Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Two Middle School Novels that Open Eyes to Another Time

Disclosure: Candlewick Press sent me these books in exchange for an honest review all opinions are my own. 

Looking for an interesting read for your middle schooler? These two novels by Laura Amy Schlitz answer it!! They are both set in early 1900s and both have a poor girl as the main character and narrator. We will start with A Drowned Maiden's Hair.

In this story Maud Flynn is an orphan. Her older brother and younger sister were adopted but the family would not take Maud. Maud is known at the orphanage for trouble. When the Hawthorne sisters come to adopt a young girl, Miss Hyacinth discovers Maud and decides she is perfect. However the Hawthornes are not adopting to have a child as much as that they need a child for help with their fake seances. Maud learns a lot while trying to be good for the three Hawthorne sisters and learns even more when she gets to know the woman the sisters are trying to "contact" her dead nine-year-old daughter.  It is a tale of scandal and more as well as lessons about parental love. 

This tale is engrossing. Once you get into the book there is a mystery about it. For quite awhile it is why does Maud have to be a secret child. How is she going to help these bizarre sisters. I can see a middle schooler or older loving this look at another time period and way of life. It would also bring about great discussions with questions like "Was Maud better off in the orphanage or as the Hawthorne sisters' secret child?" It brings up questions of morals and what is really needed in life.

Our next book is The Hired Girl. This book is the diary of Joan. Joan is a farm girl who lives with her father and three older brothers. Her mother recently died and her father pulled her from school since she was needed to do the women's work. Her mother wanted her to become a teacher so she wouldn't get stuck in marriage. Her father was pretty awful to Joan. One day Joan decides she needs to escape and runs away. She ends up in Baltimore and is taken in by a Jewish family. She lies about her name and age. The family soon discovers she is a hardworker and loves to read. They allow her to read the books in their library at night and give her Sunday mornings and Tuesday afternoons off. Joan wants to be a good Catholic since her mother was Catholic, but her father stopped believing in God after a bad harvest and forbid Joan to go to church.

This book brings in Joan's discoveries of the differences between Jewish and Christianity as well as recognizing anti-semitism. She is also a fourteen-year-old discovering the world and life. She has very different relationships with each member of the household. It is a coming of age story with a rush to grow up as a hired girl and figuring out the differences between the religions and stations of society. It is a wonderful tale.

I hope you will check out both of these books. Be sure to check out our review of Laura Amy Schlitz's picture book, Princess Cora and the Crocodile as well!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Asian and English Nursery Rhyme Books

Multicultural Mondays at Crafty Moms Share
Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing sent me these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Do you have preschoolers or even toddlers? Do you want to introduce them to other cultures but are not sure how to bring it to your home or classroom? I have to fun books that will do just that. These books will also work to help older kids become familiar with Chinese and Korean as well. Both books come with CDs so the pronounciation of the other languages can be heard and you do not have to try to figure out how it is said. Nursery rhymes have been a favorite in our house. Hazel even has a nursery rhyme quilt that I made her when she was younger and had a nursery rhyme themed birthday party when she turned three. Oh and there was the year that Hazel and I dressed as the dish and the spoon for Halloween. But today's books are different than our nursery rhymes. They give us a sense of different cultures. We will start with Chinese and English Nursery Rhymes: Little Mouse and Other Charming Chinese Rhymes by Faye-Lynn Wu and illustrated by Kieren Dutcher. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Elmer's Glow in the Dark Glue -- a Crafty Weekends Review and Link Party

Disclosure: I was sent these bottle of glue in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

So I was very excited to get this new Glow in the Dark Glue from Elmer's. I had many ideas on what to do with it. The obvious one being slime. But we are into Harry Potter right now. Hazel is reading all the books on her own constantly. I had seen an idea of making the Deathly Hallow Resurrection Stone with hot glue on a stone, but I thought how cool it would be to glow in the dark. I decided to use the yellow glue on black(ish) stones.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Sharing Saturday 18-13

Where did this week go? I can't believe it is time for Sharing Saturday already, but it is!! This is a link party to share all of your child-oriented crafts, crafts made for kids, activities and lessons as well as your parenting and/or teaching posts. So glad you joined us!!

On Sunday night we also host Crafty Weekends for all your crafts (done by any age), patterns, and craft product reviews! It is the perfect place to share your creative side!! And for all your diverse/cultural posts be sure to share them at Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop

Monday, April 9, 2018

Write Your Own Haiku for Kids Review

Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing sent me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Have you heard of a haiku? A haiku is a simple poem that is usually three lines and about nature. They were started in Japan. They seem to be coming up in my life in many different places lately. Hazel's class is working on writing them and there was one in Ship of Dolls. Then there is today's book, Write Your Own Haiku for Kids, by Patricia Donegan.