Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Quest for the Nautilus (Young Captain Nemo #2)

Henderson, Jason. Quest for the Nautilus (Young Captain Nemo #2)
March 10th 2020 by Feiwel Friends
ARC graciously provided by the author

Gabriel and his friends Peter and Misty are attending the Nemo Institute, and during Dr. Nemo's marine biology class, a large vessel approaches the school and sends out an SOS. Of course, Gabriel and his friends take off in the Obscure to help, only to find it was a trick and that a double submarine is attacking the Institute! They return to find out that Gabriel's mother has been kidnapped, and his father's vessel had been attacked earlier. The organization responsible for the kidnapping is Maelstrom, which had been an adversary of the Nemo family historically, but even Gabriel's father had never had to deal with them. Maelstrom demands an old Nemo artifact, the Dakkar's Eye. This was apparently a source of endless power that Captain Nemo made and was going to donate to the people of Brazil, but the Nautilus was lost in 1910 and never delivered it. Gabriel's dad decides they can never find it in the four days allotted, and retreats to his lab to make a fake one, but Gabriel and his friends track down an obscure journal from the expedition to try to find the missing ship. Of course, once they manage to track down the journal and liberate it from Boutros' USS Alaska, they find out that it is entirely in code! Luckily, it is a Nemo code, and Peter is able to translate it. According to the account, the Dakkar's Eye is highly radioactive, and was on a ship last seen near Gilbert. But is it Gilbert Island, or the Gilbery Trench? Since the island is closer, in the Pacific, the group sets out, only to meet government forces who are also investigating what looks like the buried wreckage of a submarine. Unfortunately, this isn't the one they want, and Antarctica is too far of a journey. Luckily, Peter comes up with a way to allow them to travel much faster, and the group manages to find the Nautilus in an ice cave. Will Gabriel be able to retrieve the power source and get it to Maelstrom in time to save his mother?
Strengths: Henderson constructs the perfect middle grade novel. We head right into the action, with pauses for breath and description at good intervals. I love the fact that Gabriel and his crew, while they take off on insane dangerous missions, still ask for permission and do safety checks of their equipment! The details about submarines and underwater environs are fascinating, and working in the history of the Nemo family is a nice touch. I enjoyed this one a lot and can't wait for the next one!
Weaknesses: It is a little hard to believe that the entire Nemo clan couldn't solve the mistory of the wrecked Nautils, but Gabriel could. But then, tweens can save the entire world from evil forces of destruction more quickly than I can find my car keys, so there's that!
What I really think: I love this series. It's so full of detailed but fast paced adventure, and my students recommend this to their friends after reading it. I have about four students who want the ARC when we get back from winter break! I also adore Henderson's Alex Van Helsing series, which is similarly action packed. It's still available in hardcover from Follett's Titlewave!

Tymony, Cy. Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things, Revised Edition: Turn a penny into a radio, change milk into plastic, make a dozen STEM projects with everyday things, and other amazing feats 
March 3rd 2020 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Copy provided by the publisher

When I was young, my idea of science was putting string and salt on an ice cube. I remember having a few books something like this, but my parents never seemed to have the patience to do the activities with me (even though they were educators), and I soon lost interest.

This was a very cool book, and were my children about 6-12, I would certainly have been glad of a copy, and would have worked through activities with them. There is some fairly heavy duty science in this, so I'm not sure how far we would havee gotten, but the directions are pretty complete.

From Goodread.com
Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things, Revised Edition is a valuable resource for transforming ordinary objects into the extraordinary. With over 90 solutions and bonus applications at your disposal, you will be ready for almost any situation. This revised edition includes 10 new timely projects focused on STEM and Maker initiatives.

Do you know how to make something that can tell whether the $20 bill in your wallet is a fake? Or how to generate battery power with simple household items? Or how to create your own home security system? Science-savvy author Cy Tymony does. And now you can learn how to create these things and more than 40 other handy gadgets and gizmos in Sneaky Uses for Everyday ThingsRevised Edition. More than a simple do-it-yourself guide, this quirky collection is a valuable resource for transforming ordinary objects into the extraordinary. A new section focuses on STEM initiatives, along with survival, security, self-defense, and other silly applications that are just plain fun. You'll be seen as a superhero as you amaze your friends by:

Transforming a simple FM radio into a device that enables you to eavesdrop on tower-to-air conversations.
Making a compact fire extinguisher from items typically found in a kitchen pantry.
Thwarting intruders with a single rubber band.

By using run-of-the-mill household items and the easy-to-follow instructions and diagrams within, you'll be able to complete most projects in just a few minutes. Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things has been a favorite reference tool for 16 years, and this new revised edition is better equipped than ever as a practical tool to build useful devices, a trivia guide to impress friends and family, and a resource guide for the next generation of makers.
Ms. Yingling

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