The BookBag, Books for Ages 9 to 12, September/October 2007

A Cabin in Cripple Creek by Sue Luxa. The year is 1895. Stephen Haskins has decided to move his family from Denver to Cripple Creek, Colorado to mine gold. Deborah, Stephen’s wife, had some misgivings about the decision but, she and the family – Mary, 10 years old, and Jacob, 3 years old – pack up a rented buckboard wagon and headed to Cripple Creek. Mary provides the reader with a first-hand account of life in a Colorado mining town. This is the second title in an historical fiction series about life in 19th Century Colorado.

Encyclopedia of World Geography (an Usborne Internet-Linked Book)
by Gillian Doherty. This is first and foremost a single-volume world geography textbook that serves as a starting point for student research or discussion. The layout and graphics are eye-catching while access to website links, downloadable pictures and video clips provide the student with opportunities to enjoy learning by integrating available technologies into the learning process. This is a topically arranged atlas and encyclopedia on geography, physical science, and sociology. “This is a very worthwhile book. It genuinely attempts to integrate the computer, graphics, websites and other technologies into the traditional classroom. There have been myriads of attempts to do that but most have not fared well. Wish I had had this when I was teaching.” (Usborne Publishing Limited, 2004)

The Legend of Dunsmoor Manor by Jan E. Culbertson. Summer vacations have always been filled with fun and excitement for the Rodriguez girls, Bianca and Alyssa. While everyone was trying to decide where to go on their summer vaacation, Susan, their mom, received an invitation from Mary Dunsmoor, a friend and former classmate, inviting the family to spend two weeks at Dunsmooor Manor in England. The family arrived in England excited about all of the places they were going to see and things that they were going to do. Then they found out that Dunsmoor Manor was haunted by a ghost and peculiar things began to happen.”This is a mystery that will capture the attention and interest of pre-teen readers. In this second book of the series, the author has again demonstrated that he has the right formula for turning out books that appeal to adolescent girls. It’s a fun read.” (Bookstand Publishing, 2006)

See Inside Ancient Rome
by Katie Daynes. This is an interesting, fun-filled look at Ancient Rome. “
The illustrations are superb and continually pique the reader’s curiosity. This is an enjoyable and informative book and will provide hours of fun for the reader. It is delightfully laced with tongue-in-cheek humor, and kids (age 10 -90) will love it.” (Usborne Publishing Limited, 2006)

PODCAST Reviews from Just One More Book. Listen to reviews of children’s books at Just One More Book! There are new reviews three times each week.

A note from JOMB: “These three picture books are so heartbreaking that most people would likely wait until their children were at least 9 to read them …they are brutally sad books.”

The Killick: A Newfoundland Story by Geoff Butler. “Hauntingly rich oil paintings and candid, thought provoking narrative tell a heartbreaking and historically significant tale that provides a glimpse of the tragedies that have shaped the Newfoundland character.” (Tundra Books, 1998)

The Edmund Fitzgerald: Song of the Bell by Kathy-Jo Wargin. “Gorgeous red and gold warmth entwines with thrashing, raw waves and spray to tell the tragic tale of twenty nine souls struggling against the fury of Lake Superior and of the polished brass bell that forever sounds their farewell.” (Sleeping Bear Press, 2003)

The House that Crack Built byClark Taylor. “Dark and disturbing yet surprisingly digestible, this thought-provoking twist on the classic rhyme is an arresting introduction to drug-induced despair — and a call to choose to act to end it.” (Chronicle Books, 1992)