I like the Thea Stilton series for the same reasons I like Geronimo Stilton, the books contain cultural information and a wonderful array of vocabulary words. My students love the graphic novel-esque feel to the books. The down side to these books is that they are written in a format method. After a couple of the books I am bored. This Thea Stilton book did not excite me as much as I thought it would. Still, for third and fourth grade reading ability the books will hold the interest and students may actually learn something while they read!
Archive for March, 2013
Although I normally LOVE Geronimo Stilton books for their cultural, physical information and the entertaining way in which the books are written, I felt this one was not as good.
Premise: Geronimo feels it is time for a vacation and his cousin agrees. Cousin Trap leads Geronimo to a shady-looking travel agency and then teams up to bully Geronimo into buying an over-priced vacation that turns into a horrendous affair. The plane is dirty, the food inedible, the hotel roach infested, the beach over-crowded, the ocean laden with sharks. The vacation is horrible!
My issue with this book is how much bullying takes place and how easily Geronimo allows it to happen. His cousin, the travel agent, the staff at the airline, the hotel, and even his sister, Thea, bullies Geronimo. The books provide great vocabulary and usually information on the location or adventure in the book. This particular one fell short for me.
You may know by now that I do not usually write bad reviews. I can find something good about any story I read. Unfortunately, this book broke the mold. I really did not find anything worthwhile in this book.
“Tired of his controlling father treating him like a child, sixteen-year-old Anders Tomason yearns for grown-up adventure. Until the day when he opens a magic portal by accident, and a Kriek girl bursts into his locked room with a chemical warlock hot on her trail. Now Anders will discover just how much his parents had been protecting him from, and at what cost.” Goodreads excerpt.
It also felt as though the author really has no clue as to how modern teens speak or think. Jacobs tried too hard to be a sixteen year old boy. Too many references to pimples and the characters were too flat and unbelievable. I would not suggest reading this book until it has had a couple go-rounds with an editor and serious re-writing to flesh out the characters and storyline.
An interesting book based on the “what if the world was about to end?” scenario. The story begins with someone telling a brief tale, somewhat cautionary, but also with an explanation of what was to happen next.
A city, surrounded by a dome. No way in and no way out. The city was built to keep the inhabitants safe from global environmental failure. Fail-safes were put in place: food, water, clothing, materials to live on in the manner the people were accustomed, and a box containing directions on how to get out once the danger was over – or at least when they thought the danger was over. Unfortunately, the box was lost for many years and those who were supposed to know about it forgot. When it was found, it wasn’t by the right people. Actually, it was found and opened by a toddler who still liked to chew paper. See the problem?
Her sister and a friend decipher the instructions just enough.
I can’t wait to read book two to see where they end up and how they survive.
A sweet little cricket finds himself lost in the big subway station in New York. He longs for his home in the meadow in Connecticut. He meets a lovely mouse and friendly cat who help him promote his musical talent. He is found by a little boy whose family owns a paper and magazine stand. The family business is suffering, they have a series of unfortunate events, and life is tough for them all. The cricket brings about fame and fortune before he sadly tells his friends he wants to go home.
Another great period book to discuss with students. Different cultures, immigrants, opera, lifestyle differences between the city and countryside, and economics. Enjoyable read.
- Second Grade Summer Reading List (education.com)
Brother and sister, Jamie and Claudia Kincaid, decide to run away from home. Not because they are being mistreated, not really, but to make a point. They run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and live in the museum! While there they discover a statue, and angel, possibly created by a famous sculptor! Claudia and Jamie decide to solve the mystery of the creator and find out why is was sold to the museum for only $225.00.
What I love about this book as an educator is the teachable moments.Economics and inflation – the book was written in the late sixties and students are fascinated at how the siblings lived on less than $24.00 for a week. I love telling them how much gasoline cost when I was a child! They also have no clue as to the use of an automat. Hint: It has to do with food.
Great discussions to be had. Read it and remember a much simpler time in American history!
- From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (thelitcafe.com)
- Happy Birthday E.L. Konigsburg! (summereadingame.wordpress.com)
- Best Children’s Books to Read to Kids – The Wizard of Oz and more! | Babble (babble.com)
This story still chokes me up. Not because of the dog but because of the boy. It is an old-timey story of what it was like when America was new in Texas. Men had a job to do to provide for their families. That job took them far and wide away from their families. This is the story of how a family had to make changes and make do without their protector and provider. It is the story of how a boy became a man and how his perspective of family changed as a result. Love it!
What I find amazing is the fact that my students did not feel saddened at the loss of the father, the innocence, and the dog. Nothing. No emotion. Does that mean my students are no longer capable of feeling? I don’t think so. I do think they see so much drama, not the good kind, on television they have become apathetic. They feel no empathy because it is not over-dramatized and the emotion of this book must be felt to understand the book. It makes me sad that these children are spoon-fed emotion, action, and reaction without requiring understanding and sympathy for what others have gone through. This actually terrifies me as I wonder what this group of children will become without developing that inner emotion and empathy for others.
- Dogs In Popular Culture – Day 1: The Beloved Dogs Of Literature (deardogdiary.wordpress.com)