in his hive because each has a job to do. This bee is quite dedicated and industrious. One day he learns of nectar in a blackberry patch and almost loses his life to an observant chicken. The bee encounters a sad mother bird who has lost her mate and has no one to watch over her nest while she searches for food. The bee takes on the job of protector, while completing his own worker bee assignments. One day he faces danger while protecting one of the hatchlings. He must make a difficult choice. How far must one go in carrying out his sense of duty?

Soft pastel illustrations enhance the mood and message of the tale. While the story is slow moving in parts, the characters are endearing and realistic; the message sometimes uplifting but also sad. Recommended especially for readers in the seven to ten year- old age range.

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THE RIGHT HOME

The Puppy Place # 1 Where Every Puppy Finds a Home

Written by Ellen Miles

This is my first time reading a book in this series. I enjoyed reading this chapter book that is perfect for beginning readers who love dogs. Lizzie and Charles are two siblings who really want a dog, but their mom favors cats and feels that their family is not ready to shoulder the responsibility of caring for a dog. One day, their father, who is a volunteer fireman, rescues a golden retriever puppy from a fire. The children plead with their parents to keep the pup. When their two-year-old brother falls in love with “Goldie,” and follows her everywhere, mom reluctantly agrees to adopt the dog temporarily as a foster pup. Lizzie researchers how to train puppies and Charles helps out with socialization training. Mom insists that they advertise in the community for a permanent placement, and the children reluctantly agree. They come up with a plan to keep the pup nearby. In the end, the family is surprised at how this golden retriever has transformed them.

This chapter book is charming; it tells the story from the viewpoint of the children as well as in the first person from the viewpoint of a puppy. In the process, children learn responsibility and the proper way to care for a puppy. Recommended especially for readers ages seven through ten, but the tale can be enjoyed by all ages.

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PARENTAL POINTERS

Terrific Twos: Positive Views on Parental Discipline

Written by Merry Palmer

I found this book to be an effective resource for parents searching to get a handle on positive discipline techniques for toddlers and even for older children. The author presents a common sense approach coupled with examples of situations and suggestions as to how to cope. Toddlers are experiencing a rapid growth in gross motor, fine motor, cognitive and social skills. Beginning with the dreaded word “no” the author suggests providing other options and choices where possible. Readers learn about the tone of voice, making eye contact, and combinations of words that work well for the toddler. Language should be succinct and simple, while at the same time, encouraging the child to learn new vocabulary.

A large part of the book deals with discipline, how to explain the need for discipline, how to use it as a teaching tool and how to be fair in exercising it. The author explains how to get a child to understand the need for taking responsibility for her actions, and how to apply effective strategies of discipline for children of different ages. In conclusion, parents need to remember to exercise patience and control of their own emotions; advice that sometimes can be difficult for parents, but certainly a worthwhile goal for every parent.

I highly recommend this quick read as a great reference book for both new and experienced parents.

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OUTSMARTED AND OUTFOXED

My Fox Ate My Homework

Written by David Blaze

Jonah (Joe) Johnson is an eleven- year- old whose life has just been turned upside down. His mother lost her job in Orlando so they have moved to his deceased grandmother’s old house in rural Alabama. On the first day in school, Joe is confronted by a bully who demands that Joe write his homework assignment.

Things go from bad to worse when the tax collector appears and informs them that the property taxes are overdue and the county would be foreclosing. Now they will need to move into his Uncle Mike’s house. When Joe goes outside he discovers a fox in the hen house, not any old fox but a talking fox! Joe and Fox become fast friends, but not before Fox causes all sorts of mayhem as Joe desperately tries to think of ways to help his mother, face the bully and maintain his friend relationship with Fox.

This fantasy tale is written well with lots of authentic dialogue and humor. Middle- grade students will find lots to love. There are cute cartoon- like drawings of the characters interspersed with the text. Blaze touches on issues important to students in this age group. The tale is an easy read that is under one hundred pages which makes it appealing to reluctant readers. Highly recommended for eight to twelve- year- olds, and adults who are willing to listen to a talking fox.

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IT’S WHAT’S INSIDE THAT COUNTS

The Tree Within the Tree

Written and Illustrated by Sally Huss

treewithintreepic

Sally places her message for this story right on the cover: The Importance of Appreciation. Alexander and Charlotte have only two dollars between them. They are walking through a Christmas tree lot on Christmas Eve. The owner informs them that they only have enough money to consider a tree on a pile of rubbish in the corner. There the two children discover a scraggly tree that desperately wanted to become a Christmas tree to make a family happy. The family is poor but determined to embellish their tree. As the tree gazes at the worn furniture and scanty possessions, it is amazed by how family members gather popcorn, aluminum and personal possessions to transform the scrawny tree into the most beautiful tree inside and outside.

Illustrations are simple and classic; this book will not only place smiles on the faces of preschoolers and primary school children, but remind children and adults alike to appreciate the little things and not become embroiled in the materialistic side of Christmas. Recommended as a bedtime story or read aloud for students and families to share.

