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    $13.59 list($19.99)
    1. Forest of the Pygmies
    $5.39 $3.42 list($5.99)
    2. The Secret Garden
    $13.60 $13.30 list($20.00)
    3. Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon
    $16.19 $13.98 list($26.99)
    4. Gossip Girl Boxed Set
    $13.57 list($19.95)
    5. National Geographic Student Atlas
    $10.87 list($15.99)
    6. Judy Moody Declares Independence
    $16.89 $16.50
    7. Bebop Express
    $5.36 $2.94 list($5.95)
    8. Breadwinner
    $11.20 list($16.00)
    9. The Librarian of Basra : A True
    $6.29 $4.30 list($6.99)
    10. Red Scarf Girl : A Memoir of the
    $9.71 $5.98 list($12.95)
    11. National Geographic Student Atlas
    $6.30 $4.54 list($7.00)
    12. The Lotus Seed
    $3.99 $2.00
    13. Stage Fright on a Summer Night
    $16.99 $6.99
    14. The Secret Garden (Illustrated
    $7.20 $3.69 list($8.00)
    15. The Whale Rider
    $4.99 $2.99
    16. The Big Wave
    $15.09 $14.25 list($26.95)
    17. America the Beautiful : A Pop-up
    $11.53 $11.10 list($16.95)
    18. The Scrambled States of America
    $6.95 $4.40
    19. First Book of Sushi (World Snacks)
    $3.99 $0.92
    20. High Tide in Hawaii (Magic Tree

    1. Forest of the Pygmies
    by Isabel Allende
    list price: $19.99
    our price: $13.59
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060761962
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: Rayo
    Sales Rank: 578788
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    Book Description

    Alexander Cold knows all too well his grandmother Kate is never far from an adventure. When International Geographic commissions her to write an article about the first elephant-led safaris in Africa, they head -- with Nadia Santos and the magazine's photography crew -- to the blazing, red plains of Kenya. Days into the tour, a Catholic missionary approaches their camp in search of his companions who have mysteriously disappeared. Kate, Alexander, Nadia, and their team, agreeing to aid the rescue, enlist the help of a local pilot to lead them to the swampy forests of Ngoubé. There they discover a clan of Pygmies who unveil a harsh and surprising world of corruption, slavery, and poaching.

    Alexander and Nadia, entrusting the magical strengths of Jaguar and Eagle, their totemic animal spirits, launch a spectacular and precarious struggle to restore freedom and return leadership to its rightful hands.

    The final installment of Isabel Allende's celebrated trilogy of the journeys of Jaguar and Eagle soars with radiant settings, spirits, beings -- and the transformation of an extraordinary friendship.

    ... Read more

    2. The Secret Garden
    by Frances Hodgson Burnett
    list price: $5.99
    our price: $5.39
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 006440188X
    Catlog: Book (1998-04-30)
    Publisher: HarperTrophy
    Sales Rank: 1171
    Average Customer Review: 4.51 out of 5 stars
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    Mistress Mary is quite contrary until she helps her garden grow. Along the way, she manages to cure her sickly cousin Colin, who is every bit as imperious as she. These two are sullen little peas in a pod, closed up in a gloomy old manor on the Yorkshire moors of England, until a locked-up garden captures their imaginations and puts the blush of a wild rose in their cheeks; "It was the sweetest, most mysterious-looking place any one could imagine. The high walls which shut it in were covered with the leafless stems of roses which were so thick, that they matted together.... 'No wonder it is still,' Mary whispered. 'I am the first person who has spoken here for ten years.'" As new life sprouts from the earth, Mary and Colin's sour natures begin to sweeten. For anyone who has ever felt afraid to live and love, The Secret Garden's portrayal of reawakening spirits will thrill and rejuvenate. Frances Hodgson Burnett creates characters so strong and distinct, young readers continue to identify with them even 85 years after they were conceived. (Ages 9 to 12) ... Read more

    Reviews (165)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Secret Garden a review by super-girl
    The Secret Garden

    Have you ever discovered a place that has bee locked up for a long time? If so, then you can relate to The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Mary Lennox, the protagonist, moves from India to Misselthwaite, England because her parents die of cholera. She lives with her cousin Colin Craven, who thinks he's a cripple and believes he is never going to walk. Mary tries to convince him that he's not a cripple. The children meet Dickon, a local boy who they call the animal charmer. Together they find a magical world inside a garden.

