Archive for the ‘Educational for classroom (kids)’ Category

homeless5 stars



by Sarah Lean
Published September 4th 2012 by Katherine Tegen Books (first published April 26th 2012)




When Cally Fisher says she sees her dead mother, no one believes her. The only other living soul who sees Cally’s mom is a mysterious wolfhound who always seems to be there when her mom appears. And when Cally stops talking–what’s the point if no one is listening?–how will she convince anyone that her mom is still with them or persuade her dad that the huge silver-gray dog is their last link with her?

“A Dog Called Homeless” is the gentle and touching story of how one girl’s friendship with a homeless dog can mend a family’s heart.




I was very surprised by this book, I started it then stopped and come back to it for another try after finishing another book I had on my list, and I am very glad I gave it another shot. This story started out really slow in the beginning but picked up the pace a couple chapters in and ended up being a really great book.

A Dog Called homeless was very sad but also very happy at the same time. It is a great book for lower grades, maybe 3rd through 5th or 6th, depending on the reading level of the child. It deals with tough issues such as the death of a parent, moving from your home, a parent not being able to afford things for you, how to befriend someone with a major disability, friends who are mean to you, the list could go on.

I liked how Cally saw her mom, it helped her to deal with the loss and also helped lead her to a very happy ending. In the big scheme of things, the fact that Cally saw her mom is not all that important, it is not a supernatural book in any way, it is more like Cally’s mom knew that Cally needed her for a bit longer and was watching over her.

Cally grew up quite a lot in this book and she also helped to keep her family together after the death of her mom. She helped to teach her own father that he needed to focus a bit more on the kids and find a way to deal with the tragic loss of his wife in a way that did not isolate him from his children, who needed him so much during this time period.

I was disappointed in most of the counselors and teachers in the school, they never said anything to the girls that were harassing Cally, they actually blamed her for causing problems and punished her for things these mean girls did. Most of the adults didn’t seem to grasp the concept that Cally was hurting inside and didn’t seem to care that she had recently lost her mother and that life as she knew it was falling apart. There were some good adults in the story though, so not all was lost.

There is so much else that happens in this story, but I don’t want to give any more away in this review. I do highly recommend this book to everyone. It is a nice quick read for adults, but more importantly it is a super great read for lower grade kids. I would recommend that every library- public, school, and classroom, have a copy available.

I received this book as an ARC. I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist you in recognizing books that you might enjoy and also to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read.


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by Bridget Heos, Stephane Jorisch (Illustrator)

 Published January 1st 2012 by Millbrook Press


Congratulations, crocodilian parents-to-be! You have little ones on the way. They’re called hatchlings. Read this book to find out where to lay your eggs, how you’ll know when the babies are ready to hatch, and what you and your babies will do all day long. Whether you’re an alligator, caiman, crocodile, or even a funny-looking gharial, you’ll find answers to all your parenting questions here. But there’s one condition: don’t eat the book!


I really enjoyed this book.  It is one of the cutest educational books for kids I have yet to read.  It has great pictures and is filled with tons of interesting facts about the Crocodilian family, especially pertaining to having babies and raising them.

There is a lot of potential for this book to be a teaching tool in a lower school classroom.  It is entertaining, while at the same time being factual.  Come on, every kids learns about alligators and the like at some time in school, this would be a great resource to have in your room.  There is a glossary and a section for additional resources, including a webpage that is connected with this book.

This is not a super quick read, since it is not a lighthearted, fanciful story, so just be aware of that.  It is not super long, but there is quite a bit of reading on each page.  Lower school students would also like this book as a beginning reader type book.  There are enough words that are longer, harder words that it could work and it is educational, which is a bonus.

There are also full page pictures that follow along with each question in the book since this is written in more of a question and answer type format, not so much story telling.  As an adult there are tons of questions that you can ask your kids to prompt them to identify things in the pictures that mirror what they are reading about.

I would highly recommend this book for kids age 3 to maybe 6 or 7, but there is enough information is this book that even adults will learn something new from it.  You could easily read this to younger children, but they may not get as much out of it, and my get bored quick, since it is a bit longer.

I would definitely buy this book for a friend of relative having a baby, I guess I need to create a loom knit alligator to go along with it!

I received this book as an ARC.  I do not get paid to review books; I do so in order to assist parents and teachers in recommending appropriate books for your kids to read.

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