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)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Michael Symon's 5 in 5 For Every Season

ISBN: 9780804186568

Publisher's Synopsis:
  5 fresh ingredients + 5 minutes of heat = 165 recipes

The follow-up to the bestselling Michael Symon’s 5 in 5, this new book delivers 165 quick, easy, fresh recipes organized by season with an entire section devoted to making the holidays simpler than ever. Each chapter features inspired main courses as well as recipes for sides and 5 fun ways to celebrate the season, including no-bake summer fruit desserts and spiked drinks to warm up with in winter.
 Ridiculously easy from-scratch recipes to get you in and out of the kitchen in a flash every day of the week—now with sides and holiday dishes, too...

MrsK's Review:
What could be more delicious than spending time browsing a cook book. It's never a good idea to browse on an empty stomach, yet being inspired by these seasonal dishes does lead you into many decisions to add a "new" meal to your menu.

" can get a from-scratch meal on the table for
 you, your family, and your friends
in very little time, for not a lot of money,
and without a lot of fuss."

Organized into seasons, these meals are "plentiful" with year round basics and local produce. Beginning with what is in your pantry, the opening season is the spring. Michael entices you out of the winter and into the farmers' markets. Keeping meals "light" and "quick and easy" here are a few that interested our family:
  • Spring Pea "Guacamole" with grilled bread and radish (pg.14): perfect entree for any gathering, especially book clubs
  • Grilled chicken breast with shaved fennel and orange salad (pg.23): zesty mixture of goodness
  • Grilled "Skirt" steak with mushroom gravy (pg.26): okay... this is for the men and for me... the gravy made my mouth water especially "yummy" for those spring rainy evenings
  • Couscous with peas, asparagus, and Parmesan (pg. 55): such a simple side dish or what's for lunch  
I agree with Michael that there is nothing better than a "sun-warmed tomato... sprinkled with a little sea salt." Summertime is not just fast meals, it is always the best when it comes straight from your garden onto your table:
  • Grilled zucchini rolls with Feta and almonds (pg.61): yum with a zing (definitely one for our book club)
  • Spicy Salami, cantaloupe, and mint salad (pg.86): add the chilled Greek yogurt and summer flavors will zizzle
  • Spinach salad with strawberries, red onions, and Feta (pg.102): this could be my lunch all summer long
  • Warm brown butter vanilla blueberries (pg.109): over vanilla ice cream on a hot summer night... oh yeah!
"The skies are bright blue and the leaves are turning every shade of
red, orange, and yellow.
I'm thinking of football, pumpkin patches, and backyard fires."
And so am I....
  • Grilled cheese with Havarti and apple (pg.116): an adult grilled cheese that makes your mouth water
  • Orecchiette with Brussels sprouts and bacon (pg.125): a fall flavor with pasta... yes please!
  • Kale and apple salad with Maple Cider dressing (pg.150): add a warm buttered baguette and enjoy while watching a storm   
Winter is all about the comfort food... and of course a good book! What is inspiring me to rethink some "old favorites" is Michael's tantalizing idea to add citrus zest and juices to the winter gloom.
  • Rigatoni with pulled chicken and Feta (pg.171): simple yes, but so inviting
  • Chicken cutlets with Swiss Chard and pomegranate (pg.178): breaded chicken served on top of a Swiss Chard salad, yum!
  • Chicken breasts with bacon and Brussel Sprouts (pg.184): its the flavors cooked to perfection and the Dijon mustard that brings flavor to a new level
  • Butternut squash couscous with mint and almonds (pg.204): this is what's cooking for our fall book club
Is anyone hungry? These recipes are quick to prepare. Easy to cook. Tantalizing to your taste buds. The only spoiler with this cook book, is that some of the recipes have ingredients that might not fit your budget or your family. The proof of a good recipe, is in the making... switch it out and Michael's recipe has now become your own!

Enjoy browsing, cooking, and discovering tasty newness for your table,
Adding zest to your table in every season!

