A Toad That Explodes and Other Cool Animal Facts by Melissa Abramovitz

Did you know that horned lizards can shoot blood from their eyes? Discover other mind-blowing facts about animals!

Age Range: 10 – 12 years
Grade Level: 2 – 3
Lexile Measure: HL470L
Series: Mind-Blowing Science Facts
Library Binding: 32 pages
Publisher: Capstone Press (January 1, 2019)

Purchase here!

Melissa Abramovitz is the author of hundreds of magazine articles, more than 30 educational books for children and teenagers, numerous poems and short stories, and several children’s picture books. She is a graduate of the University of California San Diego. Visit her website at www.melissaabramovitz.com

New Release: The Third Mushroom by Jennifer L. Holm

Ellie’s grandpa Melvin is a world-renowned scientist . . . in the body of a fourteen-year-old boy. His feet stink, and he eats everything in the refrigerator–and Ellie is so happy to have him around. Grandpa may not exactly fit in at middle school, but he certainly keeps things interesting. When he and Ellie team up for the county science fair, no one realizes just how groundbreaking their experiment will be. The formula for eternal youth may be within their reach! And when Ellie’s cat, Jonas Salk, gets sick, the stakes become even higher. But is the key to eternal life really the key to happiness? Sometimes even the most careful experiments yield unexpected–and wonderful–results.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Lexile Measure: 0500
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (September 4, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1524719803
ISBN-13: 978-1524719807

Purchase from:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Popular Clone by M. E. Castle

A hilarious scientific adventure story, Popular Clone by M. E. Castle is a must read!

Fisher Bas is a twelve-year-old, geeky science genius at Wompalog Middle School. The son of Nobel Prize-winning parents, he struggles to fit in, while being accosted on a regular basis by overgrown goons he calls the Vikings. Tired of being picked on and listening to his parents’ claims that things will get better, Fisher uses his mother’s revolutionary Advanced Growth Hormone to create a clone, which he names Fisher Two. From the comfort of his home lab, Fisher spends the day playing video games and working on his latest inventions, while Fisher Two navigates middle school. It’s a brilliant plan, until Fisher Two becomes more popular than the real Fisher, and is then kidnapped by the evil Dr. X., sending Fisher on a dangerous adventure to rescue his clone.

Oh my gosh, I can’t tell you how much the girls and I laughed while reading this book. The Lil Diva (11) and the Lil Princess (8) thought this was the best story. Not only do you have a unique take on bullying, between the crazy inventions, hilarious artwork, a flying pig, and the antics of numerous characters, how can kids not love this book. What I enjoyed most is that it tackles the topic of bullying in a light, fun manner. Bullying is a serious issue. And what this book teaches kids–though they might not even know it–is that there is a time when you will come into your own. That just because you’ve been a victim of bullying once, doesn’t mean you will be forever. Fisher’s journey after creating Fisher Two is one fueled by his jealousy over his clone’s popularity, that is then tempered by his desire to save his genetic counterpart when he’s in danger. Fisher must move outside of his comfort zone and see what he is made of in order to rescue Fisher Two. It’s not easy for every victim of bullying, but the more books that provide young people with relatable characters who do face up to or deal with their bullies, the more empowered these victims will be.

Middle-grade boys are sure to love Popular Clone for its antics and adventure. But girls will find many things to like about it too. Fisher and Fisher Two are great characters that provide tons of silly moments, and some tender ones too. Any youngster who enjoys science will get a kick out of this book.

This is the first book in a series by debut author M. E. Castle. The second book of The Clone Chronicles is now available.

Highly recommended.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Reading level:Ages 8 and up
  • Hardcover:320 pages
  • Publisher:EgmontUSA (January 24, 2012)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1606842323
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606842324
  • SRP: $15.99

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

Lightning Strikes by Kevin McNamee

I’m beginning to think Kevin McNamee can write anything. He wrote a book about a girl who wants to trade in her sister; he wrote a tale about a young boy who imagines what it would be like to be just about anything; and he also wrote a book about rulers who were so bored they made up silly rules for their people to follow.

Now McNamee has written a book that combines Science and Math in a fun way. Lightning Strikes teaches kids to count backwards while it also explains how you can use counting to judge how far away thunder is. In his typical style, McNamee uses humor and rhyme to tackle a less than funny subject.

Children can be scared of storms. The little boy in Lightning Strikes is no different. As he counts backwards, the thunder gets closer and closer, until even his parents have joined him under the bed.

Artist Eugene Ruble provided the illustrations for this one. As some of you might know, Ruble also created the artwork for my book, Little Shepherd. His versatility as an artist never ceases to amaze me. In one book the illustrations can be serious and touching. Then in the next book they are zany and silly.

In addition to the fact that McNamee’s books are always fun, he comes up with some of the most unique story ideas. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
  • ISBN-10: 1616330953
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616330958
  • SRP:  $9.95
  • Also available in eBook formats through the publisher’s website.



