Monday, October 31, 2011

Celebrate Thanksgiving with Books Part 1

I know today is Halloween, but I found so many great Thanksgiving books, I just had to get started early! Here are just some of the good ones I’ve found. Over the next 2 weeks, I’ll tell you about more.

One is a Feast for Mouse by Judy Cox, illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler
It’s Thanksgiving Day and Mouse raids the leftovers. He spots one pea, a perfect feast, but he cannot help adding all of the fixings – until Cat spots him. What an outstanding book! This book BEGS to be read aloud. It reads like the best unrhymed poetry and the pictures are exactly right.

Life on the Mayflower by Jessica Gunderson, illustrated by Brian Caleb Dumm
This book describes the voyage of the Mayflower. For 65 days, the Pilgrims lived in dark, cramped spaces, endured stormy seas, sickness and no fresh food. The middle grade text is easy to follow and is supported by excellent illustrations. There are 4 additional books in this Thanksgiving series.

1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving by Catherine O’Neill Grace and Margaret M. Bruchac
This book takes a new look at Thanksgiving and tries to put aside the myths. It is based on the research done at Plimouth Plantation, which is a living history museum of 17th century Plymouth, Massachusetts. many of the photographs in the book were taken during a reenactment of the 1621 harvest gathering . The text is at a middle school level.

I Know and Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson, illustrated by Judith Byron Schachner
You may know the song, I Know an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly. Well, this is a Thanksgiving version with the old woman eating just about everything at the dinner in an effort to counteract her too-dry pie. Great fun!

The First Thanksgiving by Linda Hayward, illustrated by James Watling
This is a Step Into Reading, Step 2 book. It tells the story of the voyage of the Mayflower and the first Thanksgiving simply and clearly.

Thanksgiving on Thursday by Mary Pope Osborne
Jack and Annie travel in their Magic Tree House to the New Plymouth Colony in the year 1621. They celebrate the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians. I like how this series tells important stories in clear and interesting ways.

Pilgrims : a nonfiction companion to Thanksgiving on Thursday by Mary Pope Osborne
This book gives lots of information about the Mayflower’s voyage, the life of a Pilgrim, Wampanoag daily life, the first Thanksgiving and more.

Silly Tilly’s Thanksgiving Dinner by Lillian Hoban
Silly Tilly is a mole who is quite forgetful. She nearly succeeds in ruining her Thanksgiving dinner, but her animal friends come to her rescue. This book is part of the Silly Tilly series and is an I Can Read Book.

Thanksgiving: The True Story by Penny Colman
Looking for LOTS of information about Thanksgiving? This is your book! With over 140 pages of text, it covers the first Thanksgiving, twentieth-century Thanksgiving Day holiday traditions, and the 1621 celebrations of the English colonists and the Wampanoag and discusses the truth of the "Pilgrim and Indian" story.

I hope these books get you started thinking about Thanksgiving. Do you have books you want to add to the list? Write them in the Comments box so I can use them in the next Thanksgiving posts!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Crafts, Part 2

More Halloween fun! (See Part 1.) Check out these sites for games, costumes and crafts.

This site has it all – printables, crafts, costumes, poems and songs, games and more.

Amazing Moms
This site has costumes, crafts and recipes.
You’ll find paper-and-pencil games, pin the __ on the __ games (there’s a bunch of them) and active games (like Eyeball Hunt Game).

I hope you have a great Halloween! Write about it in the Comments box!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Literacy Ideas, Part 2

Here are some Halloween links and books to explore together as a family. Also check out Part 1.

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
What a fun site! I spent a lot of time exploring.

Little Lovely
Make a whole village!

Parents Magazine

Reading recipes is a great way to practice reading skills. Very motivating!

Poems and songs can also be a motivating way to practice reading skills. Try out different voices – scary, silly, scared…

The Everything Kids Halloween Puzzle & Activity Book by Beth L. Blair and Jennifer A. Ericsson
This book has a bunch of Halloween-related stuff to do. There are all kinds of puzzles and activities: coloring, hidden pictures, hangman, mazes, word searches and more.

Celebrate Halloween with Pumpkins, Costumes and Candy by Deborah Heiligman
This book describes the origins of Halloween and how various countries celebrate it.  It's full of pictures that show people involved in various Halloween activities. The last pages supply more facts, a recipe and further resources.