Meet the Author:
Michael Symon Brings "Burgers, Brew & 'Que" To Food Network - LATF USA

Chef Michael Symon cooks with soul. Growing up in a Greek and Sicilian family, the Cleveland native creates boldly flavored, deeply satisfying dishes at his restaurants in America’s heartland. He also shares his exuberant, approachable cooking style and infectious laugh with viewers as an Iron Chef on Food Network and as a co-host on ABC’s The Chew. When he’s not working, Michael is riding his motorcycle, cooking at home, playing golf, thinking about his next tattoo, gardening in the backyard or spending time with his wife, Liz, and their Old English bulldog, Ozzy.

Since being named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine in 1998, Michael and his restaurants have been awarded numerous honors: in 2000 Gourmet magazine chose Lola as one of “America’s Best Restaurants;” in 2010, Michael was the first chef ever to host the annual Farm Aid benefit concert; Bon Appetit magazine included B Spot on their list of “Top 10 Best New Burger Joints;” B Spot’s Fat Doug burger won the People’s Choice award at the SoBe Wine & Food Festival. In 2009, Michael earned The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Great Lakes and the Detroit Free Press named Roast “Restaurant of the Year.”

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

The Potter's Lady by Judith Miller

Cover Art
ISBN: 9780764212567
Publisher's Synopsis:

When Rose McKay convinces her brother, Ewan, to invest in a pottery business, she's determined to assist him in making the endeavor a success. A recent graduate of the Philadelphia School of Design for Women, she believes she can design pieces that will sell well. Rose also reconnects with Joshua Harkness, who oversees his own family's pottery works and promises to help her.

Rylan Campbell has never liked change, but the new owners of the pottery seem to be decent folks. He just wishes Rose wouldn't insist on changing the way they do things. Then McKay Pottery begins to lose business to the Harkness company, and Rylan suspects Joshua may be secretly taking advantage of Rose.

When Franklin Hotels announces a design contest, it could be the opportunity McKay Pottery needs to achieve recognition and clients. Rose and Rylan work together to create something magnificent. With Joshua's company as their main rival, can Rylan convince Rose her trust in Joshua may spell ruin for them all?
 In the beautiful rolling hills of West Virginia, Rose McKay seeks a measure of success--in business and in love.

MrsK's Review:

In 1872, Rose McKay has just completed her studies in design at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women. Although she is very gifted, and has in fact just been honored with the "Excellence in Design Award" for her upholstering fabric design, she is anxious to leave the school. She would miss her mentor-ship with Mrs. Fisk, but not the cruelty of the other patrons. She is in fact, quite excited about returning home and beginning a life away from the ridicule of those whom considered her not of their standing.

As her brother, Ewan, escorts her home to the hills of West Virginia, Rose learns of her family's decision to purchase either a brick yard or a pottery. Of course, since Rose has been educated in the crafting of designs, she has hope that the family will choose a pottery. With the joyous visions of crafting designs for a family pottery is a most anxious concern about a "surprise" welcome home party. Rose detests social engagements, especially one designed around her.

It is on their way home in which Rose will discover the path for her future.  Their side journey to the Bancock Pottery Works, will provide countless hours for Rose to consider the "needs" of others, the frustration of Mr. Rylan Campbell, her personal challenges with relationships, and her talents in creating designs that will be "exceptional" enough to win back customers and the biggest designing opportunity for any potter.

Rylan Campbell is a man who is dedicated to the owner of Bancock Pottery Works, in fact it is his loyalty to Mr. Bancock in which Rylan will discover his spiritual strength and wisdom to help the McKay's transition into the pottery business. Rylan will discover the power of prayer, the "ownership" of decisions for the pottery and its employees, his craftsmanship as a designer, and the wisdom in dealing with his frustrated relationship with Rose and her determination.

"Though a dart of fear shot through her,
Rose straightened her shoulders and avowed their pottery
would become the finest and most prosperous
in all of West Virgina."

What will determine the pottery's prosperity or failure will be determined by Rose's ability to choose truth beyond her passion. Will she continue a business and social relationship with Joshua Harkness, and all of the "assumed" benefits for the pottery? Can Rose trust Rylan's insights and suggestions? Can she trust her own instincts?

Ewan's whole future as a business man, as a family man, and as brother will be conflicted between his trust in Rose and his partnership with Rylan. Can this team discover why their contract bids are always turned down? Will it be possible for them to win the contract from the Franklin Hotel? 

