Very interesting and makes me read all food labels suspiciously :-). Fascinating glimpse of the science behind how and why food--especially processed-Very interesting and makes me read all food labels suspiciously :-). Fascinating glimpse of the science behind how and why food--especially processed--tastes the way it does. But the book sort of leaves you hanging... you kind of want more of a solution....more
Very engaging, although I found the first 2/3 more so than the last 1/3. Several girls' stories are woven together as they first agree to work for theVery engaging, although I found the first 2/3 more so than the last 1/3. Several girls' stories are woven together as they first agree to work for the government to "help win the war" until the culmination after the bombs were dropped and Oak Ridge becomes a "regular" city. I think this book will be most interesting to those who have lived/worked in the area around Oak Ridge--or perhaps another national lab....more
Clear, interesting prose filled with historical details, excerpts of letters, and information on the persecution during Durand's day. Excellent visualClear, interesting prose filled with historical details, excerpts of letters, and information on the persecution during Durand's day. Excellent visual details: photographs of the actual places in the story, solid artistic portrayals of Marie and her family, etc. Timeline of events included....more
Vibrant, colorful water colors breathe new life into this familiar fable of the lazy grasshopper and industrious antsFirst reviewed on Redeemed Reader
Vibrant, colorful water colors breathe new life into this familiar fable of the lazy grasshopper and industrious ants. Beginning with the front endpapers, illustrations tell of a lonely, proud, and lazy grasshopper who would rather play than work until winter forces his hand. In contrast, his fellow ants, who worked diligently during warmer weather, get to enjoy the fruits of their labors when winter comes. The ants take pity on the grasshopper, offering him food and shelter. In return, his music enlivens their wintry home.
The seasons come to life as well as the insect world in this detailed, busy picture book. The short text resists the urge to preach, and many pages are wordless. Young readers will enjoy studying the details that are realistic as much as they will enjoy Pinkney’s added touches of clothing, dishes, and musical instruments in his delightful, complex paintings. Highly recommended both for its artistic qualities as well as its message, this book is a great illustration of Proverbs 6:6....more
While there’s more to it than simple cooking finesse, one German baker put his baking talents to heroic use during the American Revolution, receiving high praise from George Washington himself!
Christopher Ludwick was passionately committed to his new country’s freedoms and reward for personal industry. When Revolution loomed, he left his thriving bakery to offer his jovial, rotund self to General Washington. Seeing the hunger etched on the troops’ faces, Ludwick put on his apron rather than weapons and set to work. Ludwick was instrumental in showing foreign soldiers kindness and wooing them to America’s promise.
Charming illustrations in the style of gingerbread cookies enhance this cheerful, patriotic look at the service ordinary people provide when they serve where God has gifted them. Ludwick went the extra mile with General Washington himself, providing thousands of pounds of bread for their starving former enemies at war’s end. *Note: Endpapers include a gingerbread cookie recipe; in addition, see excellent author’s note at end...more
Alec’s parents have split up—just temporarily, they say, but Alec is worried nonetheless. Mom is following her dreamFirst reviewed on Redeemed Reader
Alec’s parents have split up—just temporarily, they say, but Alec is worried nonetheless. Mom is following her dream to be an actress out in California, and Dad is the new assistant principal at Alec’s elementary school in Atlanta. This is a “worst case scenario” for the start of a new school year. To top it off, his close friend Morgan is suddenly acting more like a girl—which means “weird” to Alec. And his friend Trey is also acting a little off.
When Alec beats his older brother Antoine out for a key football position on their new team, things go from bad to worse. Alec wonders how things can possibly be more miserable. And then his grandmother shows up to “take care of them.”
Throughout this chapter book, his friends speak up to Alec about their own beliefs and how Alec’s actions are affecting others. (Trey’s dad is the Falcons football team chaplain, and Morgan’s stepdad is a pastor.) Alec begins to go to church more regularly, and in the end, he really does want to trust the Lord.
"I needed to be like Joseph and trust God. My job was to pray for my parents and trust God to help them work it out."
This is a chapter book series with a message, but the authors do a great job of mixing authentic “issues” and real life events with strong Christian themes. Alec learns to curb his quick words and reign in his thoughts. Word searches and information on the game of football will engage some reluctant readers. The end of the book includes some helpful discussion questions as well as a mini-grammar review on sentence construction. A great choice for anyone working with after school programs or in tutoring environments, this series is also a fun choice for young football lovers....more
Nancy is from Sierra Leone, orphaned, and new to school. But some of the girls who skillfully turn the Double Dutch rFirst reviewed on Redeemed Reader
Nancy is from Sierra Leone, orphaned, and new to school. But some of the girls who skillfully turn the Double Dutch ropes during each recess invite her to join them one day. Nancy finds friends and quickly learns new skills with the group. The small group of six girls is quite diverse culturally, yet they are united by their Double Dutch passion. After one of the girls sees a flyer for a state Double Dutch competition, their passion is channeled into winning.
