MrsK's K-8 Books Worth Reading

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Above by Roland Smith

Roland Smith
ISBN: 9780545564892
Available September 27th!
Publisher's Synopsis:
Pat O'Toole and his brother, Coop, are on the run from an enemy that specializes in hiding in plain sight. Along with their new companion, Kate, they've narrowly escaped a cultlike community situated beneath the streets of New York City. Kate has lived underground since birth, and the world above thrills her, but it's treacherous as well. With the cult's leader — Kate’s grandfather — on their trail, will they spend the rest of their days as fugitives? Who can they trust but each other?
The adventure that started Beneath concludes Above in this action-packed middle-grade thriller by Roland Smith!
MrsK's Review:
It isn't just Pat, Coop, and Kate that have survived the beneath explosion. Survivors of the radical Weather Underground Organization are above and they are on a mission to locate Kate while they continue their efforts to destroy the government.

Anxiously waiting the arrival of Kate and Coop, Pat is apprehensive about being spotted at Union Station in Portland, Oregon. Given the need to blend in above, the three decided to travel incognito to the west coast. With only a small backpack, an emergency iPhone, a laptop, and his notebook Pat is once again on the run. Worried about how Kate is surviving above ground, anxious to reconnect with his brother Coop and completely paranoid about the news that the originals have survived Pat isn't in a state of calmness. Who would be? Being on the run and alone isn't like a walk in the park!

"We don't know what they have, where they are, or what they're planning.
All we know is that they are planning something..."
People of the Deep (POD) are exceptional shadows, expert trackers, scavengers, and following a leader that always has a plan. In no way does it help that Kate just happens to be the grand-daughter of Dane, the leader and designer of all things concerning the POD. Dane is not someone you cross. You do not create any disturbance. You do not question his plans. And blood doesn't give you any special outs. It is a safe assumption that if Dane survived the explosion, he will find Kate, Coop, and Pat.
As a hand reaches out to grab Pat's iPhone, this word will begin a trek to the Oregon coast and won't end until the everyone, yes everyone is in... 
Ok, you know I won't be a spoiler... All I will say is this book is so fast paced you will feel adrenaline long after you've turned the last page!

I will leave you with some of my thoughts:
  • Would you trust anyone if you knew you were being hunted?
  • Once abducted, will Kate be safe? After all, she is a resourceful shadow.
  • Can Coop continue getting them what ever they will need to find Kate?
  • Is Dane's brother just as twisted as Kate's grandfather? 
  • Who are the players in this deadly game of cat and mouse?
Excitement for the continuing adventure above ground kept me up late, completely charged, and filled with apprehension!
A must read!
Add it to every home, classroom, and library shelf!
Title: Beneath, Author: Roland Smith
Meet the Author:
Roland Smith I've wanted to be a writer virtually my entire life. When I was five, my parents got me an old manual typewriter for Christmas and it was my favorite possession. I spent hours in my room clacking away. Even before I knew how to read, I always loved books. I used to go down to my parents' library, pull books off the shelf and sniff them. I just loved the smell of books for some reason, and this hasn't diminished.

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.

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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