Asia: Its People and History by Bonnie Rose Hudson

asiaFilled with stories, activities, and tons of information, Asia: Its People and History by Bonnie Rose Hudson is a wonderful resource for Christian parents seeking to introduce their children to the people of Asia and the wealth of history about the area.

With her desire to bring history to life, Hudson has created a phenomenal, engaging, and informative resource designed for children ages 8 to 12. The curriculum is divided into sixteen weeks that can be stretched or compressed to best fit your schedule. Each section contains a story, discussion questions, and activities to make learning come alive. Links to downloadable information make it easy to find what you’re looking for more of. After the Answer Key, you’ll find a list of resources that includes suggested reading, in addition to a special free offer from the author. I plan to share my copy with a homeschooling mom I know.

This curriculum will inspire children to learn more. Highly recommended.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Print length: 95 pages
Publisher: Bonnie Rose Hudson
Language: English
ISBN: 9781496041258

You can purchase a paperback or digital copy of this book from the author’s website at http://writebonnierose.com/products/ or the Kindle version at Amazon.

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

My Copán Adventure by Eugene Ruble

 Explore the ancient world of the ruins of Copán with twelve-year-old James and his father, Professor Questor, in My Copán Adventure written and illustrated by Eugene Ruble.

James is excited when his father tells him he will be his assistant on the next expedition Professor Questor makes. They will be traveling to the ancient Mayán city of Copán to try and determine what happened to its people. While there, they study temples and hieroglyphics. They talk about stelaes and pyramids. James takes photos and draws sketches so they can take their information back home and interpret the data.

 My Copán Adventure is a beautifully illustrated book that introduces young readers to the lives of the first people to arrive in the Copán valley about 2300 years ago. Readers follow James and his father on their journey through the ruins, with Professor Questor sharing his wealth of knowledge about the Mayáns and their ancient civilization and answering James’s questions along the way.

The Lil Diva (10) just finished studying this ancient civilization in school, so she truly enjoyed reading the book with me. My Copán Adventure could be used to supplement school learning or in a homeschooling program. It offers a fun and interesting way to learn more about the Mayáns and their culture. What I found most interesting is the author’s note, which makes mention of some of the hypotheses scientists have formed about the fall of the Copán dynasty. One of the ideas is that the destruction of their forests by overbuilding and depleting their natural resources had an impact on their survival. This helps young readers to make the connection between ancient times and their modern world.

This is definitely a book I’m glad to have as part of my daughters’ library.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Paperback:20 pages
  • Publisher:Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc (December 31, 2011)
  • ISBN-10:1616331984
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616331986
  • SRP:  $9.95

I received a PDF version of this book directly from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. Guardian Angel Publishing also released my first book and Eugene Ruble illustrated it. I received no monetary compensation for providing this review.

 

Fifo “50 States” by Hayley Rose

I love books that educate while they entertain. This is certainly true of Fifo “50 States” by Hayley Rose.

In this fun, rhyming adventure, Fifo the Bear invites children to join him on his imaginary tour of the 50 states of America. From Alabama to Arkansas, from Georgia to Indiana, from Missouri to New Mexico, and beyond, readers learn capitals, state flowers, native birds, and  more.

The states are listed in alphabetical order, which I love, and the repetitive rhymes encourage memorization. Each state’s page also includes the state’s motto.  The charming illustrations by artist Jessie B. Orlet include each state flower, bird, and flag, but also other items the state is famous for, which creates an avenue for additional discussion.

I wish I had this book when my daughter was studying U.S. capitals earlier this year.

I highly recommend Fifo “50 States” by Hayley Rose. Learning should always be this much fun.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Inkwell Productions
  • ISBN-10: 0981464823
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981464824
  • SRP:  $23.95


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    State of Reservations by Elysabeth Eldering

    The Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS) returns in Book 3, State of Reservations by Elysabeth Eldering.

    The adventure continues with the third book in this fabulous series for middle grade students. When Matt gets a surprise visit from Jolene, they decide to use his Junior Geography Detective Squad video game to study for an upcoming test. As usual, they place their bets, and the loser has to do whatever it is the winner has chosen–in this case, Matt will have to carry Jolene’s dance bag and participate in warm ups at her ballet class or Jolene will have to come to the skateboard park dressed in grungy clothes and watch Matt’s team compete on Saturday. Neither seems appealing and they are both determined to be the first one to figure out the clues and correctly guess the state in question.

    I’ve been a fan of this series since it began. It’s a great way to help children learn interesting facts about the United States and it encourages them to learn more once the last page is turned. New characters pop up alongside the regular cast of characters in each book, which keeps readers eager to pick up the next book in the series.  The bets are funny and it’s entertaining to read along and see who ends up winning and witnessing the losers’ reactions. As with other books in the series, there is a section that includes additional facts about the state covered in the current book. There is also a set of discussion questions at the end.

    I have a couple of tiny nitpicks for this one. I wasn’t as pleased with the illustrations in this book as compared to the previous two. There was one illustration I didn’t understand at all and another where I couldn’t even identify what the object in the illustration was until I read the text. I also noticed that the back cover spells Jolene’s name wrong twice. The word “Detective” was also left out of the series name on the back cover. Perhaps I received an ARC, but the  book isn’t identified as one.

    Those small challenges don’t take away from a great story that will entertain and educate your children. State of Reservations by Elysabeth Eldering is just another reason for me to love the Junior Geography Detective Squad series. I’m looking forward to the next book.

