Friday, August 31, 2007

98. Whitethorn Wood by Maeve Binchy

ISBN 1-55278-602-1 - McArthur & Company, 2006Compelling story about a well dedicated to St Ann that is said to have spiritual properties. Set in the small town of Rossmore, outside of Dublin, Ireland, Whitethorn Woods is told from the points of view of more than a dozen characters - from the local priest to a young woman in prison for murdering her rival. The prospect of a new road threatens the well and divides the towns folk. Maeve Binchy at her best.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

97. My Home Bay by Anne Laurel Carter

ISBN 0-88995-284-1 - Red Deer Press, 2003
Gwyn's family move across Canada from Vancouver, BC to Mahone Bay, NS. It's a big adjustment and a bit of a culture shock for her at first but eventually, with the fulfillment of three promises her parents made to her, Gwyn starts to feel at home.

96. Salmon Forest by David Suzuki and Sarah Ellis

ISBN 1-55054-937-5 - GreyStone Books, 2003
Set in Canada's Pacific Rainforest, this book about the forest salmon explains the food chain and how the survival of each species of animal and plant is interconnected in this ecosystem. Ties Grade 4 Science strand about Habitats and Social Studies unit on Regions of Canada.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

95. One is Canada by Maxine Trottier

ISBN 0-00-224556-6 - HarperCollins, 1999

Not your average counting book (5 Great Lakes, 8 lines in the first verse of O Canada). I'll be basing the introduction to Canada's provinces & regions Social Studies unit for my Grade 4s on One is Canada.

94. Camping by Nancy Hundal

ISBN 1-55041-668-5 - Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2002

A beautifully illustrated poetically written book about a family that experiences a holiday different from the theme park, fancy hotel and shopping mall vacations they have become accustomed to.

93. East Sussex Events by David Arscott

ISBN 1-86077-251-X - Phillimore & Co Ltd, 2003

Full of fascinating contemporary photographs, Arscott's book is divided into chapters like: Fires, Crime & Violence, Weather and Celebrations & Special Occasions. Most of the events selected for this volume occurred in the cities & large towns of Sussex - Brighton, Eastbourne, Hastings & Lewes. Given their relatively large and dense populations, the human and economic costs of events such as floods and bombings were greater there than they would have been in rural areas of the county.

92. Building Bridges by Kathy Furgang

ISBN 1-4108-0404-6 - Benchmark Education, 2004

Shows how engineers design and build beam, arch, movable, suspension and cable-stayed bridges. Uses famous bridges as examples. The "Be a Bridge Builder" feature gives simple instructions for building models of each type of bridge.

91. Action: Defence by Jo Windsor

ISBN 1-86944-527-9 - Heinemann, 2005

Explains the various defence strategies used by animals: camouflage, flight, threat, bluff, physical armour and co-operation.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

90. Prairie Dogs - Social Animals by Jo Windsor

ISBN 1869445120 - Heinemann, 2005
Interesting parallels to human social behaviour can be made to the habits of the prairie dog.

89. Monkeys, Diverse Animals by Greg Pyers

ISBN 1869445066 - Heinemann, 2002

Highlights the diversity of monkey species with examples from both new and old world groups.

88. Myths and Mysteries of Washington by L.E.Bragg

ISBN 0-7627-3427-2 - The Globe Pequot Press, 2005
An interesting collection of mysteries that occurred in Washington state that ranges from a skyjacking in the 1970s to the accidental discovery of a skull over 9000 years old. Many tales are linked to the regions gold prospecting past. Several relate people's encounters with the paranormal or unexplained phenomenon. I was intrigued by, "The World Famous Lobotomy" and the claims by surgeon Dr Walter Freeman than he performed such an operation on famed actress Frances Farmer.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

87. Dead Man's Mirror by Agatha Christie

ISBN 0-425-10435-4 - Dodd Mead, 1931

Four short mystery stories featuring Hercule Poirot: Dead Man's Mirror, The Incredible Theft,

Murder in the Mews, and Triangle at Rhodes. Christie provides a snapshot of the political and social scence in 1930s England. The roles of women, and Poirot's attitude towards them, are particularly interesting in this pre-World War II world.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

86. Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them by John Ortberg

ISBN 0 310 25084 6 - Zondervan, 2003

There are three sections to Ortberg's book about building Christian community: Part 1 - "Normal: There's no such thing, dear"; Part 2 - How to get close without getting hurt and; Part 3 - The secret of strong relationships.
Ortberg examines the issues of conflict and forgiveness using anecdotes, quotes from theologians and scripture. Conflict is "normal", how we usually handle it is the real problem. He explains how forgiveness, forgetting and reconciliation are separate exercises.

