This first book in a new series, Creepy and True, is one of the most fascinating factual books I have ever read. Get ready to have your knowledge about ancient civilizations challenged. The author thoroughly researched each mummy presented in the book, and full color photographs accompany each selection. Some examples of mummies that are very unusual are the mummies of the Tarim Basin, dubbed Witches of Subeshi because they were dressed in outfits which match the description of our Halloween witches down to the tall pointy hats they were wearing, and they are called “myag” which means “magician” or “magi.”. The other one was a man, also discovered in the Tarim Basin. This place is in western China, but he is very European looking, round eyes, long nose, long arms and legs, and he is wearing pants and boots – not at all Chinese. Other mummies from around the world are covered and the history of their lives – down to the last meals they ate – can now be ascertained by scientific methods. The ancients are not to only mummies presented. The soap lady of Philadelphia who was discovered 1874, and the mummies of Lenin and Eva Peron are also discussed. Hollihan also has included delightfully informative “Factlets” in nearly every chapter. These tidbits add to the knowledge of the reader as he/she progresses. The book includes a glossary, chapter notes, a bibliography for each chapter which makes research on an individual mummy much easier. An index will conclude the book. The next two books in the series, Ghosts and Skeletons should prove to be equally thought-provoking. Readers of the supernatural and the macabre will be drawn to the title. They won’t be disappointed. I highly recommend the purchase of this book for middle and high school libraries.
I rarely ever do not recommend a book, but that is exactly what I am doing with this one. While this book is about a highly acclaimed female sports writer (the first one ever inducted into the Football Hall of Fame) it is not a book that young people will pick up and read.
It is a memoir of the life of a woman in her 60’s. There are no chapter titles to help the reader find things. There is no index. There is a chapter of acknowledgements that goes on for 12 pages that are mostly a list of names – page, after page of them.
The writing is rambling and very disjointed. A written organization of some sort, perhaps chronological or a type of sport being covered would perhaps have helped. There are at least seven pictures that are clearly labeled, but the person standing with Lesley in these pictures are NOT mentioned in the text where they are placed. All pictures are grainy, but that might be better in true publication because the copy I read is an advanced publication. I see no possible use for this book in any school library.
The authors have provided the middle school to high school reader with a fascinating book of various experiments in all fields of learning – including Language Arts and Social Studies. Usually, books of experiments are limited to mathematics and/or science.
Each chapter begins with a topic to pique the interest of the reader. The “Content Area” and “Primary Skills’ being taught by the experiment, along with the “Mission Objective” begin each chapter. These sections are followed by “Learning the Lingo” in which the reader learns the terms pertinent to the topic at hand. Next comes the list of materials needed to perform the experiment, followed by the “Plan of Attack,” or the steps in the experiment. Finally each chapter ends with “Take it to the Max,” an attempt to get the reader to go beyond the given experiment and to discover more about the subject on his/her own.
This book is for younger readers, but it may well be used by a teacher or a homeschooling parent for extra activities. I recommend its purchase, but a librarian may have trouble cataloging it because of its broad range of subjects.
This is an interesting book of scientific and philosophic trivia. It poses 84 questions such as: What if we could be young forever? What if nanobots joined in the fight against cancer? What if walls could talk? and What if there were no luck? Each question is followed by a discussion about that question, and an activity related to it. A short biographical sketch about a person who is involved in some way with the topic under discussion is included.
The questions posed also have comments about them from various teenagers. Some questions have a technical corner explaining or introducing something that already exists and is relevant to the question.
The author also included a very detailed end-note section. Many of these references are on line and might lead the reader to do more exploration on their own. They have also included other resources that will help the curious minded to go on further thinking explorations.
I realize the copy I was reading was a reader’s copy for critics, but I would hope that the editors could make the student comments more readable before it hits the market. The typeface I was trying to read was grey-on-grey in that section and I found it very difficult to read those student comments.
I’m trying to pinpoint an audience for the book. Students who love trivia or are just naturally curious about many things will enjoy it; other than that I believe the student audience is limited. I truly liked the book, but its best audience might be for the teacher to use as class discussions or as writing assignments. It is intended for the high school audience, but good readers in elementary school might enjoy it.
I was enjoying the mental gymnastics asked for by the book when I ran across the question: What is awesome didn’t exist? – not an unusual question for that book. What blew my mind was that the example of “awesome” was Harvey Milk, and everything said about him related to the gay community and his actions for that group. This chapter seemed to be out of place because this was about a person – not about an idea, and that really didn’t fit into the concept of the book as a whole. It seemed to me that someone had told the authors they MUST have something in the book about the gay community, so this got stuck in to make some publisher happy. It was totally unnecessary! I do not think it is necessary to stress the sexuality of Milk and to do so in context with the word “awesome.” This inclusion will also make some homeschooling parents and libraries think twice about purchasing it.