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    Newton and Me by Lynne Mayer

    Title: Newton and Me

    Ages: 4-8
    Author: Lynne Mayer

    Illustrator: Sherry Rogers
    Paperback or hardback: 32 pgs, Hardback or Paperback
    Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing

    Publication Date: March 2010
    ISBN-13:  978-1-60718-067-8  (H)  $16.95/
    978-1-60718-078-4  (P)   $ 8.95

    Reviewed by Kathy Stemke

    Lynne Mayer’s story of a boy and his dog, Newton, playing and discovering the laws of force and motion will delight kids everywhere.  Whether this duo is playing with a ball or solving a problem with a wagon full of rocks, they illustrate how Newton’s laws of motion affect the world we live in every day. 

    The whimsical illustrations by Sherry Rogers will fascinate young children as they find new details with each reading.  The clever rhymes will help new readers to navigate easily through this informative story. 

    “Saturday morning I was asleep in my bed,

    when Newton, my dog, dropped a ball on my head.

    Then Newton and I ran out the back door,

    We had the whole day to play and explore.” 

    In the “Creative Minds” section at the back of the book Ms. Mayer recaps the laws in simple language, and asks the children some questions to reinforce and continue the learning process.  

     “A pull is a force that moves something toward you.  What are some things in the book that the boy pulls? What are some things that you might pull?”

    She continues to challenge kids by asking them to match up these laws with illustrations from the book.  More facts about Sir Isaac Newton and his important contributions to math and physics are included here as well.  As a teacher, I treasure Lynne Mayer’s book, Newton and Me, as a fun-filled, and useful tool for every classroom.



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    Mr. Choli’s River Trip by Chris Wardle

    The residents of Daphne Wood return in the second book of Chris Wardle’s Tinfish series, Mr. Choli’s River Trip.

    Now settled into their new location, the members of the colony living in Daphne Wood are happy with their new place. In their previous adventures, they discovered a tunnel that leads to a town long ago deserted by the people whose wars and diseases caused their demise. Traveling through the tunnel from time to time has allowed Mr. Choli and Mr. Ginger, the cats, to stock up on their supply of canned fish that they keep in an abandoned car they now call home. The detective shingle proudly in place, Mr. Choli has certainly gained a lofty reputation for his investigative work.

    When Mrs. Cat-biscuit, the goat, shares her concern that the vegetation in Daphne Wood is struggling to survive in the heat and wind, Mr. Choli and Mr. Ginger lead another expedition to find new plants that are better able to handle the increasingly hot conditions. While back at Daphne Wood, Mr. Denzel, the mole, and the remaining members of the gardening team start a new project that just might protect the existing plants in the colony from the harsh conditions.

    I enjoyed Mr. Choli’s River Trip even better than the first book in the series. New adventures, new characters, and the developing friendships among the residents of Daphne Wood, add to this already engaging and thought provoking series. Again, the reader gets the opportunity to witness how the climate changes have impacted the colony and the ingenuity of the residents working together to solve the problem. The cooperation amongst the characters is truly one of the best parts of these books; teaching readers that working together, they can make a difference. In addition, the prose flowed even more smoothly in this book than in the first, making Mr. Choli’s River Trip an even more exciting adventure in reading.

    The cover art on both of these books is downright hilarious. I absolutely love the picture of Mr. Choli with his pipe and magnifying glass. All he needs is a Sherlock Holmes hat. The back cover of both books has color versions of some of the illustrations found inside.

    I would definitely recommend Mr. Choli’s River Trip to any youngster interested in environmental issues, those who love animals and nature, and readers who like engaging stories filled with fun and quirky characters. I can’t wait to read the next two books in this series!

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Publisher:  Lulu
    • SRP:  $7.96



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    December Releases from Guardian Angel Publishing

    As I Watch, a Littlest Angels by Author, CHITRA SOUNDAR and artist SAMANTHA BELL. Read about how a tiny egg changes into a creepy crawly and then into a colorful, elegant butterfly. The repetitive text helps young readers to join in the reading.
     
    The Sister Exchange, a Littlest Angels by author KEVIN MCNAMEE and artist KIT GRADY. Dealing with sibling rivalry in a fun and creative way, The Sister Exchange reinforces the bond between siblings, and increases reasoning skills through comparison.  
     
    Poodle & Doodle a Guardian Angel Animals & Pets, by author DONNA SHEPHERD and artist JACK FOSTER. Angel thinks her life is ruined when Leah brings home a new dog. Will her worst fears be realized or will the new arrival make life better than Angel could have ever imagined? www.guardianangelpublishing.com/poodle&doodle.htm
     
    Circulation Celebration: The Sum of Our Parts Series, an Academic Wings, by author BILL KIRK and artist EUGENE RUBLE.
    www.guardianangelpublishing.com/circulation.htm  “Circulation Celebration” is an anatomical rhyme which is all about the blood inside you and how the heart keeps it circulating so all of your tissue cells get fed and stay healthy.  



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    We’ll be reviewing Poodle & Doodle and The Sister Exchange, along with If I Could Be Anything by KEVIN MCNAMEE, which was released by Guardian Angel Publishing in November 2009.