mini-review: Mermin (Joey Weiser)

The Deets:

Who it's meant for? MG readers or younger
Pages: 152
Publisher: February 20th 2013 by Oni Press
ISBN: 9781934964989
Source: eARC from NetGalley



Mermin

"MERMIN the MERMAN from MER!?" That's the question Pete and his friends ask after finding the fish-boy washed up on the beach! Mermin just escaped the undersea kingdom of Mer, and is ready to have some fun on dry land! But why would this aquatic kid be afraid to swim? Perhaps it has something to do with the fishy pursuers who have followed him from the depths below!




This was certainly meant for younger readers! It had a cutesy feel to it, but it was still fun to read.

I thought Mermin was adorable. He looked more like an aquatic frog crossed with the Creature from the Black Lagoon than a mercreature. He was curious and hyper, which often caused a lot of unwanted trouble for his human friends. The story itself was very short and to the point. There wasn't a lot of plot development or twists and turns. It was very straightforward.

The pictures were nice though. The entire book is in color and very bright. This would be very appealing to younger readers. I think there was an even mixing of pictures with text-- some pages even had just illustrations. The story was easy to follow and smooth. There was no sense of being choppy with the formatting or layout.

If the cover doesn't make it obvious, this is best suited for the 10 and below crowd. Die hard graphic novel fans in the 11-12 year old range might give it a try, but older than that is not likely.


Teacher Tuesday: Engage the Brain: Games-- Language Arts grades 6-8 (Marcia Tate)

This week's Teacher Tuesday post is for a book that I treat like my teaching Bible. If you were to come in my classroom, you would notice right away that I love games, crafts, projects. I love hands-on learning. It's pretty clear that I try to make my learning experiences as hands-on and active as possible. (So the kids "get it" and I don't get bored.)


Engage the Brain: Games: Language Arts: Grades 6-8


This exciting new resource offers fun, innovative games in language arts. Based on the most recent brain research, the games engage students in becoming active, motivated learners.






When I was at IRA a few years back, I came across Engage the Brain: Games-- Language Arts grades 6-8 by Marcia Tate. It changed my life.

Since then I have been using the activities in this book for all sorts of things-- not just classroom use. I use some of the easier games with my own kids when we need boredom busters (that don't involve electronics). I've even adapted some of the activities for our Literacy Day fieldtrips. You could use these activities to encourage literacy at home for your students. How awesome would a parent workshop on family literacy be? The possibilities are endless.

I highly encourage all teachers to grab a copy of this book. Don't teach Language Arts? No worries! There are other subject areas in this series! Math, Social Studies, and Science are all represented.


Minute review (President's Day edition): Americapedia: Taking the Dumb Out of Freedom

In honor of President's Day, I thought I would share a book that has amazed me. It's quirky, interactive, and tons of fun! I'm actually excited about a non-fiction book that doesn't bore you to tears.


Americapedia: Taking the Dumb Out of FreedomAimed at teens who want to know more about the day-to-day workings of the U.S. government, this unique blend of humor and information is a cross between a textbook and a satire.


A crash course for understanding critical events in America and the world, it touches upon a variety of topics-historical and current-and explains how they unfolded and why they are important in the political and governmental arenas. Funny and intelligent writing, very reminiscent of the Daily Show, provides insight into the American electoral system, the world economy, the role religion plays in world conflicts, and America's place in world. The final chapter provides information about how to get involved.


Authors will have a Web site dedicated to the book where information can be updated, teens can read more and find out ways to get involved, can join online discussions, and speak their minds about the issues.




Can't you tell from the cover that this is going to be a fun read? I would hope that you could.

Do not pick up this book if you're expected college level literature and analysis of U.S. history. You won't find that here. This is for the lovers of all things quirky. You will learn random facts that they probably don't teach you in your history or American government classes. Of course, you'll also learn about events that are well-known within the general public. So don't fret, this isn't completely random information.

One thing that stood out the most for me with Americapedia is that it is an interactive book. I think this is the next step for books in our technology driven world. There is a website to accompany the book, which allows you to get more information and "hands-on" experiences.


Announcing March's read-along choice

Here it is... that long awaited moment when I deliver some life altering news.

Well, okay, maybe not life altering like winning the lottery or announcing the discovery of a new solar system, but something pretty awesome all the same-- our first read-along choice for the virtual book club.

Yep, polls have closed and we have a winner (by 1 vote). In March we will be reading, The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna.

I'll be announcing more information about the VBC (virtual book club) on the 25th. That gives you plenty of time to get your copy ready!

The offical read-along will begin on March 4th. If you feel so inclined, I would appreciate the help spreading the word... maybe a Tweet or sharing the button? What ever tickles your fancy.




Eva's life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination--an echo. She was made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her "other," if she ever died. Eva spends every day studying that girl from far away, learning what Amarra does, what she eats, what it's like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But sixteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything and everyone she's ever known--the guardians who raised her, the boy she's forbidden to love--to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

What Eva finds is a grief-stricken family; parents unsure how to handle this echo they thought they wanted; and Ray, who knew every detail, every contour of Amarra. And when Eva is unexpectedly dealt a fatal blow that will change her existence forever, she is forced to choose: Stay and live out her years as a copy or leave and risk it all for the freedom to be an original. To be Eva.

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