Monday, March 5, 2012

My First Dinosaur Book

ABOUT THE BOOK: ROBBIE: I like this book. It is good for early readers who love dinosaurs. It includes basic facts about dinosaurs like; weight; name; height. There are also name pronunciations and pictures and diagrams. My favorite dinosaur in it is the T-Rex. Some other dinosaurs are Brachiosaurus, Velocirapters, and Triceratops.

 GET T FOR YOURSELF: Book Sellers' Website

HANNAH'S INTAKE: This book is like The Complete Book of Dinosaurs, but for younger kids. I would recommend it for children K- 3. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

AR Program at Weir Middle

ABOUT THE PROGRAM: This program counts as part of students' grades. At the beginning of each school year students take their STARS test. The STARS test gives the students a range (their reading range from the lowest point to the highest they are capable of, ex. 3.4-6.7.) Based on that range, their Language Arts teacher gives them number of points that they must achieve. Library books are marked with a sticker with the above symbol. On the inside cover of these books there is a reading level and a number of points that can be gained by reading the book. Students choose a book on their level, read it, and take a test. To pass the test they must get at least 60.00% correct. At the end of the year, the school hosts a field trip known as the BIG EVENT to students. At the BIG EVENT, four students--one from each grade--receive a trophy and a T-shirt for getting the most points in their grades. The four runners-up from each grade receive T-shirts, too. You can also earn a prize by having your name drawn. To attend, you must reach your goal 100% 3 times, and get at least 95% the 4th time. If you cheat, you are excluded.

FIND IT ON THE WEB: Weir Middle's Website

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

ABOUT THE BOOK: This book is about Scout, a little girl growing up during the Great Depression. She has many adventures throughout the story such as finding things hidden it an old gnarled tree, or going with her older brother to the home of a grouchy old lady. She meets interesting characters like Dill, a boy who is staying with his aunt. An important part of of the story is the trial because it leads to other events like fights among the characters.

WHAT I LIKED: Boo Radley; Dill; Calpurnia; and Calpurnia's church.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: Boo Radley. Just because he doesn't like to be seen doesn't mean he is bad or unkind. It just means that he's uncomfortable around others because of his origins. For example, he wrapped a blanket around Scout the night of the fire. He saved her and her brother from someone who tried to hurt them, and I think he was the one who left the things in the hollow tree by the schoolyard.

MY FAVORITE PART: The part when Boo wraps a blanket around Scout as she and her brother, Jem, watch the house fire. It was kind of him as he did not really know her.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The unfairness of the trial. Tom Robinson, who is an African-American, is tried by a jury of racist white men. Even though no likes Bob Ewell, it`s him or an African-American, so of course they pick him. How much justice is in that?

CHARACTER I DIDN'T LIKE: Bob Ewell. He tried to prosecute poor Mr. Robinson for raping his daughter, but it was the other way around. Later he attacked Jem and Scout on their way home. He's an all-around mean guy.

MOM'S TAKE: I've read this book perhaps 20 times, and I still cry at the end over the fragility and sweetness of the character who takes such an interest Scout and Jem's childhood. It was a real joy finally being able to share this with Hannah. There are some serious themes, and, if you aren't comfortable talking to your child about racism, violence and rape, it's not time to share it with them yet. We had some very serious, yet necessary, conversations.

BOTTOM LINE: You should read this book. The fact that it's banned doesn't mean a single thing, and it's somthing that people need to read.

FIND IT ON THE WEB: Harper Lee fansite

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

ABOUT THE BOOK: This completely EPIC book is the continuation of Meghan`s, Ash`s and Puck`s, story. It is told through Ash`s POV. It's about Ash`s journey to find a soul, so he can be with Meghan and fulfill his promise to be with her. Accompanied by his ancient rival Puck, and his guide, Grimalkin, he sets out to find a way to survive in the Iron Realm.

WHAT I LIKED: The GINORMOUS surprises and all the new characters. I also think it`s funny that two of the new characters dislike Puck because (of course) he raised their ire.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: Grimalkin obviously. He is the optimus maximus (the best and the greatest) because he is the brightest and most sarcastic. He very much reminds me of Yellowfang from Warriors by Erin Hunter.

MY FAVORITE PART: The goblin who tries to steal Ash`s sword. Poor goblin, I guess it was just too stupid to live. Anyway, it is my favorite part because Ash is all like: Nobody touches MY sword.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The witch lady with the chicken house. I disliked her because she wanted to cook Puck for stealing a broom. A BROOM! He gave it back, too.

THE BOTTOM LINE: You must read this book! Grimalkin is in it! I made a equation: Grimalkin + surprises + new characters = Awesome. It is extremely good. I got it on the 25th and finished on the 26th, because it THAT good.

