MrsK's K-8 Books Worth Reading

my best-reads-for-k-8 shelf:
MrsK Books's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (best-reads-for-k-8 shelf)

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mutation by Roland Smith

It's Here....Are You Ready?
ISBN:  978-0545081801
 Publisher's Synopsis:
Monsters of legend come to life! The final thrilling title in Roland Smith's popular series
Marty and his best friend, Luther, have managed to rescue Marty's cousin Grace from the clutches of the nefarious pseudo-naturalist Noah Blackwood, but their most dangerous mission lies ahead of them. Marty's parents have been missing in Brazil for months and their trail has all but run cold. With time running out, Marty and the Cryptos Island crew race off for Brazil -- where they discover that Noah Blackwood has twisted the natural order of things beyond their wildest, most terrifying dreams.

MrsK's Review:
Have you ever been excited about the newest book in a series? Have you known that as soon as you got the book in your hands all other aspects of life would be put on hold until the final punctuation ended your journey? Well that is exactly what so many of Roland Smith's fans are anticipating...

So what is all the "buzz" about Mutation? Well it might have something to do with a Gizmo and a dragonspy, but that would only be about the type of "tech" gadgets that is causing a fuss with in the jungles of Brazil. It could be the sounds of the characters on the zip lines up in the canopy, but then again there probably wouldn't be much noise down below... even if one of the characters gets a bit "carried" away and slams into a tree. Then again, it could be the high-tech motor of the "Rivlan," but with its ability to move up the Amazon with out any detection... it probably isn't that either.

It just might be that every character arrives at Dr. Lanza's Jaguar Preserve, including the hatch-lings (there is nothing better than having your favorite character back in action with the Cryptid crew). Maybe the buzz is connected to the fact that Marty and Grace are safe (for the moment) and you are anxiously waiting for Noah Blackwood to reach the end of his tyranny. There could even be a need for closure... the truth about what happened to Marty's parents.

Or it might just... be... that you are so involved in this series... that your adrenaline is pumping and you are ready to "survive" this final destination regardless of who is detained, captured, killed, or left forever missing. After all, there are those amazing "cryptid" creatures that every reader hopes will one day be seen "alive." Maybe it's just because you are a reader who is addicted to "on the edge" adventures, with characters in "survival" modes, and page-turning hooks. What ever the reason for opening this book, be ready for an all night journey. Once read, you will be the one sharing the "buzz" about this book.

Oh, and teachers be forewarned that your students will not be able to sustain their focus until they have turned the last page of this book. If you want your students to be "engaged" readers, then be ready to lengthen their "free choice" reading time. Or better yet, why not  introduce the series... pass out the first three books... take a seat yourself and begin reading Mutation. The "buzz" will be in all of their discussions, predictions, and desire to be the first one ready to read your copy of Mutation.

Way to "put your pen" to the paper Roland, you never leave your readers wanting less... but always wanting more!

Cryptid Hunters     Tentacles    Chupacabra
And for me, it all began with:
 Thunder Cave
Amazing read
Added all these titles to my shelf
  Today the adventure continues..... Are you ready?
Back Home   I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. When I was five years old my parents gave me an old manual typewriter that weighed more than I did! It was my favorite possession. I spent hours in my room clacking away on that old typewriter. Of course, when I was five I didn’t know how to spell and I barely knew how to read, but I loved the sound and the look of the letters on the crisp white paper.
Things haven’t changed much since then. I still spend several hours a day in my room clacking away and I still love the sound of the keyboard and the look of the letters and words that eventually turn into stories. The only difference is that I can read now and I spell a lot better.
If I’m not writing I’m traveling — doing research and taking photos for upcoming books. Or, I’m out visiting schools — something I love to do! My writing led me to animals and my work with animals led me back to writing. It’s funny how things work out. I spent over twenty years working with animals. Now I’m going to spend the next twenty years writing about animals…as well as a few other things.
"Writing is like any skill in life — the more you practice, the luckier you get. If you want to become a writer, you need to write every day, even if it's in a journal or diary, and you need to read everything you can get your hands on all the time. I know hundreds of authors and all of them are fanatic readers. You learn to write by reading other people's words. "

"I received this ebook for free from Net Galley for this review."

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MrsK's Reading Bio

Reading is important! No questions asked, not even a blink of the eye from any student I grew up with. On the first day of the First grade, we were given our first books. Day two we all read aloud, round robin of course. Day three we were place in our first basal, now known as a lit circle group. Books were so important, publishers designed new curriculum so that every student was reading by the end of the first week. These early readers had images that looked like what we could see in the classroom, beyond the classroom, even on the big screen. Reading is important, throughout history every generation has believed that “Reading” opens up the world for endless possibilities.

I adore the 1950’s Dick and Jane books. Actually, most reading specialists and experienced (45+) educators believe that every student learned to read with Dick and Jane. Since these books are being re-issued, I have heard many parents, grandparents, and students claim that Dick and Jane stories of repetition does teach students to read.

Early influences from my mother influenced my desire to read. I would watch her read and we would go on “secret” excursions to the library. The library became my playground. I owned every book I could carry home, of course they needed to be taken back to their home after visiting with me for a week or two. My first book that I could pull off of the library shelf and read was, Father Bear Comes Home. I only saw my dad on Sundays for a few hours. I would pull this beginning reader off of the library shelf every week. Every week I would try to read the first chapter. Every week I got further in the story. My mom would let me check it out, only if I could read it myself (She didn’t like the illustrations therefore she didn’t want to take time to read it to me). One day, I pulled the book from the shelf and when mom came to get me from the children’s corner, I realized that I had read the whole story. I ran to the check out desk and the Librarian KERCHUNKED the checkout card. My mother, brother and neighbors read. My teachers read. We all read aloud all day long in school. The Priest read aloud every day at mass, even in Latin. Everybody in the Doctor’s office read. People on the bus read. Dad’s waiting in their cars as the Mom’s and children grocery shopped, read. In fact, once you could read and write, Sunset Magazine considered you a reader and sent you mail every day.

Reading is important; I’ve spent my life reading. I’ve traveled around the world and into space through books. My favorite genre is whichever book I have open at the time. Children’s Literature is my passion. Book clubbing is one of the best past times, especially if food is involved. In fact my friends of old are in a book club and we are about to embark on a beach trip to “read” and discuss our newest selection.

My “home-run” book story has helped every student find his or her own “home-run” reads. Every year, I have shared my, Father Bear Comes Home, and every year my students have brought in their “home-run” books. That’s the “diving board” into our Lit. Studies.

In “Growing Up Digital,” Tapscott’s insights into the new generations enthusiasm for the Net reminded me of my generation’s enthusiasm for reading, movies, TV, parties and our driving permits. The Net-Generation, as Tapscott describes, “are learning, playing, communicating, working, creating communities, and enforcing a social transformation.”
N-Geners are interactive “techies” who are always looking for a way to “work it” verses the TV Generation of “Baby Boomers” who started out looking for “how it works.” Reading development is tougher today, society moves too fast to invest their “non-working” free time into a book or even “home work.” Since I stepped into my own classroom, I have seen students being told to read, being forced to read, and threatened into reading. Homework is not any longer the vehicle for students to gain their future lifestyles or careers with. Yet, the Internet does create an enthusiasm for learning. Since I have been enrolled in these courses, I have used the computers in every subject. My students are using the newest technology in the classroom because I am giving them investigative sites to use as they learn from each other and books. I agree with Tapscott, in order to bridge the gap with this up and coming generation we must “live and learn with them.”

FTC Required Disclaimer: I receive these books from the publishers. I did not receive monetary compensation for these reviews. These reviews have been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at


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