Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ruby Red, by Kerstin Gier
    Kerstin Gier wrote an impressive first book to her Ruby Trilogy.  Over the centuries Gwen's family has kept a secret.  They are part of team of time travelers who are working to solve a very old puzzle.  Gwen thinks she is a common 16 year old girl.  Her cousin is the one destined to be special.  Charlotte was trained her entire life to be ready for when it was her turn to travel through time.  Yet, the family was wrong.  It wasn't Charlotte who trips into the past but instead it was Gwen.  One minute she's heading out to the store for sweets, the next minute the scene changes.  Gwen couldn't believe she can travel back in time.  Her family is quite upset to find out that she is the magical Ruby that they have been waiting for.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ancient Egypt nonfiction (informational text) book

Code Quest, Hieroglyphs, by Sean Callery
This book is a great combination between mystery, adventure, and codes.  Anybody who is interested in Ancient Egypt needs to learn the basics of hieroglyphics to understand better.  This is a great introduction to them. 

Mummies of the Pharaohs: Exploring the Valley of the Kings (National Geographic Investigat)

Mummies of the Pharaohs, Exploring the Valley of the Kings, by Melvin Berger and Gilda Berger
age age 8 and up (grade 4-7)
This book is an excellent book to learn more about the Pharaohs of the Valley of the Kings.  It has great pictures and diagrams. The pictures are so clear, the items look like you can touch them. 
*Mrs. B's Tip:  If you are reading either Theodosia or Kane Chronicles, understanding the Valley of the Kings and the Pharaoh's buried there will help you visualize when reading. 

Product Details
The Living Tomb, by Jacqueline Morley
I liked this book because the illustrator draws the whole scene and then magnifies smaller parts.  So for example you see the Pharaoh's palace across two pages and then 6 different close ups- Pharaoh's throne, Queen and her sons, scribes at work, etc.  I think this book helps you visualize how these ancient ruins once looked. 

Graphic Library, The Curse of King Tut's Tomb, by Michael Burgan
Grade 3-6
King Tut is the most famous pharaoh.  Why?  Is it partly because it was the first find in the Valley of the Kings that wasn't robbed?  Yes, but that is not the reason why people remember him.  The reason is because his tomb was said to be cursed.  Read the graphic novel to find out the whole story. 

Pharaoh's Boat, by Daid Weitzman
This book really explains how the Ancient Egyptians built boats.  It is very interesting and the story behind the boat is intriguing. 
*Mrs. B's Note: In Kane Chronicles, Sadie and Carter ride this kind of a boat down the Nile.  Helps for visualizing the story.

Secrets of the Sphinx, by James Cross Giblin
One of Egypts mysteries sits in front of three pyramids.  The Sphinx is part lion part man.  It is the World's largest statue.  It was built around 4,000 B.C.  This book talks about the Sphinx's long forgotten history. 

Theodosia, by R. . LaFever

Theodosia Throckmorton and the Serpents of Chaos     Click to see a larger image   Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus   Coming April, 2011!  Love this website!  It offers a blog written by Theodosia, books she's reading, and information about the time period Theodosia lives in.  You can also read a section of the book here.

     This series quickly became a favorite for me.  Theodosia's parents work for a museum in London.  They are very neglectful parents so they often forget all about Theodosia.  She practically lives in the museum and sleeps in her own coffin.  Why you ask? Theodosia is special.  She can feel curses!  She's always careful to keep her hands covered and doesn't lurk in the dark halls of the museum.  Her dad thinks she's very odd, but she's just trying to protect people from these dark curses.  She goes on quite a few adventures trying to stop the Serpents of Chaos from bringing chaos and destruction to London.  She rescues artifacts, control mummies, and even goes to Egypt to save London.  You must read this adventure tale to see how a young girl does it!
*Mrs. B's note:  when reading about ancient cultures, it always helps to research more about that time period, people, and beliefs as you read.  It will surely help you comprehend (understand) so much more.  See my list of Egyptian books to help you. 

