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The Year the Swallows Came Early

The Year the Swallows Came Early

About the Book: Eleanor “Groovy” Robinson loves cooking and plans to go to culinary school just as soon as she’s old enough. But even Groovy’s thoughtfully-planned menus won’t fix the things that start to go wrong the year she turns eleven–suddenly, her father is in jail, her best friend’s long-absent mother reappears, and the swallows that […]

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Here comes science

Here Comes Science

I thought I’d mix it up a little by reviewing a great science album for kids, Here Comes Science by They Might Be Giants. If you’re like me, you remember They Might Be Giants from the days when they were recording songs like Istanbul for adults. Now they have several albums for kids that are fun, educational, and often […]

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Elemental Ornaments on a tree

Exploration and Observation: Elemental Ornaments

In this week’s book, The Reinvention of Edison Thomas, one of the ways Eddy calms himself down is by reciting the elements from the periodic table. Some of the words he recites like chlorine and iron) are probably familiar, while others (scandium!) are…not so familiar. All matter (everything that takes up space and has mass) is made up […]

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The Reinvention of Edison Thoman

The Reinvention of Edison Thomas

About the Book: Eddy Thomas can read a college physics book, but he can’t read the emotions on the faces of his classmates at Drayton Middle School. He can spend hours tinkering with an invention, but he can’t stand more than a few minutes in a noisy crowd, like the crowd at the science fair, which […]

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Sun Dial

Exploration and Observation: Make a Sundial

Lots of attention has been paid to the Mayan calendar lately, but the Mayans actually had many scientific achievements, including astronomy, agriculture, and this week’s activity, sundials. Even Max Murphy could handle this one! This guest post was written by one of my very favorite people, Laura Cotts. Laura has taught math, physics, and astronomy courses and […]

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Painting of animals by Arlene Braithwaite

Desert Animal Olympics

In this week’s book, One Day in the Desert by Jean Craighead George, we met tons of cool desert animals: roadrunner, peccaries, tarantulas, headstand beetles, desert tortoises, honey pot ants, elf owls, foxes, and even a mountain lion. These animals have all made adaptations so they’re fit to live in such a dry climate. But they’re amazing […]

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One Day in the Desert book cover

One Day in the Desert

About the Book: As day breaks in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, a wounded mountain lion limps toward a Papago Indian hut. The lion fears people, but today he is desperately hungry. And he has caught the scent of Birdwing and her mother. Then a loud thunderclap warns Birdwing, the mountain lion, and all the creatures […]

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Girl pointing at bird in the sky

Bird Behavior Scavenger Hunt

In this week’s book, Moonbird by Phillip Hoose, we read the true story of a bird that’s flown an amazing distance in its life. This week’s science activity is a guest post by biologist (and good friend) Kate Grandison, who knows a whole lot about birds. Take it away, Kate! Look what that bird’s doing! Birds not only […]

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Moonbird book cover

Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95

About the Book:B95 can feel it: a stirring in his bones and feathers. It’s time. Today is the day he will once again cast himself into the air, spiral upward into the clouds, and bank into the wind.He wears a black band on his lower right leg and an orange flag on his upper left, […]

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Vermeer painting of girl

Modern-Day Vermeer

In this week’s book, Chasing Vermeer, Petra and Calder saved a famous painting by paying attention to details and never giving up. They also learned that there are imitation Vermeer paintings that people used to think were the real thing! For this week’s art activity, we’re not going to make an imitation Vermeer, we’re going to […]

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