Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Jon Scieszka presents GUYS WRITE FOR GUYS READ

Jon Scieszka has compiled a rich collection of stories, comics, mini-memoirs and other treats from world-famous writers, illustrators, cartoonists and editors of boy-favorite publications like Sports Illustrated and The Onion.

All write about being boys, from their unique perspectives. Each piece is short, bitter or sweet, and often illustrated. A new foreword and an excerpt from Scieszka's Knucklehead is included to round out this newest edition.
Writers range from M.T. Anderson to Paul Zelinsky with ninety-one others in-between.

GUYS READ is Szieszka's Web site connecting guys with the stuff they like to read.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Off to War: Voices of Soldier's Children by Deborah Ellis

The author specializes in creating fiction and nonfiction which carries to her readers the voices of children throughout the world. These are some of her words about this important book:

"Beyond the financial and political costs of these(Iraq and Afghanistan) wars, there is a high human cost. Untold numbers of civilians living in Iraq and Afghanistan, including many children, have lost their homes, their livelihoods, and their lives due to these wars....

But participating in a war as a soldier also carries a high cost. Part of that cost is being paid by the military families who are left behind, especially the children. As the wars drag on, deployments(time spent in war zones) are extended and repeated. Mothers and fathers are returning home altered by their experience of being involved in killing and surrounded by devastation, and sometimes finding their families changed, too in their absence."

OFF TO WAR contains mini-interviews with young children, ages 6-17, from Canada and the US. Their parents are in either the regular military or members of the Reserves and National Guard who have been deployed. The kids are honest about the negatives and positives of being a military kid. Kids in similar circumstances, but who have no one to talk to about it, will find this book refreshing.

Our Farm: Four Seasons with Five Kids by Michael J. Rosen

Rosen spent two years on the farm in Ohio with the Bennett family, Mom and Dad, and the five Bennett kids, ranging in age from 17 to 4. He chronicles the year, through the seasons and through the voices of Caleb, Chase, Cayne, Grey, and Ali, along with Dave(Dad), and Becky(Mom) and the three family dogs.

His format is lively, awash in detailed photos and closeup scenes of every conceivable aspect of the farm, including the manure piles. He starts each section with numbers, as in Spring: By the Numbers, using data on cows and their production, chickens and their eggs, fish swimming in the pond and so on.

This reviewer grew up on a similar small farm and was captivated by the details, the explanations of farm processes, in the voices of the kids who live them each day. If you want to know about reaching under a hen for eggs, burying the beloved family dog, or feeling the squishy bottom of the pond on a hot summer's day, it's all here.

All ages.

How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate: Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming by Lynne Cherry & Gary Braasch

Lynne Cherry, our foremost children's environmental writer, and photojournalist Gary Braasch, show us the science behind the headlines, in terms that are hopeful and not terrifying to young people. They explore evidence from flowers, butterflies, birds, frogs, trees and glaciers gathered from scientists all over the world, sometimes with assistance from young "citizen-scientists." And they discuss what young people, and their families and teachers, can do to learn about climate change and take action.
Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature,says"This is a necessary book. It treats kids with respect--they deserve to know what's going on. But they also deserve to know that there's much that can be done, and much that is being done."

Focus of the book: ages 10-14, with color photographs.