Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Book Review: Random Body Parts: Gross Anatomy Riddles in Verse

Scientists might know what happens when left brain meets right. Literature enthusiasts are about to find out.

Bulion gives a nod to Shakespeare with poem titles like "Wherefore Art Thou, Alveoli?" and "Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Auricles!" While exploring the inner workings of the human body through different poetry styles, the reader gets a chance to guess the organ systems from  silly and sometimes "icky" rhymes. Though the answers are found on the same page, it doesn't take the fun of the riddle away.

The comic illustrations mixed with microscopic close up of body systems strengthens the smile muscles and gives the eyes plenty of  exercise. The intended audience may be too young for the back "poetry notes" and the relations to Shakespeare's work but are interesting, nevertheless. A fun book to stimulate the budding scientist's interest in literature and to plant the blooming poet firmly into the world of science.

Rating:  Recommended ★★★★☆

Publishing Information:
Written by Leslie Bulion
Illustrated by Mike Lowery
Publisher: Peachtree (March 2015)
ISBN: 978-1-56145-737-3
Ages 8-12

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**ARC copy received at no charge from the publisher to facilitate my review.**

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Book Review: History in the Faking by Andreas Oertel

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.
The dry season has left the small town of Sultana, Manitoba struggling. The tourists no longer want to camp along the nearly dry riverbed. The loss of tourism causes financial hardship to the residents who depend on it to eek out a living. Cody gets nervous about his best friend's mom restaurant job. If she loses it, his friend, Eric and his twin sister, Rachel will have to move. Cody will do anything to keep his friends in town. Even if that means creating a hoax that will bring visitors to Sultana.

Cody, Eric and Rachel set to work on creating an "ancient Egyptian" tablet, which chronicles a group of travelers from Egypt who make it up the Mississippi River only to find themselves stranded in Manitoba. When Dr. Murray (some type of retired doctor) "discovers" the tablet along the riverbed, it brings a buzz of activity to Sultana. The group of friends find themselves in a bind with seemingly no way out.

Oertel takes an implausible event and turns it into a delightful archeological adventure sure to hook readers who will no doubt want to read the next book in the series. Solid middle grade book that will appeal equally to boys and girls while peaking their interest in archeology.

Rating:  Recommended ★★★★☆

Publishing Information: 

Publisher: Wandering Fox Books
Pages: 192
ISBN-13: 978-1-772030-082
Ages: 8-1

This book can be purchased at the following retailers: