Posts tagged ‘strength of character’

WHO AM I?

MONSTER PROBLEMS:VAMPIRE MISFIRE

Written by R.L. Ullman

This book is part of a series that features eleven illustrated character profiles. In this volume, Bram Abrams a twelve-year-old foster child is the protagonist. He has bounced around in foster care since his parents were allegedly killed in a house fire.

Bram has a penchant for getting into trouble. He stays up all night and eats only red food. What Bram does not realize is that he is the world’s last living vampire. After escaping a pack of werewolves, Bram is recruited into a clandestine school for monster kids. His enemies are determined to enlist him in their nefarious causes. Will Bram succeed in outwitting them?

The characters in this series are funny, smart, and outrageous. Just the ticket to attract middle-grade readers seeking a fast-moving sci-fi adventure. Bram learns to face adversity and find the inner strength to solve his problems. Recommended for any age reader, but especially for ages nine through twelve.

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The Tiniest Tumbleweed

Written by Kathy Peach

Illustrated by Alex Lopez

TinyTumbleweed

Beautifully told tale with two protagonists. The story opens with a Mother Tumbleweed discussing her tiny baby with her husband who is concerned that the tot will be too small to make seeds. At that same time a young baby sparrow is hatching; his father is concerned that the baby will be too small to fly and spread seeds. Both the sparrow and tumbleweed experience sadness as they watch their siblings grow and they remain smaller than their peers. Their respective parents continue to reassure their children that size does not really matter as they teach their young the skills needed to reach their own full potential. When the desert rains come, tumbleweed works hard to make seeds, while tiny sparrow learns to flap his wings and hop. One day as fate might have it, a rainstorm brings the tiny sparrow and the tiny tumbleweed together. They learn how to work together to make each other reach their goals.

This is a beautiful book on many levels. The fictional story teaches children a lot about disabilities and strength of character as well as the value of family support. Targeted for preschool through grade three, the book works on many levels. Beautiful yet simple illustrations enhance the text as a read aloud for preschoolers. Lessons embedded within the text are appropriate for primary grade children. I like the lesson plans included for teachers to supplement interdisciplinary curriculum. Fun Facts could be the start of science projects, and the curriculum questions provide many avenues of exploration for the teacher or parent of a home schooled child. As some other reviewers mentioned, I noted some spelling and editing errors, which is the reason I gave the book four instead of five stars.

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