Have you ever seen the bumper sticker that reads “If you can read this, thank a teacher.”
Something like this:
Isn’t that true?
Chances are just about all of us were taught to read by a teacher at school, hopefully with some help from our parents at home.
Touches my heart. Especially now as babies are off to start a new school year. I really don’t remember many of my teachers. I guess because I was in school soooooo long ago. No one could think that far back, for pity sakes. But I would like to send a big hug to the teachers, librarians, assorted school faculty and staff out there for all they do to make their students’ successful learners.
Have a wonderful school year, ya’ll!
So for today’s post, I am featuring two more reviews as a part of the Summer Slide Series. Although, in my opinion we are full-on into fall now, the weather in far west Texas is still screaming SUMMER. I heard today that we are on our 99th day of 90+ temps this calendar year. Never-ending summer.
Our first review is from my friend and fellow blogger Sheila at Making the Most of Every Day. Sheila is an amazing lady. She recently returned home from a mission trip to Honduras. And she is one of those educators I was just applauding. She is a homeschool teacher which must take incredible dedication and organization. My hat’s off to you, dear friend.
Sheila shared a book entitled The Ramsay Scallop. I am not familiar with this book but running over to Goodreads right now, while you read this review, and saving the book to my “to-read” shelf.
I really enjoy reading Young Adult literature, probably even more than adult lit. One that has stuck with me that I’ve read recently – I’d recommend it for 12-15 year olds – is called The Ramsay Scallop by Frances Temple. The setting is the Middle Ages in England, right after the crusades. The two protagonists are a 14 year old girl, Eleanor, who is pledged to be married to Thomas who has recently returned from the Crusades. Both are reluctant to wed, however the wise friar sends them on a pilgrimage to Spain and on the way the two encounter people and adventures that cause them to rely on each other.
I enjoyed the book because it gave me a glimpse into what life was like in the Middle Ages. One reason I enjoy reading historical fiction is to experience life during a particular time period. I have a 15 year old daughter and I cannot imagine her getting married at this age, but it was common for girls of that time period to get married in their early teens. I would have been scared to marry too! I also enjoyed learning about the Camino de Santiago which is a path still travelled by pilgrims today. This trail was featured in the relatively recent movie “The Way”. The adventures the characters have and the people the characters encounter reminded me of my weeks backpacking through Europe in 1990. Having read the book and watched the movie, I think I’d like to walk the Camino –if only a portion of it – sometime in the next 5 years. It would be fun to have some new adventures and meet interesting characters with my husband. I would be sure to look for a scallop shell to bring home as a souvenir of my journey!
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. From reading Sheila’s review of The Ramsay Scallop, I am reminded of The Midwife’s Apprentice I reviewed earlier in the series. You can read that review here. Karen Cushman, the author of The Midwife’s Apprentice also wrote another piece of historical fiction, Catherine Called Birdy. If you like this genre, please consider giving these books a try. Even though they are considered Young Adult fiction, there’s nothing that says that we grown-ups can’t enjoy them, too.
The Ramsay Scallop is on a 5.6 (fifth grade, sixth month) reading level and is worth 10 points on the Accelerated Reader program. The interest level is upper grades. I tried without luck to find a study guide for the book. But providing younger readers with background to the Medieval Ages might help them to better understand the setting and characters. Annenberg Learner provides an interactive webpage about the Middle Ages, here. A host of games, presentations and activities about the Medieval Period is available at Mr. Donn’s Site for Kids & Teachers, here.
I am anxious to read The Ramsay Scallop and our next book, Flush by Carl Hiaasen as reviewed here by my old pal, Noah. You might remember Noah from the last Summer Slide Series post, where he and his mom, Amanda, shared their reviews of one of the best books EVER….The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. If you haven’t read that book yet, please consider reading Noah and Amanda’s reviews here and then running over to Amazon.com to get your copy ordered and expedited to you, ASAP.
And here’s another book I haven’t read – YET. Flush. (Anybody else think of a toilet when you see that word?) I feel like such a mediocre librarian admitting here publicly that I haven’t read all of these books. I am such a SLOW reader, too, and there are soooo many great books on my Goodreads “to-read” shelf. I might need to take about a year off from doing anything else and just pile into bed with a stack of books.
Here’s Noah’s review.
The book Flush by Carl Hiaasen, is about a young kid, named Noah, who lives in Florida. His adventure begins when his dad sinks a ship, called the Coral Queen, and went to jail for it. The dad sunk the ship because he believed the owner, Dusty Muleman, was dumping illegal stuff into the ocean. This made him mad because he loved nature so much. I was hooked the whole time because I didn’t know what would happen next. My favorite thing about the book is how Noah found clues, with the help of Lice, Shelley, and his sister, Abby.
Did Dusty Muleman do it (dan, dan, dan!)? The only way to figure this out, is if you read it! I would like to recommend this book because it was mysterious, brave, and funny.
Pretty tricky there, Noah…leaving us hanging like that. Now I HAVE to read Flush to find out if Dusty is guilty. And if Noah’s review isn’t enough to prompt you to run to the library to check out Flush, maybe this book trailer below will further whet your whistle for solving this mystery. Flush is written on a middle grades interest level, and a 5.0 (fifth grade) reading level. The book is worth 9.0 Accelerated Reader points.
So that concludes another installment of the Summer Slide Series. You may be thinking that this series appears to be going on waaaaay beyond summer and I would be inclined to agree with you except the calendar and our weatherman both say that autumn is still a few weeks away.
Might be able to squeeze in another book review or two!
For that matter, the Summer Slide might slip right on into winter!!!
Before I head up to bed, want to leave you with another quote.
This comes from Cafe Press but I found it on Pinterest.
Might have to order this in a tee shirt.
Hugs and kisses,