When I found this book available for review, I hoped that this might be a book about the flora and fauna of New Zealand, a place that has long fascinated me. I was mistaken. It is about how to make a journal of one’s own environment. The author informs the reader what to look for in his/her own neighborhood, and gives examples of the materials needed. She also give suggestions of how to enter the findings into a nature journal.
The artwork is done by the writer. It is mostly watercolor and pen and ink drawings. It is very pretty and welcomes the eye to explore the pages, even as it encourages the reader to explore the out-of-doors. It does have a glossary and an index to aid in research. I recommend this book for the elementary reader, ages nine through twelve.
This well-researched, excellently written biography of Paul Laurence Dunbar will be one that middle school and high school libraries will definitely want in their collection. Along with Dunbar’s life story, Derby also gives the reader a sampling Dunbar’s poetry. She tells the reader how to read the dialect poems so that the words sound like actual speech.
The facts about Dunbar’s life are delivered in a chatty style that make the reader feel as if Derby were talking directly to him or her. She even uses the first person pronoun, “I” at times to make the reader think that she has first-hand knowledge of what she is telling him about Dunbar. Sean Qaulls completes the book with his pen and ink sketches for the book. I loved the use of pen and ink as the medium for the drawings since the book itself is about a man whose life was using pen and ink. Derby presents us with a chronology of events that affected Dunbar’s life. She includes extra notes and information about each chapter, a bibliography for those who want to know more about him, and an index for the researcher.
I suppose that Derby could not cover everything about Dunbar’s life, and perhaps some of the facts, such as his alcoholism and drug addiction, might be difficult for younger readers to fully understand. However, I think she paints his wife, Alice, as more of a villain than she actually is. Her parents were upwardly-mobile blacks and were very upset that she had married a man with such dark skin. Dunbar’s mother was upset that he had chosen Alice over her and that Alice was very light in color. I believe that both sides had a great deal to do with their separation, and I think it was especially sad that Alice did not receive any communication from his mother when he became very ill. Alice had asked a family friend that she be notified if he got worse because she wasn’t on good terms with his mother; however, that friend suddenly died shortly before Dunbar passed away. None of this changes my opinion about the quality of this book. I still highly recommend it for upper elementary and high school readers.
Finding non-fiction for young readers is sometimes challenging. Finding good biographies about women is also a challenge. This book meets those challenges in an exceptional way. Sojourner Truth’s belief in God shines through clearly without being “preachy.” Her strength of character is obvious, but she is also shown as having fears and sometimes doubts about herself. She is a very real woman.
Ann Turner tells the story of Sojourner Truth to younger readers using Truth’s own words. James Ransome has done a fantastic job with the illustrations. Sojourner Truth was born Isabella Baumfree. She was one of at least 10 children born to her parents. Her mother instilled in her a love for God and a good knowledge of right and wrong.
Her last owner was very cruel and worked Isabella like a draft horse because she was tall and strong. New York was set to abolish slavery in 1827 and her owner had told her that she would go free a year before that happened, but she was injured and her owner refused to let her go, so she escaped with her baby Sophia.
She had to leave her three other children with her former owner because she could not take all four of them on her flight to freedom. When she found out that Mr. Dumont, her former owner has sold her son, Peter, she went to court and won his release. (This was the first case of its kind in the U.S.).
She took the name Sojourner Truth many years later and became a strong voice in the abolitionist movement and with William Lloyd Garrison to free all slaves. I think the book will appeal to children of all ages; however, is specifically designed for grades 1-3. I would highly recommend its purchase for any elementary library.
Rarely do I find nonfiction books that troubles me. This is such a book. It certainly has made me think and should make any reader think. However, I am concerned because it is written for younger readers, and they might not have enough facts at their disposal to recognize the bias that this work presents.
Environmental protection is a high priority for most responsible people. How we accomplish this, is sometimes the topic of huge debates. This book, on the surface, proposes to examine all view points and to open the eyes of the reader to the situations and the proposed solutions. In reality it takes a very definite view of environmental issues and negates or, in some cases, fails to explain the opposing views.
The author takes the position that anyone who disagrees with his conclusions is wrong. He certainly has the right to his opinions and the right to publish them, but to voice those opinions to middle school and/or high school readers as the “real” facts and to make them think that, unless they “see” things his way, they are wrong, moves the book into a type of indoctrination.
I had a person who has a degree in Natural Resources read and review this book. He had some of the same concerns that I had. He went on to state that while the author quotes many sources, he is in actuality quoting the opinions of others. He is not analyzing data from environmental studies. So, the information being presented is a second hand opinion.
