Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mary Leaves Little House

Mary Leaves Little House
Elizabeth Kimmel Willard
Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-06-000906-9, $15.99, 2008.

If you have always liked the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, you will love "Mary Leaves Little House." In the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, it focuses on her life on the prairie and its many struggles. Mary Ingalls is the older sister of Laura who because of scarlet fever is legally blind.
Rather than being a burden to her family, her family pitches together to get Mary an education and a future. Mary enrolls in the Iowa College of the Blind. She has always been the more silent sister who doesn't have as much spunk as Laura. Will Mary always be the wall flower or will she ever get the respect that others can.

"Mary Leaves Little House" tells the story of Mary's time at the college and her many adjustments to living away from home. Mattie has anger issues and sees Mary as a spineless wallflower who she can verbally abuse. Mary accepts her lot in life but just how much abuse can Mary accept before she blows up?

The author Elizabeth Kimmel Willard did her research on using actual facts about Mary Ingalls history on the college's campus. Its written in true easy to read "Little House" style. I hope that this author writes many more books like this one featuring the oldest Ingalls girl. I'm also very impressed that the founders of the college cared that much about these special people with disabilities to develop a college especially for them.

Harvey the Great Lakes Whale

Harvey the Great Lakes Whale
Wiliam George Nelson
Whale Tale Publishing
430 South 14th Street, Escanaba, MI 49829
ISBN: 978-0-9796220-0-7, $12.00, 2007.
Reviewed for Reader Views Kids, 2/08.

Have you ever taken a wrong turn and ended up somewhere wonderful? Sometimes making a mistake can lead to an exciting adventure. Harvey is a young whale who doesn't always listen to every thing his parents tell him. His not listening has led him to become entangled in a ship. Unable to free himself, he ends up traveling many miles from his home and the salt of the ocean.

Being in fresh water rather than salt water gives him an opportunity to make new friends and learn about where he now lives. His new best friend is Tommy Trout. Being friends they help each other out of difficult situations. Some of the other characters he meets are: Gertrude the Gossipping Sea Gull, Susie Salmon and Stuart Sturgeon.

This is more than just a great story book. After each chapter, there are descriptions of many different types of fish. It is like a travel book to the Upper Pennisula of Michigan. I have visited some of the very same sites that Harvey visits. I remember feeling much the same way when he found himself inside the Soo Locks between the United States and Canada. I loved this book and hated to see it end!

If you are looking for a book to get your young fisherman or fisherwoman hooked on reading, you will definitely want to catch this one!

A Strong Right Arm

Title: A Strong Right Arm
Author: Michelle Y. Green
Published by Dial Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 0-8037-2661-9, $15.99, 2002.

It's almost springtime and you know what that means? Its almost time of year to head out to the ball fields and take in a game. Baseball is loved by many people all over. Who hasn't heard the old familiar song "Take Me Out to the Ballgame. How did women get to play baseball? Baseball like everything was male dominated. Men and boys could play sports but for women and girls that just didn't happen. For black women it was even more unheard of. A poor black girl could never dream of playing sports with others and hitting the big time.

"A Strong Right Arm: The Story of Mamie "Peanut" Johnson" is a biography which is sure to be loved by young baseball lovers. It is a very inspirational book for any girls or even boys who believe that they can't face up to the odds and be a success. Mamie's road to success in a boys sport does not come easy but for her the rewards are playing her favorite sport.

I'm a baseball fan and loved this book. The fact that this is a biography makes it that much more interesting. Its not just a made up story. Michelle Y. Green makes a home run with this book. Even Mamie Johnson would say this is a definite hit!
Kevin Scott Collier
Tweener Press
Baker Trittin Press, PO Box 277, Winona Lake, IN 46590
ISBN: 0-9752880-2-4, $10.95, 2004.
Reviewed for Reader Views Kids, 03/08.

Do you like to get email? If you do and find it interesting to read emails, you will like Jordon Mink. He got an email from heaven. He must leave this earth immediately. The emails come from Barth Penn who lives in heaven. Barth is assisted by all different angels who are trying to convince Jordan to come to heaven. Its only Barth who talks to Jordan but the angels give him advice.

Can you imagine his response when opening up his email. He goes through four months corresponding with Barth. There are blank pages in between some of the emails because Jordon does not reply to his email partner. Jordon was undergoing some medical treatment.

"" is a very interesting book for young readers who like fantasy books. Their story is told by reading each email and seeing just how the story develops on and on. I read this book in 2 days, it was so exciting. Its definitely a book which you can't lay down until you are finished with it.

You never know what might end up in your inbox. But you definitely won't get any from heaven like young Jordon did!

Ghost of the Chicken Coop Theater

Ghost of the Chicken Coop Theater
Linda Salisbury
Tabby House
PO Box 544 Mineral, VA 23117
978-1-881539-44-5, 2008
Reviewed for Reader Views Kids, 03/08.

Summer is almost here! What do you plan to do with all your summer days and nights? Bailey, Fred and Noah have come up with an idea how they could make their summer fun and get extra credit for their homeschool at the same time. Let's change the old chicken coop into a theater! Sparrow is a friend of theirs who wants to be a part of the production even though she is forced to be in a wheel chair. Noah and Fred are Bailey's adopted brothers. Sugar lives with her grandmother because neither of her parents care about her.

Their dad offers to help them convert the chicken coop into a theater. As long as they help with fixing it up for rehearsals and the production of the play. After all, they still have to do their regular chores. The play should have some history in it since there are alot of ghosts in the history of their area. But the kids also like space adventures. They enlist the help of Dr Robinson who helps them with a delightful and entertaining story. They came up with the idea of charging admission because they wanted to raise money for the chickens. They brainstorm their own ideas for a play and are given an old trunk full of costumes. It looks like they might have their own production after all.

Donise and Bean check into the Keswick Inn.Donise goes by the name of Lil' Bonbon and is immediately intrigued by the children's goals. However, since she was a child actress she decides that she needs to be the #1 director. She even rips up the script that the kids worked so hard to develop. Li'l Bonbon is brutually mean to all the cast members and certainly HATES Clover, Noah and Fred`s dog. Lil' BonBon walks off in a huff. Will the production be put together by the end of summer? One of the kids thinks that they can drive, but end up in the lake and need a rescue, is there a reason why Bailey's last name is Fish?
"The Ghost of the Chicken Coop Theater" is a great story! It uses some historical facts along with a great storyline. It shows kids who have an imagination for their own fun. It also serves as a lesson on how to deal with a bully even if the bully is an adult. I loved this book and didn't want to set it down until I was completely finished. "The Ghost of the Chicken Coop Theater" will have you cackling with laughter from start to finish.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln
Sam Wellman
Barbor Publishing Inc.
P.O.Box 719, Unrichsville. Ohio 44683
978-1-59789-971-0,$7.95, 1989
Reviewed for Reader Views Kids 03/08

Who is that guy on the penny? Why did they use his face on the penny? Couldn't they find a more attractive guy or did he just have the right profile that they wanted. Maybe you do know that Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president. Did you know that Illinois is known as the "Land of Lincoln" because he was so important in American history? Abe Lincoln is also known as honest Abe. Did you know that he was a Godly guy?

He believed in equal rights for all people. He had been around alot longer than Martin Luther King Jr. Abe Lincoln freed the slaves. It didn't matter that some guys have white skin and others black. He believed in freedom for all. For standing up for what he believed in, he faced death. In fact, when he was sitting in a theater, someone decided to kill him even though he was the president of the United States.

"Chronicles of Faith: Abraham Lincoln" is written like a novel for kids. It uses historical information and presents in a kid friendly format. Through the use of this book, you can learn more about this famous American without studying a History textbook. After reading this book, I now have a new appreciation for this slave freer president. Way to go, Abraham!

Corbin Bleu to the Limit

Corbin Bleu To the Limit
Betsy West
Price Stern Sloan div. of Penguin Group
375 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
ISBN: 978-0-8431-2685-3, $4.99, 2007.
Reviewed for Reader Views Kids 03/08.