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC
  • ISBN-10: 0984070869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984070862
  • SRP:  $12.50


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    Wright on Time: Arizona, Book 1 by Lisa M. Cottrell-Bentley

    Travel along with two homeschooling kids and their parents in Wright on Time: Arizona, Book 1.

    Nadia and Aidan’s first stop in their RV adventures lands them in the caves of the Arizona desert. Nadia wants to find minerals and see the rock formations, while Aidan is anxious to check out the bats. Along with their parents, Stephanie and Harrison, the kids go exploring and learn lots of great information about the area and the caves.

    Join the Wright family in their first adventure that involves a mysterious rock, an unknown glowing object in the wall, some strange voices, and a stale egg mite. 

    I’m impressed with the first book in the Wright on Time Series by Lisa Cottrell-Bentley.  The premise of being a traveling homeschooling family offers the opportunity for many interesting and fun adventures.  While some books that attempt to educate and entertain sacrifice plot and natural dialogue in order to devulge information, Cottrell-Bentley does a superb job of making the discoveries lead to bits of information and the surrounding conversations are both engaging and flow naturally.

    I liked seeing the parents so involved in the storyline.  Though the premise helps this along, some kid’s books have parents that play such an insignificant role that you can almost forget they have parents.  I also felt that Tanja Bauerle’s illustrations added a great deal to this book, allowing me to visually get to know these characters.

    The only disappointment was that the level of conflict was a bit lower than I like to see.  I can’t share many details without the risk of disclosing too much of the plot, but what I can say is that while there was conflict, it was too easily resolved for me.  This would not, however, prevent me from reading additional books in the series.

    This book should be a huge hit with homeschooling parents and their children, but also with readers who enjoy fun, traveling adventures that allow them to explore their world from the comfort of their own room.  I hope I’ll get a chance to read more Wright on Time books  to see where the Wright family ends up next.

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Do Life Right, Inc.
  • ISBN-10: 0982482906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982482902
  • SRP:  $12.99
  • In case you missed it, Lisa provided an excellent article titled “7 Ways to Make this Winter’s Family Vacation More Fun for the Whole Family” in November .  You can find it here.



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    State of Quarries by Elysabeth Eldering

    JGDS_State_of_Quarries_cover_rock_fontThe Junior Geography Detective Squad returns in State of Quarries, the second book in this continuing series of the fifty states by Elysabeth Eldering.

    Matt is busy in his room studying when his younger sister Mary Beth strolls in begging to play the game Matt received as a gift from his mother. Like the typical older brother he says, “no”; but Mary Beth soon convinces him that a round would be fun. And like the last time when they played with Matt’s friend Guy, they place a bet. This time, the loser has to perform the other person’s most hated chore.

    Clue by clue pops up on the screen, each clue getting easier as they advance. Who will uncover the identity of the state in this round first? And who will be left doing double chores?

    I eagerly awaited the release of the second book in the Junior Geography Detective Squad series. Book 1, State of Wilderness introduced us to Matt Peterson, his mother, his best friend Guy and his younger sister Mary Beth, and led the kids along on an adventure that made learning fun.

    With Guy only being mentioned in the second book, but not present to participate in the game, State of Quarries depends upon the healthy competitive side of sibling rivalry to move the story along, as each sibling hopes to uncover the answer first and not be stuck with the other person’s most hated chore.

    As I mentioned when I reviewed State of Wilderness, Eldering really taps into what it is like to be a young person, so Matt and Mary Beth are realistic characters. They bicker, they tease, and they each want to win.

    Aidana WillowRaven returns to illustrate the second book, providing cover art and interior illustrations that help depict the clues and the handheld game. The rustic look of many of these illustrations subtly symbolizes the many years of history that the reader is uncovering as she picks up clue after clue and learns United States geography.

    Once the game is over and the state’s identity has been revealed, there is a section that provides more facts about the state and a series of discussion questions. This book is perfect not only for your child, but is also an excellent classroom resource. Teacher’s Guides are also available.

    Learning doesn’t get any more fun than this!

    Rating:    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC
  • ISBN-10: 097975139X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979751394
  • SRP:  $14.99
  • State of Wilderness by Elysabeth Eldering

    JGDS_State_of_Wilderness_by_Elysabeth_ElderingAre you looking for a fun and unique way to get your school-aged child interested in reading and geography? Look no further than State of Wilderness, the first book in Elysabeth Eldering’s Junior Geography Detective Squad series.

    When Matt Patterson’s mother gets him a new geography video game, he and his friend, Guy decide to try it out. Now, Junior Geography Detectives, the boys click through a series of clues to help them figure out which of the fifty United States this round of the game is referring to.

    Just to make it interesting, Matt and Guy wager that the person who guesses the right answer first gets to pick something for the loser to do–and it probably won’t be nice. And when Mary Beth, Matt’s younger sister joins in on the fun, it’s a race to see who will uncover which state could be known as the State of Wilderness.

    This is an impressive start to what I see as being a popular series of books to inspire a love of reading in young people. Eldering speaks their language, makes learning fun, and gives readers a reason to keep turning the pages. Readers will learn a variety of interesting tidbits about one of the fifty states in each book and this book ends with “Stay tuned for some more fun activities on the state,” followed by information about the state’s flag, a map and quiz, and a cryptogram that reveals the state’s motto.

    Kudos go out to illustrator Aidana WillowRaven whose artwork added visual tie-ins to the clues, placing each in the screen of the video game.

    The Junior Geography Detective Squad is a series you’ll certainly want to keep your eye on. I anxiously await the release of the next book.

     

    Rating:   🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC
  • ISBN-10: 0979751357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979751356
  • SRP:  $12.50 (U.S.)