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*Disclamer* I have been thinking for some time about what I can blog about that would be fairly unique among the many tutors on this site. Seeing that I work at a library and do large amounts of reading, I thought I could put my literary knowledge to good use and post book talks that I have written. My hope is that parents and children who are looking for reading ideas may find this blog entry somewhat useful. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer By Mark Twain Genre: Adventure Reading Level: Grades 7-9 In this ageless classic, Mark Twain proves that, no matter what time period one comes from, boys will always be boys. Based on the places and people of his own childhood (“Most of the adventures recorded in this book really occurred,” claimed the author), Twain spins a tale about life through the eyes of a trouble-making, imaginative, cunning boy. Most young boys tend to get into mischief at one time or another, and Tom Sawyer is no exception. “He was not the... read more

*Disclamer* I have been thinking for some time about what I can blog about that would be fairly unique among the many tutors on this site. Seeing that I work at a library and do large amounts of reading, I thought I could put my literary knowledge to good use and post book talks that I have written. My hope is that parents and children who are looking for reading ideas may find this blog entry somewhat useful. The Adventure of the Speckled Band By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Genre: Mystery Reading Level: Grades 7-9 It is early in the morning when a frightened young woman, named Helen Stoner, arrives at 221 Baker Street, home to Sherlock Holmes and his associate Dr. Watson. Fearing that her life might be in danger, she hires the great detective to discover who it is that might want to kill her. Whoever, this person is, the woman concludes, they are responsible for the mysterious death of her twin sister two years earlier. The only clues she can provide for Holmes... read more

The terror that an upcoming writing assignment can bring to a stressed out student is quite understandable; especially when it’s the night before the paper is due and sleep (or other enjoyable activities) beckons. The harried student works late into the night, consuming one caffeinated beverage after another and forcing their brain to turn out something coherent while meeting the minimum requirements for a passing grade. The ultimate result is the student staggering half asleep to school the next day with a paper that may pass but still leaves much to be desired. The solution to avoiding this scenario is simple: it’s all a matter of organization. Although important in their own right, I’m not referring to the usual study tips of finding a suitable place to study, getting plenty of sleep, making sure all your pencils are sharpened, etc. It’s the paper itself that can be organized in such a way as to reduce stress and frustration, while establishing a well-structured piece... read more

*Disclamer* I have been thinking for some time about what I can blog about that would be fairly unique among the many tutors on this site. Seeing that I work at a library and do large amounts of reading, I thought I could put my literary knowledge to good use and post book talks that I have written. My hope is that parents and children who are looking for reading ideas may find this blog entry somewhat useful. Across Five Aprils By Irene Hunt Genre: Historical Fiction Reading Level: Grades 7-9 “It was the saddest and most cruel April of the five. It had held out an almost unbelievable joy and had then struck out in fury at those whose hands were outstretched. Jethro had learned to accept the whims of fate...One accepted the good or the evil with humility, for life was a mystery, and questions were not for the lowly. But on the last Sunday of that April...rage mingled with grief in his heart. “Why did it happen? Why-why-did it have to happen?” (Hunt,... read more

*Disclamer* I have been thinking for some time about what I can blog about that would be fairly unique among the many tutors on this site. Seeing that I work at a library and do large amounts of reading, I thought I could put my literary knowledge to good use and post book talks that I have written. My hope is that parents and children who are looking for reading ideas may find this blog entry somewhat useful. Abner and Me By Dan Gutman Genre: Historical Fiction Reading Level: Grades 5 and up The time-traveling baseball adventures of Joseph “Stosh” Stoshack continue as the young ballplayer seeks to uncover the truth about who the inventor of baseball really is. Like many baseball enthusiasts, Stosh grew up with the legend of Abner Doubleday, and how he had drawn up the rules for the game in Cooperstown, NY during the 1840s. Wishing to meet Doubleday, Stosh finds a picture of the proclaimed father of baseball, and plans his trip to the past. There is... read more

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