    Mary, Dickon, and Colin find the garden left alone and locked. They find a key with the help of Robin and then start to garden without anyone knowing it. Mary and Colin are very frail like a toothpick, but then they grow because the fresh air makes them well. Dickon is a teacher because he shows them how to garden.

    Then, on a rainy day, Mary and Colin go into rooms in the house that are locked up and they learn about their ancestors. In Colin's room Mary sees a portrait hidden under a tarpaulin, she opens it and sees picture of Colin's Mother (Mrs. Craven). Mary asks Colin why it is covered and he tells her that he doesn't want to see her because she reminds him of his Father and how he is mad at him because he will be a hunchback. Finally, Mary and Colin learn to overcome their tantrums and the fears of never seeing their parents again. When the children are in the garden, they were caught by one of the gardeners, however he said that he wouldn't tell because he himself had been inside the garden.

    Read to find out if the children ever get caught in the garden again, or if Colin ever walks. Ladies and gentlemen, I invite and encourage you to read The Secret Garden.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of my childhood favorites -- and I still love it!
    I can't count how many times I read this book in elementary school -- dozens, I'm sure. I still read it occasionally and listen to the musical.

    Here's a brief synopsis: Mary Lennox is a bitter child whose parents live in India during the very early 1900s (approximately). Her mother and father pay no attention to her, and she is spoiled, selfish and temperamental. When cholera kills her parents, she is sent to live with her uncle -- a hunchback who lives in a huge mansion on the Yorkshire moors.

    Slowly and with the help of the maid, the maid's brother, and the gardener, Mary becomes a normal, happy child. But her uncle never sees her and is rarely there. He was devastated by his wife's untimely death years earlier and cannot bear to be in the house where they lived together.

    Mary also hears a mysterious crying that no one else seems to. She investigates and discovers it is her cousin, Colin, who refuses to see anyone, believing he is crippled. His father can't bear to look at him because his mother died in childbirth. Mary and Colin discover his mother's garden, long neglected, and eventually Colin realizes he is perfectly healthy and learns to walk again.

    This is one of those books every little girl should read. It will stay in your heart forever.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic
    I think that this is FHB's best book. Although I certainly enjoy the romatic ideas of diamond mines, life-size dolls, and (completly platonic) secret admirers (as all appear in "A Little Princess") nothing beats the spunky nature and burgeonng independance of Mary, Colin and Dickon.

    After her parents die of Cholera, spoiled brat Mary is sent to live with her uncle in Yorshire. She is shocked, absolutely shocked, to find a world that is the complete opposite of India. Not just the weather: gone is the fully staffed nursery which completely revolved around her every whim (and she had a lot of them) and in its place is a local maid who brings her breakfast and that's about it. Mary doesn't even know how to dress herself.

    Appalled at first by the notion of having to look after herself, Mary discovers that it's really not so bad. Especially when she discovers a secret garden that has been locked for ten years. Together with her cousin, a boy as bratty and obnoxious as she is, and Dickon, a local boy with a way with living things, she sets about to bring the garden back to life. Mary and Colin, who have been raised with fairly good intentions and plenty of material possesions but no real love, learn what love is as they care for and nurture the garden.

    Burnett really has an ear for children's dialogue, and she brings a real sympathy to Colin and Mary even when they are at their most obnoxious. In addition, their transformation is believable, complete with little relapses into their self-absorbed natures.

