Currently viewing the category: "Novel"

 

Framed: A T.O.A.S.T Mystery
Author: James Ponti
Published August 26th, 2016 by Aladdin

Summary: Get to know the only kid on the FBI Director’s speed dial and several international criminals’ most wanted lists all because of his Theory of All Small Things in this hilarious start to a brand-new middle grade mystery series.

So you’re only halfway through your homework and the Director of the FBI keeps texting you for help…What do you do? Save your grade? Or save the country?

If you’re Florian Bates, you figure out a way to do both.

Florian is twelve years old and has just moved to Washington. He’s learning his way around using TOAST, which stands for the Theory of All Small Things. It’s a technique he invented to solve life’s little mysteries such as: where to sit on the on the first day of school, or which Chinese restaurant has the best eggrolls.

But when he teaches it to his new friend Margaret, they uncover a mystery that isn’t little. In fact, it’s HUGE, and it involves the National Gallery, the FBI, and a notorious crime syndicate known as EEL.

Can Florian decipher the clues and finish his homework in time to help the FBI solve the case?

Review: I love mysteries; specifically mysteries with kids who solve things that adults couldn’t figure out. They are so much fun to follow along and try to figure out with the characters. Florian is one of the best kid detectives that I’ve read. His use of TOAST, the Theory of All Small Things, is so admirable and is something that kids could definitely learn from since they so often ignore the small things and focus on the obvious. I could definitely see games and activities being created for classrooms that use the TOAST theory. Or kids will play the type of games that Florian and Margaret played as Florian was training Margaret in TOAST: making inferences about the people around them, in stories, or with mysteries. I could see pairing TOAST with books like You Be The Jury

I also really enjoyed the mystery that James Ponti set up for us. I could predict part of it but other parts came as a total surprise to me. I am always in total awe of an author’s ability to craft such a complicated mystery and how it all comes together. I also loved that the story was mutli-faceted and will teach the readers as well as entertain them.

And I am so happy to say that Framed is on our 2017-2018 Sunshine State Young Reader Award list for both 3rd-5th grade AND 6th-8th grade! Congratulations, James!

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: In addition to the mystery games that could be played using TOAST, reading aloud Framed, and having Framed available to students to read, there are lots of opportunities in the book to discuss art and art history. Since both of Florian’s parents work in the museum business and the mystery of the book focuses on an art heist, there multiple times where art comes into the story including discussion of impressionism (specifically Monet, Renoir, and Degas) and even stories of Van Gogh and Gaugin.

Discussion Questions: Did you figure out the mystery before it was revealed? Was there any foreshadowing now that you know the reveal?; What did you learn about art while reading Framed?; How could you use TOAST in your life?

Flagged Passages: “‘You want me to teach you TOAST?’

‘Toast?’ she asked. ‘You’ve tasted my cookies, which are…epic. Don’t you think I know how to make toast?’

‘Not that toast,’ I said. ‘TOAST stands for The Theory of All Small Things. That’s how I read people and places. The idea is that if you add up a bunch of little details, it reveals the larger truth.’

‘And where did you learn this theory? Philosophy class? Spy school?’

‘I…invented it…I guess.’

This made her laugh. ‘You invented TOAST?’

‘It’s based on some things I learned from my parents,’ I said. ‘But I pull it all together and came up with the name. So yes, I invented it.’

‘You said your parents work at museums, right?’

‘My father designs security systems, and one day he explained that the key to his job is finding the tiny flaw or inconsistency that the bad guys can take advantage of.’

‘Like the saying that ‘a chain is only as strong as its weakest link’?’

‘Exactly,’ I said. ‘And my mother’s an art conservator. She restores old paintings and says the best way to understand a painting is by finding the smallest details that tells you the whole story, like the smile on the Mona Lisa.’

‘And this led to TOAST?’

