Tuesday, June 02, 2020

STEM Tuesday- The Birthday Castle

STEM Tuesday is hosted at both From the Mixed-Up Files as well as MG Book Village, both sites you should check out because they have lots of good information. I have to admit I've never done a STEM post before because... STEM is not my thing. There are plenty of people championing it, but I don't have the background to really post a lot about this topic. I picked up the book below because I love Dee Romito's work! I also love the M!X and MAX series, and Quix is the new one. 

Romito, Dee and Kissi, Marta. The Birthday Castle (Fort Builders, Inc. #1)
May 19th 2020 by Aladdin (first published 2020)
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Caleb really wants the latest book in a series he loves, but he doesn't have the $10 to pay for it. His mother suggests that he earn the money. He consults his  friends Jax and Eddie, and they make a list of skills they have and jobs they can do. They finally decide that they build really good cardboard castles, having recently made one out of a refrigerator box. They set up their business, find some cardboard, and get a client, who wants a pink castle for her birthday on Saturday, for the grand total of $10. The boys start building, but when the girl sees their progress, makes changes to the design. The boys go back to one house where they traded cardboard for helping Mrs. Mohan clean her garage, and meet her granddaughter. Kiara has some great ideas about design as well as their business, and soon she is helping with the castle. Time is tight, so when their castle is destroyed in a rainstorm, they are not sure they will be able to deliver the product on time. They do, and Caleb is $2.50 closer to his goal of
having his book. His friends, however, are glad that he set up the business, so give their proceeds to him. It looks like there will be further adventures.
Strengths: This had a lot of good advice about setting up a business, dealing with customers, working on trading essential good and services, and even designing things out of cardboard. It even has instructions for an activity in the back. The characters are briefly but nicely diverse, and I loved that Kiara was the one who was super organized, although each character brings certain skill sets to the business. I would have loved this one when I was young-- refrigerator boxes were always something I enjoyed!
Weaknesses: I was a tiny bit disappointed that a book with so much girl power also included a pink castle with purple tape on it, but I've never been a big fan of the whole princess culture.
What I really think: I would buy this if I hadn't invested in a lot of early readers last year. This reminded my a bit of Crosby Bonsall's The Case of the Cat's Meow (1965), the cover of which I include here because one of the characters was African-American, which was a bit unusual at the time. Of course, the characters were also named Skinny, Tubby, Snitch, and Wizard.

Halbrook, K.D. Silver Batal: Race for the Dragon Heartstone
June 2nd 2020 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

My students were VERY interested in dragon books this year, and Silver Batal and the Water Dragon Races has been super popular. There's something very appealing about not only being a soul mate with a dragon, but racing one...wow. This is definitely a series to buy if Tui Sutherland's Wings of Fire series is popular in your library.

From Goodreads.com
Silver Batal and her best friend, Hiyyan, have narrowly escaped the greedy clutches of Queen Imea. With the queen’s trackers hot on their tails, Silver and Hiyyan head into an exciting frozen world filled with ferocious ice dragons, new friends, and new foes.

But when Hiyyan suffers a poisonous bite from a deadly dragon, Silver must find a legendary dragon heartstone to heal him. Their search leads to the mysterious Keep, the home of the reclusive and mysterious Watchers, where nothing is quite as it appears...

Perfect for fans of Roshani Chokshi and Sayantani DasGupta, this thrilling follow-up to Silver Batal and the Water Dragon Races will capture your heart.

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