Posts tagged ‘Washington DC’

PUZZLES AND HISTORY

The Secret of the Snallygaster: Washington, DC., USA (Cities of Adventure)

Written by Rishi Piparaiya

This book is part of a series. In this adventure, the author presents a travel guide to Washington D.C, while presenting a family mystery for the protagonists to solve.

Tara is an insatiable reader, while her younger brother is more interested in sports. They are on a family trip to the US capitol, when they uncover a family mystery. As they wind themselves through the historical monuments and museums of the city, they follow the clues to solve the mystery contained in the yellow envelope they find in Arlington Cemetery.

Readers learn about the museums of the Smithsonian, the National Zoo, the White House and the National Mall as they follow clues. There are a lot of bonus features like a short American history summary, a description of American versus British English, interesting facts about the US, and some of its famous people.

The book is perfect for middle-grade readers who shy away from nonfiction. It is an easy read with short chapters for reluctant readers. Recommended to teachers and parents looking for a good children’s travel guide or American history introduction.

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PERSEVERANCE PREVAILS

Charity’s Big Dreams

Written by La Keya Guy

Illustrated by Bryan Golden and Bryan Aguilar

 

Charity is a sweet, student who works hard and tries to do her best. When Mrs. Jones, her social studies teacher, announces that the top three students in each class will earn a trip to Washington, D.C., Charity is elated. Charity does everything possible to earn one of the spots. But one day, disaster strikes when a power failure causes her to be late for one of her exams. Despite her teacher’s encouragement, Charity is sure that she will not do well. She despairs, but ultimately perseveres and refuses to give up.

This book provides encouragement to children who have problems with self-esteem or lack of self-confidence. The illustrations are attractive and appealing. The book is targeted at a wide range of students, but the thirty-page length probably makes it most appropriate for children in the eight to ten-year-old age range.

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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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