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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-08-16 12:07
Books&Chai Series: 6 Reasons I Fell in Love with Raptor Red by Robert T. Bakker
Raptor Red - Robert T. Bakker

 

Introduction to the Book

My friends already know how crazy I am when it comes to fiction based on dinosaurs. I have been known to wax poetic about such books.

In this book, however, Bakker takes facts about dinosaur life and weaves them into a story. So, it is like reading fictionalized non-fiction!

 

Introduction to the Chai

Now that you have had your book intro, let me proceed by introducing you to another series of blog posts: Books&Chai. Whenever I post with this tag, you will find a book from a genre that goes beautifully with the featured flavor of chai (tea).

Black tea, which is the flavor featured in this post, is known to improve concentration and focus. Since I was reading a book about a very intelligent species, the Utahraptor, I decided black tea would be a smart choice!

 

 

Reasons for all that Book-Luvin’

Now, we move on to the six reasons that made for an awesome read:

 

The Humor

If you have been following this blog, you must know now that for me, humor is an important part in a book. In any book! The more unlikely it seems that the author might be able to create humorous situations (say, like in a book from a bloodthirsty monster’s POV), the more I appreciate it!

 

I found the two examples from Raptor Red funny as heck!

 

 

 

The Sciency Bits

You can’t have a good fact-based book without some science in it. For me, catching glimpses of the science while being embroiled in Red’s latest adventure was a lot of fun!

This particular quote is from a scene when a male raptor comes face to face with a field of red flowers. What’s more, they smell like rotten meat, which the raptor considers food. This kinda blows up its sensory perception temporarily. Faced with such an evocative color, it doesn’t know whether it is supposed to court the blooms, fear them, or eat them!

 

 

This quote is from a scene where Red sees a turtle for the first time. The whole scene was written well enough to have me go Awww and Lol in turns.

 

 

The Dino-Facts

I am aware that I could have included these in the sciency bits mentioned above. But, no! These facts were juicy enough to merit their own category. Snippets of how life used to be for different kinds of dinos gave the book an authenticity.

 

This quote explains how after speciation (birth of a new species from an old one) Utahraptor society had adopted a matriarchal structure.

 

 

This one is about how two completely different species banded together for survival. One of them had longer necks that enabled them to check for predators over a wider area. The other one contributed by their sheer numbers.

 

 

The Poetic Language

I am a sucker for when a scientists takes a theory or fact and describes it with beautiful language.

 

 

The Squicky Bits

Another favorite. There was a bit about how dangerous assassin bugs could be to the raptors. I looked them up and science (and class Insecta) did not disappoint!

 

Absurd Creature of the Week: The Ferocious Bug That Sucks Prey Dry and Wears Their Corpses

 

 

…wears their corpses. I mean corpses! Duuuuuuuuuuuuuude!

 

A Mixture of it All

The example below is an unholy combo of all the reasons that I have mentioned above. Watch them in action:

 

 

Lastly,

 

 

What do you think about the book? Do you like the new tag that this review is sporting?

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review 2017-04-29 03:32
BUGS by Rachel Yu
Bugs! (A Gorgeous Illustrated Children's Picture Ebook for Ages 2-8) - Rachel Yu,Michael Yu
  A wonderful book that shows what bugs look like and explain what they do. Rhyming tells the story. Great illustrations
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review 2017-04-06 05:50
Bugs in My Hair
Bugs in My Hair! - David Shannon

This book is about lice. It is about the discovery and journey of getting lice and managing it. I think this would be great to read in the classroom. We can have a health week the month or season lice really starts to show up in student's hair. We can read the book and then talk about the techniques of not getting lice. When we are done, we will then draw a lice on a piece of paper and give them all names. We will then write ways to help not get lice and place them on a bigger piece of paper that is in a shape of a head. The reading grade I thought would be good was Kindergarten and up. I think any grade could benefit from this book. The Lexile Level is AD520L.

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review 2017-04-01 22:31
Bugs in my Hair!
Bugs in My Hair! - David Shannon

This book discusses a topic that is not very appealing in a fun and creative way. This topic is lice! I believe this book would be a good one to share with any grade. The exile level of this book is 390L. This could be a great way to open the door to a discussion about health. There is also a writing activity I had heard of that was an extension of this book. The students were asked to complete the following phrase: "I woke up one day and had _______ in my hair!" Once they filled in the blank, they had to illustrate the sentence and write at least three more sentences about it. This allowed the children to use their imagination. 

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text 2017-01-21 08:58
First Book Loot for 2017!