With a story line that is woven together by faith, honesty, and trust, The Potter's Lady will offer you an insight into a woman's determination in "seeking to know" truth. 

Experience Rose's journey and a story well crafted,
"But now, O Lord, thou art our father;
we are the clay, and thou our potter;
and we all are the work of thy hand."
Isaiah 64:8

Beautifully crafted!

A story quietly designed to bring comfort into your reading corner. 
Meet the Author:
Judith Miller  Judith Miller is an award-winning writer whose avid research and love for history are reflected in her bestselling novels. Judy and her family make their home in Topeka, Kansas.

Blogger Review Program 
"I received the book from Bethany House blogger for free for this review."  

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Edge by Roland Smith

ISBN: 9780544341227
Publisher's Synopsis:
The International Peace Ascent is the brainchild of billionaire Sebastian Plank: Recruit a global team of young climbers and film an inspiring, world-uniting documentary. The adventure begins when fifteen-year-old Peak Marcello and his mountaineer mother are helicoptered to a remote base camp in the Hindu Kush Mountains on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. When the camp is attacked and his mother taken, Peak has no choice but to track down the perpetrators to try to save her. Fans of the bestselling Peak will be thrilled with this gripping, high-stakes sequel.

MrsK's Review:
The farthest thing from Peak's mind was another "on the edge" climb. He was comfortable with his life. His seven-year-old sisters were a big enough thrill. Even though his journey to the summit of Mt. Everest was only a few months ago, Peak was content with spending time with his family, at home or hanging out in his mom's bookstore. The "itch" to climb would come around soon enough.  For now Peak liked taking the twins to the zoo, museums, plays, concerts, and the movies.

Unprepared for his mom's text from the Summit Bookshop, Peak had no clue that in a few hours he would be on his way to Afghanistan. When Peak arrives at the book store, he is surprised by the Everest film crew, who were not there just to discuss the completion of the documentary nor its airing on ESPN. They were there with a personal request for Peak to join the Peace Climb. The whole "shebang" would be paid for by Sebastian Plank, a very rich high-tech businessman. The Peace Climb had over two hundred, under eighteen, climbers from around the world applying for the climb. Not a climbing scenario that Peak wanted to be a part of, that is until the crew informs him that he will be the only US representative. Plus the crew would not be hired to film the climb... and there was the incentive of the "top of the line" gear. If you know anything about climbers, you know that the newest gear is an obsession (for me it's great books, for cooks it's all about the cooking gadgets). What exactly causes Peak to change his mind? Is it his mom's declaration that she is going? Is it a challenge that is too tempting? Was it for his friends? Would Peak have said yes if he knew that the political unrest and risks would not be minimal?
Either way, Peak is on the plane heading for Hindu Kush. Ok, so Peak wasn't really informed about where he would be climbing. Nor was he told the truth about how many would be climbing with him. Evidently Mr. Plank only informs you what he wants you to know, as you need to know it.
"The Hindu Kush. Killer of Hindus.
Or so I have read. From two thousand feet, it looks dangerous,
stark, beautiful. Desert colors.
Browns, tans, rust, with spots of green where water runs..."
At base camp, Peak meets the "man in charge," Phillip Stockwell and his personal assistant, Cindy. Two Afghans carrying assault rifles, Ebadullah and Elham. One of the climbers Josette Charbonneau, a French Ambassador's daughter. Then there is Rafe Rounder, an Aussie who tells a few tales. Aki, from Japan and Choma from the Ukraine. The only good news for Peak was that Zopa (the cagey monk/sherpa from his Everest climb) was assigned to this climb. Peak soon learns that when Zopa was contacted by Plank, Sun-jo's name was on the list. Sun-jo was a sherpa and friend to Peak during the Everest climb. Why did Zopa cross his name off the list? What was the real reason for Zopa being here... with him... and his mom... on this mysterious climb? Zopa and his feelings are "often a reality," so what is it about this climb that Zopa sensed?