Have you ever heard of Corbin Bleu? Maybe? He is more popular as Chad from High School Musical. Do you know all of the REAL facts about Chad/Corbin? Like starring Nathan on Flight 29 down. Did you know that February 21st is a day to celebrate his birthday. He has been involved in television and film since he was just 2 years old. He is following in his Dad's footsteps.

If you ever wanted to read the story of his life and just what he likes and dislikes, then you will want to read "Corbin Bleu To the Limit." If you think he is just such an awesome guy and want to be the envy of your friends, you will want to read this book and know all the interesting facts of this great looking guy's life. There is alot more to Corbin than just his good looks, acting ability and dancing ability. The sky is the limit in knowing all there is to knowing who Corbin is. I am sure that at least one of the cool facts about him will astound you.Take him to the limit!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

First and Ten

First and Ten
Jeff Rud
Orca Book Publishers
P.O. Box 468 Custer, WA 98240--0468
978-1-55143-690-6,$7.95, 2007.
Reviewed for Reader View Kids, 03/08.

Sometimes there's more to life than just being a football player. Sometimes we have to tackle more difficult situations than just playing a game with a piece of pigskin.

Matt Hill is excited to be a part of his football team but he has found himself in some sticky situations. Off the field, he has to try and build a relationship with his father who has suddenly appeared after 10 years of being absent in his life. Matt also is trying to be the best friend and teammate to Ricky who is dealing with a father who gives him too much attention but the right kind of attention. Which is worse having a dad who was gone and came back or having a dad who is too aggressive? Should both boys look to Coach Reynolds as a role model when dealing with father issues? He's a man, will that help?

"First and Ten" will certainly score a touchdown for football fans and young readers ages 8-12. We all have to make decisions both on and off the field. Jeff Rud will score many points with young readers who enjoy a good book about one of their favorite sports. This is a very well written story with good lessons in succeeding on and off the field.

I hope Jeff Rud has already kicked off his next book in this series, its one you won't want to miss!

You`re A Brave Man, Daniel

You`re A Brave Man, Daniel
Kay Arthur, Janna Arndt
Harvest House Publishers
Eugene, Oregon
978-0-7369-0147-5, 1995
Reviewed for Reader Views Kids 03/08.

Who is famous for getting thrown into a den of hungry lions but not get eaten? You probably have heard about Daniel in the Bible. If it was you or I that would be thrown into a lions den we would most likely panic and know that we were going to die. But Daniel wasn't worried? Why, because he knew God would help him. God wouldn't let that happen to him unless it was his time to die and go to live with Jesus. This is just one of the tough situations that Daniel found himself in throughout his life.

The name Daniel means "judged by God." Yes, Daniel was judged by God and how did he shape up? Daniel trusted in God through everything. God used him as an example how we should be Christians through everything. What a great role model Daniel was for us. He always trusted in God above all things. We don't have to be worried about our futures because its been planned out by God.

Kay Arthur has created a Bible study for kids in studying the remarkable man Daniel. Sections of Holy Scripture are studied in details. "You're a Brave Man, Daniel" is a very easy to use and fun experience for kids 8-12 to learn more. I could easily see this book being used in a Bible School or Sunday School. There are word searches, puzzles and places to draw pictures throughout the book. You can personalize your experience by studying each page. You are bound to learn more about Daniel. By the time you're done, when you are asked who Daniel was. You will be able to say more than "he's that guy in the den of lions." By studying him, perhaps you will be able to handle being bullied like he was by Nebuchadnezzar and knowing that God is with you to defend you from any bully.

Note from Brianne's mother: For the last few months I have been attending a Bible class on the book of Daniel which Brianne attends with me. Through the use of this book, she has been able to understand more about what is being said in Bible Class. It is my hope that she will be able to use him as an example when faced with difficult situations in her life too.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Janey Junkfood`s Fresh Adventure: Making Good Eating Great Fun!

