Booktalk: A wild prairie is a lively place in this rhythmic romp with munchers and crunchers above and below the grasses so thick, and fires that flare, and rains that quench—and always the prairie grows green. Back matter offers information and activities for a fuller appreciation of this marvelous, disappearing habitat.
These are the roots that plunge so deep,
Long and strong, holding water to keep,
Down past the burrows where the prairie pups sleep,
Alongside the critters that worm and squirm
Alive in the dirt so dark and deep
Under the prairie that nature built.
Such long, strong roots can save the day
When rain you want still stays away.
Booktalk: The Pine Barrens region in New Jersey has long been a place of mystery, with its dark pine groves, black swamps, and dank bogs, oftentimes shrouded in mist and fog. Reputed to be haunted by spirits, it’s an unsettling place to be sure. But of all the mysterious happenings and sights to be found in the Pine Barrens, there is none so intriguing as the Jersey Devil. Since its first reported sighting in 1735, local lore has it that a “devil-like” creature with the head of a horse, the wings of a bat, and the hooves of a goat has menaced townspeople, frightened livestock, and caused all manner of trouble over the years. Is the Jersey Devil real?
In a flash of lightning as clap of thunder,
Mother Leeds’s thirteenth child was born…
but it was no ordinary child!
‘Tis said it was a monstrous creature that circled the room,
then flew up the chimney in a puff of smoke and out into the dark night.
Booktalk: When Carolina Giddle moves into the Blatchford Arms, no one knows what to make of her sequin-sprinkled sneakers and her trinket-crusted car. But the parents are happy there’s a new babysitter around, and Carolina seems to have an uncanny ability to calm the most rambunctious child with her ghostly stories. Armed with unusual snacks, candles to set the mood, and her trusty sidekick — a tarantula named Chiquita — Carolina entertains the children with some good old-fashioned storytelling…
Snippet:He went sprawling headfirst into a hollow and he felt a terrible pain as that skeleton twisted away at his foot. Jimmy Joe cried out, and the candlelight seemed to go dancing away in that couple of seconds before everything went black for him.
“Heavens to Betsy,” Carolina Giddle said, yawning and stretching her arms. “It’s about time you two were in bed.”
“You can’t quit there!” the boys called out. “Tell us what happened. Did the skeleton get Jimmy Joe’s foot?”
Booktalk: What’s more fun than celebrating Halloween? Try drawing Halloween! Become an artist, and learn to sketch the sights and symbols that make this holiday special. It just takes a pencil and a spooktacular attitude!
Tip 1: Draw lightly. You will need to erase some lines as you go, so draw them light.
Tip 2: Add details. Little details, such as cobwebs or eyes, make your drawings super scary.
Tip 3: Color your drawings. Color can make a creepy drawing even scarier!
Booktalk: Journey to the wave-battered coast of the Pacific Northwest to meet some of the engineers and scientists working to harness the punishing force of our oceans, one of the nature’s powerful and renewable energy sources. With an array of amazing devices that cling to the bottom of the sea floor and surf on the crests of waves, these explorers are using a combination of science, imagination, and innovation to try to capture wave energy in the hopes of someday powering our lives in a cleaner, more sustainable way.
Snippet: POWER NEAR THE PEOPLE
A great deal of energy generated around the world is lost from resistance in wires when transported long distances. One of the benefits of ocean energy is that electricity can be generated–and used–near where people live. More than half the U.S. population lives near the coast and more than half the world’s population lives within 125 miles (200 kilometers) of the ocean.
It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
Booktalk: Abdi Taalib thought he was moving to Australia for a music scholarship. But after meeting the beautiful and brazen Tegan Oglietti, his world was turned upside down. Tegan’s no ordinary girl – she died in 2027, only to be frozen and brought back to life in Abdi’s time, 100 years later.
Now, all they want is for things to return to normal (or as normal as they can be), but the government has other ideas. Especially since the two just spilled the secrets behind Australia’s cryonics project to the world. On the run, Abdi and Tegan have no idea who they can trust – and, when they uncover startling new details about the program, they realize that thousands of lives may be in their hands.
Snippet: Diane leaned in, close enough that I could feel her breath on my check. “Of course, you can Abdi. You’re very good at being convincing. Why do you think we sent you to the camps? Why do you think you’re here?
Because I’m African, I thought. Because I’m thirdie. You want me to tell these people that the refugees want this, that what the Australian government is doing to people who come here out of fear and desperation is just and noble. And you want me to persuade the refugees that they should file into their cryopods as docilely as sheep into a pen.