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Home School Book Review has commented on (400) products.

Thanks to the Animals by Allen Sockabasin
Thanks to the Animals

Home School Book Review, December 16, 2014

If you are a parent, have you ever accidentally left a child behind when traveling? It is around 1900, and following the coming of the first snows, Joo Tum is taking his family on the long journey from their summer home by the seashore to their winter home in the deep inland woods. However, while he leads the horse and the rest of the family sleeps on the sled, the baby, little Zoo Sap, stands up and tumbles off. All different kinds of animals, alerted by his crying, come to help keep the wee one warm��"beavers, moose, caribou, deer, fox, wolf, raccoons, porcupines, rabbits, weasels, mink, muskrat, otter, squirrels, mice, owl, raven, crow, jay, duck, goose, seagull, and finally the eagle. Will Zoo Sap survive? And will Joo Tum ever find him?

Author Allen Sockabasin, a Passamaquoddy storyteller, is an artist and musician who devotes much of his time to teaching and preserving his native language. This expression of appreciation for the natural world is beautifully illustrated with colorful paintings by Rebekah Raye. The tenth anniversary second edition includes several new features, such as an Author’s Note explaining the seasonal migration of the Passamaquoddy people who occupied lands between Maine and New Brunswick, a pronunciation guide to the Passamaquoddy names of all the animals in the story, and a QR code that will let readers link to the audio recording of Sockabasin telling the tale in the Passamaquoddy language. Thanks to the Animals has been named one of the Top Ten Native American Books for Elementary Schools by American Indians in Children’s Literature and would make a great bedtime story.
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Swimming Home by Susan Hand Shetterly
Swimming Home

Home School Book Review, December 15, 2014

Do you know what an alewife is? No, it’s not a woman married to a tavern keeper, although many think that the name may have come from that idea. Alewives, also known as river herring or sawbellies, are fish which live in the western North Atlantic Ocean and swim up the rivers and streams of the eastern coast of North America to spawn in their home freshwater lakes and ponds. Pesca is the leader of an alewife school. She brings her followers on a journey of hundreds of miles, through the ocean and up the stream past porpoises, a humpback whale, a harbor seal, a bald eagle, a blue heron, and beavers, on their way to Lily Lake. However, towards the end they come to a pipe under a new road that is much too high for them to reach. What will they do? Is there anyone to help them? Will they ever make it?

This Tilbury House Nature Book is an epic animal migration story in the tradition of March of the Penguins. It is an excellent introduction for young readers to the concept of animal migration, and it also shows how even small human actions can either hinder or help the flow of nature. Author Susan Hand Shetterly, a former wild bird rehabilitator, lives in Maine near an alewife run. She has written about wildlife and wildlands for adult and youth audiences for over twenty years. Swimming Home is illustrated with spectacular paintings by Rebekah Raye, who is also the illustrator of The Secret Pool, a Kirkus-starred picture book about vernal pools and winner of the 2014 John Burroughs Association Riverby Award. An “Author’s Note” at the end provides even more information about alewives and their life cycle. The book is a wonderful way for youngsters to learn about a very important scientific concept.
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The Years of the Forest (Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Book Series) by Helen Hoover
The Years of the Forest (Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Book Series)

Home School Book Review, December 14, 2014

In 1954, Helen Hoover, who was born in 1910 at Greenfield, OH, studied chemistry at Ohio University, and became a research metallurgist for the International Harvester, and her husband Adrian (Ade), a commercial artist, left their hustle-bustle life in Chicago, IL, and bought a remote cabin in the far-northern Minnesota woods. The events of their first year and a half, ending with a fire in Ade’s workshop, were chronicled in her book A Place in the Woods, and story of their relationship to the deer that came to their cabin is told in The Gift of the Deer. The Years of the Forest is a sort of summary of the sixteen years that followed, from 1956 to 1967, when the increasing encroachment of civilization led them to “take a vacation” in search of another wilderness home, with an epilogue about their return in 1971, with the outline taken from a casual, random list of “Things to Do” jotted down by Ade, including “Install wiring, Running water, Inside toilet” and “Get another car” after their old one had broken down. It has been republished as part of the Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Series.

