Monday, August 20, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/20

Today the Boys and I are linking up to a meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey as well as Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts.  It's called: It's Monday!  What Are You Reading?  Check out both of their blogs for many, many, more wonderful book recommendations!

Here is their system, as written by P.J.:  
  • For every "rock" it means something different, like 1 rock is not very good, 2 rocks is ok, 3 rocks is good, 4 rocks is great, and 5 rocks is amazing! Well now that I got you up to speed, let's get into these book reviews.
P.J. is still working on his summer Language Arts Project and has chosen to read this book.  Next week he will have his review.  Mom has already read it, and you can find the link to her review at the bottom of today's blog.

Title:  Freak the Mighty
Author: Rodman Philbrick
Goodreads Summary: Two boys – a slow learner stuck in the body of a teenage giant and a tiny Einstein in leg braces – forge a unique friendship when they pair up to create one formidable human force.

Review to come!  Stay tuned!

Hey this is C.J. Uranus is the gaseous planet and this is book report time!

Title:  Phineas L. MacGuire... Blasts Off!
Author:  Frances O'Roark Dowell
Goodreads Summary: Houston,we have a problem! Phineas L. MacGuire (a.k.a. Mac) is less than up-to-date on planetary happenings. (Marsquakes? Who knew?) If he's going to be the best scientist in the fourth grade, Mac has to set his sights pretty high. To outer space, actually. But Space Camp is expensive. Where is he going to find enough money for a week on Mars (or a pretty close simulation thereof)?

Houston, we have another problem: a gigantic, slobbery dog named Lemon Drop. Mac can earn the money he needs by walking Mrs. McClosky's yellow Lab, but first he needs to survive the walks and the slobber! Good thing Mac is a scientific genius with friends like Ben and Aretha. Together the three of them discover that Lemon Drop is no ordinary dog -- that Lab is a real-life Lab-oratory.

What I think: I think this was a moderate book. It had had its ups and downs. The best part was when Mac started walking a dog to get enough money for a space camp. I would have liked it better if it had more science experiments to do and if the characters made more sense and if it was more funny.
Recommended for: ages 9-12

Rock Rating:2/5

Even though he wished that there had been more of them, C.J. was inspired to try some of the science experiments that are outlined at the end of the book.  Here are a few pictures of his process and results.

The purpose of this experiment is to replicate conditions on Mars, and see which substances might produce the right conditions for life on the planet.  As you can see on the right, yeast is full of life!

Mom had her last week of reading for the #SummerThrowdown challenge reading for #TeamTeacher.  Her final tally of books for the 4-week challenge <drum roll> 13 books!!!  That's approximately 3 books per week, and not too shabby!  Here are this week's books.  Click on the title to link to the Goodreads reviews:

My Life as a Book by Janet Tashjian

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

Pearl by Jo Knowles

As an aside, Mom has already completed her goal of reading 50 books in 2012!  To date, she has read 53.  Time to increase her goal, because there are still four full reading months left in 2012!  Whoo hoo!  What do you think... 60?  70?  Hmm...

Enjoy the last days of Summer, and Happy Reading, eveyone!!

Mom and the Boys


  1. Ooh, Freak the Mighty sounds intriguing. I'll be checking back to see what you think! Might have to add it to my TBR pile :)


    1. Check back on Monday. P.J. just finished it last night, and he'll have a review next week. It's an amazing book.

  2. Bummer that CJ's book wasn't that great...but the experiment looks like fun! I love books that give recipes or experiments or other ideas to try. That part sounds good!

    I have been wanting to read Pearl by Jo Knowles. Love Jo Knowles. She's so nice!

    1. Pearl was so good. Now I want to read all of her books! :)

  3. Nice job with the experiments! I love books that encourage science activities :)

    Definitely time to up your goal... I had to do the same due to summer throwdown!

    1. C.J. has read all three of the Phineas L. MacGuire books, and we have done experiments every time. Check out Phineas L. MacGuire Erupts and Phineas L. MacGuire Gets Slimed. They have great experiments in them, too!

      I think I'm going to try for 75 as my goal. I think it's realistic with school starting. That's only about 20 more until January. What do you think?


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