Hey kids, it's almost time to trade in your backpacks for some summer fun.
How about starting with a poem? Here are the easy-peasy guidelines:
Theme: Why I love summer vacation
Ages: 8-12 years old
Line Count: 10 - 20 lines
Rhyme or not
Deadline: May 31, 2023
Did you know that the Book of Psalms contains Hebrew poetry? This poetry does not rhyme but uses imagery (word pictures) to touch the hearts and minds of readers.
For instance: Psalm 117 "PRAISE THE LORD, all nations, everywhere. Praise him, all the peoples of the earth. For he loves us very dearly, and his truth endures. Praise the Lord."
Can you see it? Hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of people around the world raising their hands and shouting praises to God? That is poetry. It inspires people to think and wonder!
So, let your beautiful thoughts about summertime fun, splash like the warm ocean waves over a surfboard, and create a prize-worthy poem. Ask a favorite adult to enter their email address and the poem in the message bubble below.
If your poem is chosen to be posted, you will win a copy of my book, "For the Love of Big Balooka, A Tale of Faith, Family, Friendship, and Forgiveness. "
Thank you, scholars, and have safe and super summer. You've earned it!
Now that your kiddos are back in school new concerns arise, mixed with joyful times. It is a family affair of epic proportion. After all, every new grade level of promotion is a new level of anticipation mixed with anxiety. But perhaps none as great as the entry into public middle school.
The following two opinions are from the hearts of my very own twin grand daughters, who are now officially middle school scholars. You will see that although they are twins, they vary widely in their concerns for what's next. If you are a middle school student and would like to express your opinion, please ask an adult for permission. Then contact us in the comment bubble below.
Yes, you are entering what seems to be a big, scary, new world, but you can, like Abby and Livy, "shake-off" your concerns and fears with the written word. Next, talk with your most loved adult about how you are feeling. Then, together pray and ask God for His help. He's got this! It's His PROMISE!
"For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, 'Fear not, I am the one who helps you.' Isaiah 41:13
It can’t possibly be worse than any other school year. It can’t possibly be worse than Distance Learning. Plus, none of the teachers I am going to get are ‘mean.’ Just tough on the bad kids.
Homework is never so bad for me, and I never get in trouble. Though I am entering into the upper grade level, my school has a part which has classrooms for upper school. They are right near my fifth-grade classroom, so I probably won’t get lost.
I only have two worries. The first one is an extremely common problem with middle-school-age girls. Drama. It’s not like I get involved, though. I try to stay out of it and avoid talking to the ‘popular’ girls. But drama does happen among girls, and it riles up the whole classroom, making a huge mess of things, and causing all the girls to get in trouble. Even the ones who don’t get involved. Like me.
The other issue or worry I have is the lockers. I am short, and a lot of the lockers are up really high. I could get a locker like that, and I would never be able to reach my stuff. I would go around, asking people to help me open it. Of course, I could write a letter to the principal, asking if I could have one lower to the ground. But that could be a waste of time. I tried sending in a very valid and important letter last year. And… nothing happened. No one replied.
So, I really hope this school year won’t be as awful as I think it will be.
I’m excited. I mean, a bunch of different teachers and lockers. AMAZING. Though, I am a little scared of the homework. There’s a lot, I hear
I’m not really that scared. Truly. But there’s a lot of big kids and I am a bit intimidated by middle schoolers
Someone pls help
Maybe I’m a bit scared. Fine a lot. LOL, STILL IN DENIAL
THERE ARE A BAJILLION MONSTROUS KIDS OUT THERE, ALL WAITING FOR YOU TO SLIP AND FALL INTO THEIR TRAP
YOUR TEACHERS ARE MERCILESS
THE TEACHERS ONLY PAY ATTENTION TO THE BULLIES IF THE VICTIMS ARE FIGHTING BACK
TEACHERS WON’T LET YOU READ IN CLASS
Okay, that’s it.
No reading in class?
Dude. I officially hate middle school
THAT’S RIGHT. GOOD, GOOD.