    This is a book that is perfect for people of all ages.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Anything is possible
    AThe Secret Garden had an inspirational effect on me. Frances Hodgson Burnett was able to show you that no matter how rough life gets, you always have a single ray of hope. Through realistic characters, she was able to show the value of life. Each character was so detailed and developed it was as if you were watching it all happen. Whether you believe in magic or not, it feels as if something is with you while you are reading. This story has been made into a movie. However, the book has a warmer nature as opposed to the movie.
    Mary was an unloved unwanted child with everything she could ever want except for a family. Due to the fact that her mother didn't want her around, her nanny would do anything for her to keep her happy. After her mother's death the only person left to keep her was her uncle in England. Coming from India, the people in England didn't expect Mary to be so picky. She finds that in order to stay amused she must overcome her selfish nature and do things on her own. This leads her to find her cousin, Colin. In time, they both learn to appreciate life and the only way to make it is to stop worrying and start believing. Mr. Craven, Mary's uncle, locked up parts of the manor and a special garden after his wife's death 10 years earlier. So, when it is found it is to be kept a secret between six new friends, until it can be revealed to Colin's father, which could or could not happen.
    I would rate this book a 4 because, there were s things I didn't agree with. Some of the less important characters were too developed and it is a long story. I did like that it gave me a warm feeling, as if anything is possible. I'm still thinking about how I can change someone's day the same way they did for each other. The only way to enjoy the miracle is to read it yourself.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Secret Garden
    I liked the book alot because it had alot of excitment and talked about Mary finding a room that was her aun'ts room. I liked the part where she found a key that opened the gate to the secret garden. ... Read more

    3. Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes
    by Nina Simonds, Leslie Swartz
    list price: $20.00
    our price: $13.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0152019839
    Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
    Publisher: Gulliver Books
    Sales Rank: 3115
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Filled with delectable recipes, hands-on family activities, and traditional tales to read aloud, this extraordinary collection will inspire families everywhere to re-create the magic of Chinese holidays in their own homes. They can feast on golden New Year's dumplings and tasty moon cakes, build a miniature boat for the Dragon Boat Festival and a kite at Qing Ming, or share the story of the greedy Kitchen God or the valiant warrior Hou Yi.
    This stunning compilation from bestselling cookbook author Nina Simonds and Leslie Swartz of the Children's Museum, Boston, is the perfect gift for families that have embraced Chinese holidays for generations--and for those just beginning new traditions.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars beautiful, delightful book
    ... I was looking for Chinese folk tales. What a great surprise! I am totally envious of kids today who get books like these -- how I wish they had something like this when I was little so that I would have been more familiar with my own cultural background. The book is organized by following the Chinese traditions/festivals/holidays through the course of a year. Stories, recipes, activities are paired with each holiday to give you a full sense of what happens on each one of these special occasions. I recognized bits and pieces of the folklore from the stories that my mom and grandparents told me when I was growing it really feels authentic (not watered down) yet still accessible. The watercolors/illustrations are beautiful to look at too. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Chinese Customs and Traditions Package in Delight
    From Nina Simonds, comes an entertaining activity book that combines the enchantment of ancient Chinese tales with lessons of tradition and history. A blending of delightful storytelling and colorful illustration makes this a cultural delight.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous illustrations & culture w/o the "PC" message
    This is a beautifully executed book. The watercolors alone are worth the purchase, but it also includes very clever, not too difficult activities. How can you not be enthralled by thousands of years-old traditions and folklore??