The owners of the neighborhood convenience store agree to sponsor the girls for the competition. Hours of faithful practice plus lots of compromise and teamwork precede the big competition; do they have what it takes?
First in a series about these Double Dutch teammates, the message is stronger than the writing, but the setting and diverse group of friends will appeal to many young girls. A couple of the girls also demonstrate a strong Christian faith that sets a good example for their teammates....more
Morgan Love is beginning second grade in a new school. Her mom is about to have a new baby, her dad just left for a NFirst reviewed on Redeemed Reader
Morgan Love is beginning second grade in a new school. Her mom is about to have a new baby, her dad just left for a Navy deployment, and her stepdad is not on her favorites list. To top it off, her grandparents have to drive her to school on the first day. Morgan has a bad attitude and doesn’t care who knows it.
Morgan struggles to apply her family’s words of wisdom and the instructions she remembers from church about encouraging others, having the right kind of attitude, and taking her frustrations to the Lord. Morgan learns several lessons: she can love both her stepdad and her biological father, her baby brother isn’t half bad, and she can be nice at school.
Full of good intentions and a good message, this novel makes up for so-so writing by truly encouraging its young readers to take their thoughts captive. Morgan’s life will resonate with many young readers caught up in similar family dynamics, and educators will find the vocabulary words Morgan is learning a nice perk. Reading level, academic content, and themes are especially targeted to second-fourth graders. Word searches, discussion questions, and a short grammar review (that relates to the story!) are included. For more books about Morgan, see Making the Team.
Thought-provoking read about reading, but those who aren't already readers/interested in reading will find it a big long-winded I fear (even though itThought-provoking read about reading, but those who aren't already readers/interested in reading will find it a big long-winded I fear (even though it's a relatively short book):
*ditch the "to read" list (as prescribed by others a la Bloom, Adler, and their ilk) and read according to Whim (which involves serendipity, but it also involves knowing yourself and being willing to work on occasion for harder reads)
*you don't need to always read the classics/heavy reads/"Great Books" (I interpret this to mean there's room for brain candy!)
*it takes work to remove distractions; for Jacobs, it was his kindle (appreciate his point that e-reader tech isn't of the devil and sometimes tech can work in favor of reading!)
*interesting reflections and great quotations on the history of reading as a leisure activity-->especially interesting was the idea that reading hasn't always been ubiquitous across all society levels and perhaps that's an anomaly we can't sustain? Some are "born readers" and some grow into that, but not all will love it/settle in? *...more
A great read that manages to feel both old-fashioned in all the right ways AND still contemporary in tone. Micah's relationship with his grandfather iA great read that manages to feel both old-fashioned in all the right ways AND still contemporary in tone. Micah's relationship with his grandfather is so well done. Jenny is a terrific foil as Micah's best friend. I figured out the grandfather's "miracle" request before the end, but I don't know that younger readers will--nor did it spoil anything for me. Micah grows immensely in this book and turns out to have some serious spunk and faith in the end. (He always had the faith; it just hadn't been tested yet....).
I think even kids who don't normally like fantasy will enjoy this one--it's not "high fantasy" with dragons/witches and the like. ...more
This is hilarious--as only a team composed of the likes of Mac Barnett, Mo Willems, Jon Klaasen, and their ilk can be. Witty, clever takes on the clasThis is hilarious--as only a team composed of the likes of Mac Barnett, Mo Willems, Jon Klaasen, and their ilk can be. Witty, clever takes on the classic kids' newspaper fare (think: mazes, word puzzles, drawing directions, secret words, spot the difference and other similar features), this book compiles 44 weekly inserts into one fantastic kid resource. Heavy duty paper, single sided--kids can cut out the random finger puppets and other games without messing up the rest of the book. Need a temporary tattoo? There are some suggestions. Need to fake a shower or an illness? Gotcha covered.
This is going on my gift-giving list for sure for some kids I know! (This is reminiscent of the spirit behind the Wreck This Journal)...more
Yard sales: passersby think, “bargains!” while sellers mourn, “my stuff!” Callie’s family is moving to an urban apartFirst reviewed on Redeemed Reader
Yard sales: passersby think, “bargains!” while sellers mourn, “my stuff!” Callie’s family is moving to an urban apartment presumably because times are tough; they are having a yard sale to help downsize. In one touching scene, a woman bargains with Callie’s mom to drop the price on a bed because there are marks on it. Callie thinks, I wish I hadn’t put the crayon marks on there. They were to show how many times I had read Goodnight Moon.
Whether a family is having a yard sale because they must down-size or simply want to move some unwanted clutter to a new home, children are likely to sympathize with Callie and her sadness over losing her bike and toys. Thankfully, the story doesn’t end there. Callie recognizes that their stuff wouldn’t fit in their new place but we will fit in our new place. And we are taking us.
A book that addresses an “issue” (downsizing/economic hardship) but will resonate even with those who haven’t experienced it, Yard Sale reminds us that people are more important than things, an attitude we are called to countless times in Scripture. Castillo’s childlike art is a gentle accompaniment to Bunting’s story and will both draw in young readers and reassure them....more