Archive for the 'Nonfiction' Category

My Weird Writing Tips by Dan Gutman

My Weird Writing Tips. By Dan Gutman. HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2013. 154 pages. $16.99 (Hardcover) and $5.99 (Paperback)

What’s there not to love about Dan Gutman promoting writing using his popular My Weird School series. He starts with encouraging a good story, something Gutman know a little bit about. Next are basics of grammar, spelling and punctuation.  Topics are covered in the irreverent form you’d expect from a tie-in with the Weird School kids. Having said that, the message isn’t lost in the humor. While keeping the tone light and lively, Gutman drives home the point that the ability to communicate is vitally important. Teachers will enjoy incorporating sections the book into their writing lessons. Parents will want to have a copy left in their student’s homework spot. We can only hope the kids will pick them up. For grades 3-7.

Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie by J. Patrick Lewis

Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie: Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems. By J. Patrick Lewis. Harcourt Children’s Books, 2012. 40 pages. $16.99

Ten years after J. Partick Lewis dabbled with poetry and math in Arithmetickle, he’s back at it again in Edgar Allen Poe’s Pie. Inspired by works of famous poets such as Poe, Emily Dickinson, and Langston Hughes, Children’s Poet Laureate Lewis, will have readers reaching for their pencil as they work to decipher the “poetry problems.” If stumped, answers appear on the lower corner of each two-page spread. A clever combination of poems and math, this book is sure to please both the word lovers and number crunchers in the crowd. Be sure to hand a copy to both math and language arts teachers to enhance and enrich their students’ experiences. Back matter includes short biographies of parodied poets. Suitable for grades 4-6.

Temple Gradin by Sy Montgomery

Temple Gradin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraces Autism and Changed the World. By Sy Montgomery. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012. 160 pages. $16.99

Temple Gradin is an amazing 21st century woman and is worthy of a biography on several counts. Dr. Gradin is a world-renowned scientist in the area of humane treatment of animals. A PhD in Animal Science, she is a professor at Colorado State University.  Temple Gradin also is autistic. Sy Montgomery, in her book, focuses as much on Dr. Gradin’s autism story as she does on her groundbreaking research in the livestock industry.  The value of this book lies in it being more than a fascinating biography of a woman scientist. It also makes a valuable contribution as account of a person who lives, and indeed, thrives, with autism. With a forward by Temple Grandin, family photographs, facts on farming and autism, bibliography, resources, and index, this book is easily accessible for a wide-range of readers. Temple’s “Advice for Kids on the Spectrum” is enlightening for all readers. Suitable for 4th grade and up.



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