    5-0 out of 5 stars delicious! a winner!
    what a delight for children and their parents and teachers!! in a world consumed by suspicion and fear of "the other" here is a wonderful and friendly guide to a culture teeming with fabulous cuisine and colorful celebrations. this is indeed one world, and introducing young children to each other in this gentle journey through kitchen and holidays has to point to a better world for all children. beautiful, colorful, easy to follow recipes, and wonderfully interesting, this book is a winner! enthusiastically recommended! norman d. levine, md ... Read more

    4. Gossip Girl Boxed Set
    by Cecily von Ziegesar
    list price: $26.99
    our price: $16.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0316722715
    Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
    Publisher: Little, Brown
    Sales Rank: 1616
    Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
    The GG books are the greatest books written. Between Blair and her jelousy and Serena with her flings there was just so much action. It was non stop amazment and I think it only fit that every teenage girl experiance the GG phenomenon, it's worth the time spent in your room to read these amazing books!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Books!
    I absolutely love the Gossip Girl book series! I read all five of the books in about 8 or 9 days ... they were that good!! Although the characters in the Gossip Girl series are mind-blowingly rich, it seems that they deal with the same problems as average teens, such as drugs, back-stabbing friends, and break-ups. When you think about it, that's really the messege of these books: that we're not all as different as we think we are. Also, Cecily von Ziegesar is such a convincing writer, sometimes I feel like I know Blair, Serena, Nate, and the rest of the gang, instead of them just being fictional characters! I recommend the Gossip Girl series to anyone who enjoys romance, drama, comedy, and rich people making fools of themselves!

    4-0 out of 5 stars It's actually pretty good!
    Ok...This book wasn't like OMG I love it, but it was a really good book for teenagers. It has plenty of characters that you can get a feel for. It's a great book once you really get into it. You're kind of always wondering what's going to happen next.

    5-0 out of 5 stars AWSOME BOOKS!!!
    this is such an awsome book, if your into girlie girlie type books...'ve 3 of them and am currently reading the should tottally read these books. they're a little hard to get into but once you do your hooked! i hear the 5th is best so get reading...also i suggest the A-List novels...those are WAY better then these even though these books are good.

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE best books ever!
    My friend gave me the first book. I was reluctant to read it. It didn't look great. The next week i had finished all 5 of them. My new favorite series. I loved them all sooooo much. i instantly felt compassion for blair, hatred toward serena, and attracted to nate, except for the weed. They were characters almost no one can relate to, but we love them anyway. If you haven't read these 5 treasures, do it now or regret it forever. ... Read more

    5. National Geographic Student Atlas of the World Revised Edition
    by National Geographic Society
    list price: $19.95
    our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0792271688
    Catlog: Book (2005-07-01)
    Publisher: National Geographic Children's
    Sales Rank: 569735
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    Book Description

    This user-friendly reference is packed with full-size, full-color physical, political, and thematic maps of the world and its continents specifically designed by the Society's world-renowned cartographers to help students understand basic geographic concepts and compare and contrast data critical to making global connections. The 2001 edition, which was an Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children (NSTA/CBC) and a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Children (NCSS/CBC), has been completely updated and expanded to include 16 brand-new pages with more maps, photos, charts, and graphs. In addition to existing thematic spreads on topics ranging from Earth's geologic history and world climate to predominant economies and global freshwater supplies, the 2005 edition will feature all-new illustrated essays on environmental trouble spots, ocean and climate, coral reefs, world refugees, global communications, and diffusion of popular culture, as well as expanded treatment of world languages and religions.All statistics, maps, and flags of the world have been updated to reflect the most current data, the latest boundary changes, and the newest countries. Web sites keyed to each photo essay and thematic map provide students with a means of keeping up with our ever-changing world. ... Read more

    6. Judy Moody Declares Independence (Judy Moody)
    by Megan McDonald, Peter Reynolds
    list price: $15.99
    our price: $10.87
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 076362361X
    Catlog: Book (2005-06-30)
    Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
    Sales Rank: 278849
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    7. Bebop Express
    by H. L. Panahi
    list price: $16.89
    our price: $16.89
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060571918
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-24)
    Publisher: Amistad
    Sales Rank: 58222
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    Book Description

    The whistle's a-blowin',
    the engine's a-pumpin' --
    conductors are dancin'
    and passengers jumpin'!
    Quick! Climb aboard
    the Bebop Express.

