Category Archives: Survival

Kid Review: Holes

Kid Review: Holes

Holes
Elease says:

I think Holes was excellent. It was well written, and had a good plot. I especially liked how the story all tied together. Two thumbs up.

I agree with Elease, Holes is excellent! Here is a summary from the online catalog: “As further evidence of his family’s bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.” Holes won the Newbery Medal in 1999 – along with a whole bunch of other awards. In 2003 Louis Sachar gave the Indianapolis McFadden Lecture. Kids lined up for hours to have him sign their books. He was a really good sport too and stayed until the line was finished. Author: Louis Sachar

  • Amazon Look Inside Holes
  • Louis Sachar Official Website
  • Google Books Holes (Scroll to the last pages and read the bonus material, “Real Dirt” from Louis Sachar’s family about being related to an author that is a kids’ favorite.)
  • Holes on CD, Downloadable eBook or eAudio
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We Can’t All Be Rattlesnakes

We Can’t All Be Rattlesnakes

We Can't All Be Rattlesnakes

  • If you’ve ever thought about what it might be like to be your pet, try Crusher’s story, the tale of snake held captive in a young boy’s bedroom.

Remember Syd in Toy Story? The boy who abused toys? Remember, Syd straps Woody and Buzz to the rocket?  The boy in this story reminds me of Syd. I really would not want to be one of his pets.

The boy’s name is Gunnar and he has captured Crusher because he wants to watch her eat mice. Gunnar gets mad when Crusher refuses to eat. Crusher is determined to escape despite the warnings given to her by other captive creatures in Gunnar’s room. When he gets bored, Gunner forgets to feed the animals. In their view, the only way out is dead.

Crusher is determined to break that cycle and studies the human that has captured her to strategize a way out.

It’s always good to think about things from another person (or animal’s) perspective. As Crusher says,  “Humans give me the creeps. Theyare so slimy.” Crusher will remind you to get up and go feed those goldfish and take the dog for a nice long walk. Those pets can’t talk, but if they could, they’d probably sound a lot like Crusher.

Browse Inside We Can’t All Be Rattlesnakes

Crusher looks like a Rattlesnake but is actually a Gopher Snake. Read more:

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You Want to Write a Mystery or Create a Character?

You Want to Write a Mystery or Create a Character?

detectivename-calloutTry out writing a mystery of your own. To help you get started, Use this: Detective Case Report. Looking at this will help you plan out your mystery story. You can also take an online mystery writing tutorial from Joan Lowery Nixon – she has written many mysteries for children and is an expert. Joan Lowery Nixon Mystery Writing Tutorial

Print out Write a Mystery. Fill in the blanks and write your mystery. When you are done, give it to one of the librarians at your Library Branch to receive 10 Digital Points on your SRP point card. You might see your mystery on the IMCPL Undercover Readers website!

If you don’t want to write, how about drawing a picture? Show us what you imagine as a mystery character. The character can be a detective, a secret agent, a witness or even the “perp” (short for “perpetrators,” another name for a suspect.) Print out Draw a Mystery Character. Fill in the blanks and draw your mystery character. Then give it to one of the librarians at your Library Branch to receive 10 Digital Points on your SRP point card. You might see your character on the IMCPL Undercover Readers website!

If you need to think up a good detective name, try What’s Your Detective Name?

Talk the Talk Word of the Day: Decoy – A fake person or message. Decoys are used to throw a pursuer off track.

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Tunnels

Tunnels

Tunnels

Will Burrows and his Dad like to dig. They head out to the outskirts of town and excavate sites in search of pieces of history.  One day, they discover a mysterious abandoned tunnel and are sure they are about to uncover something amazing. Then, something truly mysterious happens, Will’s father disappears without a trace.

Will and his best friend Chester return to the tunnel in search of clues and find themselves in not only a simple tunnel, but in a labyrinth of tunnels that make a hidden world deep beneath modern day London. This hidden world is dark and different and full of people who distrust, even hate “Topsoilers” like Will, Chester, and Will’s father.

Who are the people living underground? Why are they there and why do they choose to live a life in darkness avoiding the people and society above? And why won’t they let Will go?

If you like reading about Will and Chester you can follow there adventures underground in four more books in the Tunnels series. Those Rebeccahs just get creepier and creepier.
Tunnels Deeper Freefall Closer
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The Porcupine Year

The Porcupine Year

The Porcupine Year

It’s 1852, 12-year-old Omakayas and her family are setting out on a dangerous and uncertain journey.  Forced from their land by incoming white settlers, Omakayas and her people are travelling by canoe and by foot west along the shores of Lake Superior in search of a new home. They set out prepared for a long, hard winter but unexpected things happen that put their survival in question. There are unfriendly enemies to avoid, a forest fire and an evil traitor who puts all their lives in peril by stealing their food and other provisions. Near starvation, the group trudges forward bouyed by their attachment to each other and the way of life they cherish. Omakaya’s story shows how people can survive and overcome even the most perilous circumstances. Author: Louise Erdrich

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