Who are you?
THE LITTLE VOICE INSIDE OF YOUR HEAD
I can be small too, you know.
Okayyy… no, you’re the part of me that hates middle school.
THIS is the little voice inside of my head
This middle school hater is messing with you, though, you really aren't allowed to read books in class aside from the ones they assign you
Not you too…
That pretty much sums up what I think of Middle school.
Yep. I’m back with a new summer read. I will be reviewing another book by Jack London
, entitled, White Fang, continuing in his theme about dogs, wolves and sledding.
This is a stand-alone novel like London’s Call of the Wild. It is like Call of the Wild in many other ways, but mainly that the character is a dog. Call of the Wild was published in 1903 and White Fang just three years later in 1906.
The main character is part dog-part wolf. His father is a wolf, and his mother half dog half wolf. He is given the name White Fang by his first master, Gray Beaver. He becomes a sled dog, like all the other dogs around him.
White Fang lives in a Native American camp with his mother and with humans. He is the youngest pup in the camp, therefore being subject to bullying. One especially mean pup, Lip-Lip enjoys beating up White Fang the most. Being the smallest and youngest, White Fang is an easy target. As White Fang grows up though, he becomes the largest, strongest, fastest, and smartest, hence being able to beat up the others.
But not even the strongest are able to defeat the humans. The humans do not treat their animals kindly. If the dogs are good, they may get a piece of meat. If not, they are beaten. Animals do not protest, since the Law of the Wild is that humans are superior.
After moving into a trading hub run by white Americans, White Fang is sold by Gray Beaver. The poor animal is forced to be a pit dog and fight for money. Adding to the misery, he is also being taunted and tied up and beaten by his cruel new owner, ‘Beauty’ Smith.
Sooo… Yeah… It might not sound like a good story. But trust me, it ends very well. You’ll just have to get the book to find out what it is, though. I actually wanted a sequel. But… I can’t have a sequel.
In my eyes, this book is very well written. It has a familiar theme to Call of the Wild, and that is nice. It is SUPER long, so it keeps the fast readers (like me) busy for at least three days. I suggest reading it with a nice cup of hot tea or coffee :)
Great job, Livy. Thank you for sharing.
LUKE'S SUMMER READING PICK!
Welcome to our newest, reviewer, 7year-old- Luke.
Luke is becoming a skilled reader as he enters 2nd grade. He is also a future Little League baseball star.
You will find him on Sunday afternoons with his dad on the field participating in their favorite sport.
Luke enjoyed reading "For the Love of Big Balooka" so much that he has read it twice! Check out his review!
I thought it was good. It was funny how they thought it was an alien at the window but it was really just the dog. That part was a little scary. My favorite character is Meg because Meg is my mom. I liked that she had a pet hamster like me. It was good and teaches a valuable lesson that you should always forgive. I would recommend For the Love of Big Balooka to anybody.
Thank you, Luke! Job well done!
A new book review for you! This week Livy recommends, The Call of the Wild" by Jack London. In her review she calls it, ". . .one of the best classics, ever!" Get ready for summer reading and "get this book"!, she says.
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Call of the Wild by Jack London was first published in the year 1903. The main character is Buck, a St. Bernard Scottish Collie mix. Other characters include other sled dogs, Buck's multiple masters, and his previous owner.
Buck gets stolen and sold to new masters. He meets the other sled dogs and finds that he can’t really get along with one. The alpha dog does not like that the others look up to Buck because of his size. Buck lets instinct take over and fights him.
To me, this is a classic like no other. It contains the perfect amount of action, heartbreak, and suspense to be on my top five classics. It is immensely descriptive in the right ways, and is very, very enjoyable. I have no idea how Jack London crafts together this masterpiece of a book and makes it so… awesome!
The age group, hmm…. I think the youngest you should read it is nine. There is a bit of fighting and a couple of deaths. Having said that, there are also a couple of very gruesome impalings and scalpings, so be prepared! >:) The end is a bit sad, too. Okay, I’m done with warnings now, can I move on?