    This rockin', rhythmic railroad adventure celebrates the uniqueness of America and the beboppin', doo-woppin' sound of jazz, from jammin' New York City all the way to New Orleans. With bold, powerful art by the "New York Times" best-selling team of Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher, H. L. Panahi's text comes alive with a pulse and beat all its own.

    ... Read more

    8. Breadwinner
    by Deborah Ellis
    list price: $5.95
    our price: $5.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0888994168
    Catlog: Book (2001-11-10)
    Publisher: Groundwood Books
    Sales Rank: 33974
    Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The Breadwinner brings to life an issue that has recently exploded in the international media — the reality of life under the Taliban. Young Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan. Because he has a foreign education, her father is arrested by the Taliban, the religious group that controls the country. Since women cannot appear in public unless covered head to toe, or go to school, or work outside the home, the family becomes increasingly desperate until Parvana conceives a plan. She cuts her hair and disguises herself as a boy to earn money for her family. Parvana’s determination to survive is the force that drives this novel set against the backdrop of an intolerable situation brought about by war and religious fanaticism. Deborah Ellis spent several months talking with women and girls in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan and Russia. This suspenseful, timely novel is the result of those encounters. Royalties from the sale of The Breadwinner will go toward educating Afghan girls in Pakistani refugee camps. “A potent portrait of life in contemporary Afghanistan, showing that powerful heroines can survive even in the most oppressive ... conditions.” — Booklist ... Read more

    Reviews (31)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The BreadWinner
    The BreadWinner is a fantastic book.It is full of adventure.It's about a little girl,named Parvana,who lives in Afghanistan during a time when girls wern't alowed to go outside without a man to work and get money.But one day her father went away to prison wich meant they had no other boy to go out and get the food and milk they needed. One day they needed food so bad they shaved Parvana's hair off so she could look like a boy and could get the food.This was a new experience for Parvana.Every day she would go out and raise money by selling things and reading and writting letters for the people to get money then she would get the food for the family.If you want find out more about this book I think you should read it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Breadwinner
    The BreadWinner is a fantastic book.It is full of adventure.It's about a little girl, named Parvana, who lives in Afghanistan during a time when girls weren't allowed to go outside without a man to work and get money. But one day her father went away to prison wich meant they had no other boy to go out and get the food and milk they needed. Soon they needed food so badly they shaved Parvana's hair off so she could look like a boy and could get the food.This was a new experience for Parvana. Every day she would go out and earn money by selling things or reading and writting letters for the people. Then she would buy the food for the family. If you want find out more about this book I think you should read it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous
    I taught this book to my sixth grade class last year-an easy read technically but mature ideas, but easily 90% of the students loved it so much that I had to order the next book-and then the next one as well! Thought provoking for everyone who has grown up with all the necessities and more. A great perspective on the real world right now. Even though it is about a young girl, boys thoroughly enjoyed reading about her adventures. The best part? All proceeds go to Women for Women, a charitible organization in Afghanistan.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Breadwinner
    I really liked the book The Breadwinner. It had some exciting moments that just made me want to keep reading. Every day Parvana dressed up like a boy and went to sell things in the market place. While she was sitting on her mat a mysterious lady would drop little presents down to her from her room above Parvana. I always wanted to find out what she would give Parvana the next day and the next day. There were also some sad parts to this story about Parvana and her life in Afghanistan. Women and girls had to wear turbans on their face and they couldn't show any skin. Girls could only go outside with men. She had a hard time being a girl in Afghanistan. Her father was in jail and she had to act like a boy and work the family jobs. Parvana is a very smart and courageous girl with a strong mind.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
    This story takes place in Afghanistan. It's an amazing book. It's so realalistic that you're imagining it in your head. The main Character is Parvana. She goes on an adventure to find money to buy food and belongings for her family. When you are done reading this book yoou will want to read more and more of the book. Also, It tells you alot about the things they do in Afghanistan. I recommend this book to everyone to read because it's so good!! ... Read more

