Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo

a novel by Greg Leitich Smith

Elias, Honoria, and Shohei are best friends facing the threshold of their teenage years at The Preshtigo School of Chicago.

Elias (reluctant science fair participant) finds himself fighting against the accusations of Mr. Eden (the chemistry teacher who idolizes Elias's older brother) of not properly conducting his experiment (the one he copied from his brother).

Honoria realizes that telling a best friend you like him, is a lot harder than it seems. Harder, even, than to convince a piranha to prefer fruit over meat.

Shohei deals with an interesting, yet universal, situation with his adopted parents, who have decided that he needs to become "one" with the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun.

Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo is a hilarious and entertaining read, filled with wit, wisdom, and even a bit of science. I greatly enjoyed reading this book. There were many parts where I laughed out loud.

My personal favorite scenario, out of the three main characters, was Shohei's. I found his little brother - who adapts to the introduction of the Japanese culture easily, and more willingly, than Shohei - to be a hoot!

This book is sure to bring a smile to your face, as well as introduce you to a different culture, and scientific procedures, while taking you into the challenging world of young teenagers.

The Birthday Moon

a picture book by Lois Duncan, illustrated by Susan Davis

What could be a better gift than the moon?

A full moon can be a balloon, or a coin to purchase comet tails, or the sun. It can even be a ball, to "hurl at the stars or... bounce off a wall."

If one's birthday lands on a half moon, it can be used for a hammock, a bowl, or a bow, "so the arrows you shoot will all shimmer and glow."

The Birthday Moon, by Lois Duncan, and illustrated by Susan Davis, uses bright, rhyming text, and beautiful, glistening pictures to show wonders the imagination holds.

When I was little, my mum would read The Birthday Moon to me every year on my birthday. It is one of my fondest and most cherished childhood memories. I'm sure that this story will have that same effect on anyone who reads it. Whether your birthday is tomorrow, or months away, this gorgeous picture book glows with every read.