I nodded. ‘Even though their jobs are incredibly different, they both rely on the idea that tiny things can be hugely important,’ I explained. ‘Once I even used TOAST to help my dad catch a criminal.'” (Approximate Loc 221 in the ebook)

Read This If You Loved: Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett, Heist Society by Ally Carter, Shakespeare’s Secret by Elise Broach, Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz, Loot by Jude Watson, Nickel Bay Nick by Dean Pitchford, Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand, Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson, Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher, A Girl Named Digit by Annabel Monaghan,

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**Thank you to the author for providing copies for review!**

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“Bridging the Gap Between Middle Grade and Young Adult”

Making Friends With Billy Wong is a wonderful middle grade novel by Augusta Scattergood. The Mara Dyer novels by Michelle Hodkin make intriguing reading for young adults. But what about that elusive group in between—the kids who are too old for MG but not mature enough for YA?

There are different delineations for the age of a ‘tween. For clarity’s sake, I’m talking about the twelve to fifteen-year-old child. For me, this age group is the most intriguing. Tweens are both wise and naïve at the same time. They are testing their boundaries, but most still think twice before defying parents and teachers outright. They are discovering who they are; where they fit in the world; and the excitement, joy, and pain of innocent first love.

Unfortunately, books for this age group can be hard to find. It’s a tough sell to agents and publishers, because they don’t have a specific place for them in bookstores. There are no “‘Tween” shelves that I’m aware of in libraries. Many writers know this so they concentrate on the more accepted and defined groupings. But there are those of us whose hearts can’t be denied. We simply love writing for tweens.

I write for this age group because teachers and parents tell me they need “clean teen” for their kids to read. Because I know that the younger avid reader loves books that feature older version of themselves. Because parents of older reluctant readers tell me that, though their kids don’t like to read, they actually finish my books. Because an inner-city teacher whose class I once visited told me her kids reading scores went up on a state test and the only reason she could think of was my book combined with my visit made an impression on them.

These accounts are rewards in and of themselves. They keep me in my seat in front of my computer. They keep me writing.

So, where do you go to find books in this elusive category? Searching the Internet for lists of books for ‘tweens is helpful. However, as the category is defined by different parameters by different groups, you have to be discerning. Most lists include both MG and YA books. Goodreads has one of my favorites, a Listopia called, “Awesome Books for Tween Girls.” The books are read and reviewed by readers, many of whom are parents, which I like. I couldn’t find an “Awesome Books for Tween Boys.” Hopefully some day they’ll remedy that.

In the meantime, ‘tween readers may be interested in one of these highly regarded books: “The Absolute True Story of a Part-Time Indian,” an Amazon Bestseller by Sherman Alexie; “Criss Cross,” a Booklist Starred Review by Lynne Rae Perkins; and “Every Soul a Star” a  School Library Journal Starred Review by Wendy Mass. There are many others available online and in bookstores. Search using “clean teen” or “books for ‘tweens,” and you’ll find them.

About the Author:
Janet McLaughlin has been involved in the communication field most of her adult life as a writer, editor and teacher. Her love of mysteries and the mystical are evident in her novels. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Florida Writers Association. She lives in Florida with her husband, Tom, and along with her writing, enjoys playing tennis, walking, traveling, and meeting people.
 
About the Books:

 

Haunted Echo: Book One of the Soul Sight Mysteries

Sun, fun, and her toes in the sand. That’s what Zoey Christopher expects when she joins her best friend and fellow cheerleader Becca on an exotic Caribbean vacation. What she finds instead is a wannabe boyfriend, a voodoo doll, and Tempy – a tormented young ghost whose past is linked to the island grounds.Zoey has always seen visions of the future, but when she arrives at St. Anthony’s Island to vacation among the jet set, she has her first encounter with a bona fide ghost. Forced to uncover the secret behind the girl’s untimely death, Zoey quickly realizes that trying to solve the case will place her in mortal danger. Shaken and confused by a menacing threat and by her budding feelings for the too-cute, too-nice Chris, will Zoey find a way to survive this vacation and put Tempy to rest?

Fireworks: Book Two of the Soul Sight Mysteries (Coming Soon!)