    9. The Librarian of Basra : A True Story from Iraq
    by Jeanette Winter
    list price: $16.00
    our price: $11.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0152054456
    Catlog: Book (2005-01-01)
    Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
    Sales Rank: 381463
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    Book Description

    "In the Koran, the first thing God said to Muhammad was 'Read.'"*
    --Alia Muhammad Baker

    Alia Muhammad Baker is a librarian in Basra, Iraq. For fourteen years, her library has been a meeting place for those who love books. Until now. Now war has come, and Alia fears that the library--along with the thirty thousand books within it--will be destroyed forever.
    In a war-stricken country where civilians--especially women--have little power, this true story about a librarian's struggle to save her community's priceless collection of books reminds us all how, throughout the world, the love of literature and the respect for knowledge know no boundaries.
    Includes an author's note.
    *From the New York Times, July 27, 2003
    ... Read more

    10. Red Scarf Girl : A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution
    by Ji-li Jiang
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0064462080
    Catlog: Book (1998-10-31)
    Publisher: HarperTrophy
    Sales Rank: 26820
    Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In 1966 Ji-li Jiang turned twelve. An outstanding student and leader, she had everything: brains, the admiration of her peers, and a bright future in China's Communist Party. But that year China's leader, Mao Ze-dong, launched the Cultural Revolution, and everything changed. Over ht next few years Ji-li and her family were humiliated and scorned by former friends, neighbors, and co-workers. They lived in constant terror of arrest. Finally, with the detention of her father, Ji-li faced the most difficult choice of her life.

    Told with simplicity and grace, this is the true story of one family's courage and determination during one of the most terrifying eras of the twentieth century.Ji-li Jiang was twelve years old in 1966, the year that Chairman Mao launched the Cultural Revolution in China. An outstanding student and much-admired leader of her class, Ji-li seemed poised for a shining future. But all that changed with the advent of the Cultural Revolution, when intelligence became a crime and a wealthy family background invited persecution'or worse. For the next three years Ji-li and her family were humilated and reviled by their former friends, neighbors, and colleagues and lived in constant terror of attack. At last, with the detention of her father, Ji-li was faced with the most dreadful decision of her young life: denounce him and break with her family, or refuse to testify against him and sacrifice her future in her beloved Communist Party.

    Told with simplicity, innocence, and grace, this unforgettable memoir gives a child's eye view of a terrifying time in twentieth-century history'and of one family's indomitable courage under fire.

