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Picture of ancient language

The Not-So-Alien Language

Today we’re taking a break from science activities and doing a language activity! Rosalyn Eves, a talented writer and an English professor, is here to teach us why the alien language in What Came From the Stars might not be as alien as you think… One of first things I notice about Gary Schmidt’s novel What Came From the […]

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The Magic Half book cover

The Magic Half

About the Book: Miri is the only single child in the middle of a family with two sets of twins–older brothers and younger sisters. When the family moves to an old farmhouse Miri accidentally travels back in time to 1935 only to discover Molly, a girl in need of a real family to call her own. […]

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Mr. Popper's Penguins

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

About the Book: The Poppers unexpectedly come into possession of a penguin, then get a penguin from the zoo who mates with the first penguin to have 10 baby penguins. Before long, something must be done before they eat the Poppers out of house and home! A classic of American humor, this story of a gentle […]

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The activity with a hanger

Weight and Mass

I have a feeling Ramona Quimby grew up to be a scientist. Here are a couple of reasons why: If Ramona drank lemonade through a straw, she blew into the straw as hard as she could to see what would happen. “Ramona, what did you have to go and do a thing like that for?” Beezus demanded […]

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Ice Fall bookc cover


About the Book: Trapped in a hidden fortress tucked between towering mountains and a frozen sea, Solveig, along with her brother the crown prince, their older sister, and an army of restless warriors, anxiously awaits news of her father’s victory at battle. But as winter stretches on, and the unending ice refuses to break, terrible acts […]

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Beezus and Ramona book cover

Beezus and Ramona

About the Book: Ramona Quimby is the youngest of all the famous characters in Mrs. Cleary’s wonderful Henry Huggins stories. She is also far and away the most deadly. Readers of the earlier books will remember that Ramona has always been a menace to Beezus, her older sister, to Henry, and to his dog Ribsy. It […]

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Cows in a field

Think Like an Animal

Temple Grandin was able to improve the lives of millions of animals. How did she do it? By thinking like an animal, caring about animals, and then working hard to make things better for them. You can do the same thing! Temple Grandin loved cows, so she learned all she could about them. Then she was […]

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Supplies for the experiment

Fizzy Lemonade!

Evan and Jessie make plenty of lemonade in The Lemonade War. Let’s make some of our own and see if we can learn some chemistry at the same time! Here’s what you’ll need: Lemon juice (either from a bottle or from a real lemon) Baking soda Water Sugar drinking glass spoon First, pour 1/4 cup lemon juice […]

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PLants growing in plastic

Exploration and Observation: Drinking Juice and Making a Plant Terrarium

This week’s science activity comes from my good friend (and a great author) Helen Boswell, author of the young adult novel Mythology. This is a great activity for young naturalists like Calpurnia Tate from this week’s book! Here’s we go: Plants are an important part of the ecosystem and equally interesting. (For instance, did you know that plants can actually tell […]

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book cover

Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World

This post was originally published on World Autism Awareness Day. In honor of those with autism and to raise awareness in some small way, this week’s book is about a truly remarkable person with autism.  About the book: When Temple Grandin was born, her parents knew that she was different. Years later she was diagnosed with […]

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