Great Reads for Teens and Tweens!

Helping you make an informed decision about that book


Name: WatchKnow


Description: Launched by Larry Sanger, the cofounder of Wikipedia, and promoted as “YouTube for kids” WatchKnow is a safe and educational wiki hosting more than a thousand educational videos and other media for kids. The majority of the video clips are reposted from kid-friendly sites such as National Geographic and TeacherTube. The site is geared towards kids ages 3-18 so parents do not need to worry about inappropriate content or ads.

Review: This site is supposed to contain videos for ages 3-18 years old, yet I found many of the videos to be geared towards little kids. Explain to me, how can one video be for ages 3-18? The page itself is very basic but also extremely easy to navigate. I found videos the fasted by simply typing in the subject/topic I was looking for in the search box. The videos I did find were of great quality and easy to load on the computer. Although it is geared for kids, I don’t think teens would come to this site on their own.

Educational Application: This site is free and has thousands of videos on a variety of subjects/topics which makes it a beneficial resource to any teacher. The categories and subcategories are easy to navigate, yet the quickest method of searching is by using the search engine. Registered users can edit video descriptions and ratings which would help improve the site.

Similar/Related Sites of Interest: A site of educational links provides users with information covering almost every topic that comes to mind.

Leave a comment »

Poop Happened! A History of the World from the Bottom Up by Sarah Albee

Title: Poop Happened! A History of the World from the Bottom Up

Author:  Sarah Albee

Publisher: Walker Childrens; 1 edition         Year: 2010

ISBN -13: 978-0802720771

Age: 10 and up

Genre: Non-Fiction

Subjects / Themes: Poop, History, Disease, Science, Sanitation, Industrial Revolution, Humor

Plot Summary:

Waste disposal and sanitation have had huge effects on the development of world civilizations. Historically contagious diseases have killed huge numbers of people every year: the bubonic plague, cholera, typhoid, polio, etc… These diseases have shaped human history and their spread is linked to human waste disposal.

Sarah Albee explores human history through the progress of waste disposal and hygiene. She examines advances in sewer technology and how they affected different cultures and she explains how improper waste disposal is linked to the spread of disease.

My take:

Poop is not something we talk about in polite society so naturally this book’s title immediately draws EVERYONE’s attention. When I first say it on the shelf of the book fair, I eyed it over quite a bit before working up the nerve to take it off the shelf. Now that it is in the library, it is hardly ever on our shelves!

Rather than reading this book from cover to cover, I found it more fun to randomly flip through and read the stories. Tweens are definitely going to want to check out this book. Not only will the title have them giggling and perusing but add in the humorous illustrations and the flippant style and kids will be hooked.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars! Who knew that poop had such a long history!

Similar Read: How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous

Leave a comment »

A Zombie’s Guide to the Human Body: Tasty Tidbits from Head to Toe

Title: A Zombie’s Guide to the Human Body: Tasty Tidbits from Head to Toe

Author: Scholastic

Publisher: Scholastic Reference        Year: 2010

ISBN -13: 978-0545249799

Age: 8 and up

Genre: Non-Fiction

Subjects / Themes: Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Science & Nature

Plot Summary:

This book is a basic guide to understanding the human body but with a zombie twist! From head to toe, the human body is explored and explained with a funny combination of illustrated images and full-colored photographs of zombies. Not only will you learn facts such as what happens to your dinner after you eat and how many bones there are, but also interesting zombie facts like “the jellylike marrow (of the bones) is good on toast!”

My take:

This book is not only educational but hilariously funny!  I see students at lunchtime huddled around the book and have to remind them to keep their voices down as they enjoy the zombie humor. Full of bright colors, high quality graphics and typical zombie humor this book is a great resource. Every page contains basic science about the human body – from bones and brains muscles and reflexes – sure to both entertain and educate your kids

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars … I don’t think anyone is too old to take a refresher course in Human Anatomy 101 with a zombie professor!

Similar Read: Biology: Life As We Know It by Dan Green

Leave a comment »