The Bookbag, Books for Ages 8 to 12, September/October 2006

First a quiz: Do you know what November 15 is? It’s been proclaimed as I Love to Write Day in at least eight states.

Last year, more than 20,000 schools across the United States held special writing activities and events. Participation is FREE. I Love to Write Day is a day when people of all ages are encouraged to write something: a poem, a short story, an essay, a letter to the editor, start a novel, finish a novel…the possibilities are endless. For additional information about I Love To Write Day, please contact John Riddle at

Now on to our regularly scheduled program …

Crime Scene Science: Detective Notebook by Andrea Campbell. This “pocket encyclopaedia” of crime scene science covers every conceivable aspect of the crime scene, from evidence, to body fluids, estimating time of death, bullet behavior, bones and skeletal remains, trace evidence, handwritten clues, and dirt, plants, and bugs, the reader gets an interesting, crisp, clear, and readable overview of forensics. “The author uses vignettes to demonstrate how simple and ordinary solutions help resolve crimes. This approach effectively engages the reader and suggests that s/he will be able to solve crimes.” (Sterling Publishing, Inc., 2005)

Cynthia’s Attic: The Magic Medallion by Mary Cunningham. Having recently returned from one time-travel adventure that explored her grandmother’s life, Cynthia was ready to start a new journey. Her friend Gus (Augusta Lee) wasn’t so sure; and after they ended up as clowns in a circus in 1914, she was MOST certain she was ready to go home! During this journey, the girls spend some up-close-and-personal time with family members, and meet some new characters, too. “This was as enjoyable as the first volume, which you’ll want to read first. These are fun, fast reads.” (Echelon Press, 2006)

My Alien Penfriend by Faiz Kermani. Darius Chevalier and Zmod Tarib are two teenage boys who become inter-galactic space-mail pals. Darius lives in England and Zmod lives on the planet Bartoch, several galaxies away. In their correspondence, the boys share information about their planets, families, pets, hobbies, history, societies, fears, and concerns. When a major earthquake occurs on Bartoch, Darius loses contact with Zmod. Is he alive? Will the boys ever resume their frendship? This is a fantasy for teens that is written as a series of letters. (AuthorHouse, 2005)

The Thank You Book for Kids by Ali Lauren Spizman. Ali Spizman is the fourteen year old author of this book. During her young life she has discovered the power and joy of responding positively to people, by acknowledging them for the contributions they have made to her and others. This book is a primer on how to enrich one’s life by regularly thanking our family, friends, and others whose words or actions help shape our lives. (Active Parenting Publishers, 2005)