Synopses & Reviews
More is expected of middle schoolers—more reading, more writing, more independent learning. Achieving success in this more challenging world requires knowing many more words. 100 Words Every Middle Schooler Should Know
helps students in grades 6 to 8 (ages 11-14) to express themselves with distinction and get the most out of school.
The 100 words are varied and interesting, ranging from verbs like muster and replenish to nouns like havoc and restitution to adjectives like apprehensive and imperious. Knowing these words enables students to express themselves with greater clarity and subtlety. Each word has a definition and a pronunciation and appears with at least one quotation—a moving or dramatic passage—taken from a book that middle schoolers are assigned in the classroom or enjoy reading on their own.
Both classic and contemporary works of fiction and nonfiction are represented. Among the authors are young adult favorites and award-winners such as Kate Di Camillo, Russell Freedman, Neil Gaiman, E.L. Konigsberg, Lois Lowry, Walter Dean Myers, Katherine Paterson, J. K. Rowling, and Gary Soto. Readers can see for themselves that the words are used by the very best writers in the very best books. It stands to reason that they will see them again and again in higher grades and throughout their lives.
100 Words Every Middle Schooler Should Know helps students to gain useful knowledge and prepares them to step into a broader world.
"Lunge-Larsen and Hinds explain what words like echo, grace, hypnotize, and janitor have in common, tracing the origins of common words and expressions to Greek and Roman myths. Readers may know that 'arachnid' derives from the story of Arachne and that modern-day 'sirens' have mythical antecedents, but this collection has plenty of surprises, too, such as the roots of 'nemesis' (the goddess of justice) or 'tantalize,' after doomed Tantalus. Lunge-Larsen provides additional context, including dictionary definitions, and quotes from children's literature. Hinds incorporates graphic novel style elements into his dynamic illustrations, including dialogue balloons and filmic perspectives. A treat for myth lovers and language lovers alike, this smart and well-executed compilation should provide readers with a deeper understanding of the ways in which language evolves and of the surprising symbolism behind certain words. Ages 9 12." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Ojibwa tell a story of the moccasin flower, called lady slipper in English, a beautiful woodland blossom. First-time children's authors but longtime storytellers Lunge-Larsen and Preus use native sources and tell the sweet legend in a powerful way. The only one left whole when a devastating disease strikes her village, a girl sets out in deep winter to a neighboring village to get healing herbs to save the sick. She does not stay the night but starts back immediately and is caught in drifted snow. The snow whispers, "Be wise!" and she figures out, like the fox, how to free herself. But her fur-lined moccasins are left behind. She perseveres, with frozen and bleeding feet, to save her village. In the spring, when she returns to look for her moccasins, she finds instead a patch of small pink-and-white flowers shaped like the shoes. Clear, limpid colors enhance the decorative effect of the illustrations, whose lively line and use of pattern are reminiscent of beadwork. An authors' note and bibliography are included, and the authors particularly thank several Ojibwa language scholars for their assistance in the cadences of the language. Booklist, ALA
Arroyo's simple, striking illustrations fit well with this moving story about a young girl who braves a snowstorm to get medicinal herbs when the villagers become ill. She loses her moccasins and leaves bloody footprints on the path, which that spring is lined with flowers that come to be known as the moccasin flower, or lady slipper. The text, which is sprinkled with Ojibwe words, is spare but effective. Horn Book
Lunge-Larsen and Preus debut with this story of a flower that blooms for the first time to commemorate the uncommon courage of a girl who saves her people from illness. The girl, an Ojibwe of the northern woodlands, knows she must journey to the next village to get the healing herb, mash-ki- ki, for her people, who have all fallen ill. After lining her moccasins with rabbit fur, she braves a raging snowstorm and crosses a dark frozen lake to reach the village. Then, rather than wait for morning, she sets out for home while the villagers sleep. When she loses her moccasins in the deep snow, her bare feet are cut by icy shards, and bleed with every step until she reaches her home. The next spring beautiful lady slippers bloom from the place where her moccasins were lost, and from every spot her injured feet touched. Drawing on Ojibwe sources, the authors of this fluid retelling have peppered the tale with native words and have used traditional elements, e.g., giving voice to the forces of nature. The accompanying watercolors, with flowing lines, jewel tones, and decorative motifs, give stately credence to the story's iconic aspects.