Dreams aren’t real. Psychic teen Zoey Christopher knows the difference between dreams and visions better than anyone, but ever since she and her best friend returned from spring vacation, Zoey’s dreams have been warning her that Becca is in danger. But a dream isn’t a vision—right?Besides, Zoey has other things to worry about, like the new, cute boy in school. Dan obviously has something to hide, and he won’t leave Zoey alone—even when it causes major problems with Josh, Zoey’s boyfriend. Is it possible he knows her secret?Then, one night, Becca doesn’t answer any of Zoey’s texts or calls. She doesn’t answer the next morning either. When Zoey’s worst fears come true, her only choice is to turn to Dan, whom she discovers has a gift different from her own but just as powerful. Is it fate? Will using their gifts together help them save Becca, or will the darkness win?Discover what’s real and what’s just a dream in Fireworks, book two of the Soul Sight Mysteries!

Thank you to Denise for connecting us with Janet!!

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Someone Else’s Summer
Author: Rachel Bateman
Published May 9th, 2017 by Running Press Kids

Summary: Anna’s always idolized her older sister, Storm. So when Storm dies in a tragic car accident on the night of her high school graduation, Anna is completely lost and her family is torn apart. That is, until she finds Storm’s summer bucket list and decides to honor her sister by having the best summer ever—which includes taking an epic road trip to the coast from her sleepy Iowa town. Setting out to do everything on Storm’s list along with her sisters best friend Cameron—the boy next door—who knew that Storm’s dream summer would eventually lead to Anna’s own self-discovery?

Review: I am a sucker for road trip books. I just love them so much, and a good road trip book to me is like the perfect book to read–especially if I am in a rut. Someone Else’s Summer is a really good road trip book. It has everything you expect: searching for identity, mishaps, high jinx, romance, and unexpected twists and turns; however, Someone Else’s Summer is not predictable or like any other road trip book. It has all the feelings of comfort with new adventures, characters, and conflicts. 

Storm was the opposite of Anna, but she was Anna’s very best friend, no matter how much they’d grown apart in high school, so when Storm dies, Anna knows she has to do something to honor her friendship with her sister, and it had to be something like what they did as kids. One of the things Storm liked to do was make to-do lists; however, her very last one is one that Storm will never be able to finish–so Anna decides she needs to. And it is only right that Storm’s best friend and the boy next door, Cameron, accompanies her. 

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: There are readers out there that need this book. They may be dealing with grief or struggling with their identity in high school or making a transition between friends. They’ll need Anna’s story. There are other readers out there that will want this book. They may love romance or road trips or sad books. They’ll want Anna’s story. This book has a home in classrooms and libraries where these readers can find it.

Discussion Questions: Why do you think Anna felt she needed to finish Storm’s to do list?; Did the ending surprise you? Was there any foreshadowing to the reveal at the end?; How did you feel about Anna’s friend’s reactions to Anna’s choice? Did Anna deal with the situation well? Why do you think she changed so quickly?

Flagged Passages: “Hours later, the rain still pattered a steady rhythm on the roof as a shrill ring pulled me from sleep. Mom and Dad insisted on keeping a landline with receivers throughout the house, even though we rarely use it. The ancient, corded phone blaring just outside of my bedroom door should have been my first indication something was wrong; I should have known right away. That’s the way it always happens in the movies–there’s intuition, a feeling deep in the gut. I had none of that, just a mild irritation at whoever was calling. And the constant, insistent rain.

Then my world ended with Mom’s ear-breaking scream.”