Go get the book! When you finish, hopefully, you will agree with me that Call of the Wild is one of the best classics ever.
Thank you, Livy, for your recommendation. Great job!
BOOK REVIEWS FOR KIDS BY KIDS!
New review for you! This week's book review is by another 5th grade scholar, Abby. Abby is an avid reader (loves teen drama) and is recommending the entire series of eight books to date of Keeper of the Lost Cities. Pictured to the left is one of the books in the series.
Keeper of the Lost Cities Series by Shannon Messenger
Shannon Messenger started writing possibly before I was born. She is a New York Times and a USA Today #1 Bestselling Author. She (as well as all of the other AMAZING authors out there) have really outdone themselves. The story she weaves is full of action, sacrifice, heartbreak, and teen drama. Oh yes, lots of it. I forgot to mention I love teen drama.
Shannon carefully crafts characters to have intricate and varied backstories and personalities, something many authors struggle to do (no pressure!) and keeps the plotline consistent and full of fun little drops of foreshadowing. She is insanely descriptive and uses words to describe things in ways you would never think of. Although her books are not based on any Christian beliefs (or any religion at all) they hold many important morals.
Sophie Elizabeth Foster (the main character of the story) is an elf among humans. You may be thinking “elves? Why elves? They look so much different than humans!” (I can’t give you all the details because SPOILERS!) but elves are much smarter, better looking humans in their basest. Elves live forever (as much as they know because no one’s died of old age) but they aren’t immortal. That’s an elf for you!
Anyways, Sophie is an elf. She thinks she’s a human but has a sinking suspicion that she isn’t normal. Ever since she was five and fell and hit her head on the steps to her house, she’s been able to read minds. She knows she has to protect that secret forever, at least, she believes so. She meets a boy named Fitz (whom she thinks is VERY cute) and he reveals to her the wonders of the Lost Cities and tells her she belonged there. She has to make an impossible decision; leave her human family behind and go to the Lost Cities where she belonged, or stay and have to live with blinding headaches and a secret she can never share.
If you read through the entire series you can see Sophie experience the Neverseen, an alicorn, insanely powerful abilities, the Black Swan, and SO MUCH MORE!!! There are eight books (so far. She’s still writing!!) Go check her out!
Great job, Abby! Thank you
NEW FEATURE BOOK REVIEWS FOR KIDS BY KIDS!
Fifth grade scholar, Livy is a voracious reader! Beginning in April she and other scholars will take turns sharing book recommendations for summer reading. To kick off this new feature, Livy will share her review of sci-fi, The Ark, the Reed, & the Fire Cloud by Jenny L. Cote.
The Ark, The Reed, and The Fire Cloud by Jenny L. Cote
This book was written by Jenny. L. Cote a while before I was born. It is a fictionalized version of the story of the Ark, from the perspective of the animals. The main characters are Max, a Scottish terrier, and Liz, a French female cat. They go on an adventure together to the ark, and learn a lot along the way.
In my opinion, this book is amazing. It teaches you a lot about the Bible, trusting in God, and facing your fears. This book is extremely well written, and the characters have very good character development. The animals come from different parts of the world, so you get to learn a little bit of their languages.
I have re-read this book three times, once when I was eight, once when I was ten, and then again a few weeks ago. This book is the first in a series; The Amazing Tales of Max and Liz, and The Epic Order of The 7. The Ark, The Reed, and The Fire Cloud is very funny and has charming and adorable characters.
The wonderful storyline of this book makes you feel immersed in the story. Liz teaches you a bit of science and a bit of her language. From her ‘teaching’, you learn common French phrases and words. She teaches the other characters the names of different flowers, teaching you them too!. Furthermore, Max’s brogue will be commonly used.
As the plot twists and turns, it wraps you up in the intensity of the storyline. This is a masterpiece of a book in my mind, and maybe you’ll agree with me when you read it.
Great job, Livy! Thank you!