"Obviously, she wasn't some silly, superstitious little kid who believed in ghosts or any of that nonsense but ... if ever ghosts did exist, this was exactly the sort of place they would be." Amelia, the protagonist of the Gateway series written by Cerberus Jones, is reflecting on her new home, a rundown hotel her parents just bought.
What Amelia doesn't know for much of The Four-Fingered Man is that the hotel her parents bought is a gateway for aliens, with a portal under the caretaker's house that opens wormholes to a variety of planets. Her father, a scientist, has been tasked with keeping track of these intergalactic travels, which are becoming more unpredictable.
Each story in the series has a self-contained plot but builds on the overarching storyline of life at this hotel. The books in this series engaging science fiction/mystery reads for late elementary or middle school students, with short chapters, fairly large text, and occasional illustrations. There are eight books in the series, ranging from 780-900 Lexile, each fewer than 160 pages.
One thing I love about this book is that it really is adaptable for kids of varying ages. My kiddos are toddlers, but there are already a bunch of activities within these pages I know they'll have fun with this summer. The activities are also well-suited to elementary school kids to do with families - but really, I can see middle school kids getting excited about so many of the ideas in The Outdoor Book. Heck, I would do them myself even if I didn't have kids!
And you're going to learn skills and interesting facts with each activity, which is even better. Talk about meaningful play! Ok, and one more thing: the book naturally will encourage interaction and collaboration, which is so important for kids. And adults. So many layers of goodness! Pick up a copy for you and your family... and get outside. :)
It's that book that will ignite a love for the outdoors wherever you are in life and in the world.
Buy The Usborne Outdoor Book here and get ready to play! (hardcover, $9.99)
Better yet - want a free copy? Schedule a book party with me! I'll send you a copy of The Outdoor Book when your party reaches $200 in sales - on top of all the rewards books you'll earn. :)
"Color in this grid to meet Harry, the Robot Architect. Nobody understands math as well as a robot! Harry is going to help explain 'area' and 'perimeter.'" This little blurb exemplifies what makes Architect Academy so great: it combines fun kid stuff with meaningful learning through actual tasks they get to complete.
And when they're done completing each task, they get a sticker! Who doesn't love getting stickers? (even my high school students like getting stickers on their work - no joke.)
It's difficult to explain the depth and design of this book (a Kane Miller book written by Steve Miller) concisely, but I'm going to give it a try. It's a do-it-yourself primer on what it means to be an architect, what skills help you along the way, and what types of assignments architects work on. But what's brilliant is that every page contains an activity for the reader to do, either right on the page of the book or with everyday supplies around the house.
Design floor plans, residential areas, tree houses, pyramids... test boat designs, measure and build a 3D model house, match building materials to the function they provide in a building. This book is 64 pages of well thought out information, games, activities, and tasks that will make any young reader feel accomplished - because they really have accomplished something! Funny how that works. :)
It's the book that tricks you into working and learning because it's disguised as really really fun play.
Added bonus: this book is part of a series! If your reader enjoyed becoming an architect, they can also become an astronaut or an engineer!
Buy Architect Academy here ($12.99, paperback)
Click these pictures to enlarge and see occasional captions:
Hi there! I'm Christine - Usborne Books & More independent consultant, kids' book fan, English teacher, mom of two boys.