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review 2017-08-12 19:39
It Ain't So Awful Falafel
It Ain't So Awful, Falafel - Firoozeh Dumas

 

To all the kids who don't belong, for whatever reason.

This one's for you.

- Dedication

 

My dad says that the dogs and cats in America are luckier than most people in the world.

- page 34

 

My dad always says that kindness is our religion and if we treat everybody the way we would like to be treated, the world would be a better place.

- page 40

 

... only bookworms get excited over other bookworms

- page 69

 

"Who would ever have thought that a person could be so powerful, then so completely powerless, all in the same lifetime?"

- page 219 (referring to the downfall of the shah)

 

... even though we belong to three different religions. We are alike in so many more ways than we are different.

- page 299

 

It was only when I stopped pretending to be someone else that I found my real friends.

- page 360

 

 

This was a good read. Zomorod (who changes her name to Cindy) is from Iran. Her father is an engineer who works with American companies building oil refineries in Iran, so they moved back and forth a couple of times.  Now she is starting junior high (which nowadays is called middle school) and doesn't know anyone. She wants to fit in, but she focuses on how different she is from all the other kids. The first friend she makes (in the summer before school) decides she doesn't want to be friends when school starts. Poor "Cindy" is lost and worried and tired of having to explain to everyone where Iran is and how to pronounce her last name.

 

Cindy finds friends and seems to be settling in and basically happy. Then Iran has a revolution, the shah is kicked out of the country, and Ayatollah Khomeini takes over. On November 4, 1979, Iranian students, angry that President Carter allowed the shah to come to the United States, take a group of Americans hostage. This changes Cindy's family's life and her father loses his job.

 

I was in junior high during the Iran Hostage Crisis. I remember feeling vaguely angry at the hostage takers and worried about the hostages. My mom wasn't huge on watching the news with us or anything, but I knew what was happening (at least generally).  

 

It was interesting reading this story told from the point of view of an Iranian girl in America at the time. It was so hard for Cindy's family, and many Americans were so hostile towards Iranians, even though those living in America weren't responsible for the situation and didn't necessarily approve of it. Cindy and her parents were so appalled that a religious leader could be responsible for such behavior. But that didn't save them from hate and discrimination.

 

This is a nominee for the Florida Sunshine State award grades 3-5. I really liked the book and will highly recommend it to our students when school starts. 

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review 2017-07-31 04:27
Coral Reefs
Science Comics: Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean - Maris Wicks

 

 

The Science Comics series uses the graphic novel format to inform kids (and adults) about popular topics. In this case, the topic is coral reefs. The narrator is a sassy yellow goby fish who explains the facts about coral reefs and their inhabitants. There is a wealth of information in this book, and it may be a bit much for younger kids. Then again, if they are interested in the subject, kids can remember a surprising number of facts. The illustrations are bright and beautiful, and labeled diagrams are provided to help explain the facts. In the back of the book, readers will find a glossary, bibliography, and a list of additional resources. The book also gives information about conservation and real examples of what kids can do to help.

 

The book was a fun read and I learned a lot about coral reefs. 

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review 2017-07-31 04:23
Daydream Receiver
Daydream Receiver (Jake Maddox Graphic Novels) - Jake Maddox,Eduardo Garcia

 

 

Gus Blackburn is on the football team, but he always sits on the bench. He dreams of being a great player, fitting in with his teammates, and talking to the girl he has a crush on. But dreaming isn’t helping. Gus needs to get beyond his daydreams and work for what he wants. In the back of the book are questions promoting visual literacy, descriptions of football positions, and a glossary.

 

The series is perfect for reluctant readers, especially boys.

 

I liked the book, even though books revolving around sports don't usually interest me. This is a cute graphic novel and a fun story.

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review 2017-07-31 04:14
Cleopatra in Space
Cleopatra in Space #1: Target Practice - Mike Maihack

 

I loved this book. Cleopatra is transported from Egypt to the future and to the planet Mayet. There she is recognized as the savior, there to defeat the evil dictator whose is conquering civilizations. But even in the future, Cleo has to go to school and deal with friendship issues.

 

The artwork is beautiful, and the cinematic flair brings the action to life. Cleo is a strong, fearless heroine that girls can look up to. 

 

If you are interested in Egypt at all, this is the book for you. it is fun, exciting and I'm looking forward to reading more in the series.

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review 2017-07-31 04:04
One Dead Spy
Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: One Dead Spy - Nathan Hale

 

 

In One Dead Spy, historical figure Nathan Hale, America’s first spy, tells the story of his life and the American Revolution. The novel brings readers that feeling of “being there” and relates real-life historical events with humor. The illustrations are sepia toned with some red thrown in, as in the uniforms of the British army. 

 

This book is well written, with lots of facts, and humor too. Kids will enjoy learning about history and laughing at the same time. :)

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