I hope your Halloween is fun and safe. Please share in the Comments box!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Books for Scary Fun, Part 2: Graphic Novels

Halloween and graphic novels just go together, don’t they?

 BABYMOUSE: Monster Mash by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Will BABYMOUSE have a scary costume (what she wants) or be a fairy (like the cool girls want)? There’s a lot to love about this book. It’s funny. It takes off in weird directions. It lets BABYMOUSE be a hero.

 New Monster in School by Sean O’Reilly
This is part of the Mighty Mighty Monsters series. Although it’s not exactly a Halloween story, it’s about monsters, so I figure it qualifies! This series tells about the early life of 8 monsters. In this book, the Mighty Monsters have to take on the challenge of a new student who plans to beat the boys in their quest for the Mon-Star Award.

 Stone Rabbit: Night of the Dust Bunnies by Erik Craddock
This book is part of the Stone Rabbit series. What happens when the energy from an atomic night lamp hits a house full of dust? Zombie Dust Bunnies! Read this book to find out what happens when Stone Rabbit and his 2 friends head out for a night of trick or treating. Like potty humor? You’ll like this book.

Shop Indie Bookstores Eek & Ack vs the Wolfman by Blake A. Hoena, illustrated by Steve Harpster
Eek and Ack are 2 aliens who repeatedly try to conquer Earth. When they visit Earth during Halloween, they fit right in with the other trick-or-treaters. Will they succeed this time? First they must deal with the fearsome Wolfman. I liked how the graphics in this book were creepy enough but not visually confusing the way many graphic novels are for me. This is one of a series of Eek & Ack books.

 Little Vampire by Joann Sfar
This is a very strange book. It’s simple and bizarre. Sweet and sarcastic. Heroic and devious. The book I read contained 3 stories: Little Vampire Goes to School, Little Vampire Does Kung Fu, and Little Vampire and the Canine Defenders Club. All the stories revolve around a young vampire and his unlikely friendship with a human boy. I think this book will most appeal to kids who take a somewhat sarcastic view of life.

Amelia Rules! Loosely in Disguise and Frightened by Jimmy Gownley (sorry, no link)
Amelia planned to spend Halloween with her dad but he cancelled at the last minute. Instead, Amelia’s Aunt Tanner throws her a party. Good, right? Well, maybe not. This is Book 3 of the Amelia Rules! series.

 Scary Godmother by Jill Thompson
Hannah Marie is excited because this is the first Halloween she gets to go out trick-or-treating with the big kids. When they abandon her is a spooky house, things get very interesting. The graphics are outstanding. I spent a lot of time looking at the amazing details in each picture. This is the first book in the series.

 Dragonbreath: Lair of the Bat Monster by Ursula Vernon
I’m sorry but I wasn’t able to get a copy of this in time for this post. However, I did find a trailer that looks interesting. This is Book 4 of the Dragonbreath series. Trailer.

Looking for more Halloween books? Click here for Part 1. Looking for Halloween crafts? Click here and also stay tuned for this week's Friday Fun!
Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween Crafts, Part 1

Halloween just oozes good crafty fun. Here are 3 sites that offer lots of ideas to get you started. Next Friday there will be 3 more.

Disney Family Fun
Look around the page for craft descriptions, video demonstrations (sorry, there are ads at the beginning) and printables.

Martha Stewart
There are crafts, ideas, recipes, clip art and Halloween quizzes.

Red Ted Art (love this site!)
These crafts are mostly for autumn but there are a few Halloween crafts here, too. Click on the blue print in the description to open up the craft directions.

Family Education
You can search their database for costume directions.

Check these sites out and then tell your favorites in the Comments box!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Halloween Literacy Ideas, Part 1

Here are some ideas to promote reading and learning during this Halloween season.