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A GUIDING HAND

The Angel Knew Papa And The Dog

Written by Douglas Kaine McKelvey

AngelIKnew,pic

A heartwarming tale of love, faith and heartbreak narrated by a charming, sweet girl named Evangelina Elizabeth Blake. Living at the edge of the woods in a small log cabin by the river, she works hard alongside her father to farm the land, borrowing a neighbor’s mules to help them plow. Evangelina has lost her mother; she takes delight in nature and the few books her father has managed to purchase for her to read. One of her favorite stories from the Bible is Noah’s flood; this foreshadows the adventure that will follow.

When Evangelina is six, a huge dog rescues her from a serpent which appears during a thunderstorm. She names the dog, Lewis and Clark because he likes to explore and frequently disappears. Not long after, a flood overtakes the area and Evangelina’s father is swept away while trying to rescue one of the mules. She is terribly frightened as the cabin is flooded. An angel carrying a lantern appears to guide her. The young girl hears Lewis and Clark barking. A woman named Mary rows to her and pulls her into the boat. Taking her downstream, Evangelina is gratified to learn that her father is alive, but seriously injured. Is Evangelina dreaming? What will her future bring?

This book is well written in almost a lyrical style. The reader empathizes with the carefully crafted characters and is swept up in the adventure. I would consider this less than one hundred page book perfect for middle grade readers, but teens and adults will enjoy it as well. Look forward to reading more by this author.

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DWARVES AND DRAGONS

Dingo the Dragon Slayer:Master Zarvin’s Action and Adventure Series #1

Written by M.R. Mathias

Dingo,pic

 

This author has written many short stories and young adult tales about dragons and wizards. In this selection of under one hundred pages, Mathias is aiming toward a wider audience, targeting this book for ages seven and older. There are no illustrations and the text might be a stretch for seven and eight year olds, but I do think that middle grade readers who love fantasy will enjoy the book. The characters are well-developed, the reader rapidly feels their strengths and weaknesses.

Plot centers around Dingo, a dwarf who is the great grandson of Dingo, the Dragon Master who succeeded in roping a young blue dragon. Dingo is far less famous. His job is to guard the vent holes of the cave in which the dwarves of Dropull Mountains live. One day Dingo encounters a human heading toward the cave. The old man urges Dingo to abandon his post and follow him. Reluctantly agreeing to do so, Dingo discovers a dragon wants to lay her eggs in their shaft. He must warn the king.

So the adventure is set for Dingo to somehow convince the dragon to abandon her plan. How will the little dwarf succeed in that monumental task to save his people.? Who is the mysterious old man who suddenly appears to warn them.

Readers who enjoy dragons, magic, dwarves and adventure will enjoy this book. Also makes a good classroom read aloud choice as the chapters are fairly short. Reluctant readers will find the book interesting and appealing .

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THE COURAGE TO TRY

Dearie: A Tale of Courage (Chapter Books Book 1)

Written by Gita V. Reddy

Dearie,pic

Beginning chapter book of approximately thirty-five pages which is just right for a new or reluctant reader. The protagonist is a deer named Dearie. At first, it appeared that Dearie was too weak and frail to survive. Beating the odds, he soon grew strong and fast. As time went on, a bigger problem surfaced. Whenever danger appeared, Dearie froze. He could not respond to danger. That put the rest of the herd at risk.

Despite the pleadings of his mother, it is agreed that Dearie must leave the herd to learn how to overcome his fears and master the skills needed to survive. Dearie must face wild boar, wolves, lions and crocodiles. Will Dearie find his courage, and more importantly, will he ever rejoin his beloved herd?

This is an animal coming of age story that teaches children we all must not be afraid how to learn to be independent. Simple pen and ink drawings accompany the short chapters. I think the plot begins a bit slowly; the real story unfolds halfway through the book in Chapter 5. Recommended as an independent read for eight to ten year olds or for reluctant readers who feel challenged by the length of most middle grade chapter books. Short enough to be used as a read aloud classroom discussion.

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ELF HELP

Santa’s Helper (Children Christmas Books and Bedtime Stories)

Written by Arnie Lightning

Santa's Helper

A series of very short stories featuring Santa’s two executive elves named Sammy and Tammy. They are entrusted with granting the wishes of children who ask for the tough gifts that Santa cannot handle. For example, Victoria’s wish is to give enough food to feed all the homeless people in her neighborhood. Edgar would like to build a snowman larger than his house. The problem is that he lives in San Diego where it hasn’t snowed in 130 years. Luke from New York City wishes to find homes for all the puppies and kittens that don’t have humans to love them.. Six year old Timothy aspires to wrestle with a bear. Little Alexis desires to see into the hearts and minds of all the great men and women who have ever lived. Tammy really needed to think hard about that one! Can you guess how these two dedicated workers from Santa’s workshop managed to grant these wishes? Read the book to find out.

Great beginning reader for students in the early elementary grades one through five. A few detailed illustrations would have made the read more appealing to younger children. Recommended for children who like to solve problems; this is a fun holiday read as an independent reader or read aloud.

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