Fleischman is an acclaimed writer of fiction for children and young adults. He has also authored some nonfiction books, but they are not about extremely controversial subjects, as this one is. I would like to have seen a more balanced approach to the subject with some questions being offered for the reader to consider on each subject.
There is an excellent chapter on How to Weigh Information which I actually used in considering the credentials of this author. He tells the reader to check out the references and the author – which I did. The sources he used, and those he recommends, are extensive.
I suppose I am more than a little put off by his attitude that the consumers are stupid and only more government regulations will save us from our stupidity. However, I recommend it for the high school library, with the caveat that opposing viewpoints exist and should be recognized. This book is also available in ebook format and in audio.
If you have read this book, I do welcome your comments
Finding a way to engage children and teens in the understanding the dangers of drugs is always a challenge to parents and to teachers. This series offers eye-catching information on a very necessary subject in an easy-to-read format.
Rosa Waters is the author of this series; but she worked with Dr. Joshua Borus, a pediatrician at the Harvard Medical School on the series. The series is designed to attract younger readers and to help them understand quickly exactly what each drug can do to their bodies.
An answer to one pertinent question is found in each two-page spread. The author has included excellent color photographs, artwork, and charts to go along with the text. Words that may need defining are underlined, and those definitions are found in the glossary at the end, as is a bibliography of other sources of information, both print and electronic, that the reader may find interesting or useful.
The introduction, which takes up two and one fourth pages of the 48 pages, is identical in each of the books in the series. If the substance being discussed is able to be overdosed and become deadly, the author has included a paragraph about what to do if someone has overdosed on that particular drug. This paragraph, which takes another page, is verbatim in all books.
Titles include: ADHD Medication Abuse, Alcohol & Tobacco; Caffeine, Energy Drinks, Coffee, Soda and Pills; Dangerous Depressants & Sedatives; Doping:Human Growth Hormone, Steroids, & Other Performance-Enhancing Drugs; Hard Drugs: Cocaine, LSD, PCP & Heroin; Marijuana Legal & Developmental Consequences; Methamphetamine & Other Amphetamines; New Drugs, Bath Salts, Spice, Salvia & Designer Drugs; Over the Counter Medications; and Prescription Painkillers: Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, & Other Addictive Analgesics.
I imagine that some of these titles have the same information in them, and they could actually be verbatim; however, I still feel that the works are valuable resources. I would recommend the purchase of these books for upper elementary and middle to high school students. It might even be worthwhile for pediatricians to put them in their office waiting rooms.
Although this reviewer saw only the paperback version of the books, they are available in hardback and in e-book formats. While the books are not cheap, they are not cheaply made. The covers are high quality paper. The glue in the paperback format is very strong. The paper that is used is of very high quality and is coated to help improve the sharpness of the print and reduce the degradation of the paper itself. It is a little easier to purchase an expensive paperback if it will not crack apart at the first use or easily curl from moisture.
The subtitle for this book is “How Conflict Can Bring You Closer.” The authors are Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott founders of the Center for Relationship Development at Seattle Pacific University. Every married couple should read this book! I can’t say enough good things about it. I’ve been married for 53 years, and I still learned some things about me and my husband.
It is straightforward, clear, and very easy to understand. The reader will not consider that he or she is being lectured, rather take the authors have taken great pains to make the writing very conversational. For instance, they say, “Marriage, over time, is made up of more hard days than most of us can count. After all, we fall in love with a dream and marry a fantasy. We can’t help it…But eventually… the illusion begins to fade, and we start seeing less-than-appealing qualities in our mate we hadn’t seen before… Of course, our partner is doing the same with us. The power struggle starts, and the bickering begins.”
They have filled the text with anecdotes which clarify the topics being discussed. Once, Leslie had dressed to go out with some friends for a bite to eat. She came down the stairs and asked Les, “How do I look?” To which he responded, “Fine with me.” She took what he said as a comment that he didn’t really like what she was wearing, so she went upstairs and changed clothes. In reality, he was distracted by an email and had really not paid good attention to what she asked. They did manage not to have a fight about it, but it might have escalated into one had they not discussed the issue calmly.
Quotes from famous authors and other personages round out the content. I especially liked the one from Daniel Webster: “Keep cool; anger is not an argument.” And, “The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together.” Robert C. Dodds.
The reader will discover the type of fighter that they are: Competitive, Collaborative, Cautious, and Conciliatory. Make no mistake about it, we are all fighters of one type or another (sometimes with bits of one overlapping another).
Included with the purchase of the book is a free app that will help the reader understand his/herself.
There is an appendix at the end, entitled, “Controlling Anger Before it Controls You” that is worth the purchase price alone. Each chapter is also well documented, and the reader will be able to see the sources they used in writing the book.
The authors have also produced materials for marriage enrichment classes that can be purchased.
A great anniversary gift!!! It may well save a marriage.