The Book Of Ingeniously Daring Chemistry: 24 Experiments for Young Scientists

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This book is a fantastic introduction to Chemistry. I’d say maybe the target range would 9-12 year old kids. Older and younger if you are combining. The narrative is engaging and believe it or not the experiments don’t have weird things to buy, and when you complete them, they actually work.

 It was like the clouds parted and the angels started singing when I realized that the two sample experiments actually worked!

It was like the clouds parted and the angels started singing when I realized that the two sample experiments actually worked!

Although the experiments are awesome, the best part for me was the text. It has just the right amount of detail for an introductory course. I’m planning on reading two chapters a week and doing the experiments/lab workbook (ours- not included) on the 3rd day. We’ll start in January and we should finish in around ten weeks. I’ll update this page along the way and when we finish it up.

So, stay tuned.

Please note that I received a free copy of this book from Workman Publishing without a review requirement or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that, I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.

The Book Of Ingeniously Daring Chemistry: 24 Experiments for Young Scientists by Sean Connolly

The Similars

My thanks to the Kid Lit Exchange for lending me this ARC for review purposes!

The Darkwood Academy (how sinister is that?) accepts six clones to enroll in their prestigious academy. The clones were made out of the public eye by a scientist who used the cord blood that had been banked at birth- without the parent’s knowledge. Weirdly, out of the whole world a million schools some of the regular human teens go to school with their clones. Huh.

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This book reminded me of that movie where all the clones were on an island until their body parts were needed? I checked- it was called The Island. No, the plot is not the same, but clones are existentially wondering how they fit in with humans, and their romances are key plot points in both.

Anyhow, Emmaline Chase lost her best friend to suicide and now has to go to class with his clone and although she has some conflicted feelings about all that they do have a relationship. The mystery is much more the main plot, and the romance is an aside.

It was twisty enough to hold my attention, and I hope there is a two-book deal as this story ends without wrapping things up.

Overall, a thumbs up from me on all fronts except the end. I need closure!

The Similars by Rebecca Hanover

Strong Is The New Pretty: A Guided Journal For Girls

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This book is just the sort of book that I'd like to buy for all the Middle-Grade Girls in my life. More than just a journal, the prompts for both writing and drawing are creative, thought-provoking, and relevant.

As I paged through, I thought about how all of the lessons in this book are things that all girls would benefit from reading. A lot of them are things that left me nodding because I may or may not have explicitly talked about them with my daughter, but I agreed and hoped that she somehow internalized them without an actual conversation. The top three themes are Kindness, Creativity, and Confidence. All virtues that girls need today more than ever.

Meant as a companion piece to Kate Parker's book of the same name, it can stand alone, but I encourage you to read both books.

Like all Workman books, the graphics and drawings are well thought out and the paper is thick enough that your writing shouldn’t bleed through. You’d be surprised how many kids journals/workbook type books where this is not the case.

Please note that I received a free advance E ARC of this book from the publisher without a review requirement or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that, I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.

Strong Is The New Pretty: A Guided Journal For Girls by Kate T Parker

The End of the World and Beyond

This story is a sequel to The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts: Being an Absolutely Accurate Autobiographical Account of My Follies, Fortune, and Fate. Side note- is that the longest title you’ve ever seen? Me too. Please read that book first, but Avi gives you a quick synopsis at the start of the book in case you can’t get your hands on it. I reviewed it here.

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This book starts right where the last left off and Oliver is about to be sent to the colonies for the crime of stealing. Many of the other characters sentenced to be slaves in the colonies committed crimes that would result in community service today. The age of the convicts ranges from 6-80! Most (like Oliver) broke the law purely out of survival instincts. But, such is the reality of the 1700s. England needed labor in the Colonies, and this was an excellent way to supply the farmers with the workforce they needed.

I like this series of historical fiction; it sounds like you are reading dinkens if his language was modernized. It is a cold, cruel world where mistakes can be deadly and it was every man for himself.

Like all of Avi’s books this immerses you in what it must have been like to live at that time. It isn’t sensationalized but it is an honest look into societal norms. This is the kind of books where it takes me forever to read it aloud, because we keep stopping to discuss the events, or to Google a map or law. So, really the best kind of read aloud.

Homeschool Note: I’m adding both books on to my historical fiction list for American History. I was planning on an American centered year in 9th grade, but have just started tweaking the plan so that we can move it up to next Fall. I think it’ll fit better and free up more time in high school for something else. I’ll work on my book list for that and get it up on my Amazon page soon.

Please note that I received a free advance E ARC of this book from the publisher without a review requirement or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that, I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.

The End of the World and Beyond by Avi

January 2019