This book is laid out like a comic book – it’s full of drawings, pictures and all kinds of freaky facts about the things that usually scare us: monsters, UFOs, vampires, mummies, ghosts, haunted houses, and lots more scary stuff. For each freaky thing you get an explanation of the science behind it – either why the thing appears the way it does or why the thing is impossible. There’s nothing like a little bit of hard science to take the chill out of scary stuff. Of course some of the stuff remains gross…even if it isn’t scary anymore. So beware! Author: Steven O’Meara
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Mirror Mirror is a book of poems. You read each poem, then you read each poem again backwards. You read each line but in reverse order. It’s amazing and hard to believe, but both poems work. This seems unbelievably difficult to me. To make it even more complicated, each poem tells the story of a classic fairy tale…when you read the poem in one direction, it is from one character’s point of view and when you read the poem backwards it is from another character’s point of view. I have no idea how the author managed to do this. It’s word brilliant. Major word skills. Each poem is like a word puzzle in the same way soduku is a number puzzle. THEN, to make it even better, the illustrator made the pictures the same way.
I gave this a try using Grover and Tyson from the Percy Jackson books. It’s lame, four lines, but hey, I’m a beginner.
Together til the end
Percy is my friend
Brothers in arms
See, if you read it from top to bottom it’s about Grover. Percy is his friend at school before Percy knows he’s a demi-god, but then they become brothers in arms in the war against Kronos. If you read the lines in reverse, it’s about Tyson. Tyson and Percy are Brothers in arms first fighting their way back into to camp half-blood. It’s only later that they become friends.
It kinda works. Trying it shows you how hard this is. You have to consider each line and how it will work for the two different points of view. And mine doesn’t even rhyme or anything. Marilyn Singer’s poems have everything: the poems flow right, the rhyming is right, the poems make total sense read both ways. Really. How in the world did she do this? Amazing.
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This is the story of Elizabth Keckley, a slave who became a free woman and a business owner as well as the favored dressmake of Mary Todd Lincoln – President Lincoln’s wife.
Her story begins on a plantation in Virginia. Elizabeth was only four years old when she was given the job of taking care of her mistress’s brand new baby. She was so excited to take care of the pretty baby that she rocked the cradle a little too hard and the baby fell out onto the floor. She was whipped for that…a four year-old! And that whipping would not be her last. Elizabeth had a very hard life as a slave. It’s a wonder she even survived, let alone growing up to be a free woman and the owner of her own business.
Elizabeth’s mom was a gifted seamstress and she taught Elizabeth how to sew. Their master would hire Elizabeth out to other ladies in St. Louis who wanted pretty dresses. One of those clients loaned Elizabeth the money to buy her own freedom. Elizabeth moved to Washington DC and was soon sewing dresses for famous wives – Mrs. Robert E. Lee and Mrs. Jefferson Davis. It was only a matter of time before her dresses caught the eye of Mrs. Lincoln.
That’s when the story gets really intersting. It is the tale of two very different women in very different circumstances who manage to carve our a friendship in the oddest of circumstances. Mary Lincoln didn’t just need pretty dresses, she needed a friend.
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