Nothing about climbing can be casual or expected. Nothing about climbing is easy. Everything about survival. What Peak has learned from Zopa is to pay attention... pay attention to patterns... pay attention to things that are not suppose to be! What begins as a video stunt becomes a survival reality. Not everyone will live to tell about it. For Peak that means that his visions of the shen, "ghost" snow leopard, could prove to be his means of survival.
"I'm climbing alone.
The rocks slip and crumble under my boots.
In several places I have to use my hands to catch myself from skidding backward on the scree.
After one of these skids, I pause to catch the view....
I see something move a couple hundred feet above me along the cliff face.
A flash of dusky white..."

From the master of  "cliff-hangers," this climb will be even worst than Peak imagined. So "anchor" and "clip" your locking carabiner and get ready to ascend over the edge...
 "Over the top"

A must add to any Library, classroom shelf, and home collection!

If you want to read about Peak's first climb... Check it out...
Meet the Author:
Back Home   Roland Smith has always been my "go to" author for every "on the edge" reading junkie. No title will disappoint, no character will leave you unchanged. No situation will be insurmountable. And... every plot will leave you wanting more.

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.

 "I received this book for free for this review."

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Aoleon The Martian Girl by Brent LeVasseur

Title: Aoleon The Martian Girl: Part 1 First Contact (Middle Grade Science Fiction Fantasy Adventure Graphic Novel Chapter Book for Kids and Parents), Author: Brent LeVasseur

Greetings from Mars!
We would like to introduce you to Brent LeVasseur’s sci-fi YA/MG novel, Aoléon The Martian Girlwhich is well — out of this world.  This is not unexpected because Brent is an intergalactic space traveler himself.

Publisher's Synopsis:
Mars wants our cows (yes, cows!), and they're sending an invasion fleet to take them from us. Only Gilbert and Aoleon the Martian Girl stand in their way!
Gilbert always longed for adventure, but now that he has it, he's not sure that it's everything it's cracked up to be. Ever since the night he met Aoleon the Martian Girl sitting in the middle of a crop circle in Farmer Johnson's field, it's been nothing but one wild ride after another.
From fighting off swarms of giant killer robots to dealing with strange aliens from another world – never mind trekking across the vast Martian desert and skyboarding deep into the center of a (hopefully) extinct volcano – Gilbert has had his hands full just trying to keep up with it all. And now it's up to him and his new friend, Aoleon, to face off against the evil Martian overlord and keep our cows safe at home where they belong.
The launch of this exciting and innovatively illustrated new series takes the reader deep into the heart of an unforgettable and out-of-this-world friendship in a story full of hijinks, hilarity, and good old-fashioned fun. Join Gilbert and Aoleon in this exciting middle-grade science fiction adventure today!

MrsK's Review:
Aoleon is just out for a solo flight before taking her "flying" exam. She adores the freedom, she enjoys zooming close to objects, she likes being creative with her "crop" designs. Earth is her playground.

Gilbert can't help but wonder if his recurring dreams are linked to his neighbor's mysterious crop-circle formations. With sleep being evasive, Gilbert heads to his telescope. With all of the fighting downstairs he wishes:
"Please send me an angel to take me away from here."

Zipping and zooming with excitement, Aoleon descends while the "stars twinkle a little brighter as if performing a dance, and the lights from the cities below resembled a sea filled with glowing phosphorescence." Giggling with delight she began crafting her newest designs. With geometric patterns, she merges the "languages of art with mathematics" as a message to the Terraians...
"I am here... I am intelligent...
and I am not of this Earth!"

Back in Nebraska, Gilbert notices that a star is increasing in size... everything has gone quiet except the "thumping" of his heart. Once outside, he trips (literally) into an out of this world journey with a girl... who is blue! 

Gilbert is not the only one who noticed that odd star entering his back yard... McConnell Air Force Base has a fighter in the sky. His neighbor Farmer Johnson, who believes a shotgun is the only way to get trespassers off his farm, enters his field. In need of protection, Aolean raises her arms... and... well lets just say Gilbert begins his journey by accidentally releasing a "fire blast" of a zero-point energy field around each of Farmer Johnson's cows.

