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    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Well now, that looks perfect! Thanks a lot, Mama22Gs!

    mm

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    I've been meaning to mention these for a while, since the kids love them so! Mordecai Richler's "Jacob Two-Two" books are terrific reads for kids: there are three of them--J T-T Meets the Hooded Fang (McClelland and Stewart, 1975), J T-T and the Dinosaur (M&S 1987), and J T-T's First Spy Case (M&S 1995; they've all been reprinted in paper, first by Puffin, then by Tundra--they're still in print). I love when a writer I am crazy about myself has written kids' books too (and Richler's "Solomon Gursky was Here" is on my own personal all-time top 100 list!).

    Jacob is the youngest (he ranges from 6 to 8 over the course of the three books) of a large family (who all have the same names as Richler's own children); he's called "Two-Two" because he has to say everything twice, because nobody listens to him the first time. In each story, he is in peril of one sort or another (from various authority figures every time--justice system, police, principal, government, etc.), but he cleverly solves his problems, sometimes with a little help from his friends (Child Power, comprising the Fearless O'Toole and the Intrepid Shapiro; and also X. Barnaby Dinglebat, Master Spy, Jacob's new next-door neighbour).

    Richler's great gifts for fantasy and satire are everywhere in evidence here; they're laugh-out-loud funny (the "Dinosaur" book is particularly funny if you are up on Canadian politics of that era). If your kids like Roald Dahl, then I think these would also suit (I actually like these better, myself).

    All three books are around 100 pages, and have excellent black and white illustrations (by Fritz Wegner in the first book, and by Norman Eyolfson in the other two). Grade Three-ish, Four-ish reading level, maybe?

    Sorry, I'm feeling rather scattered today--that's not a very well-written review!

    in pieces (!)
    minnie

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    Thought of another book that captured my imagination and was a fun read:
    The 21 Balloons by William Pene du Bois
    A professor wants to spend a year sailing in his hot air balloon and crashes on the volcanic island of Krakatoa. He meets several families who live there in secret because of its rich diamond mines- very creative and fun!

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    Originally Posted by chris1234
    Just got this in the mail, looks pretty good for my 9 year old, but we'll see.
    "Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer" by John Grisham. I don't usually get too into his novels, but I thought it would be a good read for a kid who likes to argue (a lot).

    Let me know if you've checked this out and like or don't like it. I have read a few pages and so far seems ok.

    We just got this too! DS9 is intrigued, but is reading that and Red Pyramid at the same time. I've browsed it and it looks pretty good. DS9 also really enjoyed the Maximum Ride books by James Patterson if your DS enjoys suspense.

    Has anyone heard of the Alchemyst series about Nicholas Flamel? DS9 hasn't read them yet, but has shown some interest.

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    I know some great books for middle school, but I'm not sure if anyone will show interest yet.

    One good book is "Much Ado About Nothing", by William Shakespeare. I found it in this giant book of Shakespearian romances, and saw a well-written romantic comedy by the bard himself. Much Ado About Nothing boasts a strong heroine, a great plot, and sophisticated jokes that gifted people could understand with their quick grasping skills. Here is a warning, though: it may be slightly too violent, and some sexual jokes run rampant. Overall, though, this is one of my favorite Shakespearian plays.
    If you want a book that relates to giftedness, however, I would recommend Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (although you may have seen or heard this recommendation a multitude of times). The book is about a young boy named Ender Wiggin who, from a misdeed he does, gets awarded with the promise of a military camp. He goes through rigorous treatment, but that's all I could summarize (I'm not finished yet... blush). However, the story is rather interesting. If you want something that gifted kids to relate to while probing the complexity of war, this is for you!


    That's all I could recommend today! See you on the other forums! ^^


    Last edited by Violet; 06/28/10 08:13 AM.
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    This doesn't purtain to giftedness, but I would also recommend Silas Marner by George Eliot, which is about a man who leaves the town of Lantern Hall to settle in Raveloe because of persecution from fellow church members, including his friend, William Dane. When he first arrives in Raveloe, he wanted to help others out of the goodness of his heart, but now, all he wants is money. Its a good book, and if your child's lexile reading level is that of a twelfth grader, they'd find it easy to understand.

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    Sorry not to have been on this thread for a while--we've lately mostly been reading either in French or classics that hardly need reviewing by me!

    We read something very fun last week, though (all together first, and then each of Harpo and Groucho read it on their own): Polly Horvath's "The Pepins and their Problems" (ill. by Marylin Hafner, publ. Groundwood/House of Anansi, 2004, 180 pp.). Middle-schoolish reading level?? Dunno.

    Mr. and Mrs. Pepin have two children (Petunia and Irving), a dog (Roy), a cat (Miranda), a cow (Nelly), and a very fine neighbour (Mr. Bradshaw). They also have a lot of problems (getting stuck on the roof, running out of cheese, losing their silverware, etc.), because they are not very practical, and the author invites readers to send her solutions (psychically!) to pass on to her characters, to see if they can get unstuck from whatever ridiculous situation they have found themselves in.

    It's tremendously funny; Horvath has managed a lovely balancing act of making you care about characters who are just plain silly. The writing is deliciously wry, and it is amusing to have the constant interplay with the author, as she inserts herself repeatedly into the action. She also calls attention several times to the book as physical object and to the process of writing the book--it's Laurence Sterne for the younger set.

    The lads were moved to write a fan letter when we finished (no small tribute from my one who doesn't love writing!). We've read another of her books (Everything on a Waffle), and have three more out from the library right now, so we're happily onto a new good thing here.

    peace
    minnie


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    I bought a very cool book in the bargain books and Barnes and Noble last night. It's called Treehouses of the World (author: Pete Nelson). Here's a link on Amazon, but it doesn't show any of the pictures. frown

    The author loves treehouses and build them for a living. He went around the world photographing the coolest ones he could find. If you like treehouses (I built one when I was a kid), you might like this book.

    My kids want us to build them a treehouse now!

    Val



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    Originally Posted by Violet
    If you want a book that relates to giftedness, however, I would recommend Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (although you may have seen or heard this recommendation a multitude of times). The book is about a young boy named Ender Wiggin who, from a misdeed he does, gets awarded with the promise of a military camp. He goes through rigorous treatment, but that's all I could summarize (I'm not finished yet... blush). However, the story is rather interesting. If you want something that gifted kids to relate to while probing the complexity of war, this is for you!

    Great suggestion. DD14 *loved* Ender's Game when she read it a few years ago, and liked one of the sequels, Ender's Shadow about as much. She read a few other ones but didn't like them as good as those two, but there are a bunch of different opportunities for sequels/prequels if your kid likes Ender's Game.
    I will, though, warn that this probably isn't the best series for kids under 10-11, even if they are on the reading level. When DD was into the series I looked into it, and there is a lot of Brutal Violence, a few sexual themes (maybe more in the other books), and about every curse word known to man (once again, I believe this was more in ender's shadow). I know some parents are fine with this, and it is a *Brilliant* book (probably still one of my daughter's favorite books), but I just wanted you to be aware that this was a book intended for Adults in the beginning and therefore isn't the greatest for all kids, especially the sensitive ones.

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    Hi
    Just got a great picture book about giftedness being different and joining in- Archibald Frisby by Michael Chesworth. It's about a little boy who is only interested in science and thinks he doesn't need to do anything else but learn and think, so his mom who thinks he should do more than that sends him to camp and he has a wonderful time, and makes friends, and his skills and abilities are appreciated. Just read it and DS didn't say much but he is pouring over it. I think it's really resonating with him in terms of not opting out just because you want to read and learn.

    DeHe

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