The author draws on a rich tradition of legends and myths, retelling them in an accessible manner that will captivate readers.
School Library Journal, Starred
The intimate and chatty tone of the text...encourages confidence in the teller's veracity and repeated reading of the collection.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
The tales of mysterious Northern European creatures inspire enchanting scratchboard illustration in a folk-tradition.
These small, delightful tales are fabulously illustrated...it's very easy to see elves, gnomes, and dwarves being comfortable in such places.
Professional storyteller Lunge-Larsen presents eight short tales, retold or intevented, featuring magical creatures that lurk just out of sight...Krommes provides handsome borders and stylized full-page illustrations that give this gathering a suitably folktale feel.
"A treat for myth lovers and language lovers alike, this smart and well-executed compilation should provide readers with a deeper understanding of the ways in which language evolves and of the surprising symbolism behind certain words."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
"...Jaunty pacing and a contemporary conversational style...sure to spark curiosity and exploration." Publishers Weekly
"Set in old Scandinavia, this exciting, snow-swept folktale comes to life in beautifully composed woodcut illustrations. . . . The simple, dramatic language captures the storys danger and characters courage with pacing that is well-suited for read-alouds, but its Azarians richly colored woodcuts that children will connect with most." Booklist, ALA
"An engaging gateway to the many larger collections of Norse myths. . . . Equally suited to reading alone or aloud." Kirkus 5/15/07 Kirkus Reviews
"Thereand#8217;s a substantial glossary and pronunciation guide, and a good list for further reading, and libraries short of Norse mythology will find the book a welcome introduction." SLJ 7/1/07 School Library Journal
"The illustrations are as big and brilliant as the characters and bring the stories to life." LMC January 2008 Library Media Connection
Reprint Review: "direct and compelling prose." PW 12/17/07 Publishers Weekly, Starred
Known as the "troll lady" in Minnesota where she lives, Lunge-Larsen mines her Norwegian heritage in this collection of nine stories. The title story and the "Three Billy Goats Gruff" will be familiar to many children, and eager youngsters will probably recognize or immediately grasp many elements in the other stories. Short introductions, a bibliography, and source notes supplement a nice collection of troll lore and expand on the tales: Trolls are giant creatures, often with multiple heads, and it is easy to outsmart them if you listen carefully and keep your own wits about you; if you look closely, you can find troll remains in old and gnarled tree roots. Beautifully colored woodcuts, contributed by Betsy Bowen, render troll, landscape, pattern, and hero in muscular, elegant design. The stories read aloud well, and each ends with a traditional Norwegian trope: "Snip, snap, snout, / This tale's told out!" Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
"With notes as rich as the tales, Norwegian native Lunge-Larsen traverses the landscape of the troll story, beginning with "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" and ending with what amounts to a troll knock-knock joke, "Trolls Shouting." In between come eight tales alike only in their suitability for rambunctious reading-aloud: these trolls are not only big, they're loud, and Lunge-Larsen's retellings honor the oral spirit of their origins. Some, such as the title story, are quest tales in which the protagonist, often a youth, must outwit the troll to save the princess. In others, such as "Butterball," a child has to figure out a way to avoid becoming a troll's next meal. In all, good triumphs, and the troll ends up thoroughly, satisfyingly dead. Bowen's woodcuts, strong in line and rustic in flavor, hew to the boldness of the stories; her trolls are rough ugly fellows (and the occasional troll-mama) who look to be carved and colored out of the earth itself. Which, according to the storyteller's introduction, they were, and they "return to and shape the landscape around them when they die." She suggests that after listening to these stories, children may want to take a closer look at an oddly shaped rock or an overturned tree." Horn Book
Not surprisingly, trolls come off second best in all but one of these nine stories. The Boy Who Became A Lion, a Falcon, and an Ant' turns three monsters into rubble; The Boy and the North Wind' give a thieving troll-hag a proper comeuppance; in the title story a young prince finds a troll's heart in an unlikely place; and everyone knows what happens to the menacing bridge-dweller in The Three Billy Goats Gruff.' In the one exception, The Handshake,' three trolls greet a stray horse's owner with a prank, but part on friendly terms with man and animal. Bowen draws inspiration from Norwegian folk art for her polychrome woodcuts, emphasizing silhouettes and giving her long-nosed trolls a properly dimwitted, disheveled look. Lunge-Larsen notes both her printed sources and any changes she's made, adding an essay on the stories' significance for young listeners. It's an appealing collection: varied but not too long, spiced with danger, heroism, humorous moments, and violence that's toned (not watered) down.