    01 Blue Spruce Award Masterlist (YA Cat.)

    ... Read more

    Reviews (74)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Red Scarf Girl: A Girl With Determination
    Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang was a fascinating memoir about Ji-li's life during the Cultural Revolution. This book exceptionally demonstrates the qualities of a hero, presented by Ji-li's actions. Ji-li was a smart, determined leader and she always stood up for what she believed was right, all of which are qualities of a hero.
    A person would not only be drawn to this book because it takes place during the Cultural Revolution, which was a horrible time period for many people living in China then, but because it is about a girl going into junior high school who is strong, inside and out, by standing up for what she believes is right, no matter what criticism and punishment she faces on her quest to make things right. In this book, Ji-li comes from a family of bad class status because her grandfather was a landlord. The Communist Party, which Ji-li belongs to, is run by Mao Ze-dong who is trying to reform China by getting rid of the Four Olds: Old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits. The Red Guard, a group of teenagers who live to serve Mao Ze-dong, search the homes of families with bad class status to confiscate any objects and possessions that might have fallen into the category of one of the Four Olds. Since Ji-li was born into a family of bad class status, she is told that she still has a chance to become an educable child. She would have to do whatever it took to prove herself loyal to Mao Ze-dong, even if it meant breaking from her family. One night, Ji-li's father is arrested by the citizens of Shanghai, the city where the story takes place, and Ji-li has to decide between two choices: whether to break off relations with him and her family to become an official supporter of Mao Ze-dong, or to support her father and family, which would cause her to sacrifice any future that she would have in the Communist Party.
    An example of when Ji-li demonstrates her heroic nature was when she was able to stand up to her enemies, Du Hai and Yang Fan. Ji-li was being teased by them for saying things that were Four Olds. They were tormenting her so much that finally, she was able to come back with thing that they had done which were Four Olds also. This part of the book is significant to the idea of heroism because part of being a hero is standing up to your enemies and not letting anyone bring you down.
    "Not me. I'll never be a quitter." This is a quote from a part in the book where Ji-li is given one more chance to prove her loyalty to Mao Ze-dong by working in a rice field as summer labor. This is a terribly difficult job, working for many days bending over rice plants in the scorching heat. One day as she was working, Ji-li faints from exhaustion. Her friend, Chang Hong who is a member of the Red Guards, says that she should stop working in the fields, but Ji-li doesn't want to give up. She loves her family and she also loves Mao Ze-dong and the Communist Party, so she feels that summer labor is the only way that she can have them both. This scene in the rice fields symbolizes how determined Ji-li is and how she will never give up on a task, no matter what the circumstances are; a true quality of a hero.
    This story about Ji-li in the Cultural Revolution brings out the qualities that are put together to convey the theme of an exceptional hero. The heroic actions that Ji-li takes to stand up for what she believes in makes this story very enjoyable and uplifting even when her family is going through emotional struggles. This story is well-written and detailed and anyone who is interested in China and the Cultural Revolution should read it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A review of Red Scarf girl
    In today's world, people are taught that heroic people must influence the masses. Only those who have monumental physical strength, celebrity status, or piles of money have the resources to affect the world around them. Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li Jiang disproves these notions. This non-fiction book tells the story of a 12 year-old girl growing up in the midst of the Cultural Revolution who becomes a hero to her family. The glossary at the end of the book defines the Cultural Revolution as "The social and political upheaval that overtook China from 1966 to 1976. During this time many innocent people were ruthlessly persecuted. THe Cultural Revolution was launched by Chairman Mao, supposedly to rid the country of anti-Communist influences. Long afterward it was revealed that Chairman Mao unleashed this chaos in order to protect his own political position." (pg. 276) Red Scarf Girl is a moving, well-written story.
    The book opens with a prologue, in which Ji-Li tells the reader the single most important lesson in school: "Heaven and earth are great, but greater still is the kindness of the Communist Party; father and mother are dear, but dearer still is Chairman Mao." (pg. 1) The people of China are brainwashed with this mantra, but Ji-Li does not feel it plays a large role in her life until sixth grade. Always a high achiever, she is looking forward to attending Shi-yi, an elite middle school. Then, Chairman Mao nullifies all teacher recommendations and divides children into schools by neighborhood; meaning Ji-Li will not go to Shi-yi. This is only the beginning of Ji-Li's problems. She becomes an outcast in school, her house is searched and Communist officers take everything of value, all because of her family's middle class status. Ji-Li's father is held in prison because his father was the evilest of all men - a landlord. Ji-Li is offered freedom from her "black" (non-Communist) class status by Communist officers. All she has to do is break from her family and testify against her father. No 12 year old should have to make the decisions she did.
    Ji-Li Jiang used literary techniques to tell her story effectively. She is very descriptive, for example, "The kitchen, located on the landing and crowded with pots and pans and a two burner stove, was crowded and stuffy. With the heat from the sun outside and the heat from the stove in front of me, I was simply melting." (pg. 90) Ji-Li uses dialogue to make the story more interesting. Though she may not have remembered exactly what everyone said, the dialogue keeps the book moving. Although the book does not tell of her life throughout the entire Cultural Revolution, the book has a satisfying ending; not a fairytale finish, but a hopeful one. All of these storytelling elements enrich Red Scarf Girl.
    One of the most important qualities of a hero is selflessness. Ji-Li Jiang showed this repeatedly. A Communist officer offered to let her change her name in order to break from her "anti-Communist" family. She almost does, but then, "I thought of Aunt Xi-wen lying in the alley (being punished for having bad class status), and Shan-Shan (her son, who had "broken" from her) walking right past her. I jumped up and ran out." (pg. 215) Later, people from her father's work unit pulled her out of class and gave her a very serious decision to make. "'As I told you before, you are your own person. If you want to make a clean break with your black family, then you can be an educable child and we will welcome you to our revolutionary ranks'...I saw myself standing in the middle of the stage, facing thousands of people...condemning Dad for his crimes, raising my fist to lead the chant." (pg. 224-5) Ji-Li refuses his offer, which meant that although she would be frowned upon in society, she would remain faithful to her family. It would have been easy for Ji-Li to change her name or testify against her father to save herself. Heroes, however, have the strength to be selfless.
    Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li Jiang shows how one 12 year old had the strength to be a hero, to be selfless. Ji-Li was not rich, very physically strong, or well-known. She only put others before herself, a truly heroic action. Clearly, Ji-Li Jiang put her best effort into this book. Red Scarf Girl is exceptionally written, and can inspire everyone.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting
    This is a wonderful book that drew me in. I really felt for Ji-Li Jiang, the main character. I read it when I was in elementary school and didn't know anything about the Cultural Revolution. It educated me and I also liked how realistic it was (that's because it is a true story) and how Ji-Li agreed with communism, and it took a long time for her to realize how wrong it was even though she herself suffered a lot.