Read This If You Loved: Last True Love Story by Brendan Kiely; Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown; The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle; Jess, Chunk, and the Road to Infinity by Kristin Elizabeth Clark; The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider; Cadillac Chronicles by Brett Hartman

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**Thank you to Valerie at Running Press for providing a copy for review!**

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The Fourteenth Goldfish
Author: Jennifer L. Holm
Published: April 5, 2016 by Yearling

A Guest Review by Kelsey Iwanicki

Summary: The Fourteenth Goldfish follows the story of Ellie, an 11-year-old girl, who is currently struggling to find her passion, especially following the gradual drop off with her one and only friend, Brianna. However, everything changes when her mother brings home a quirky and crabby 13-year-old boy, Melvin. Ellie notices striking similarities between Melvin and her seventy-something year-old grandfather until he comes clean and tells her that they are in fact the same person. Melvin has worked on developing a drug to reverse the signs of aging, which has successfully worked on himself.

As Ellie and Melvin get closer, they also form an unlikely friendship with a goth student, Raj. Together they give Melvin advice about being a teenager, such as giving him acne medicine and hair elastics. They also help Melvin eventually, after a few failed attempts, steal the same compound that reversed his age. Melvin’s original plan was to steal the gene so he could share it with the world and receive the Nobel Peace Prize. However, Ellie persuaded him not to on the grounds of moral ethics and how scientific impacts can be both positive and negative. Due to this, Melvin flushes the compound down the drain and starts to tour the country. Thanks to her time with her grandfather, Ellie is able to discover his passion in science and also gain a few friends along the way, Raj and Momo.

Review: What I liked most about this book was its quirkiness, mostly exemplified through Melvin. Although the relationship between Ellie and Melvin is untraditional, you can also get glimpses of a typical relationship between a grandfather and granddaughter is like, one that isn’t usually written about. The majority of characters are nontraditional, such as Raj, who is explicitly written as goth; Ellie, a girl scientist (although this is becoming more popular, usually boys are the ones in the STEM fields); and Melvin, as a grumpy 13-year-old.

What I didn’t like about the book was the build-up. Although they failed multiple times at stealing the compound, there was no suspense for when Melvin actually succeeded. Rather, he just came home one day with it. The climax actually was when Ellie had a self-realization that science has both positives and negatives, which honestly was kind of a let down because the plot had focused around getting the compound from the lab. Ultimately, it was a good theme because Ellie realizes there are good and bad things with any passion.

All in all, I did like the book, I think it could appeal to students who are interested in science and realistic fiction books.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This book should definitely be included in a classroom library for independent reading because I think it would appeal for students because it is a little quirky and has some interesting characters. It could also prompt some interesting discussions for literature circles because students could discuss the ethics behind using a compound to reverse aging.

A teacher could also use it as a read aloud for a few reasons. It would be interesting to consider the other perspectives of characters such as Melvin or Melissa, Ellie’s mother. Additionally, they could talk about the character traits and what makes Melvin and Ellie such strong characters. Or, they could talk about science and ethics behind what scientists release.

Discussion Questions: If you had a compound that could reverse aging, would you take it? Why or why not?; If you discovered a compound that could reverse aging, would you deliver it to the public? Why or why not?; What do you think will happen to Ellie and Brianna’s friendship? Ellie and Momo’s?; What do you think the side affects are from taking the compound? / What do you think happened to Melvin?; Put yourself in Ellie’s shoes, how would you feel if your grandfather attended the same school as you?; What is the importance of the fourteenth goldfish?

Flagged Passage: “Average people just give up at the obstacles we face every day. Scientists fail again and again and again. Sometimes for our whole lives. But we don’t give up, because we want to solve the puzzle” (p. 47).

Read This If You Loved: El Deafo by Cece Bell; Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt; Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper; Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin; Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones

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Thank you, Kelsey!

RickiSig

Author Tracey Hecht on Creating Worlds, Researching Animals and Still Finding Time to Read

The Nocturnals Series Summary: The Nocturnals features three unlikely friends: Dawn, a serious fox, Tobin, a sweet pangolin and Bismark, the loud mouthed, pint sized sugar glider. The stories all play out in their nighttime world with teamwork, friendship and humor in every adventure.

