All posts in Book Reviews

Asian American Chapter Book for Girls

Multicultural Chapter Book for Girls

Millicent Min is an 11-year-old girl genius with no social skills or friends except for her Grandmother Maddie. While Millicent can rationalize her solitude, her parents and grandmother co-conspire to socialize her. They force her to play volleyball and to tutor an annoying Chinese American kid, Stanford Wong, who is the polar opposite of her. Things look up for Millicent when she makes her first friend, Emily, at volleyball. But things come to a head when Emily finds out that Millicent and Stanford are lying to her as they both try to hide their tutoring arrangement from her. And to make matters worse, Maddie decides to move to England. Millicent is a genius, but can she figure out how to repair her friendship? Read more…

Introducing … Sasha Abramowitz: Teaches Compassion for Turret’s

Best Chapter Books that Teach Compassion

I am shocked that Introducing…Sasha Abramowitz by Sue Halpern did not win any awards. It reminds me a lot of Rules by Cynthia Lord which won a Newbery Award.  Must have been a tough year that year!  If you child like Rules, s/he will love this book. Read more…

Puppy Training Books

Best Books to Train Your New Puppy

I just told my neighbor up the street that we don’t see that often that we are getting a puppy.  She said, “I know, your oldest already told me.”  News travels fast around my neighborhood.  Our kids had asked us repeatedly for a puppy for years.  Our ingenious reply, or so we thought, was to say that they could have a puppy when the youngest turns five.  But then he turned five, and immediately the pressure was on.

Read more…

Dr. Seuss: Perfect Graduation Present for $10

Dr. Seuss Book Set Makes Perfect Graduation Present

When I graduated from High School (and college for that matter), my parents were excited to send out lots of graduation announcements to everyone they knew. I ended up with an array of gifts including lots of pens. I’m not sure what new graduates need or want these days. With their laptops and online notes, they may…gasp!..not even need to take notes at class or even attend class. So when I came across this, I thought this might be the perfect small gift for someone newly graduated to say congratulations and enjoy the journey! Read more…

Maniac Magee + My Side of the Mountain = Hoot by Hiaasen

Chapter Books for Boys in 4th-7th Grade

This chapter book won an insane amount of awards including A Newbery Honor Award and it’s not hard to see why once you read it.   It’s a mystery and an adventure with multiple happy endings including the school bully getting what he deserves.   I remember seeing this book a lot at the library with its minimalist cover always beckoning.  This chapter book also reminds me of Because of Winn Dixie, another Must Read favorite of mine, with characters both interesting and realistic. Read more…

“Outside-the-Box” Math Books: Life of Fred (4th -12th Grade)

I blogged on how much I liked Dr. Stanley Schmidt’s Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra, As Serious as It Needs to Be.

Good news!  I didn’t realize he wrote a whole series of math textbooks:

Life of Fred: Fractions – For me, I’d have my 4th grader start on this one.  Also, because the lessons are chunked out into 100ish chunks, it does coincide perfectly as a summer enrichment text.  Now, it’s not likely we will finish the book over a summer.  My child would rebel against daily homework and she has a busy summer camp schedule.  But I will work it into the nooks and crannies of the day and give her a big bribe (iPod Touch) upon completion, so we will likely have it done by Christmas. I had my daughter, who does NOT love math, look over the book to see if she’d do it,  and she said that she liked the stories so she’d try it.

Life of Fred: Decimals and Percents. From Fractions, this would be the next stop.

Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra is next and Dr. Schmidt has a new Fred’s Home Companion:  Beginning Algebra for this book.

Life of Fred: Advanced Algebra

Life of Fred: Geometry

Life of Fred: Trigonometry and Fred’s Home Companion: Trigonometry

Life of Fred: Calculus

Life of Fred: Statistics


To buy these books, please go to http://www.stanleyschmidt.com/FredGauss/index2.html The books are $25 at his site but much more on Amazon.

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Percy Jackson: Add-On Books Get Rave Reviews

An addendum to Percy Jackson: The Movie and Edith Hamilton’s Mythology.

It’s always sad when a really great series ends, so there are always “add-on” books to prolong the experience but are not really the same as the book series. My daughter LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the Percy Jackson series so much that she also got really into Edith Hamilton’s Mythology. She’s been begging for the “add-on” books. I got her The Ultimate Guide through Scholastic at school and she told me that it helps her to understand the series better. Now she wants the other two. Will I buy them? Of course! It is really sad when a great series ends so why not?! Read more…

“Outside-the-Box” Algebra Textbook for Visual Learners

Life of Fred: Beginning Algebra as serious as it needs to be By Dr. Stanley F. Schmidt

Before I review this exciting algebra textbook, I wanted to digress about my freshman Chem 5A class at Harvard a million years ago… Read more…

Book that Changed Robert F. Kennedy, Jr’s Life…Really!

My Side of the Mountain By Jean Craighead George

If you ever truly wondered if books are living changing, I give you this forward by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. from Frightful’s Mountain:

“…I thought the Craigheads might be the only family in America that was having more fun than the Kennedys. Obssessed with falcons as I was from birth, I read My Side of the Mountain in 1964. … I entered Millbrook upstate New York drawn by its informal falconry program….My experience as a young falconer accounts in large part for my lifelong devotion to raptors and my continued interest in natural history….My years as a falconer helped drive my own career choice as an environmental lawyer and advocate. The knowledge and experience I acquired from falconers have marked my life and made me a far more effective advocate on nature’s behalf.” Read more…