Posts tagged ‘inventor’

TRIAL AND ERROR

 

Jerry the Squirrel: Volume One (Arestana Series)

Written and Illustrated by Shawn P.B. Robinson

This book is the first in a series that features Jerry, a squirrel who loves to invent things. Jerry uses his imagination to problem solve the issues of everyday life that confront him. One day Jerry decides to end the problem of not having his slippers next to his bed when he wakes up to a cold floor each morning. Jerry spends all day and night designing a pair of slippers that will come to him each morning. When Jerry succeeds in the task, he gets more than he bargained for. His slippers take charge and take him on a wild adventure. All the squirrel neighbors watch in fascination. They are eager to sign up for a pair of slippers just like Jerry’s.

The book contains other adventures. One of these deals with Jerry needing to come up with an idea fast when he fails to garner enough nuts for the winter and another chronicles his adventure with the nut beetles. All of them feature the trials and tribulations of Jerry’s career as an inventor who experiences success and failure.

This book might best be described as a series of short stories rather than a chapter book. Because it does not contain illustrations and the stories are short, it is a good choice for reluctant or beginning readers. It encourages creativity and independent solutions to problem-solving. I would recommend it for ages six through fourteen.

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HAUNTED HOUSE?

Junior Ghost Hunters – Case of the Chadwick Ghost

Written by Sam Grasdin

JuniorGhostHuntersClub,pic

The adventure originates as four friends are hanging out in Nate’s room. Nate is twelve years old and an admitted nerd who loves science and comic books. Lanie Talbot, the only female, has recently emigrated from England. Pete, the athlete, rescued Nate from a bully last year. Greg is an electronic genius with the nickname Gadget because he is always inventing things. Greg has just burst into the room with the news that he has seen a ghost in the upstairs window of the abandoned Chadwick house. Initially the group is skeptical, but Nate convinces them that they should investigate. They decide to form a Junior Ghost Hunters Club; their mission to prove or disprove what Gadget claims to have witnessed.

When Nate’s father convinces the real estate agent to allow the group to view the house in question on the next Saturday, their exploration begins. Mrs. Davenport allows them a couple of hours to “do research for a school report.” They are equipped with a digital recorder, flashlight and video camera, the tools of modern ghost hunters. At first, they fail to uncover evidence until Nate picks up a faint voice on the recorder, saying, “Get out of my house.” They are now determined to make a nighttime visit. Coincidentally, the four friends discover that a couple named Barnes are interested in buying the house. Mr. Barnes is undeterred by the childrens’ revelations that the house may be haunted. He invites them to spend the next Saturday night camping out in the living room of his new house.

The courageous group share pizza and then settle down for their adventure. They appear to be at a standstill until Nate remembers something. His computer research will lead him on a trail to uncover the final clues in solving the mystery. Is there a ghost? Who is it? Will the ghost hunters continue their career as sleuths of the paranormal. Tune in for the next book in the series.

The author is targeting his writing toward children nine to twelve. I believe the text is appropriate and readable for that group. Plot and characters are likable and modern detectives who are equipped with the technology expertise twenty-first children expertly employ. As an adult, I was entertained, amused and convinced that the characters are real. They are multicultural and cover both genders. Looks like the beginning of a good middle grade detective series that will possess wide appeal.

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