The Fallen Star, the newest Nocturnals book: In The Fallen Star, Dawn, Tobin, and Bismark awaken one evening to a disaster: all of the forest’s pomelos have been mysteriously poisoned! As the Nocturnal Brigade sets out to investigate, they encounter Iris, a mysterious aye-aye, who claims monsters from the moon are to blame. While the three heroes suspect a more earthly explanation, the animals of the valley are all falling ill. And then Tobin gets sick, too! The Nocturnal Brigade must race to find answers, and the cure, before the pomelo blight threatens to harm them all.

About the Author: Tracey Hecht is a writer and entrepreneur who has written, directed and produced for film. The American Booksellers Association chose her first book in The Nocturnals series, The Mysterious Abductions, as a Kids’ Indie Next List pick. Last year, in partnership with the New York Public Library, she created a Nocturnals Read Aloud Writing program for middle graders that has expanded nationwide. She splits her time between Oquossoc, Maine and New York City. 

Q&A

How did you create the world of The Nocturnals?

I wanted to create a world that children were usually excluded from—nighttime! And once I decided on nocturnal animals, the rest came from there. What surprised me was how much I like the research. Learning about unusual animals is one of the most fun things about the series. I love using the physical traits and unique characteristics of the animals to help develop characters and enhance plot. The details I learn about the nocturnal world are constantly engaging and inspiring me.

Why did you choose the pangolin, fox, and sugar glider for your three main characters?

I chose a fox because they’re such interesting and cool animals. A pangolin because they are so unusual and physically captivating. And the sugar glider because…well, that’s a secret!

What are you currently reading?

Everything. It’s a problem. I keep books everywhere, in the car, on the kitchen table, in my bags etc, so it’s a long list. I don’t worry about that one book traveling with me everywhere (and of course which I’ll inevitably forget someplace). I am currently reading several middle grade fiction books, BookedThe Wild Robot, a friend’s manuscript, and I just finished The Poet’s Dog.

Do you have a personal favorite book of all time? If so, can you share it and tell us why?

This question gets posed a lot and for me it’s impossible. I love so many, and add favorites to my list almost weekly. But I guess if I had to pick one it would be Charlotte’s Web. Don’t you think?

Is there anything you are particularly looking forward to the publication of?

I am excited about so many middle grade and YA books. I’m excited to read the new Jerry Spinelli book and I want to read The Metropolitans aloud with my son.  I’ve heard a lot about Short too so I want to read that.  And of course, The Nocturnals third book, The Fallen Star is coming in May so that’s fun.  As for YA, there are too many to list.  But I’ve never read The Uglies and my friend says it’s a must—so I’ll get all those too.

What’s next? Any upcoming book projects in the works that you can tell us about? 

We’ve just published Book 3 in The NocturnalsThe Fallen Star.  The outlines for Books 4 and 5 are almost finished and we’ll start in on those soon (spoiler: the brigade goes aquatic!!). And excitingly, my two writing partners and dear friends Sarah Fieber and Rumur Dowling are concepting a new series, one for YA and one more an early reader for The Nocturnals.  Lots of good stuff.

To Learn More about The Nocturnals and Tracey Hecht Visit: 

Website: www.nocturnalsworld.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nocturnalsworld
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nocturnalsworld
Twitter: @fabled_films
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29633704-the-fallen-star
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwz4zncz5EShG0IBK_pkMrg
Read Aloud Blog: https://nocturnalsworldreadaloud.tumblr.com

Thank you to Wiley at Saichek Publicity and Tracey Hecht for providing the Q&A!

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The Sweet Spot
Author: Stacy Barnett Mozer
Published March 25th, 2016 by Spellbound River Press

Summary: When thirteen-year-old Sam Barrette’s baseball coach tells her that her attitude’s holding her back, she wants to hit him in the head with a line drive. Why shouldn’t she have an attitude? As the only girl playing in the 13U league, she’s had to listen to boys and people in the stands screaming things like “Go play softball,” all season, just because she’s a girl. Her coach barely lets her play, even though she’s one of the best hitters on the team.

