A wonderful basic reference. I learned that more species pollinate than I thought: primarily accidentally by lying in wait for prey, like ambush bugs....moreA wonderful basic reference. I learned that more species pollinate than I thought: primarily accidentally by lying in wait for prey, like ambush bugs. They may be very minor pollinators but they do help.
I wish the author had covered Canadian Tiger Swallowtails and the confusion differentiating them from Easterns. That's a big problem for us here, but, I am sure, not for her. She also doesn't spend much time with the abundant syrphids. But this is a beginner's book.
I love the references at the end and obtained the author's PDF book on bee basics. There are clickable links to al species and groups mentioned in the book.
If you are a. bugophile you must get this book. Just don't get it from iTunes or you can only read it in iBooks. If you do, contact me about converting it for Kindle.(less)
Belly Up Whenever I have read a mystery book (which is not often), I turn to the back of the book to learn whodunit. I then enjoy reading to see how th...moreBelly Up Whenever I have read a mystery book (which is not often), I turn to the back of the book to learn whodunit. I then enjoy reading to see how the author crafted the mystery. But when I read Belly Up, I refused myself that pleasure. I wanted to see how the mystery unfolded and remain part of the audience, and not an observer. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I learned a lot about zoo management. Middle school children should find this very interesting. There is violence, humor, sadness, greed, love, family relationships, chase scenes, good guys, bad guys, and guys you can't determine what they are. The plot isn't simple like many middle school mysteries, and the ending is very satisfying. Read it!
This is a beautifully crafted book with engrossing characters. I may have a problem with the book's apparant conclusions about people...moreOne Crazy Summer
This is a beautifully crafted book with engrossing characters. I may have a problem with the book's apparant conclusions about people in the Black Panthers, but I have to research further before I decide. The Panthers would be a most excellent class research project. What would the class decide about the historical characters that they have read about? If one ignores the politics, the family relationships are complicated and realistic. The book is excellent and I highly recommend it.(less)
Grounded This entirely predictable book is a treasure. I finished it in two hours of non-stop reading. The death theme is very unusual for middle schoo...moreGrounded This entirely predictable book is a treasure. I finished it in two hours of non-stop reading. The death theme is very unusual for middle school literature but Klise does a lovely job exploring the different reactions of the different characters to death. It is a jewel of a book and I highly recommend it to everyone.(less)
This is a sad and haunting DCF nominated book. Heather Henson writes, often graphically, about abuse of animals and children. It broke my heart. Thankfully, I realized that a book about abuse written for middle school children had to have a happy ending, so I was willing to continue reading until the end. But it was painful reading Dream of Night. I admit to having tears a few times. I am glad that the abused girl and horse are well and healing in the end, but their story weighs heavily on my heart. I am glad that I read this book — however I would not have read it voluntarily. I knew it was going to hurt. I recommend that you read it.(less)
Jake is for middle school age children; it is charming, sweet, and endearing; it has a positive outlook and wonderful role-model characters. I highly...moreJake is for middle school age children; it is charming, sweet, and endearing; it has a positive outlook and wonderful role-model characters. I highly recommend this for your child and family. It is an unforgettable Vermont DCF nominee.(less)
You can now call me one of those "old people" that dislike new standards in our society. I don't think it appropriate for the fourteen ye...moreMurder Afloat
You can now call me one of those "old people" that dislike new standards in our society. I don't think it appropriate for the fourteen year old main character in this novel to be involved in the murder of anyone, whether they be evil or not. Yet this happens in Murder Afloat. I have debated myself about this and continue to worry that young people may feel that murder may be justified in some circumstances. I can't condone that. Yet this book is an excellent book: it is well written, has a fascinating plot with well-drawn characters and an unconventional ending for books written for this age group. I have given the book four stars because of this deadly incident; I still don't know whether I should have given five.
Having read The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell, I was keenly interested in this chronicle of Ben, a young Baltimore resident who was shanghaied to work in inhumane conditions for one season on an oyster boat. Jane Leslie Conly obviously researched the history of the era and the oyster industry. She fleshes out the issues of this important, but little known, era in our history. I recommend that you read both books.
Murder Afloat will be an important classroom novel for both its historical context and ecological relevance. The oystering methods used in the 1800s were responsible for the collapse of the oyster beds and the pollution of the bays that were their home. Middle school curricula will be enriched by this book, and many issues are presented that can be discussed in a classroom. Perhaps that is how a teacher should deal with the murder committed by the main character. Is murder ever justifiable? Whom should we designate as judge? I don't have the answers. They are ageless questions.
Driven Goodreads says that Lee Iococca wrote this book with Don Mitchell. Iococca wrote the foreward to the book only. I hope that this is corrected im...moreDriven Goodreads says that Lee Iococca wrote this book with Don Mitchell. Iococca wrote the foreward to the book only. I hope that this is corrected immediately.
This biography, published by National Geographic, is an excellent book with wonderful photographs. Mitchell's writing is clear and he ably shows the conflicting sides of Henry Ford. I do wonder if he explored Ford's antisemitism and antilabor activities. Why would Ford be so inclusive to African-Americans, the disabled, women, immigrants, and workers on the one hand and then be so vehemently opposed to the Jews and "wink" at the violent union busting activities of his pal Harry Bennett?
This is a valuable biography that every school should probably own and should be included in history and reading curricula. But I am lost as to why it is so exceptional that it was nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award in Vermont. It is a good book, but not a great book. It offers nothing new to the Ford history or discussion.
Ordinarily, I would have given this book four or five stars, but because it is a DCF nominee, I have to award it only three.(less)
What a beautiful book. This is a non-fiction account of the efforts to save the Kakapo parrot in New Zealand from extinction. The photography is stunning, the story is sad, the efforts to save the parrot are so valiant and the writing is engaging. I learned that the natural history of New Zealand is utterly fantastic — and has almost disappeared. When this book was written, there were only 87 Kakapo parrots in the entire world. Tonight, according to the web site, there are 120.
The Prince of Mist This DCF book is now my favorite. This is well written and constructed. It is mysterious, spooky, scary — and it should be made into...moreThe Prince of Mist This DCF book is now my favorite. This is well written and constructed. It is mysterious, spooky, scary — and it should be made into a movie. It has more depth and is more complex than the other DCF books I have read. The premise is a bit far-fetched and is not explained well, but it doesn't matter. The characters are warm and fully drawn and there are no teenage stereotypes, which is a relief. This short read would be enjoyed by just about any age.(less)
Stuck on Earth Of the DCF books I have read, this is my favorite. I was very doubtful that I would like this in the beginning but Klass quickly got my...moreStuck on Earth Of the DCF books I have read, this is my favorite. I was very doubtful that I would like this in the beginning but Klass quickly got my attention, made me smile, horrified me with some scenes and generally got me totally involved in the life of Tom Filber, the main character. The book moves quickly and is rich with detail. A wrench is thrown into the plot just after the midpoint of the novel and continues until the end. This wrench will create marvelous classroom discussions that every student will probably contribute to. A great read!(less)
Hero This was a great read: it is an engaging and mysterious story about a boy with superpowers who tries to solve the mystery of his father's death. L...moreHero This was a great read: it is an engaging and mysterious story about a boy with superpowers who tries to solve the mystery of his father's death. Lupica constructs a story that even I found believable — until the end. Lupica's plot seemed to run out of gas about twnety pages before the end of the book. He added a political conspiracy theory to the story that reminded me of Kennedy assassination theories, among other conspiracies. Instead of a unique and creative ending that this book deserved, we got a replay of Oliver Stone movies with shadowy, unidentified bad guys trying to disrupt the American political scene. Four out of five stars.(less)