Once in the air, multiple events begin to unfold. Angry Dog, the air force interceptor encounters flying cows... yep... cows in the sky. Not so friendly missiles are locking onto their marks. A global chase begins as a series of events reigns down on Terra... giant shock waves... huge avalanches... "rooster-tail" explosions of water... a President in a bathrobe... civilian bystanders "hitting the ground"... and Aoleon's mother calling her home for the "evening consumption."
Will Aoleon and Gilbert be the "chosen" team that could stop the invasion of Terra? Will the Luminon conquer Terra and her milk cows? Is Gilbert only dreaming...     
 Book Two

"Whoohooo!' Gilbert cheered as he ran and jumped high into the air using his newly found power of his suit
combined with the slightly lessened gravity of Mars...
He had almost superhuman strength and speed."

Gilbert quickly discovers how exciting, and yet, how disturbing life can be when conversations... music... how-to shows... and personal thoughts are beamed directly into your brain. Can you imagine that constant noise and chaos playing out in your mind 24/7? Now consider meeting the most powerful and influential person on Mars. For Gilbert the introduction to Luminess was like a "television signal that suddenly was interrupted." He will not enjoy the telepathic beckoning, it can only lead to an increasing threat of being discovered. Once Aoleon "views" his disturbing encounter, a plan is launched to discover the truth about what is happening within the Luminon's Palace. Who can they get to help them uncover the threatening plans of the Luminess?

Meet Bizwat, he appears to be a Saturn Pizza delivery guy, a very serious job that you don't mess around with... especially if you know what any Procyron might do to you! How will Bizwat help Gilbert and Aoleon? Well... let's just assume he isn't going to simply drop off the pizza... and let's just assume he will gather information from those whom seriously enjoy Saturn Pizza.

There are "out-of-this-world" discoveries for Gilbert. He learns what a playful creature Zoot can be. He must learn how to balance on the bubble ball (especially if he wants to eat or not cause a problem in the classroom). And then there is the little concept of the fifth form of matter. Evidently, Earth science is not "advanced enough to have discovered" this form of matter. The most dangerous discovery will be the realization that with any telepathic connection... there is "absolute transparency in communication." That means there is no way anyone can lie... "because everyone else would know it immediately." 
What would a school day look like on Mars? How do you learn? What are Martian bullies like? What about sports... what is Psi-ball? What is phasing?
"As Gilbert grabbed her arm, he felt as if he were being sucked underwater...
He saw stars, and then everything went dark.
For a moment or for an eternity...
he was trapped in an infinite void..."  
 Book 3
Near the top of the Supreme Council of Twelve, the Luminon's main throne room provides not only a spectacular view but a way in! Staying calm is a must for Gilbert, even when electrical-plasma discharges "jolt" him into action.

With entrance into the Citadel, neither Aoleon or Gilbert were ready for the deep secrets of the Luminon. Were they "hallucinating" the hybrid abominations that "scraped" across the floor? Will an invasion of Terra (yes..Earth) be lead by a devious plan (with-holding the milk supply) or will the Martian's rebel against such a ploy? Can Aoleon and Gilbert warn her father (who happens to manage the pumps at the Galactworks)? And... what did the Luminon shape-shift in to?

From one calamity to the next, Gilbert and Aoleon will be phasing in and out of danger. Stasis field paralysis, intense lazer beams, part mechanical-part martian creatures... zipping in space... onto moons... into caverns... and in to the presence of the notorious "party-poopers" of all time, the Draconians (also known as the Intergalactic bullies of the Universe).
"They prey upon fear.
You must transform your emotions.
Weakness will only embolden them."

Being "nullified" or eaten would not be the best scenario for Gilbert. So into action he goes, or rather he attempts. He knows that the only way to save his family, his friends, his Earth will be to join forces with Aoleon.  The Luminon must be stopped! 

Meanwhile on Earth the surviving Draconian spies are "locating all the major cow pastures and dairy production facilities (if you have cows... check into this conspiracy theory).

Book 4
According to Xiocrom, fraternizing with the outside world would in fact ruin your day. Could it really be true that "free thinkers" are viewed as threats to the government? Is inalienable liberty lost? Is "terror built into the system" of watchers, surveillance, sentinels, and imprisonment without due process?

Meanwhile, as Aoleon, Gilbert, and Bizwat return to the Martian Space Academy they discover a new message being programmed for all of the students:
"Today we face the most imminent threat to our Martian civilization 
and to our lives as we know them ----
What? Really? Is Luminon really launching an invasion force to capture Terran? Do you know what it will be like to "cross the Martian desert, sneak into heavily guarded military installations, by pass All sentinels... paladins... force fields... and do battle with Cerberus!"