 

 
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New Arrivals at appear Midu Reads as the new year starts. I have 3 nonfiction books in the pile & am really excited about those! You can also see Assail by Ian C. Esselmont, a Joe Abercombie, Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson, and  Monster Island by David Wellington--all of which are going to be awesome. There's also Dragon Horse by Peter Ward, which I bought because a) shiny, b) hardcover, c)it had the words, epic, fantasy, & China written on it!
 

Book Synopses

 

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1. Dragon Horse by Peter Ward

 

"Set in ancient China, two brothers fight the classic battle between good and evil as the Shadow-without-name attempts to break free from eternal imprisonment by utilizing the strength and power of the famed dragon horses. Rokshan and An-Lushan are drawn into this centuries-old struggle, along with a young girl destined to become the Spellweaver of her nomadic tribe.
 

As An-Lushan is pulled towards the dark, Rokshan must embark upon a dangerous journey and learn the innermost secrets of the dragons."

 

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2. Assail by Ian C. Esselmont

 

"Tens of thousands of years of ice is melting, and the land of Assail, long a byword for menace and inaccessibility, is at last yielding its secrets. Tales of gold discovered in the region's north circulate in every waterfront dive and sailor's tavern, and now countless adventurers and fortune-seekers have set sail in search of riches. All these adventurers have to guide them are legends and garbled tales of the dangers that lie in wait -- hostile coasts, fields of ice, impassable barriers and strange, terrifying creatures. But all accounts concur that the people of the north meet all trespassers with the sword. And beyond are rumoured to lurk Elder monsters out of history's very beginnings." Read more.

 

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3. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

 

"Cryptonomicon zooms all over the world, careening conspiratorially back and forth between two time periods--World War II and the present. Our 1940s heroes are the brilliant mathematician Lawrence Waterhouse, crypt analyst extraordinaire, and gung-ho, morphine-addicted marine Bobby Shaftoe. They're part of Detachment 2702, an Allied group trying to break Axis communication codes while simultaneously preventing the enemy from figuring out that their codes have been broken. Their job boils down to layer upon layer of deception. Dr. Alan Turing is also a member of 2702, and he explains the unit's strange workings to Waterhouse. "When we want to sink a convoy, we send out an observation plane first... Of course, to observe is not its real duty--we already know exactly where the convoy is. Its real duty is to be observed... Then, when we come round and sink them, the Germans will not find it suspicious." Read more.

 
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4. The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Obsession, Commerce, and Adventure by Adam Leith Gollner

 

"Tasty, lethal, hallucinogenic, and medicinal – fruits have led nations into wars, fueled dictatorships, and even lured us into new worlds. Adam Leith Gollner weaves business, science, and travel into a riveting narrative about one of earth’s most desired foods." Read more.
 

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5. A Buzz in the Meadow: The Natural History of a French Farm by Dave Goulson

 

"In A Buzz in the Meadow, Goulson returns to tell the tale of how he bought a derelict farm in the heart of rural France. Over the course of a decade, on thirty-three acres of meadow, he created a place for his beloved bumblebees to thrive. But other creatures live there too, myriad insects of every kind, many of which Goulson had studied before in his career as a biologist. You'll learn how a deathwatch beetle finds its mate, why butterflies have spots on their wings, and see how a real scientist actually conducts his experiments." Read more.
 
 
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6. Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

 

Betrayed by his family and left for dead, Prince Yarvi, reluctant heir to a divided kingdom, has vowed to reclaim a throne he never wanted.


But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself - all with only one good hand. Born a weakling in the eyes of a hard, cold world, he cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he has sharpened his mind to a deadly edge.


Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast, he finds they can help him more than any noble could. Even so, Yarvi's path may end as it began - in twists, traps and tragedy...

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7. An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

 

In An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, Col. Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks, and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement-and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counterintuitive lessons: don't visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff. Read more.

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8. Monster Island by David Wellington

 

It's one month after a global disaster. The most "developed" nations of the world have fallen to the shambling zombie masses. Only a few pockets of humanity survive — in places rife with high-powered weaponry, such as Somalia. In New York City, the dead walk the streets, driven by an insatiable hunger for all things living. One amongst them is different; though he shares their appetites he has retained his human intelligence. Alone among the mindless zombies, Gary Fleck is an eyewitness to the end of the world — and perhaps the evil genius behind it all. From the other side of the planet, a small but heavily-armed group of schoolgirls-turned-soldiers has come in search of desperately needed medicine. Dekalb, a former United Nations weapons inspector, leads them as their local guide. Ayaan, a crack shot at the age of sixteen, will stop at nothing to complete her mission. They think they are prepared for anything. On Monster Island they will find that there is something worse even than being undead, as Gary learns the true price of survival.
 
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