85. Jan Karon's Mitford Cookbook & Kitchen Reader edited by Martha McIntosh

ISBN 0670032395 - Penguin, 2004

Throughout Jan Karon's Mitford series, one gets the sense that both she and main character Father Tim Kavanaugh have a deep appreciation for good food. This volume is much more than a southern cookbook, it is chock full of quotes from the novels and tips on food preparation and cooking.
So far, we've sampled Louella's Cornbread which hubby described as, "a poem" and Puny's Squash Casserole which was equally tasty.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

84. The Aliens Have Landed at Our School by Kenn Nesbitt

ISBN 0 88166 502 9 - Meadowbrook Press, 2001

Humourously illustrated by Margeaux Lucas, this collection of Kenn Nesbitt poems for kids is certain to amuse readers of all ages. I like the way Nesbitt has fun with words and turns everyday situations, like going to the doctor or eating lunch, into wacky adventures. Some of my particular favourites are: "The Aliens Have Landed!", "Don't Bring Camels in the Classroom", and "Don't Rat on a Mouse". I plan to use several poems as shared reading lessons.

83. On the Same Page:shared reading beyond the primary grades by Janet Allen

ISBN 1571103325 - Stenhouse Publishers, 2002

A teaching resource that includes theoretical and practical information about shared reading in the Junior grades. Allen's book covers topics related to shared reading like: word study/vocabulary, writing, text book reading, cross-curricular connections and assessment. The many black line masters for graphic organizers provided and the lists of recommended books are very helpful.

Monday, August 13, 2007

82. Blue Ridge Parkway: The story behind the scenery by Margaret Rose Rives

ISBN 0 916122816 - KC Publications Inc, 2004
Beautifully illustrated with varied photographs, this book outlines the flora, fauna, landscape and history of settlement along the 469 miles (755 km) of the Blue Ridge Parkway. A southern portion of the Appalachian Mountains,the Blue Ridge extends from Pennsylvania to Georgia. The Parkway links Shenandoah National Park's Skyline Drive with the Great Smoky Mountains and winds its way through Virginia & North Carolina to Tennessee.

81. Colour Scheme by Ngaio Marsh

ISBN0 00 651238 - HarperCollins, 1943

Colour plays an important role in unravelling the clues to solve a rather gruesome murder, det against the backdrop of the second world war and the geothermal hot springs of New Zealand's North Island. Marsh's passion for Shakespeare is personified in the character of Geoffrey Gaunt, a celebrated and tempermental actor. Insight into the "white" New Zealander's opinions of and interactions with the native Maori seems dated but was probably close to the mark at the time of writing.

Friday, August 03, 2007

80. The Mitford Snowmen: A Christmas Story by Jan Karon

ISBN 0670030198 - Penguin, 2001
Heavy winter snow inspires an impromptu snowman contest on Mitford's Main Street. Living up to the town's motto, "Mitford takes care of its own", Mayor Esther Cunningham comes up with a plan that makes everyone a winner.

79. Light From Heaven by Jan Karon

ISBN 0739458930 - Penguin, 2005

The Kavanagh's are "farm sitting" at Meadowbrook for the year and Father Tim faces many new challenges as vicar of Holy Trinity Church, located in a remote part of the mountains. The church had been closed for many years but not deconsecrated. We meet a host of new characters: The "Flower Sisters" ; Agnes Merton and her son Clarence who have lovingly been maintaining Holy Trinity; Jubal Adderholt a reclusive squirrel hunter; Dovey Luster who has a mysterious illness and her brother Donny who bears enormous responsibility at a young age.

78. In This Mountain by Jan Karon

ISBN 0670031046 - Penguin, 2002

Cynthia's success as an author is putting a strain on her marriage to the now retired Father Tim. Changing gears to a slower pace of life is not as easy as some may think. Our identity and sense of self-worth can be tied to our "day jobs" and when we stop, something has to fill the void. This stressful situation has dire consequences on Father Tim's health and a tragic accident puts him on the brink.