For anyone who has a secret longing to leave the problems of society and live an eremitic life a la Thoreau’s Walden, this book, subtitled “A down-to-earth (and delightful) book about wilderness living and nature adventure by the author of The Gift of the Deer and A Place in the Woods,” will be fascinating. A few references to man as more highly evolved and how the animals are related to us occur, but there are several statements about the wonders of creation and some citations of Scripture. Also, a little bit of environmentalism is found, but it is mostly the old-fashioned conservation variety rather than the modern “kill all the people to save the animals” whacko kind. Ade is said to swear on a number of occasions, but no actual swear words are used except that the exclamation “Great God” is uttered once and the “d” word twice. The period covered in this book also records the writing of another book by Helen, The Long-Shadowed Forest. In addition, she wrote some books for young readers, such as Animals at My Doorstep, Animals Near and Far, and Great Wolf and the Good Woodsman.
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The Years of the Forest (Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Book Series) by Helen Hoover
The Years of the Forest (Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Book Series)

Home School Book Review, December 14, 2014

In 1954, Helen Hoover, who was born in 1910 at Greenfield, OH, studied chemistry at Ohio University, and became a research metallurgist for the International Harvester, and her husband Adrian (Ade), a commercial artist, left their hustle-bustle life in Chicago, IL, and bought a remote cabin in the far-northern Minnesota woods. The events of their first year and a half, ending with a fire in Ade’s workshop, were chronicled in her book A Place in the Woods, and story of their relationship to the deer that came to their cabin is told in The Gift of the Deer. The Years of the Forest is a sort of summary of the sixteen years that followed, from 1956 to 1967, when the increasing encroachment of civilization led them to “take a vacation” in search of another wilderness home, with an epilogue about their return in 1971, with the outline taken from a casual, random list of “Things to Do” jotted down by Ade, including “Install wiring, Running water, Inside toilet” and “Get another car” after their old one had broken down. It has been republished as part of the Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Series.

For anyone who has a secret longing to leave the problems of society and live an eremitic life a la Thoreau’s Walden, this book, subtitled “A down-to-earth (and delightful) book about wilderness living and nature adventure by the author of The Gift of the Deer and A Place in the Woods,” will be fascinating. A few references to man as more highly evolved and how the animals are related to us occur, but there are several statements about the wonders of creation and some citations of Scripture. Also, a little bit of environmentalism is found, but it is mostly the old-fashioned conservation variety rather than the modern “kill all the people to save the animals” whacko kind. Ade is said to swear on a number of occasions, but no actual swear words are used except that the exclamation “Great God” is uttered once and the “d” word twice. The period covered in this book also records the writing of another book by Helen, The Long-Shadowed Forest. In addition, she wrote some books for young readers, such as Animals at My Doorstep, Animals Near and Far, and Great Wolf and the Good Woodsman.
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Andy Smithson: Power of the Heir's Passion, Prequel Novella by L. R. W. Lee

Home School Book Review, December 6, 2014

In Blast of the Dragon's Fury, we’re introduced to ten-year-old Andrew Farrin Smithson, or Andy, a fifth-grader, who lives in Lakehills, TX, with his parents Fred and Emily Smithson and his older sister Madison, as he is transported to the other-worldly kingdom of Oomaldee to help King Heraclon V and wizard Mermin fight the evil King Abbadon of Hadession and break a curse placed on the land. As Andy returns to Oomaldee over the next two years in Venom of the Serpent's Cunning and Disgrace of the Unicorn's Honor, he learns that Heraclon had murdered his own sister Imogenia to claim the throne, which is the reason for the curse, and that he himself is a descendent of the king. His job is to find various ingredients which will end the curse and return everything to normal.

What will Imogenia do about Andy? And how will her actions impact him and others? The books are intended as an allegorical, middle grade fantasy adventure series that entertains while teaching life changing principles. Power of the Heir's Passion is identified as Book 0 of the series, a short prequel novella. It's meant to be a teaser to get folks into the first book, so it also includes chapters 1 and 2 of Book 1. The story is primarily about Imogenia, explaining how her curse on Oomaldee was enacted and why Andy is the one chosen to break it. Thus, it will help to clear up some of the lingering questions from the series that readers may have wondered about. Those who have already read the other installments will not want to pass up this one to learn more information, and those who are new to the series will find it to be a good introduction.
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