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.
This was a good history of denim and jeans. I liked the quirky narrative of the detention kids; it added a bit of interest throughout the story. The history was very brand specific, but did contain a lot of information. I especially enjoyed the early history. The later stuff didn’t seem as detailed or as interesting.
There is just something about WWII stories that really pulls at my heart. I find the people who worked for the underground movements and helped the Jewish people fascinating. There is something about their courage and heroism that really makes you look at your own life and wander what you would have done in a similar situation. Not everyone was strong enough to stand up for what was right, but Irena Sendler was definitely one of those heroes. Her story is similar to others who rescued Jews during the Holocaust, but it is definitely worth knowing. I thought this picture book biography did a good job of showing her courage and dedication to doing what is right. She is a hero from a very dark time in our history and her story deserves to be told.
This is a nice introduction to the space race. Details the history of man’s attempts to land on the moon. The information is very good and written at an elementary school level. This is a good resource for kids wanting information for reports or pleasure.
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.
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.
This is an interesting collection of tales of people being duped. The stories are really quite fascinating. The people behind the scams are very intelligent and crafty. The book can be read as a whole or individual chapters chosen based on their subject matter. I think kids would get a kick out of the stories and the fact that they are true makes them even more fun to read.
This is an interesting look at hair trivia. I love the illustrations…they are fun and whimsical and really bring the hair facts to life. I think the trivia is really interesting too and a lot of kids will get a kick out of some of the things people did to their hair and put in their hair in the past. I’m not as sure about the “facts” presented in some of the timeline sections. Some seem very generalized and hard to prove. It does have additional notes in the back of the book and a list of resources. But overall this is a fun book and will wet the appetite of kids interested in hair.
I thought that Mann’s look at pre-Columbus America was interesting and brought forth some very intriguing ideas (like the fact that Indians may have planted the trees in the Amazon or that their populations may have been higher than previously thought). That being said the text was a bit dry for me and I am not sure that kids will really pick this up for pleasure reading. It is a been dense and dry compared to other nonfiction history books aimed at kids. I am also a little concerned about some of the things that were treated as facts in the book without backup. It was hard to tell on certain things if it was fact or Mann’s opinion. Overall, intriguing book, but not that well written.
World War I is known as the Great War and the War to End All Wars, but it seems like World War II gets all the attention in schools, media and history books. I for one don’t remember learning a lot about WWI in school. I do remember learning a lot and reading a lot about WWII however. So my knowledge about WWI is limited. This book by Jim Murphy was an excellent source of information about the events leading up to the start of the war and some of the things that took place during the war. It is astounding that this is a war that really could have been avoided. The Serbs were willing to give in and had basically caved to all demands, but Franz Josef went ahead and invaded anyway. And then everyone else followed along and 8 million people died and millions of acres of Europe were destroyed and Hitler was created and WWII followed. It is amazing the chain of events that was created because one man decided to ignore something.
The Christmas Truce on the other hand is a testament to man’s goodness. Both sides are entrenched across No Man’s Land. The occasionally shoot at each other or make raids but otherwise they are stuck in their trenches as Christmas approaches. Then on Christmas they decide to stop fighting, they come out of their trenches and share gifts and meals, they sing songs and spend time together. These truces last long past Christmas in many areas and the enemies realize that they are not monsters they are just men. It is a beautiful thing in the midst of a horrible war. The men on the ground realize none of them want to fight even as their superior officers rage at them to keep fighting this senseless war.
Jim Murphy has a wonderful way of bringing nonfiction to life. He does not write in a dry boring style, but a flowing narrative way that is interesting and really brings history to life in a way that young people (and not so young people) want to read it.