All stakes now rest on Sam’s performance at baseball training camp. But the moment she arrives, miscommunication sets the week up for potential disaster. Placed at the bottom with the weaker players, she will have to work her way up to A league, not just to show Coach that she can be the best team player possible, but to prove to herself that she can hold a bat with the All-Star boys.

Review: I wish I was Sam. I love baseball, but like most girls, softball is really the only option. I right away had a direct connection with Sam because she was living a dream I had when I was younger. But I also know how hard it is to cross gender barriers. As a “tomboy” you are constantly questioned and made fun of, so to be so out in the spotlight, Sam definitely feels she needs to prove herself. As a female, there are so many moments in this book that seem too real and really made me angry: she is called emotional just because she is passionate, people act as if she is fragile and can’t take care of herself, and her talent is constantly questioned. And when she stands up for herself, she is told to take a joke or calm down. Even outside of the scenario of playing baseball, these are things that woman are going to here–from males and other females! 

But in addition to this too-real reflection of life, Sam’s story will hit home with anyone who has tried to do something that others thought they couldn’t. Or anyone who has been somewhere that they don’t fit in. Or anyone who has been underestimated in general.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: In addition to adding this title to any library for middle school students, I also envision Sweet Spot as a lit circle or book club title. It has so much to talk about, and it would definitely fit in with other books that have the big idea of an underdog. It could also definitely be paired with Zootopia!

Discussion Questions: What stereotypical statements do characters say to Sam throughout the book? How does she overcome these assumptions people made about her?; Sam is called emotional; however, if a boy was acting the same way as her, how would he described in the sports world? Why do you think there is a double standard?; How is Sam’s experience at baseball camp different than what she expected?; How does Mike grow throughout the book? How does Sam?

Flagged Passages: “Laughter and chants fill my ears as I step up to the plate.

‘Is that a ponytail?’

‘Easy out!’

‘Go back to softball!’

I take a deep breath and clear my head. It’s not like I haven’t heard it all before.

The pitcher motions for the fielders to move in, then goes into his wind-up, making a big show of the ease at which he will strike me out. I bite my lip and focus.

The ball comes in. I judge the timing and location of my swing–then swing a bit lower.

‘Strike!’

I take a step back and pretend to be upset. The hooting gets louder, but this time it’s easy to ignore. Out on the mound the pitcher grins. He looks around, nods at his team, and I can almost hear the ‘told you sos.’ I may have to slam the next one right at his…

‘Time out!’

Uh, oh.

Coach Duncan storms out to the plate. I give him my best, what’s up? look. The way he glares at me, I know he isn’t buying it.

‘Sam, what was that?’

‘What do you mean, Coach?’

Coach’s bulky face reddens. A drop of sweat slides down his nose. Gross.

‘Do I need to remind you that it is the bottom of the eighth, the score is 0-0, and there are two outs? Stop fooling and play ball.’

‘Bout time you let me,’ I grumble. My batting average is better than the boys on my team. Yet even today, in the 13U Championships, he kept me warming the bench until I fielded last inning.

‘You know what I mean,’ he says. He moves to go back to the bench, then stops and comes closer so only I can hear his next words.

‘And Sam,’ he says. ‘Target this guy, and there’s no way I’ll recommend you for the travel team.'” (p. 1-2)

Read This If You Love: Baseball, Coming of Age Novels, Boy Who Saved Baseball by John Ritter, Ghost by Jason Reynolds, Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

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And don’t miss out on book 2: The Perfect Trip

Published March 24th, 2017

Although I am not going to share the summary (SPOILERS!), I will tell you that it is a wonderful sequel to Sam’s story. Although the conflict is a bit different than the first, it really gives you more insight into Sam and Mike’s families and Sam’s struggle with proving herself.