FIND IT ON THE WEB: Julie Kagawa`s site

Friday, October 21, 2011

Adventures of Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

ABOUT THE BOOK: These books are about two kids -- Tom, who was well-brought up by his parents and his Aunt Sally, and Huck, who was the exact opposite. His mom died, but his father doesn't care about him. He lives in a barrel, he smokes, he doesn't go to school and he uses a dead cat to get rid of warts. They go on adventures and find money, see a dead body in a graveyard, see someone get murdered, swear blood oaths, become pirates until they get bored, attend their own funerals, play games "by the book," drove whomever looking after them crazy, and helped Jim the slave escape. 

WHAT I LIKED: Tom was all about presentation -- he had to make things as complicated as possible -- like when he tried to get Jim out of prison, while Huck just wanted to get things done. They were using case knives to dig under the foundation of Jim's prison, and eventually, Tom's hands got sore, and he said that they should use pickaxes and pretend they were case knives. He took a sheet and tore it up to make a rag-rope, even though Jim didn't need a rag-rope, because it was in the books. All it did was make his Aunt Sally very angry.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: I liked Tom Sawyer, because he was nice to Huckleberry Finn, who was poor and had no family, except for his dad, who I don't think counts, because he tried to con poor Huck out of his hard-earned money. Huckleberry Finn, because he helped Jim so Jim could escape and not be a slave anymore. He felt guilty sometimes for not turning Jim in, but then Jim would tell him that he was a good friend, so Huck couldn't turn him in. Also, Jim, because he was trying to save his babies. He wanted to escape so he could earn money to save his wife and babies. He wanted to buy them back from slavery.

MY FAVORITE PART:  The class put a cat on a string and lowered it down very gently from the rafters on top of the teacher's head to show that he had a wig. The cat landed on his head, and they pulled it back up, and it had his wig in its claws.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: I didn't like Pap, because he would say "give me money!" and would just buy beer, and never bought books, toys, clothes or food for Huck. He would just buy beer and he was super lazy. He made Huck get him food. Half the time, he just left him and disappeared.

THE BOTTOM LINE: People should read it, but there are a lot of things people might not like. They use bad words to describe people. It's not nice, but they talked that way, because they didn't know any better. It was weird, when the preacher talked about how God loved everyone, but they didn't treat the African-American people right.

MOM'S TAKE: This was a valuable book to start discussions about slavery, Civil Rights and how other people should be treated. We talked about how our country has changed, and what we still need to do.

FIND IT ON THE WEB: The Official Web Site of Mark Twain

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Why the Leaves Turn by Me

I wrote this by myself, and it's an Aboriginal story. I wrote it for Ms. Donefee, my gifted teacher. We are studying Australia, and she told us to write Dreamtime stories. Dreamtime is Australian mythology. It explains why things are the way they are now.

Why the Leaves Turn

     A long time ago, in the Dreamtime, there were three friends. Their names were Mendlav the Kangaroo, Abi the Eagle and Bali the Robin, and they would run in the region of what is now Queensland.

     The leaves never turned colors, and the animals had no warning of winter. Every year, the animals would suffer from hunger and cold.

     One day, Abi complained, "winter is always creeping upon us -- we never have enough time to migrate!"

     "I believe that we must do something," said Mendlav, "or this shall go on forever."

     "Aha! I know what we must do!"

     "What is it, Bali? Tell us," begged the eagle and kangaroo.

     So Bali told them his brilliant plan on how to warn the other animals. They agreed it was a great idea, and they would try it soon. 

     The next day, Abi flew high into the sky to watch for winter. Five days later, Bali heard Abi's cry, "winter is coming!"

     Bali began rubbing the leaves with his red chest until they turned red. When Mendlav saw the red, orange and yellow leaves, he kicked the trees so the leaves fell. Animals began to prepare for winter.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins

ABOUT THE BOOK: Katniss is a fifteen-year-old girl living in future North America. In her time period, North America has fallen, and risen again as a new nation -- Panem. Panem is made up of  one large city with twelve districts surrounding it. The Capital controls all of them. Once the districts rebelled, but they were overrun. To insure that there will not be another rebellion, the Capital hosts the Hunger Games annually. Each district must provide one boy and one girl between ages 12 and 18.     

WHAT I LIKED: Rue because she smart and nice; Prim because she liked to help others; and Madge because she tried to help Katniss.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER: Rue because she smart and nice.

MY FAVORITE PART: When my favorite characters team up.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: When one of the best characters die. It was lame, because they were awesome.

THE BOTTOM LINE: It's a good story, but it's a little gory. If you are sensitive you may not want to read it.

FIND IT ON THE WEB:  Suzane Collins site.