A classic gift book for ages 7 and up, this rich collection -- illustrated in full-color by Gareth Hinds and retold by professional storyteller Lise Lunge-Larsen --and#160; shows how the ancient myths from Greece rang so true and wise that the names of the characters have survived as words we now use every day.and#160; (A few examples are genius, tantalize, panic, muse, nemesis, fury, victory.and#160; No mythology has given English as many words as the Greek and Roman myths.) Not only imparting the subtle wisdom of these ancient tales, this slim book makes us understand the words more deeply.
*and#147;Engaging . . . Azarianand#8217;s finely detailed woodcut illustrations, hand-tinted with watercolors, capture the serene snow-covered landscape. . . . In direct and compelling prose, Lunge-Larsen recounts how the two Birkebeiners most renowned for their skiing ability forge ahead.and#8221;and#151;Publishers Weekly, starred review It is the year 1206, and deep in the snow-covered mountains and valleys of Norway, the fiercest warriors in the land struggle to ski a baby to safety . . .
This is a story of the Birkebeiners and how they saved the infant Prince Hakon by skiing across the mountains in the dead of winter. It is an untold story of bravery and tenderness.
What should the vocabulary of a well-rounded high school graduate be like? These 100 words provide the starting point in answering that question. The list is representative of the words that serious students will encounter in their coursework and will come to use as adults, whether in conversation or while reading the daily newspaper. Each word is fully defined and shown in context with example sentences from well-known authors. 100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know is a must-have for every grad, perfect for building vocabulary, quizzing friends and family and just having fun.
He is the biggest and mightiest of the gods. If he tightens his belt, he doubles his strength. If he swings his hammer, lightning flashes. When he races his billy goats across the sky, their hooves kick up huge thunderclouds. And when the folks below in Middle Earth hear a boom of thunder, they always smile, for they know their loyal Thor, protector and defender of civilization, has once again brought order to the universe. Told and retold often and with great affection, the Thor stories have been around since the days of the Vikings. Here, illustrated with high drama and written with humor and skill, are ancient stories made accessible and fun.
We all know the story of Noah building the ark. Who would have guessed, though, that his woolly friends aboard the ark would help him make his most delightful discovery?
With one of the worldand#8217;s oldest tales as its setting, Noahand#8217;s Mittens is an inventive and humorous book about the miracles taking place all around usand#151;even with the most ordinary things, like wool and water.
When they went into battle they wore no costly armor, just birchbark wrapped around their legs, and so they were called Birkebeiners, which means Birchleggers.” It is the year 1206, and deep in the snow-covered mountains and valleys of Norway the fiercest warriors in the land struggle to ski a baby to safety. They race against the greed and inequity of the rich, against the very weather of Norway. They race as the only way to save a child prince and bring peace to their country.
Here is a true, untold story of both bravery and tenderness. Mary Azarians strong, sure woodcuts capture the warmth and ruggedness of medieval life, while Lise Lunge-Larsens dramatic telling is direct and mesmerizing.
Never pick a lady slipper. If any part is picked, the entire flower dies. And it grows there, in the northern woods, to mark the courage and strength of a small girl who lived long agoand#151;a girl who saved all of her people from a terrible disease by listening carefully to the whispering snow, the rumbling ice, and the dancing northern lights.
