Posts tagged ‘history’

BELIEVE

Hercules Finds His Courage: Taki and Toula Time Travelers

Written by Elena Paige

This is one book in a series of time traveling adventures taken by six-year-old Taki and his eight-year-old sister, Toula. These children live on the island of Crete. One day, while playing with a chest of old clothes, they discover a pair of unusual shoes. Each of the children puts on one shoe. Suddenly, they are transported to ancient Greece, where they are astonished to find a bull and a man crying. Even though they are frightened, the siblings appease the bull. They discover Hercules who is discouraged from completing the twelve labors with which he has been tasked.

The book is a nice way to introduce a bit of Greek mythology and history to early readers. Illustrations are cartoon-like and simple, but they do the job of portraying the action of the plot. Coupled with large and easy to read font, it makes the book attractive to the beginning and reluctant readers. Recommended especially for readers in the six to eight age range.

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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

 

 

MAGNIFICENT MALI

If Lou were Me and Lived in… the Ancient Mali Empire

Written by Carole P. Roman

Illustrated by Mateya Arkova

Take a step back in time to the 1300’s into The Kingdom of Mali, the most powerful empire in the Western Sudan. Imagine yourself as a child in a wealthy family living in the capital city of Niani at the crossroads of the caravan road that led to Mecca. Your grandfather and father are important advisers to the king. There is no written language. As the griot, your grandfather’s job is to hold in memory and recite the history of the people.

This book details the story of the Mandinka people. Learn about the culture and religions of the people, the farmers, artisans, and slaves who kept the economy functioning. The roles of family members differed greatly according to gender and order of birth. Foods, customs, and manner of dress are examined. At the end of the story, the author provides portraits of many of the individuals discussed as well as vocabulary words unfamiliar to readers from other parts of the world.

Arkova does a marvelous job of capturing the essence of the text in simple, colorful illustrations that portray its meaning in visual terms. There is an extraordinary amount of information packed into this picture book. Younger children will enjoy the illustrations, but I highly recommend it for children in grades five through eight as well. Wonderful classroom reference resource for teachers to place in their bookcase.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and voluntarily chose to review with my honest opinions for no monetary compensation.

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WAITING TO BE TAMED

Meeting of the Mustangs

Written by Cathy Kennedy

mustangspic

Charming tale of less than one hundred pages focusing on the meanderings of a black mustang colt. As a young colt he loved to chase butterflies, playing with the other newborns. Traveling with the herd, he faced many dangers including attacks by a mountain lion and bear. One day he is separated from the herd. His travels will bring him across the lands of Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado and Oklahoma. The colt must face wildfires and hunter’s traps. One fateful day he is lassoed and brought to the barn of a ranch. A young girl named Paula tries to win his devotion, but he is afraid and that leads to being taken away once more. A kind rancher tries to tame him, but the mustang feels he must escape once more. An unexpected accident on the road leads to a chance meeting with Tyler that will change both of their lives forever.

This tale is written from the viewpoint of the black mustang. It is almost a stream of consciousness, while the plot moves along there is not a central thread. The author does an excellent job of securing empathy with the colt. Children who love or own horses will identify with the protagonist. The ending came as a surprise. I would love to see a sequel as I would love to see that story fleshed out. I would especially recommend the book to middle grade readers and teen audiences.

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A SECOND CHANCE

Guardian:Where a Dream is Challenged “An World War II Plane Who Decides To Never Give Up”

Written by Greer Alexis Bacon

Guardian,pic

Guardian is a WWII plane who is relating her story in first person. She goes back in time to tell how she met her pilot and together they valiantly fought. One day her fuel tank leaks; Guardian succeeds in getting her pilot down alive. Now that the war is over, she finds herself in a scrap metal junkyard and wonders what became of her pilot. While the rest of the planes are resigned to their fate, Guardian hopes that she will one day fly again, but day after day planes disappear from the yard to be sold for scrap metal.

One day the gate opens to a new owner. The planes will be repaired and sent to various museums. Guardian rejoices that her optimism has proven true, but what has happened to that soldier who once flew and loved her?

Targeted for audiences five and older, this approximately twenty-five page book is really a beginning reader chapter book. There are a few simple, but attractive, illustrations. This book is a well-written sweet story embedding elements of history. While I enjoyed the plot, I noted typos and editing errors on the cover and inside the kindle text edition. If not for these, I would have given the book five stars. I would still recommend it, especially for children who are early readers interested in planes or history.

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POIGNANT AND POWERFUL

Ever the Patriot: Recollections of Vincent J. Riccio World War II Veteran and POW

Edited by Candace Riccio Salem

EverthePatriot,pic

This book is told in first person based on the experiences of Vincent J. Riccio and edited by his daughter. It begins with the attack on Pearl Harbor and Riccio’s subsequent draft a few months later. Riccio began his service as an aviation mechanic in Mississippi. The first part of the book focuses on his hi jinks and pranks with his buddies as a young soldier. But Riccio wanted to fly; he eventually manages to get training as an aviator. After being sent to Horhem in England, Riccio flew combat missions over Germany. On the Luduigshafen mission, his plane was shot down. Riccio parachuted to safety, but eventually was taken prisoner by the Germans.

The second part of the story focuses on his imprisonment in POW camps and resourcefulness in surviving the Black Hunger March. As the war came closer to its end, Riccio uses his ingenuity to obtain weapons, food and German prisoners. Down to 84 pounds when he was freed from captivity, Riccio warms the reader’s heart when he relates his elation at seeing the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor upon his return to America. I think the gist of the book is best summarized in his own words, “You learn about people, you learn about human nature. You learn what the human body can take. The ones that couldn’t take it, didn’t make it.”

This story contains the gamut of human emotions; Riccio is at once the boy next door and a war hero. He does not judge, but simply tells it like it is. Recommended for teens and adults interested in history and human behavior.

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EGYPTIAN EXPLORERS

Hieroghyph (TC’S ADVENTURES BOOK 1)

Written by WJ Scott

Illustrated by John Helle-Nielsen

Hieroglyph,pic

I will be honest in saying that this book was different from what I expected. The cover is a bit of a mystery and the table of contents lists numbers only with no word clues. Once into the book, the reader is quickly drawn into the narrative. Thirteen year old TC is sitting in the Vice-Principal’s office trying to explain how she knew where a stolen ring could be found. TC lives with her Aunt Letty in New Zealand since her archaeologist parents were killed in a cave in. Aunt Letty is off on an environmental expedition, and TC will be going off to spend a weekend with her uncle in Australia.

Here is where the book takes a dramatic departure. The reader learns that TC has a special gift. She is able to time travel and connect with past history when she touches hieroglyphs. Her uncle Max is trying to get funding for an archaeological expedition to prove that ancient Egyptians traveled to Australia in search of gold.

I will not reveal details of the plot, but Scott seamlessly takes the reader back and forth as TC alternately explores the shipwreck and explorations of Prince Setka and Prince Kanefer in ancient times and back into the present with TC, her Uncle Max, her friends and enemies who seek to undo their discoveries. Characters are well developed and the narrative carefully written to make the plot believable. TC is a strong-willed female who faces modern problems and crises, while longing to solve the mysteries of the past.

Targeted for readers nine and older, the book will appeal to younger and older audiences. Promises to be a good series for lovers of ancient Egypt, adventure, mystery and intriguing characters.

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