The Book Reviews – Website

September 30, 2008

Turtle Rescue

Turtle Rescue

Author: Pamela Hickman

Page Length: 64

Reading Level: 8

Genre: Non-Fiction

PLOT SUMMARY: Turtle Rescue is a story full of true facts about the turtle, one of the endangered wildlife in the world today.  The turtle evolved over 200 million years ago and exists almost unchanged today.  Turtles are living across the globe, except for the Arctic and Antarctic regions in fresh water, salt water and on land. 

The story tells of the growing awareness of the turtle population’s decline and speaks of several environmental crusaders who are trying to save the turtle from extinction.  Also discussed are the turtles living and birthing habits and the endangerments they encounter not only from human consumption but also from their own natural environments and lifestyles.

REVIEW: This is an informative book with great photography.  At the back of the book are a list of “fast facts”, websites, and an author’s note.  Students who enjoy non-fiction and have a passion for endangered wildlife would enjoy this book.  It could also be used as a good source for a science project.

AREAS FOR TEACHING: Current Events, Cause/Effect, and Informative Texts

RELATED BOOKS: Birds of Prey, Animals Hibernating, Animals and Their Mates



REVIEWED BY: Shirley Wagner

July 29, 2008

Probably Still Nick Swansen

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Probably Still Nick Swansen

Author: Virginia Euwer Wolff

Page Length: 152

Reading Level: 4

Genre: Fiction

PLOT SUMMARY: Nick is sixteen and in high school. The problem is that he is in Room 19 (a special education class), doesn’t get to drive a car yet, and can’t decide whether or not he should ask Shana to the prom. Shana was in room 19, but she had her going up celebration and went to regular ed. Nick can remember things in science others can’t even say right, but all the other facts in life seem to get jumbled up in his head. He misses Dianne terribly and keeps flashbacking to memories of their childhood. He knows that if Dianne were still there she would know just what to tell him to do. A series of unfortunate events, push Nick too far and he sinks into a deep depression. One day, Nick decides to run around the track after school. He finds Shana there and he discovers that everything isn’t always as it seems.  

REVIEW: I really didn’t enjoy reading this book because of the jumbled together nature of Nick’s thoughts. However, since the book is depicting a student with presumably a learning disability, the constant changing thought process seems in line with what one would expect with a learning disability. In that regard, it sheds a whole new light on thinking about students with learning disabilities as sometimes needing a way to organize and help maintain consistency with information (maybe a the need for an even bigger tie to prior learning). Of course this is a fictional story, examining Nick’s struggles and learning that things aren’t always as they might seem is a valuable lesson for any teenager.

AREAS FOR TEACHING: theme, characters, cause and effect, purpose, word choice, sequence of events

TOUCHY AREAS-PAGES: drowning described

RELATED BOOKS: True Believer, The Mozart Season, Make Lemonade


REVIEWED BY: Dayna Taylor

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