Halloween Read-aloud
Collect several Halloween books (picture books work well for this) and take turns reading scary parts in your scariest voices. Make this a voluntary activity. Appreciative listeners are welcome to take a more passive role.  
Pumpkin Seed Math
One pumpkin: predict how many seeds and then count them. Who was the closest?
More than one pumpkin: predict, count and then chart the results.
Brainstorm and research scary animals (real and not-so-real)
Go to Halloween websites and try activities that you like (press here and here for some of my ideas)
Get Halloween activity books and plan fun activities
Go to a haunted house or other Halloween-theme event. Take pictures and make a Halloween scrapbook, complete with captions.
Make words using the letters h-a-l-l-o-w-e-e-n. Extra points for longer words.
Make cards for others – friends, relatives, neighbors… Scary and/or funny is good! Ideas:
Copy or write your own poem on the inside.
Make thumbprint ghosts, pumpkins, witches… with washable ink or paint, and then draw on faces.
Fold a strip of paper, accordion-style and glue/tape on back of picture. Attach to inside of card so it pops out when the card is opened.
Make Halloween bookmarks. Include lots of Halloween words or scary sayings.
Record scary stories and/or Halloween family memories.
Read a bunch of Halloween books and rate them with 1, 2, 3 or 4 stars. Consider sending your favorite Halloween books to school for a teacher read-aloud.

I found some websites that suggest Halloween activities.
City Parent
  • Tell ghost stories on Halloween night. Make up your own stories or read a classic scary book together.
  •  Organize Halloween candy in different ways. Organize by shape, size, candy name, or even candy type, and then trade. This activity helps to reinforce basic math along with association and matching skills.
  •  Bake a pumpkin pie. Following recipes is a great way to improve both reading and math skills. Children can read the instructions out loud to help measure the ingredients when making a treat for the family.
  • Research the history of Halloween, and share spooky statistics.

I Love That Teaching Idea
This is a teacher site but I thought it offered a couple of ideas that could be used at home.
Remember to take pictures!

FunSchool Kaboose
This site provides a variety of online Halloween activities.

These are just a few of the many ways you can promote reading and learning at home while enjoying Halloween. Next week I’ll have more.
Do you have fun Halloween activities? Share them in the Comments box!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Halloween Books for Scary Fun, Part 1

With Halloween just 2 weeks away, it’s time to look at some Halloween books. Here is a collection of picture books (not just for little kids!) and chapter books. Enjoy!

 Shake dem Halloween Bones by W. Nikola-Lisa, illustrated by Mike Reed
This book has it all – story, illustrations and rhythm. The story has lots of fun references to nursery rhymes and fairy tales. The illustrations make you want to examine each page carefully for all the great details. And the rhythm might be the best part – it demands to be read aloud. Why? The story is about a hip-hop Halloween ball! I loved it!

 In the Haunted House by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Susan Meddaugh
A girl and her dad go to a haunted Halloween House. It’s filled with creepy characters and scary happenings. You can watch their progress as they speed through each room, viewing only their feet. So when they’re outside on the safe sidewalk, can guess who wants to go back inside? Written in rhyme, it’s a fun, not-too-scary story.

 Behind the Mask by Yangsook Choi
On Halloween, Kimin wants to dress up as his grandfather, who was a Korean mask dancer long ago. But the trunk that holds his grandfather’s costumes holds scary memories. Kimin overcomes his fears, and in the process, learns a secret that one of the masks holds.

 The Little Old Lady Who was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams, illustrated by Megan Lloyd
You’d think being followed by shoes and clothes that can float through the air on their own would be scary to the little old lady. Nope! But when a “very large, very orange, very scary pumpkin head appears,” she breaks into a run for home. But the little old lady isn’t scared for long. She has an idea…

 The Halloween House by Erica Silverman, illustrated by Jon Agee
This book starts with, “In the Halloween house, in a dark, dingy den… a papa werewolf crouched with his little ones, ten.” So how do 2 escaped convicts deal with this scary house that is filled with vampires, bats, ghosts and more? Not very well! This is a count-down numbers book, written in rhyme, that’s both charming and creepy.

 Happy Haunting, Amelia Bedelia by Herman Parish, illustrated by Lynn Sweat
Amelia Bedelia is confused by Halloween. After making several funny mistakes (as she always does!), she shows she understands the fun of Halloween after all. Boy, is Mr. Rogers surprised!

 Andy Shane and the Pumpkin Trickk by Jennifer Richard Jacobson, illustrated by Abby Carter
Andy does not want to go to bossy Dolores Starbuckle’s birthday party on Halloween. Not only does he have to go, Andy is also roped into helping her decorate. Things get more interesting, though, when Andy helps Dolores catch the guys who have been smashing her pumpkins. It’s a mystery/friendship story.