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“Using a Book as a Stepping Stone to Exploration”

A good book serves as a stepping stone to further explorations. Before I wrote The Adima Chronicles, I spent many years teaching teachers how to use writing and technology to support their students’ learning across the curriculum. Here are two of my favorite activities:

I. Creation and Origin Myths

A powerful way to use stories to encourage writing is to use them as a springboard for other activities. After reading how the rhino got its wrinkled skin or how the leopard got its spots in Kipling’s “Just So Stories,” for example, most students are primed to imagine just about anything. From these imaginations, they can make up their own stories about how something came to be like it is. This writing activity also can be extended by adding illustrations and using the internet and resource books to discover the evolution of the animals the students have written about.

This basic idea also can be easily adapted for older grades. For example, my first book in The  Adima Chronicles, “Adima Rising,” creates a parallel world. The rules of this world, and the interaction between the world of light and our usual world, are a crucial part of the story. Older students can use this idea as a springboard for world building by creating their own worlds, including that world’s people, creatures, actions, and natural rules. Teachers can further expand this exploration through science—if a being can jump across a ravine, how strong would it have to be or how weak would gravity have to be?

II. Research

Books also can serve as stepping stones to understanding other cultures and beliefs. In “Adima Rising,” there are many references to Rory’s anthropologist father and past cultures in the Americas. This is a rich starting point for an exploration into the advanced technologies of ancient cultures. In the forthcoming second book, “Adima Returning,” there is a great deal of information about Kachinas. Teachers could use these books as stepping stones to historical research.

Areas to consider:

  • Differences between Kachina dolls, Kachina dancers, and Kachinas.

  • History of Pueblo Bonito.

  • Artists of the Southwest.

  • The decimation and near extinction of buffalo herds.

  • Anthropological finds in Peru.

  • Advanced cultures in South America.

  • Religious practices of different cultures.

Together, these activities foster creative thinking and independent learning—two skills children and teens need for academic success.

Happy reading and writing! Additional lesson plans and suggestions for research are available on www.AdimaRising.com. Want to purchase Adima Rising? Visit www.AbsoluteLovePublishing.com.

About the Author: Steve Schatz grew up in New Mexico, where, as a teen, he dug a kiva in his back yard, He has traveled all over the US, discovering how other people see the world. He has been a tour guide, party clown, TV producer, business owner and, for the last several years a professor of learning theory. Always interested in things spiritual, a life changing experience brought him to the idea for Adima Rising and spiritual guidance during the tricky parts. He spends most of his time writing in a little house in a little town next to Yokum Brook. Steve Schatz can be reached at steve@stevewrites.com and www.AdimaRising.com.

About the Books: 

BOOK ONE of The Adima Chronices: ADIMA RISING

For millennia, the evil Kroledutz have fed on the essence of humans and clashed in secret with the Adima, the light weavers of the universe. Now, with the balance of power shifting toward darkness, time is running out. Guided by a timeless Native American spirit, four teenagers from a small New Mexico town discover they have one month to awaken their inner power and save the world. Rory, Tima, Billy, and James must solve four ancient challenges by the next full moon to awaken a mystical portal and become Adima. If they fail, the last threads of light will dissolve, and the universe will be lost forever. Can they put aside their fears and discover their true natures before it’s too late?

BOOK TWO of The Adima Chronicles: ADIMA RETURNING (Coming SOON!)

The sacred cliff is crumbling, and with it the Adima way of life. Battling time and evil forces, four friends must race to move the cliff before it traps all Adima on Earth–and apart from the Spheres–forever!

Adima Returning, the spellbinding second book of The Adima Chronicles, mesmerizes from beginning to end as Rory and his friends travel the light web and multiple planes of existence to gain help from the creatures who guard the Adima’s most powerful objects, the Olohos.  There is only one path to success: convince the guardians to help. Fail and the cliff dissolves, destroying the Spheres and all Adima.

Like the exciting adventures of Adima Rising, Adima Returning will have your senses reeling right up until its across-worlds climax. Will the teens be able to prove the impossible possible (and save the world!) once again? Join the Adima adventure, and explore a world where teens can lead the way to a new reality.

Thank you, Steve, for the post, and Denise, from Absolute Love Publishing, for getting it to us!

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