The Darkest Dark
Written by Chris Hadfield
Contributions by Kate Fillion
Illustrated by The Fan Brothers
Age Level: 5 - 6
Grade Level: P – 4
OH MY GOSH! Did you know that Neil Armstrong helped a future astronaut from millions of miles away? The story is told beautifully by Chris, Kate, and the Fan Brothers. A young Chris Hadfield was afraid of the dark until . . . he saw Neil Armstrong land on the moon. He watched Neil lope across the dark lunar surface. That July night in 1969 Chris saw darkness as beautiful for the very first time, and he realized that his dreams of becoming a rocket-man could come true.
I understand the disparity between the age and grade levels. If you read this as a story about fear of the dark, it’s perfect for 5 and 6 year olds. But, if you read it as a story about that first moon landing, you can extend the age range up to 9 and 10 year olds. It is so well written, so well illustrated that everyone will find something wonderful in this book, including a retired teacher like me.
Note: I just discovered when I went to Amazon that I’d already reviewed this book. There were some things that were the same, but there were a few differences. Last time I wrote 3 paragraphs, this time 2. Also this time I noticed the age and grade level difference. Interesting! Here’s the link for the earlier review if you’d like to compare/contrast like I did 😊 Link: http://www.rindabeach.com/my-reads/review-of-the-darkest-dark
To Burp or Not to Burp: A Guide to Your Body in Space
Written by Dr. Dave Williams and Loredana Cunti
Illustrated by Theo Krynauw
Age Level: 7 – 10
Grade Level: 1 – 5
If you’ve ever wanted to travel into space, this is the book for you! It gives you the good, the bad, and the ugly about how your body behaves in zero gravity.
When I was subbing in 4th grade, I read this book aloud to them. I watched their faces –the kids couldn’t decide whether they were grossed out or fascinated. Probably a little of both!
These are my favorite questions and answers – how to go to the bathroom in space, why you’ll be taller when you return, and why burping is a risky business. YUCK I thought, but then I turned the page!
I think kids will love this book, and so will their parents and teachers! You get the scoop on life in zero gravity from an astronaut who flew on two different shuttles.
Written by Patricia MacLachlan
Age Level: 7 and up
Grade Level: 2 – 4
This is a lovely story, quiet and beautiful, about the power of a good teacher. Sylvia Bloom just finished 4th grade with the best year ever, but now summer stretches ahead, with no teacher to guide her writing. Even worse, she’ll have to get used to a new one next year.
Everything changes when her teacher’s husband, the local sheriff, offers her a summer job writing short pieces for the town newspaper. Along the way Sophie finds the answer to the question that’s haunted her – why her mother would leave behind fame, fortune, and travel as an opera singer for a Wyoming farmer who sings Willie Nelson and does the Texas two-step. Read, and maybe Sylvia’s answer can help you too!
Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo, and Flo
Written and illustrated by Lauren Molk
Age Level: 3 –5
Grade Level: P – K
Oh My Gosh – Cute! Remember the rhyme with the tiger who gets caught by the toe? Lauren made Eeny, Meeny, Miney, and Mo into mice. Then she added in Flo who’s everything ornery and always this side of trouble. The story is about four brothers and one tenacious little sister. They’re still trying to catch that tiger by the toe. Flo and the illustrations are the stars of this book! Kids will LOVE them!
One Word from Sophia
Written by Jim Averbeck
Illustrated by Yasmeen Ismail
Age Level: 4 –8
Grade Level: P – 3
Poor Sophia! She just wants a giraffe, but no one understands so she targets her argument to each of her relatives. A legal one for Mom the judge. A graph for businessman Dad. She even tries a survey on her uncle. Nothing works . . . until her Grandmama refuses to listen. That’s when she tells Sophie to get to the point. Sophie sharpens her argument to ONE word. You’ll have to read to find out what it is, but be careful! Your child might learn Sophie’s lesson too well and apply it to you. Good luck!
Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White
Written and Illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Age Level: 7 –10
Grade Level: 2 – 5
I LOVED THIS BOOK! I’ve been a fan of Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little since I discovered them in the 60’s.
I can also recommend it as a retired teacher and as a writer. As a teacher, this is great material for a book report. Melissa Sweet included her own illustrations AND E.B.’s. She has photos of him, plus photocopies of real letters he wrote. As a fan girl, I loved every page, and it was good to the last one. The end pages include a timeline, Melissa’s sources, a bibliography of E.B.’s books, a thank you from Melissa, and an index to help you search out important facts. The book ends with an afterward from EB’s granddaughter. This is SOME book!
And now as a writer, I appreciate the wisdom Melissa found and shared. Here are my four favorite writer facts:
Whenever I read or write, I find a comfy chair with a great view. I get my favorite drink, stretch out, and let the words take me away.