 It’s Halloween, You 'Fraidy Mouse by Geronimo Stilton
Geronimo Stilton is the editor of the Rodent’s Gazette. His sister wants him to publish a book about Halloween. He reluctantly agrees and this leads him to interview all kinds of spooky characters. The actual Halloween book is at the end of the book. It has Halloween history, games, decorations, costumes and more.

 Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve by Mary Pope Osborne
Wouldn’t it be great to be Mary Pope Osborne and write the Magic Tree House books? I think it would be huge fun. In this book, Jack and Annie travel to the time of Camelot and Merlin the Magician. Something very strange is going on in a duke’s castle and it’s up to them to discover what it is and fix it.

Coming next week: Halloween graphic novels.

Do you know other great Halloween books? Write them in the Comments box!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Grade Level Websites to Explore

Now that you’ve been in school for a few weeks, I thought you may want to explore some sites that were designed for your grade level. But I don’t stop at the sites for your grade. Look around at sites for some other grades. They may look good to you.

 These sites have all come from the Caesar Rodney School District in Maryland.

What sites did you like? Write them in the Comment box!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Complex Issue of Homework Part 4

This is the last of my homework posts . As I researched this topic, I came across several books that had tips and strategies for helping out with homework challenges. To give you an idea of what is included in each of these books, I've listed some or all of the chapter headings.

Same Homework, New Plan by Sally G. Hoyle, PhD
This book has 10 chapters. Lots of good information!
  1. The Homework Wars
  2. The Causes and Costs of Underachievement
  3. Short-Term Solutions for Tonight (includes handy Homework Diagnostics Charts 1 & 2 and Homework Feelings cards)
  4. Helping Your Child Become More Organized for the Long-Term (includes Homework Diagnostics Chart 3)
  5. Low-Tech and High-Tech Homework Aids
  6. Your Homework Allies
  7. Tips and Techniques to Help Parents Keep It Together (includes Homework Diagnostics Chart 4)
  8. The Homework Activist
  9. I Finished My Homework

Home Sweet Homework by Sharon Marshall Lockett
This book contains 23 chapters. Some of them include:
  • How Can I Help if I Don’t Understand It?
  • She Doesn't Remember from One Day to the Next
  • He Can’t Sit Still Long Enough
  • The Dilemma of the Working Parent
  • How to Maintain an Assignment Sheet and Notebook
  • How to Study for Tests
  • It’s Boring, Boring, Boring!
  • I Understood it in Class
  • Where to Find Help

Research Ate My Brain: The Panic-Proof Guide to Surviving Homework by Toronto Public Library
This book is written for kids and is focused on homework that involves research. It’s quite kid-friendly, well-organized and sprinkled with comic strips to keep it visually interesting. I’m guessing it will appeal mostly to kids who want to do their homework but are having difficulty getting started and/or organized. There are 6 chapters.
  1. The Dummy-Proof Work Plan
  2. Libraries: Project Parts under One Roof
  3. Searching in Cyberspace
  4. Libraries in Cyberspace
  5. You Be the Judge: What’s Good? What’s Bad? What’s Ugly?
  6. From APA to MLA: The ABCs of Citing Sources

Homework Talk : the art of effective communication about your child's homework by Cheli Serra, M.Ed. and Ruth Jacoby Ed.D.
This book identifies 52 typical homework situations and provides tips, strategies, and advice for handling each of them. There are 5 chapters.
  1. Why Homework?
  2. The Homework State of Mind
  3. No More Homework Hassles
  4. The Homework Contract
  5. It's All About Homework

Homework Heroes by Drew and Cynthia Johnson
This series has 3 books, each covering a different grade span.
Volume 1: Grades K-2
Volume 2: Grades 3-5
Volume 3: Grades 6-8
Each book has 3 chapters.
  1. Developing Good Homework Habits
  2. A Review of Basic Math Concepts
  3. A Review of Basic English Habits
I see these books as a wonderful resource for parents who’d like to help with their child’s homework but haven’t a clue as to how.

I hope these homework posts have been helpful. What are your best tips? Please share!

Monday, October 10, 2011

5 Outstanding Nonfiction Books by Helaine Becker

I have discovered an author of nonfiction books I really like. Her name is Helaine Becker and she writes really fun books about all kinds of things. Here are 5 of her books. I hope you like them as much as I do.

