Monday, January 06, 2014

MMGM- Crash

17981446Monninger, Joseph. Crash (Stay Alive #1)
January 7th 2014 by Scholastic Paperbacks
E ARC from

When a plane carrying the Team Jump reality show team crashes in the wilderness, the pilot and the twin sister of one of the girls dies. The other 8 people and a dog survive, and try to carve out a place to wait until help arrives. Suryadi is gravely injured and doesn't survive long.  The producer, Seldon, is not prepared to lead the group, but Paul's father, Walter, thinks that adults should take the lead. Titus, however, is an Eagle scout, and better at figuring out what to do next. Jill is missing her sister, but E tries her best to supply food for the group by fishing. Web isolates himself from the group, staying in the plane and hoarding food. Eventually, when no help comes, E, Titus, Paul and Walter prepare to set out to look for help, but at the last minute, Walter becomes ill, so Seldon goes instead. Back at Camp Lollipop (so named because the group keeps their morale up by eating lollipops that they found in the plane), the group is rescued, and search parties are sent to look for Team Four. Titus almost dies trying to cross a river, and Seldon's feet are a mess, but that group is eventually rescued as well.

More books in this series are expected, including Cave-in (#2) in March 2014, Breakdown (#3)in July 2014 and Flood (#4) .

Strengths: There are a lot of students who like survival books and who are looking for a book just like Hatchet. I liked that there were survival tips in the beginnings of chapters, and that the people all did the best they could to survive and followed proper protocols. I can see these being popular purchases at book fairs.
Weaknesses: The cast of characters was much too large, so there was very little character development. The plot, too, seemed weak and somewhat predictable. Still, given the popularity of survival tales, I will look at the next titles in this series and debate purchasing.

18292328Doeden, Matt. Tools and Treasures of Ancient Egypt.
1 Feburary 2014, Lerner Publications
E ARC from

This very brief book is better suited to elementary students wanting an overview of Egypt rather than to middle school students doing research projects. This is well illustrated, with a map, picture or illustrations on almost every page, but there are only about three or four sentences of information to accompany them. There are many books with brief overviews out there, but what I really need would be a book about this long JUST on the tools or JUST on the treasures of Ancient Egypt. It's hard to find books for students to use on research projects that are on their level but contain a good deal more information. I've been searching for years, so shall continue!

17981394Norwich, Grace. I Am Cleopatra
7 January 2014, Scholastic Paperbacks
E ARC from

Another entry from the Scholastic I Am series, this is actually a very helpful book because Cleopatra's life is so hard to follow. This does a lovely job at explaining things that don't quite make sense if students don't have a good understanding of Egyptian culture at the time, and addresses certain topics like the practice of marrying one's siblings, or the fact that Caesar and Marc Antony already had wives, briefly but without belaboring them. Since our 6th graders study Ancient Egypt, I may buy this one and see what kind of circulation it sees. I'd love for students to read more of these so they can have a better knowledge of people in history. 

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday at Anastasia Suen's blog. Instead of having to visit lots of different blogs, all of the nonfiction posts will be at Nonfiction Monday!

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