In Washington D.C., the situation room is updating the President about Operation Majestic Twelve. Could protecting Americans really mean "nuking" Mars?  

 At the Johnson's farm, Farmer Johnson looks up to see a "swarm" of flying saucers... and... a huge, agile, stealthy, undetectable... Orifice of Destruction... Cerberus' Attackbot! This attackbot is bad, I mean it will "acquire and destroy all visible targets!" 

It will take many to help Aoleon and Gilbert reach their destination. With Bizwat and his expertise as a CQB nothing should stop them, nothing! Then there is Helios a first generation soldier bot. Chirons descendants from ancient Martian dinosaurs.  Zoot their devoted creature. And, the oldest and wisest Martian, Kyrios.  As they cross the vast Martian desert, the soaring mountains, the massive meteors, craters, and canyons... their quest will be successful if the heat doesn't get life threatening. If the Luminon's power doesn't turn their worst fears against them. If they learn to "harness" their psionic powers. And, if they learn to control the twelve density levels within their minds.

As a massive, swirling vortex of sand thunders, rolls, and pounds its way towards them... their only hope is a small cave in a cliff...
"... wherever thought goes, energy flows."

Book 5

Against the odds of the powerful Klyklon storm, oh.... and the little fright of a giant slor... everyone is ready and anxious to reach their destination. With a brief history about the Paa'Tal, Gilbert gets his first view of the Cydonia pyramid. Inside were "interconnected rooms, hangar bays, laboratories, and control rooms..." Including sentrybots and paladin security forces! Bizwat will have plenty of opportunities to show his "awesomesauce" as a special force to be reckoned with especially with a "disruptor beam rifle with an under-barrel nanoroid launcher."

With all of the pods sent through the stargate, the only option for destroying Xiocrom and saving Terran will be blowing up the Xiocrom hub. Which means they will need to be just about two-hundred-fifty Terran miles away when the demolition charges blow. Simple right?

Let the action begin! On Terran, the Situation Room is on high alert and watching thousands of "precious" dairy cows float away. Aoleon has "banked the saucer" towards Earth... The Luminon has threatened Terran and learned that their "bot invasion force," well... simply, isn't what it use to be. There are bovars within "psionic" bubbles floating in space. And...

Continue this journey with me as Aoleon and Gilbert "zip" us into a galactic journey beyond... your funny bone...
Zoom back often for continued coverage... 
Amazing "out of this world" adventures...
A must add to all 4-6 book shelves!
"I received this series for free for these reviews"

Meet the Author:
Brent LeVasseur Mr. LeVasseur enjoys crafting good stories based on lovable characters designed to translate well to multiple media formats such as books, games, movies, and toys. He lives in New York when he is not commuting between Southern California and Olympus Mons, Mars. His hobbies include writing, 3D animation, musical composition, and intergalactic space travel. He also enjoys various sports such as skiing, running, and exospheric skydiving.

As for the illustrations, I did them all myself. It took me 12 years to teach myself how to do 3D modeling, rendering and animation. I have a somewhat lengthy youtube video on the subject where I show my image creation process. But basically every character, every building, every prop had to be designed, modeled and textured in 3D. This is why it took me 12 years to complete this project.

Title: Aoleon The Martian Girl: Part 1 First Contact (Middle Grade Science Fiction Fantasy Adventure Graphic Novel Chapter Book for Kids and Parents), Author: Brent LeVasseur
We’re looking for parents, teachers and library luminaries to transmit to terra firma (that’s planet Earth) what Aoléon The Martian Girl is all about.  (Hint: she’s got psionic powers and the most gorgeous blue eyes!)

Her story comes in five parts — the action is just way too intense to pack into one volume.  The illustrations are so vivid you can just about climb right into them.

The author and illustrator, Brent LeVasseur, is offering you a FREE GALLEY COPY of Part 1 to put into your intergalactic school or library just to see what Aoléon is all about and to spread the word about her to interested student readers.
 School Library Journal(a Media Source Inc. company)
123 William Street, Suite 802, New York, NY 10038
Tel: 646-380-0700
Fax: 646-380-0756

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.”

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