Magic Up Your Sleeve
The chapter titles will give you an idea of the kinds of magic you’ll find in this book.
  • Optical Illusions
  • Read Their Minds
  • Science Stunners
  • Math Magic
  • Show-Stopping Science
  • Magician’s Survival Guide
Each chapter has 2 to 6 magic tricks, plus a couple of pages of inside magic information: how magic works, some magic history and magic facts. The book concludes with tips for your first magic shows.

Science on the Loose: Amazing Activities and Science Facts You’ll Never Believe
There are 36 activities and experiments in this book that are based on science. Here are a few:
  • Made You Blink (reflexes)
  • Charting Belly Buttons (innie or outie?)
  • Mystery Gene Hunt (Does your tongue curl?)
  • Kick the Can Ice Cream (make your own!)
  • The Magically Reappearing Ghost (a little creepy)
  • Goo…Goop…Glop (Are they liquids? Are they solids?)
If you like science, or even if you don't, these are some pretty cool activities.

Mother Goose Unplucked
Take everything you know about fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and Mother Goose and turn it into twisted fun! You’ll find:
  • Riddles
  • Wacky fairy tale re-tells
  • Activities
  • Crafts
  • Games
  • Tongue Twisters
  • More

Like a Pro:101 Simple Ways to do Really Important Stuff
Ever wondered how to
  • Make a speech?
  • Draw a cartoon dog?
  • Change a bike tire?
  • Spin a basketball on your finger?
  • Make recycled paper?
  • Decode text messages?
  • Survive a family car trip?
  • Blow the world’s largest bubble?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, this book is for you!

Funny Business
Are you a funny person? Do you like to make people laugh? Do you wish you were good at making people laugh? This book is for you! It's full of inside information on the business of being funny. The chapter list will give you an idea of what this book is all about.
  • The Lowdown on Laughter
  • Stand-Up Comedy
  • Clowning Around
  • Practical Jokes
  • Comic Strips and Cartoons
Reading this book will definitely help you be a funnier person!

Here are some more books that were written by Helaine Becker. They’re definitely on my check-out list!
  • Boredom Blasters
  • Are You Psychic?
  • Secret Agent Y.O.U.
  • The Insecto-Files
  • What's the Big Idea?
  • The Loony Bay All-Stars Series

I love it when I find an author I really like. Who are some of your favorite authors? Write them in the Comments box!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Get Crafty!

I think it's time for crafts and creativity, don't you? Check out these sites for some ideas.

Red Ted Art
My favorite? Ice Boats!

Made by Joel
I imagine there are many stories inside these cats. What ones can you come up with?

Filth Wizardry
Such a smart idea! I could stamp with Lego blocks for a lo-o-o-ng time.

Hope you have a great crafty time!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Complex Issue of Homework Part 3

In The Complex Issue of Homework Part 1  and Part 2 , I wrote about strategies you can try at home to help make homework go more smoothly. Often, one or more of these strategies will do the trick. However, they might not and then you need to work with your child’s teacher(s) to come up with better solutions.
Teachers almost always want to hear the concerns of their students’ parents. Don’t expect them to already know that there’s an issue. Keeping track of a class full of students and their homework performance can be challenging.

Ways to communicate
The first thing you need to do is communicate your concerns with school. How you go about this is up to you. Here are some options.
  • Email is good because you can often more clearly communicate your concerns and if you are in high frustration mode, you can more easily choose your words. Plus, it’s easy to keep track of these communications because your computer will do it for you.
  • written note works as well but is sometimes a victim of a child’s forgetfulness.
  • telephone call is another way to communicate concerns. I suggest that you make a short list of your concerns so you can bring up each one. It’s sometimes best to start the call with, “I have 3 concerns about my son’s homework.” That way, if the discussion gets off track, you can refer to this introduction to say something like, “This brings me to my second concern…”
  • Set up a meeting if you think a face-to-face discussion would be the best way. Again, a list is a good way to clarify your concerns.
  • Be sure to attend all parent-teacher conferences. If you can’t make it during conference hours, reschedule. But if a problem comes up before then, don’t wait, communicate your concerns when they happen.

Ways you can help communicate your concerns
  • Be respectful – assume the teacher wants to help.
  • Keep track of the time that your daughter spends on homework for several nights and what issues arise.
  • Keep track of things you’ve tried and the outcomes.

