08. February 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Informational Book, NonFiction · Tags: ,

Digging for Troy: From Homer to Hisarlik by Eric H. Cline, 80 pages, read by Angie, on 02/07/2012

Probably the best part of this book is the overview of the Trojan War in the beginning of the book. It is basically a retelling of the Illiad at a level that children can understand. Sure there are gruesome parts, but that is part of the tale. It isn’t really a children’s story, but this retelling does make it a little more accessible to kids. However, the retelling takes up half of the book and while it is interesting the book is supposed to be about finding Troy.

Most of the rest of the book is about Heinrich Schliemann’s quest to become famous as the person to discover the ruins of Troy and the Trojan War. There is a great deal of space spent on his quest and his questionable archeological methods. The book then goes through other archeologist who have dug at Hisarlik and uncovered more information on the history of Troy. While this information is interesting it is a bit dry in its delivery. There are not nearly enough graphics to keep kids interested in the text. There should be photos and graphics detailing the different levels they discovered on the site. There is one map which is very difficult to read. The book does have a pronunciation guide, timeline, bibliography and source notes, but it is very awkwardly set up. The pronunciation guide is after the introduction for instance and the timeline is very basic. This is a really interesting subject and the book could be used for reports, but I don’t think kids will pick it up for pleasure reading.

20. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Informational Book, NonFiction, Science · Tags: ,

Shipwrecks: Exploring Sunken Cities Beneath the Sea by Mary M. Cerullo, 64 pages, read by Angie, on 01/14/2012

This book explores two different shipwrecks on the coast of the United States. It is a nice mix of science, exploration, history and adventure. The first shipwreck discussed is the Henrietta Marie a slave trader that sunk off the Florida Keys in 1700 during a hurricane. The information gleaned from the wreck is from a dark period in our history when hundreds of slaves where crammed into the hold of a ship. Shackles and other artifacts from the slave ship are found among the wreckage. The Portland is a completely different ship. It was a large, luxurious paddle wheel ship that just made short trips along the Northeastern Coast. It went down in a Nor’easter. The wrecks are very different. The tropical wreck has been thoroughly explored and artifacts brought to the surface. The wreckage is home to tropical fish, coral, and other tropical sea life. The Portland hasn’t been explored nearly as well; it is in very deep water and covered in fishing nets. The cold water means fewer fish and wildlife cover the wreckage.

Two very different shipwrecks but thorough research and information on each. Very interesting facts and photos. I really enjoyed the sidebars and the photos of the wreckage and artifacts.

19. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Informational Book, NonFiction · Tags: ,

Mysterious Bones: The Story of Kennewick Man by Katherine Kirkpatrick, Emma Stevenson (Illustrator) , 64 pages, read by Angie, on 01/09/2012

Interesting look at how the discovery of ancient man changed the way we think of our native american beginnings. I found the controversy around kennewick man fascinating but parts if this book were very dry and hard to get through. I am not sure how kid friendly this book is but it will find an audience with history buffs.

19. January 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Informational Book, NonFiction · Tags: ,

Buried Treasures: Uncovering Secrets of the Past by Stephane Compoint, 80 pages, read by Angie, on 01/09/2012

This book gives brief glimpses of buried treasures of the past. And they are brief usually only 4 to 6 pages each. The sections give just enough information to wet your appetite about the subject. Fir more information you will have to consult other sources. If you are just looking for snippets of information this book is for you. I enjoyed each of the sections; I learned something aboutthe every thing covered in the book. The photos and illustrations really bring the subjects to life and enhance your experience reading the book.