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review 2017-11-26 01:08
What We See In the Stars
What We See in the Stars: An Illustrated Tour of the Night Sky - Kelsey Oseid

Square 15 for the 16 Festive Tasks- Science and Astronomy for Newtonmass


What We See In The Stars is a wonderful book with a lot of good information laid out in an easy to read format, great for a beginner astronomer or someone who has taken an interest in astronomy. 
Laid out in successive sections, the importance of astronomy and our understanding of the stars in laid out and written in common language accompanied by wonderful artistry.  The stars are outlined in their importance in history, mythology, culture and science as well as our understanding of what lies beyond.  

Through reading, I developed an understanding of how we see space from the Earth and how this has developed over time.  I was surprised to learn that the Islamic people were among the first to name the stars and their names have been Latinized over time.  I loved looking through Ptolemy's Constellations and learning their stories along with the stars that make them up and how they fit in with Greek mythology.  The modern constellations added many constellations that I had no idea were recognized, such as the microscope, the telescope and the giraffe.  The section of our own galaxy,  the milky way was intriguing. There are beautiful depictions of the moon, it's phases, geologic features and seasonal names. This section also discusses the sun, seasons, eclipses and goes into detail about each planet.  

A gorgeous book that encouraged me to get outside at night and look up to see what can be discovered.

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review 2017-07-01 17:39
Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive!
Two Truths and a Lie: It's Alive! - Ammi-Joan Paquette,Laurie Ann Thompson,Lisa K. Weber

Two Truths and A Lie: It's Alive! presents nine chapters of three stories each about plants, animals and humans where each story seems a little crazy but only one is a lie! Each story is backed up with sources and pictures and might even be sprinkled with some truths making some stories very difficult to see through. 

This was a very fun book to read with middle school aged children. After learning about certain topics, we would read the three stories in a corresponding chapter and have a great discussion in trying to decipher which story was the lie. Our favorite group of stories was the very first one which contained stories of a human-shaped root, an entire forest made up of only one tree and plant communication. The only thing that I would have prefered is if the answers were directly after each section instead of all together at the end of the book, since this made it easy to see the false story for the next section. These stories were a fun way to engage kids and have them do some critical thinking, can't wait for the next one!

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

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review 2016-03-22 19:14
Free Spirit: A Climber's Life
Free Spirit: A Climber's Life, Revised Edition (Legends & Lore) - Reinhold Messner

Reinhold Messner made the first successful summit of Mt Everest without supplemental oxygen. He also climbed the highest points on every continent, all mountains over 8000 meters, and had many first ascents on new routes. He spent decades climbing, beginning as a child in South Tyrol (Italy). He has also written numerous books and guides, restored a farmhouse in Tyrol, and opened several museums about mountain people, climbing, etc.

He also claims to not be foolhardy when it comes to climbing. I disagree. It is amazing that this man is still alive (though some of his climbing partners, including a brother, did not survive their expeditions). "Storm? Lets keep trying! I will keep trying alone! Let's split up!" Crazy talk. He seems to have mellowed a bit with age. He has also had at least 3 wives (3 are mentioned by name in this book), and I can imagine how being married to someone with such a one-track mind would be exhausting. He has at least 1 son and daughter. Even at the age of 70 he cannot stop traveling to remote locales, having adventures.

But the book. It is interesting, the writing is fine if the translation (from German) a bit awkward at times. (Cram full for crammed full, for example.) But what this book needs are a few maps, a glossary of climbing terms, and a glossary of people. So many names are thrown out there (are these people historically significant? some are for sure); so many climbing terms (tower, piton, bivy sac, buttress, rock slabs, friable, etc etc etc) thrown out on the assumption that the reader knows what they are.

So an interesting read, but I do not think I would like this man in person.

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review 2015-11-07 00:09
A Sandy Grave
A Sandy Grave - Donna M. McDine

Friends, Leah, Nicole and Hayley are looking forward to their beach vacation.  When they arrive, they find an unappealing surprise.  A whale has washed up on the shore and the police are investigating!  Someone has poached teeth from the whale.  When the girls notice some men acting strange, they decide to act.  

This is a great story for middle readers.  It brings to light the  important issue of poaching that isn't usually discussed with kids.  The writing is simple but exciting, helping kids dig into the issue.  The characters in the story are easy to relate to and go through the process to ultimately make the right decisions and bring the poachers the attention of the authorities. With a great message and great characters, A Sandy Grave makes an exciting and educational story.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

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