Ways teachers can help
There are many strategies teachers can use to support a student and his family around homework issues. Here are a few:
  • Monitor recording of assignments – both by checking that he has written it accurately and by checking that he understands what is expected.
  • Help the student organize his papers.
  • Send home assignments early so he can work on them ahead of time when possible. My son’s teachers sometimes sent home spelling homework on Friday so he could get it out of the way.
  • Reduce/adjust assignments. Some students get quite overwhelmed by a whole sheet of problems. Would it be possible to do just the even-numbered problems?
  • Clearly say how parents can best support a particular assignment. Read a chapter aloud? Let the student dictate his answers? Help make flashcards?
  • Prioritize assignments – What assignments are absolutely essential? Are there any that could be given less attention?
  • Break down longer assignments – When those dreaded (and sometimes fun) long-term assignments come up, could the teacher break down the work into manageable pieces?
  • Give an answer sheet if homework is something that’s unfamiliar to the parent. Sometimes confused by your child’s homework? Join the club! I was dismayed when my son’s homework covered things I either never learned or had totally forgotten. If you have a good relationship with your child’s teacher, consider asking for an answer key when you know you’ll be on the front line during homework time. You won’t use it to supply answers but you can use it to check if you have a clue yourself!

Reinforcing positive homework behavior
In an ideal world, kids would do their homework out of joy of learning. But joy of learning comes from many things – sports, dramatics, play, video games (to name a few). Homework often comes in last place. This is when it doesn’t hurt to sweeten the pot.
Consider setting up a list of reinforcements that your child was willing to work for. A simple cumulative plan is best. My suggested procedure:
  • Ask your child to list 5-10 things she is willing to work toward by completing homework. These can be things, activities, lack of chores…
  • Determine what these things are worth. They may be worth all the same, some may warrant more work to earn.
  • Write a simple cumulative plan. For example:
For each completed homework assignment, I get 1 point (or sticker). When I get __ points, I get (thing) / can do (activity) / don’t have to do (chore).
  • Strong suggestion: avoid plans that expect certain performance in a certain time. For example, avoid plans such as If I do all my homework this week, I get ____. Such plans have a built-in punishment system. In a cumulative plan, like above, the child gets to keep on working towards a reward. It’s much more motivating.

 Other people
Occasionally, teachers just don’t understand your child’s homework struggles. Personally, I never came across this, but I know it happens. If this is the case, consider enlisting the support of others, such as
  • principal
  • school counselor
  • guidance counselor
  • pediatrician
  • social worker

Next week I’ll offer one more post on the complex issue of homework. In my research, I came across several books that tackle homework. I’ll review several of them. Have you read any that you would like to suggest? Please write them in the Comments box.

Monday, October 3, 2011

2 Exciting Adventure Books for Kids

This week’s book post has only 2 books but they are terrific. The author, Dee Garretson, has written adventures I simply could not put down. I kept thinking, “How will the kids get out of this predicament?”

 The characters are strong and smart. Each time, they think of some ingenious way to solve a really tough problem.

 I think these books would be outstanding family read-alouds. (Or classroom read-alouds, if you’re a teacher reading this.) Either that, or read it in bed, under the covers, with a flashlight!

Wildfire Run
Luke is the son of the President of the United States. This means everywhere he goes, he’s followed by Secret Service agents to keep him safe. He and 2 friends are at the presidential retreat, Camp David, for what was supposed to be a vacation. And even though the security at Camp David is extremely tight, they manage to have fun.
 A serious wildfire breaks out in the forest near Camp David. It injures and possibly kills several adults while everyone attempts to evacuate. Luke and his friends are left on their own and must use their wits to overcome each disaster as it happens. You can feel the heat of the fire on every page.

Wolf Storm
Stefan is a first-time actor in a sci-fi adventure movie. This would be an ideal job – filmed on location in the mountains with a famous teenaged actress. Even better, he’d be working with trained wolves and cool spaceship props. However, he doesn’t know how to act, a young kid has latched onto him and the actress hates him. Plus, there are wild wolves lurking around the set.
 A blizzard strikes and an avalanche destroys their hotel. Stefan is stranded in the mountains. Only the kid, the nasty actress, an aging actor in poor health and the wolves, both trained and wild, are with him. Can they safely wait to be rescued?

 I hope you will check out these books. Adventure awaits!