Posts tagged ‘travel’

ROCKET RUCKUS

Sascha Martin’s Rocket Ship

Written by John Arthur Nichol

Illustrated by Manuela Pentangelo

 

Sascha Martin is a second-grade genius. One day he brings a rocket ship to class and places it on a table with a sign that says, “Do not touch.” Well, you can guess what happens when one of the students pushes the button. It launches into space creating all manner of havoc in the school. The rocket tears holes in the walls, the roof, and damages the athletic fields. It carries a few teachers as well as Sascha into the atmosphere to the horror of the those watching from the ground. Will they successfully return to earth?

This book is part of a series about the exploits of Sascha. It is written in rhyme, which sometimes appeared a bit off, though these rhymes could be peculiar to Australia. Illustrations are delightfully clever and sharp. My rating was lowered in part because the book contains a few errors in punctuation and grammar, but many middle-grade students who enjoy science fiction, adventure, and humor will find it an easy and enjoyable read.

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GETTING THROUGH FIFTH GRADE

Pi

Written by Lori Ann Stephens

Illustrated by Trevor Yokochi

Pierre Francois is a fifth-grade student who lives in Texas. As you may have guessed from the name, Pierre’s father is French. To his chagrin, Pierre spends his Christmas holiday in France with his grandparents. He tells his readers that he hates fifth grade because the boys are annoying and the girls are mean.

Readers follow Pierre’s troubles in school, his attempt to impress his friends by winning the spelling bee, his first crush on Cynthia, the new girl in school, and his disastrous camping adventure with school buddies. The book has a few simple illustrations. It is a pretty easy read, and I would categorize it as an early chapter book or a good choice for reluctant readers. Especially recommended for readers in grades three through six. Lots of humor and plenty of situations that they will find familiar.

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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

 

 

TRAINING FOR THE FUTURE

The Innovative Engine

Written by Jim Gribble

Illustrated by Jack Gribble

This book is a unique tale combining technology, fairy tales, and student writers. The Innovative Engine grew up in New York City hearing the tales of the little engine that could. One day she received a letter from a teacher with a special request that she readily accepted. A group of student bloggers would board her at Grand Central Station. There they would begin a nationwide trip stopping at cities, farms, and lake country to learn about innovation and write about their discoveries.

After stopping at Washington D.C. and receiving a tour of the Capitol, the students travel west to explore old technology and experiment with new ideas. The Innovative Engine is then equipped with solar panels, the students learn about using magnets for transportation, and how to transform the engine into a vegetable garden to feed the hungry. At the end of their journey, the President greets them and thanks them for blogging about their discoveries.

Readers find a pleasant mix of traditional characters, a dose of upcoming technologies, and meet some student journalists of the future.  Illustrations and images that were drawn by the students for their blog entries are included. The plot is unique, fanciful and creative. Particularly recommended for middle-grade students, but an enjoyable read for all ages.

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SCIENCE AT OUR FINGERTIPS

The Exploding Twins: A Volcano Adventure

Written by Y. and M. Leshem

Illustrated by Lucia Benito

This is a charming, hands-on book for curious, young scientists. Daniel and Allison are twins who are listening to their Aunt Melissa, who has just returned from a trip to South America. She is showing them pictures of her climb to the top of a volcano. Their interest immediately peeks when their parents ask if they would like to create a volcano of their own in the backyard.  The twins eagerly jump at the opportunity.

The second part of the book explains in easy to understand text and vivid illustrations how a volcano looks and what happens when it explodes. Then the authors present the materials necessary to create an exploding volcano from ordinary household materials. Each step leads to the climax of the explosion.

This book is an effective combination of endearing characters and a recipe for a science experiment that any family can share together. I have seen this experiment done in the classroom many times and it never fails to amaze budding, young scientists. Highly recommended for elementary and middle-grade students as a good choice in the STEM category to encourage a greater awareness of science all around us for both girls and boys.

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THE CITY BY THE BAY

Kid’s Travel Guide: San Francisco- The Fun Way to Discover San Francisco, Especially for Kids

Written by Kelsey Fox and Shiela H. Leon

kidsguidesfpic

Fun way to introduce school age children to the city of San Francisco. The book is a guide book and travel diary of sorts. Children will have lots of fun learning how to prepare for their trip and what to pack. Authors include a short history, what to see, and how to get around. Points of interest covered of special interest to kids are spots like Chinatown, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Telegraph Hill.

All of the information is presented by using fun activities, puzzles, games, coloring, and lots of interesting illustrations. Near the end of the book, children are encouraged to summarize their trip and are presented with the challenge of a fun to do quiz to test their vacations smarts. When all is said and done, the completed book becomes a souvenir for the child and all those who participated in the experience with her. Recommended for children ages six through twelve; a worthwhile investment for parents, grandparents and teachers.

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ARABIAN ADVENTURES

Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask

Written by Darlene Foster

amandapic

Amanda is a twelve year old Canadian student who dreams of travel and adventure. Shortly after she blows out her birthday candles, Amanda’s wish comes true when she is invited to spend a month with her Aunt Ella and Uncle Ben in the United Arab Emirates. Soon Amanda immerses herself in the local culture by visiting a market where a local merchant sells her a mysterious perfume flask that purportedly once belonged to a princess. Amanda meets another young English girl living in her aunt’s building. They explore the seashore and a deserted Bedouin village where Amanda meets Princess Shamza who claims to have sold the perfume flask and her camel to get money to survive. Shamza has run away from her parents to avoid an arranged marriage to a wealthy old man. Lots of adventures ensue: camel races, sandstorms, kidnappings, and meeting Princess Shamza’s true love, a boy named Mohammed. How will Amanda’s journey end? Will she remain friends with Leah? Do the princess and Mohammed find happiness?

This is book one of Amanda’s travels. Lots of action and interesting characters, mixed with tidbits of culture and local customs. Middle grade readers become immersed in the action while learning a lot about multicultural characters and customs. Looking forward to seeing where Amanda will land next. I have a feeling that her love of adventure and generous spirit will lead her readers to be eager to join her again in the future.

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