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H1N1 (Swine) Flu

H1N1 (Swine) Flu

There is a lot of talk lately in the newspaper and on TV – and maybe even at your school – about the H1N1 (Swine) flu virus. Here is a movie to watch that will help clear up questions you might have about the virus. Questions like: Swine Flu, H1N1, what’s the difference? How do people get it? Will I get it? How sick do people get? Is there a vaccine? Can I get a vaccine? Watch the movie, show it to your teacher or your parents, and talk to them about questions you might have.

If hearing about H1N1 make you worry, ask questions. Knowing the answers to your questions will help you worry less about it. One thing that helps is knowing what you can do to help take care of yourself.

What you CAN do:

  • Wash your hands! A lot!  Wash them before you eat – even before a snack. Wash them after you cough, sneeze or blow your nose. Wash them after you go to the bathroom. And washing your hands doesn’t mean just running water over them – USE SOAP!
  • If you cough or sneeze, do that into a tissue or into your elbow. That way, you keep germs off your hands. You touch a lot of things with your hands and that is how germs are quickly spread from one person to another.
  • Keep your hands and fingers out of your eyes, mouth, and nose.  This  means more than just “don’t pick your nose.” Everybody knows that. This means don’t pick food out of your braces, don’t lick your fingers, don’t rub your eyes, don’t put your fingers in your mouth to whistle, don’t put your fingers in your mouth to make a funny face…all those things that are normally OK – don’t do those.
  • If you don’t feel good – STAY HOME.

Here are some more links to help you learn about the flu:

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The Pirates of Crocodile Swamp

The Pirates of Crocodile Swamp

The Pirates of Crocodile Swamp

Sandy and Jack are scared of their Dad. He knocked their little brother down the stairs one day and then their brother never woke up again.

One day, their Dad shows up at school to take them home, but he doesn’t go home…he gets on the interstate and drives hours and hours and hours from Pennsylvania to the Florida Keys.  He won’t answer their questions about where their Mom is either.

Convinced that their Dad is dangerous and has hurt their Mom, the boys wait for him to fall asleep, steal his money, “borrow” a boat and flee into an area of the Florida Keys known as “Crocodile Swamp.” Surely no one will follow them into a crocodile infested swamp.

Armed with some basic survival skills and knowledge about the habits of the critters sharing the swamp including crocodiles, sharks and poisonous snakes, the boys set up camp.

With the help of an old fisherman and a young girl they meet making supply runs, the boys manage to evade their Dad..for awhile. During their life in hiding, the boys come to understand that people survival skills are just as important as wild surival skills and that figuring out who your allies are is very important indeed.

This story has some tough family problems in it but the resourcefulness of the boys, their desire to stay together and the friends who step up to help them find their way out of a scary situation make it a good true-to-life adventure. Author: Jim Arnosky

The author of The Pirates of Crocodile Swamp is also a nature writer. Here are a couple of his books about the swamp, wild places and wild things. The action in Crocodile Swamp is very realistic because Mr. Arnosky knows so much about the Florida Keys. If you liked this wilderness survival story, try Alabama Moon or The Night of the Howling Dogs. In these, kids use their knowledge to survive in the wild also.
Wild and Swampy Field Trips Alabama Moon Night of the Howling Dogs
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The Secret of Zoom

The Secret of Zoom

The Secret of Zoom

Christina lives in a stone mansion in a forest surrounded by a 20 foot barbed wire fence. The fence is electric and has signs that say “Trespassers will be boiled.” The only other buildings inside the fence are Loompski Laboratories, where her father works (and where her mother died in a lab explosion) and an orphanage full of kids Christina is not allowed to meet. With binoculars Christina can watch the kids at Dorf Elementary school play at recess, but she’s never been to school herself.

While playing in her yard one day Christina is surprised to meet an orphan boy named Taft who is collecting trash on the other side of the fence. He urgently whispers, “have you found the tunnel yet?” Now here’s something worth investigating. Could the rumor of the tunnel in the stone mansion actually be true? It can!…and it leads straight to the orphanage where Christina rescues her orphan friend and finds out more than she ever wanted to know about Loompski Laboratories and what the orphans are used for.

Christina and Taft discover hidden inventions built and abandoned by the missing founder of Loompski Laboratories (a kid-sized, kid-powered two seater airplane for one!) and use them to bring down the current owner of the lab, expose his sinster plan and free the orphans.  A great adventure story fueled by friendship and the pursuit of happiness and justice! Author Lynne Jonell

Read Chapter One The Secret of Zoom

Here are some more kids that find over-the-top adventure and good friends at the same time:
Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat The Name of This Book is Secret The Mysterious Benedict Society Kiki Strike Inside the Shadow City
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The Girl Who Threw Butterflies

The Girl Who Threw Butterflies

The Girl Who Threw Butterflies

Molly’s a pitcher. Her eighth grade year she does something a little different. She tries out for the boys baseball team instead of the girl’s softball team. When she shows up for try-outs, Molly brings her secret weapon, a weapon that comes as a suprise to the other boys trying out as well as her coaches. Molly can throw a floating knuckleball (a butterfly).  And she can throw it hard.

But this story is about much more than a girl trying out for a usually all-boys team. Boys’ baseball isn’t the only thing different about Molly’s eighth grade year. This year, she has to learn how to do everything, including baseball, without her Dad, who died in a car accident before the school year began. Molly’s Mom is barely holding it together herself, which is hard, because now it’s like Molly’s lost both parents.

Molly is pretty honest about how she feels about her Mom. At one point Molly imagines telling her, “I love you and all that, but right now everything about you bothers me.” And it isn’t that Molly doesn’t love her Mom, it’s that her Mom isn’t her Dad, and the Mom she once knew is now different. The best part about this book is how intensely honest Molly is. She also has a best friend, Celia, who is the same way and is the only person Molly knows who still treats her like Molly, not like “Miss Difficulty Overcome.” It’s Celia that keeps Molly talking about her feelings so that she can deal with them. It’s Celia that nudges Molly and her Mom toward each other again.

To make the story even better, the baseball part is realistic – the boys are competitive and the games are intense. Some of the boys are not happy at all about Molly making the team. When Lonnie steps forward to give Molly  someone to pitch to, he turns out to be a really good friend too. Author: Mick Cochrane

If you like Molly’s story, here are some more about kids coming to terms with changes, sometimes using sports to help them cope and sometimes just leaning on a good friend:
My Thirteenth Season Confetti Girl Umbrella Summer Top of the Order

 

 

Celia and Lonnie

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Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute

Hector, Terrence and Dee find out their lunch lady can sling more than mystery meat. When their favorite teacher mysteriously stops showing up for class the kids take a look at their new substitute and decide there’s something just not quite right about him. When that same substitute refuses to eat the Lunch Lady’s famous French toast sticks, she decides there’s something not quite right too.

The kids follow the substitue after school. The Lunch Lady follows the substitue after school. Where does he go? Straight to a secret warehouse to meet his evil genius boss. Will his evil plan work?

Not if it’s up to this Lunch Lady who’s  got exploding chicken nuggets and fish stick nunchucks hidden in her apron pockets. With her gadget making sidekick Betty, she keeps order in her cafeteria…and in the world.

#1 Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute
#2 Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians
#3 Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta

Is the Lunch Lady ready for more? “You bet your ketchup!” And if you like these common folk superheroes here are three more to make you cheer for more:
Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians The Adventures of Captain Underpants Amelia Superheroes Horace Sprattley the Cupcaked Crusader
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