April 24, 2014

Review: World War 1 for Kids: A History with 21 Activities

One hundred years after the start of the “Great War,” World War I for Kids provides an intriguing and comprehensive look at this defining conflict that involved all of the world’s superpowers. Why and how did the war come about? What was daily life like for soldiers in the trenches? What roles did zeppelins, barbed wire, and the passenger ship Lusitania play in the war? Who were Kaiser Wilhelm, the Red Baron, and Edith Cavell? Young history buffs will learn the answers these questions and many others, including why the western front bogged down into a long stalemate; how the war ushered in an era of rapid military, technological, and societal advances; and how the United States’ entry helped end the war. Far from a dry catalog of names, dates, and battles, this richly illustrated book goes in depth into such fascinating topics as turn-of-the-20th-century weaponry and the important roles animals played in the war, and explains connections among events and how the war changed the course of history. Hands-on activities illuminate both the war and the times.Kids can:

·         Make a periscope
·         Teach a dog to carry messages
·         Make a parachute
·         Learn a popular World War I song
·         Cook Maconochie Stew
·         And much more

Thoughts From a Teacher and Student:

I'm not a history teacher (I teach English), so I had one of our history teachers take a look at the book. Here's what she had to say:

haven't read the entire book but the parts I did read are historically accurate and include engaging details. The projects are creative and seem like fun, I could see offering some of them as extra credit. The sad part is that we don't have that much time to go into detail on WW I.

So she did like it but she did have a concern using it in class:

The book is not bad but I can't figure out who is the audience for it. The title says that it is for kids but I would put the reading level at middle or even high school. The projects are neat and cute but many are not practical for a class of 30. (One of them involves training a dog to carry a message.) I feel like it is made for homeschooled kids, small classes with lots of time to spend on WW I. 

So in short she liked it but see's some limitations using it in class.  BUT definitely sees how kids themselves would be interested in it!

Now coming from my daughter who is a HUGE history fan - she grabbed the book right away and was completely absorbed in in for awhile! :) so I think it's perfect for individual kids even if you don't use it in your classroom - maybe even it have it out for kids to pick up and look at/read when they have time in class. 

Praise for World War I for Kids for Kids:

WWI for Kids Cover_low-res.jpg“A solid exploration of a horrific war.” –Kirkus Reviews

World War I for Kids makes a useful addition to many collections, and a particularly interesting feature in the back matter is a list of WWI films, from Charlie Chaplin’s silent Shoulder Arms to the recent War Horse.” –Booklist

World War I for Kids: A History with 21 Activities
By R. Kent Rasmussen
Chicago Review Press from IPG
ISBN: 9781613745564
176 pages; 11 x 8 ½
Ages 9 and Up
Price: $17.95 (CAN $21.95)
50 B/W Photos

About the Author:
R. Kent Rasmussen is a former reference book editor and the author or editor of a number of books on Mark Twain, including Mark Twain for Kids, Mark Twain A to Z, and Dear Mark Twain. He has contributed articles, essays, and reviews to the Los Angeles Times, Library Journal, and many others. He lives in Thousand Oaks, California.

Disclaimer: Book provided by publisher for an honest review

April 23, 2014

I Am Grateful For: Downsiders by Neal Shusterman

Downsiders by Neal Shusterman

Love this book! I read it many years ago but I still really remember it.  It was one of the first real YA books I read and it was fantastic.  What always bummed me out was that there wasn't a sequel.  I was lucky enough to meet Neal Shusterman, and I asked him about it.  He said, no there would be no sequel.  So sad! Check it out if you want to see a story that came before books like Gregor the Overlander or The Maze Runner.  It's not identical to them, but it has the same feel.  

Fear the Topside, or be crushed by its embrace

Beneath the sewer grates and manholes of the city lies a strange and secret world called the Downside. Every Downsider knows that it's forbidden to go Topside, and most fear a collision of the two worlds. But fourteen-year-old Talon is curious about what goes on above ground, and one day he ventures out in search of medicine for his ailing sister. There he meets Lindsay, who is as curious about Talon's world as he is about hers.

When Lindsay visits the Downside for the first time, she marvels at the spirit of the Downsiders, and the way they create works of art from topside "trash," like old subway tokens and forgotten earrings. As awed as she is by the Downside, however, she also questions its origins, and when she finds out that this fantastic world is not all it appears to be, she is determined to tell Talon the truth. Then a construction accident threatens to crush Talon's world, and his loyalty is put to the test. Can the truth save the Downside, or will it destroy an entire civilization?

April 22, 2014

Summer On the Short Bus Book Blast!!! +GIVEAWAY

Very excited to help out promoting Summer On the Short Bus.  
This book looks great! 
Check out the details about it!


Release Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Running Press Kids

Spoiled, Versace-clad Cricket Montgomery has seventeen years of pampering under her belt. So when her father decides to ship her off to a summer camp for disabled teens to help her learn some accountability, Cricket resigns herself to three weeks of handicapped hell. 

Her sentence takes a bearable turn as she discovers the humor and likeability of the campers and grows close to fellow counselors. Now, if she can just convince a certain Zac Efron look-alike with amazing blue eyes that she finally realizes there's life after Gucci, this summer could turn out to be the best she's ever had.

Summer on the Short Bus is a very non-P.C., contemporary YA with a lot of attitude, tons of laughs, and a little life lesson along the way.

"Crandell creates a wonderful and relatable protagonist with Cricket but even better than that, she surrounds her with equally relatable, flawed, and real characters...This book is an absolute winner!" – Feathered Quill Book Reviews

“A novel oozing with heart and humanity.” - Ken Baker, E! News correspondent and author of Fangirl and How I Got Skinny, Famous and Fell Madly in Love

“A hilarious and heartwarming ride.” – Jennifer Salvato Doktorski, author of How My Summer Went Up in Flames and Famous Last Words

Get the Book:


Bethany lives in San Diego with her husband, two kiddos (one of whom is differently-abled), and a chocolate lab who has no regard for personal space. She believes that prayer solves problems and that Jake Ryan is going to show up at her door any minute now…. She is represented by Rachael Dugas of Talcott Notch Literary Services.

One Winner will get: a Signed Copy of SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS
One Winner will get a $25 Gift Card to Amazon or B&N – winners choice!
Open Internationally for the Gift Card. Book Ships in US only. Must be 13 + To enter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

April 21, 2014

I Am Grateful For: Life as We Knew it by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Ok so it might be kind of weird that I'm grateful for a book that's all about the destruction of the world but I am! It's a great book that really makes you question.  I've read a bunch on dystopia, but this is the first one that got me really thinking about what I'd do how we'd handle it.  After reading this book I'd think about when doing mundane things like washing dishes because I'd realize that if I lived in the book having water to do dishes would be rare! It had that much of an impact!

Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? As summer turns to Arctic winter, Miranda, her two brothers, and their mother retreat to the unexpected safe haven of their sunroom, where they subsist on stockpiled food and limited water in the warmth of a wood-burning stove.

Told in journal entries, this is the heart-pounding story of Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all--hope--in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world.