Kane Chronicles, by Rick Riordan

The Red Pyramid 

      Rick Riordan does what only he can...create a mystical tale that pulls you in and makes you hang on for dear life.  The Kane Chronicles (Book 1, Red Pyramid and Book 2, The Throne of Fire, Book 3 Serpent's Shadow) are excellent examples of that!  Riordan weaves Ancient Egypt with modern day in a very real way.  Two siblings, Carter and Sadie are separated by an ocean.  Carter lives with his dad, traveling as a archaeologist.  Sadie lives with her mom's parents in London.  On their traditional get together, their lives change drastically.  Carter's father is not really what he seems.  Not only that, but he helps very powerful Egyptian gods loose.  Carter and Sadie now have to save their dad and figure out how to help out.  Get on board this wild ride and hold on! 
*Mrs. B's note:  It will help greatly if you research Egyptian gods as you read this book.  It will make so much more sense. 

     In book 2, Throne of Fire, Sadie and Carter are back at fighting ancient monsters.  Without giving too much away, Sadie and Carter are now running the House of Life in New York.  Their uncle is away and put them in charge of training the new recruits.  Sadie gets separated from Carter when she goes to celebrate her birthday in London.  Instead of finding Grandma and Grandpa, she finds a vulture and a gorilla- well not really but close enough!  Carter has his own problems back in New York with his new "pet".  This time their adventure leads them all over ancient Egypt.  Their challenge is even bigger this time and they don't have Horus and Isis to help them.  Read more to see if they make it back to New York alive! 
*Mrs. B's note: Keep researching about Ancient Egypt.,  especially the timeline of the Egyptian Empire. 

    In book 3, Serpent's Shadow, Sadie and Carter are trying to save the world- yet, again!  The siblings are trying to stop Apophis from swallowing Ra (sun god) and destroying the whole world.  It doesn't help matters any that they are losing every scirmish that arises with the Serpent of Chaos.  They were responsible for the destruction of the 51st Nome in Dallas.  Sadie is worried about Walt and his curse of a shortened life.  Carter is trying to be a leader, but is suffering from self-doubt.  Throw in the mix a deranged ghost from ancient Egypt and you have quite a head-ache.  This was an excellent final book for the Kane Chronicles. 
*Last book in the series

Friday, August 19, 2011

Favorite Rocks and Minerals books

National Audubon Society, First Field Guide Rocks and Minerals
Every rock collector needs this field guide.  It has great pictures, list each specimen's properties, and similar examples. 

The Pebble First Guide to Rocks and Minerals, by Zachary Pitts
I love this book for early geologists (scientists who study the Earth).  The book has great pictures of rocks and minerals and how they are used.  The book also gives properties, where the rocks and minerals are found, and facts about them. 

Scholastic Science Readers, Level 2, Rocks and Minerals, by Edward r. Ricciuti
This is an excellent book for budding geologists.  It is mostly text, but don't let that scare you away!  The informative text explains how rocks are formed, what are minerals, and the difference between igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.  Take your rock passion to the next level.

Jump into Science, Rocks and Minerals, by Steve Tomecek
National Geographic published a wonderful book about Rocks and Minerals.  It has cute characters that will teach you about how rocks are made.  Those cute characters also discuss how the rock cycle works.  I really love the graphics and pictures.  They really pop and look real!

How Soil is Made, by Heather Montgomery
This informative text really digs deep to explain what soil is and how it is made.  It has great pictures and the text is given in smaller chunks.  Learn more about what you have been walking on every day! 

Different Kinds of Soil, by Molly Aloian
Did you know there were different kinds of soil?  This book takes you all around the planet to explain all the different kinds of soil there are.  Great pictures and smaller chunks of text make this a very informative book. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Goose Girl, Shannon Hale

She was born with her eyes closed and a word on her tongue, a word she could not taste. Her name was Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, and she spent the first years of her life listening to her aunt’s stories and learning the language of the birds, especially the swans. And when she was older, she watched as a colt was born, and she heard the first word on his tongue, his name, Falada.