Janey Junkfood's Fresh Adventure: Making Good Eating Great Fun!
Barbara Storper, MS RD
Food Play Productions
ISBN: 978-0-9642858-5-9, $15.95, 2008.
Reviewed for Reader Views Kids

Do you want to eat better? Do you find yourself always wanting junk food even if you know its not good for you? Maybe you just want to get to know more about better food choices. If you do and don't want to read about how to diet or want a book that stresses dieting, you need to pick up "Janey Junkfood's Fresh Adventure."

Janey and her dog Tobi which is pronounced to be are your guides throughout the book. They go through an average day and explain what choices are available to you. Not skipping breakfast is stressed. You might think you will lose weight or be healthier by skipping it but its simply not true. If you skip breakfast you are skipping nutrition that will be used through your whole day. This book is very easy to read and is a fun book without it sounding preachy or too technical for kids to understand.

The pictures by Frances Schneid are awesome! They are bright and colorful. The ones that look like photos in a scrapbook are so funny and just add to the delight of this book. I think kids of all ages will enjoy this book and learn alot about nutrition while having alot of fun. In my opinion, the ideal audience would be kids in grades 2-6 but could definitely prove to be enjoyable for kids outside those ranges. I wish Barbara Storper and Frances E. Schneid combine their talents together for more great books about issues that are important for kids to understand!

One taste of this book and you won't be satisfied till you are done indulging in the pages of the whole book!


Chronicles of Faith: Ruth
Kjersti Hoff Baez
Barbour Publishing
P.O. Box 796 Ulrichsville, OH 44683
ISBN; 978-1-59789-928-4, $7.95, 1990.
Reviewed for Reader Views Kids.

Perhaps you have heard of Ruth, she is one of the most famous women in the Bible. But you're a kid and want to read the story in a way you understand. "Chronicles of Faith" take historical figures and tell their story in a kid friendly way. The books read like novels but are very easy to read. This series has been created for kids ages 8-12. With larger print words and illustrated with many pictures, the stories read easily.

The story opens with Ruth holding a baby. She had lost her husband and wondered how she would go on. Her fomer mother-in-law Naomi and sister-in-law Orpah are by her side. Naomi tries to encourage the two widows to return to their homeland and families. She feels that the young women would be better off without her and perhaps will each find other husbands. Orpah listens while Ruth clings to Naomi's side.

With God's guidance, Naomi and Ruth travel to Naomi's homeland. Naomi encourages Ruth to glean in the fields not knowing the fields are owned by a relative who can redeem the land and Ruth could still have the family and prosperity that she desires.

If you wish you could understand more of just what happened in the story of Ruth, you need to pick up this book. Based on Biblical facts, you are sure to learn some things that you may have missed in Sunday School or Bible Class. Its amazing how preservance and God's guiding hand can change the course of what looks like certain disaster.

Homework Helpster Grade 5

Homework Helpster Grade 5
Published by Play Bac Publishing USA
ISBN: 978-1-60214-002-8, $12.95, 2007.
Reviewed by Reader Views Kids.

Are you smarter than a 5th grader? Or maybe you are a 5th grader that is being challenged by some of the concepts in your science, social studies, geography, math or language arts. Would you like to have a book in your house that will be like having your own personal tutor to help you along in 5th grade? Your help is all in one compact volume.

If you find yourself doing your homework and can't remember what an integer is...look it up. Whats the difference between igneous rocks, sedimentary or metamorphic rocks? This is an awesome resource for 5th graders. How do you do that multiplying fractions thing, its all here. Homonyms and Homographs are words that sound something like each other but are totally different things but why? The book comes with a built in stand so you can stand it up and it can accompany you while you are doing your homework. On one side of the pages are the subjects of social studies and math, just flip it over and you can research science and language arts.

My mother and I were both very excited when we found this book. She instantly thought this would be a great help to me. My mom sure was right! I really stink at math and with this handy book I am able to grasp difficult concepts more quickly. You don't have to just be looking for help to find something you can learn out of this. I think my mom has learned more things about these subjects just by having this book in the house maybe its just that she has forgotten some of these facts since she was in 5th grade. This is a must have resource for any kid who wants to succeed in 5th grade. You too can be smarter than all the other 5th graders!