Following the success of 100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know, the editors of the American Heritage® Dictionaries have developed this new book of 100 words tailored especially to high school freshmen. This second book in the 100 Words series focuses on the kinds of words that a successful middle school graduate can learn from rigorous coursework in a variety of subjects and that nearly every freshman will encounter over the course of the school year.
The words have been chosen with various criteria in mind. Some represent key concepts in important areas of the curriculum, while others are more familiar in meaning but present challenges of spelling or usage. All are words that students can expect to see regularly in their high school reading and beyond. And each word is fully defined as well as shown in typical contexts with example sentences and quotations, many of which are taken from award-winning authors such as Harper Lee, George Orwell, Katherine Paterson, and John Knowles.
Together, these 100 words represent the increasingly sophisticated and complex vocabulary that freshmen must master as they continue their education at the next level. To learn them is not only to gain useful knowledge — it is to step into a broader world.
Ancient names come to rich and fascinating life in this lavishly illustrated gift book for mythology fans and word lovers. Did you know that and#8220;museumsand#8221; were initially temples built to worship the nine muses, the goddesses of the arts? That and#8220;Janusand#8221; was the god of the doorways and hallways, and we have named our janitors after him?
Where did these words and#8212; and other words, such as chaos, genius, nemesis, panic, echo, and narcissus and#8212; come from? From the ancient stories of the Greeks and#8212; stories that rang so true and wise that the names of the characters have survived for centuries as words we use every day. The brief stories here not only impart the subtle wisdom of these ancient tales, but make us understand the words, and our own world, more deeply.
Master storyteller Lise Lunge Larsen brings to life the ancient stories behind the enduring words the Greeks have given us. To be illustrated in full color.
Selkies, fairies, gnomes, hill folk, river spritesand#151;do you believe in them? Perhaps among the flowers, beside a mountain, or near deep waters youand#8217;ve caught a glimpse, once or twice, of what you thought might be the silvery shadow of a dwarf, or a hint of a fairyand#8217;s wing, or the tail of the water horse. Or was it just the odd light of dusk or dawn playing tricks? As Lise Lunge-Larsenand#8217;s magical, timeless stories reveal and Beth Krommesand#8217;s enchanting scratchboard illustrations capture, the hidden folk are there, all right: you just have to know whereand#151;and howand#151;to look.
As tall as trees and as ancient and rugged as the Norwegian landscape from which they come, trolls are some of lore's most fascinating and varied creatures. Some live under bridges, others deep inside caves. They can carry their heads under their arms or hide their hearts inside wells. They can walk across oceans and fly over mountains. Trees and shrubs may grow from their heads, and their noses can be long enough to stir soup. There are troll hags, troll daughters, and elderly, shrunken trolls. Old or young, they are quarrelsome, ugly, and boastful, and they love to trick princesses and children. To defeat them, children must rely on the strengths of their humanity-persistence, kindness, pluck, and willingness to heed good advice
The lady slipper grows in the northern woods to mark the courage and strength of a small girl who lived there long ago - a girl who saved her people from a terrible disease by listening carefully to the whispering snow, the rumbling ice, and the dancing northern lights. Illustrated with paintings as graceful and delicate as the lady slipper itself, this unforgettable retelling shows how a child's lost slippers became one of nature's most lovely spring flowers.
About the Author
Folklorist, linguist, and professional storyteller, Lise Lunge Larsen draws upon her rich background in legends and myths to make these tales come alive.and#160; A children's book author, she has received many starred reviews and awards for her books.and#160;
Gareth Hinds has created illustrated versions of such classics as BEOWULF, KING LEAR, MERCHANT OF VENICE and most recently, THE ODYSSEY, forthcoming from Candlewick in fall 2010.and#160;and#160; As a recent interview with him (SLJ Teen 1/20/2010) said, "He stays faithful to the original text but uses art to illuminate the story and make it more accessible to the reader."and#160; A graduate of the Parsons School of Design, he lives in New York City with his wife, former children's bookseller, Alison Morris.and#160;