From the Grimm’s fairy tale of the princess who became a goose girl before she could become queen, Shannon Hale has woven an incredible, original, and magical tale of a girl who must find her own unusual talents before she can lead the people she has made her own.

Once Upon a Marigold,, Jean Ferris

Once Upon A Marigold

     Happily-ever-after turned upside down, inside out, and completely over the top! Christian is gaga for Princess Marigold. He's just a commoner, though, and no match for royalty. Heck, he lives in a cave with a troll! And now he's discovered another reason to put his love-soggy heart on ice: Queen Olympia is scheming to take over the kingdom--and she ll bump off Marigold to do it! Can Chris foil her diabolical plans?

Savvy and Scumble, by Ingrid Law



      Mib's family is special.  When they turn thirteen, the Beumont family savvy appears.  What is a savvy?  Each family member has a special power.  Mib's brother Fish controls weather- or at least tries to keep his savvy in control.  Her other brother has power over electricity.  So, Mib's and her family was waiting to find out what her savvy would be.  Two days before her birthday, Poppa got into a terrible accident.  Now Mib's and her younger siblings are on a mission to get to Poppa.  Her journey shows not only her savvy but also friendship and love.  Read this wild ride!!!!


     Ledger Kale's savvy is a total dud -- all he does is make little things fall apart. So his parents decide it's safe to head to Wyoming, where it's soon revealed that Ledge's savvy is much more powerful than anyone thought. Worse, his savvy disaster has an outside witness: Sarah Jane Cabot, reporter wannabe and daughter of the local banker. Just like that, Ledge's beloved normal life is over. Now he has to keep Sarah from turning family secrets into headlines, stop her father from foreclosing on Uncle Autry's ranch, and scumble his savvy into control so that, someday, he can go home.  excerpt from the two books

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tiger's Curse, by Colleen Houck

Tiger's Curse (Tiger's Curse Series #1) by Colleen Houck: Book Cover      

  I LOVE this book!  Colleen Houck weaves an amazing tale filled with what every great fantasy needs: a heroine that thinks she's plain Jane but something so much more special, a dark and handsome stranger with magical abilities, and a strange, exotic land to explore.  Kelsey, an 18 year old, plans to spend her in summer working for an animal trainer at the circus.  She becomes entranced with a white and black striped tiger. She is drawn to him and feels no fear around him.  The tiger leads her to a world quite different from hers. old, rich culture that Kelsey tries to understand as her new reality.  I think if you like Twilight, Hunger Games, or will find Tiger's Curse even better!

  I loved Tiger's Curse so much that I didn't want to leave Kelsey and Ren.  I had a deep desire to find out what happened next.  So, I dropped everything and went to the book store to BUY it (which I never do till I KNOW I love a book- the library is free)!  Kelsey and Ren are separated just as they begin to understand how they feel about each other.  Ren's brother, Kishan helps Kelsey continue on her quest to free the brothers from their curse.  Of course, Kelsey has a very powerful pull on both Indian brothers.  Kishan sees Kelsey through a dangerous test and sees her through an even more dangerous emotional trial. 

  I am smitten by Colleen Houck's characters.  Kelsey is a great female heroine.  She is brave- but in a last minute, trust that you can, kind of way.  She is deeply in love, and honest.  She is loyal to both her tigers, even though it can be painful.  Kelsey continues to try to break the spell that has taken Ren's memories.  Though painful, Ren tries to reconnect to the remarkable American that works tirelessly to save his brother and him.  After an accident, Kelsey is rejected by Ren.  Confused, Kelsey doesn't understand why her love would scorn her.  Kishan tries to console Kelsey.  She finds she trusts Kishan and allows him to help stabilize her.  As the tiger brothers and Kelsey visit dragons, they journey to find their own identities, loyalties, and passions.  This is an excellent book- join them for a voyage you will not forget. 

*PS I am so excited that Colleen's books will become a reality.  The movie will be made in the next year! YEA!