    It's not five stars though. It's a good book and I can't find anything wrong with it, but I've read better and it's not one of my favorite books. But I still highly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mao's Reign Exposed Through a Child's Eyes
    Ji-li opens up to the world what her suffering meant to her in her childhood. Her bravery held her up through the beginning of communism in her country. Red Guards (supporters of the Cultural Revolution) roamed the streets, ransacked homes, beat teachers, and took Ji-li's father to "detention". The pain of Ji-li flows through the book. The before admiration of her peers went to hate. The bright future as a Red Guard becomes dark. Ji-li's hopes and dreams fall from automatic judgment and ancestry. Ji-li's story is devastating but her determination in Mao's dark world is inspiring.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
    Having spent several years of my childhood in Hong Kong, I've had an ongoing interest in Chinese culture and history. When I read this book, I felt that this was a book I wanted to share with everyone.

    Red Scarf Girl gives us a window into the life of a girl growing up during the Cultural Revolution - a time of great upheaval in China. Having read "Life and Death in Shanghai," by Nien Ching, several years earlier, I had already been given an excellent perspective of what it must have been like to live through this period as an adult. Now, I was fascinated to see the years of the revolution detailed through the eyes of a young girl who was trying not just to survive, but to rationalise, accept, and believe in what she saw happening around her.

    This is a very moving account and I believe that anyone could benefit from reading it unless they are determined not to let that happen. ... Read more

    11. National Geographic Student Atlas Of The World
    by National Geographic Society
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $9.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0792272218
    Catlog: Book (2001-07-01)
    Publisher: National Geographic Children's
    Sales Rank: 12234
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Useful + not too expensive = great !!!!
    I wanted to buy an useful and not too expensive Geographic Atlas. I dedicated quite a lot of time to evaluating my options, and ended up deciding that this Atlas was likely to be a good choice, basing my decision on the sample pages that Amazon offers. Fortunately, when I received my purchase, I discovered that I had made the right decision :)

    I guess I was lucky. I thought that this Atlas was probably good, so I took the chance and bought it... However, I could have been wrong. The problem is that this Atlas had no customer reviews, and I generally make my decisions regarding what to buy in Amazon based on the experiences of others who have already purchased the item I want. The reason for that is that an editorial review can be inaccurate, and the back cover can (sometimes) provide inexact information, but other customers generally tell the truth...

    Now, I'd like to correct the lack of reviews on this Atlas by writing one. I really don't need to say too much, basically that all that the back cover says it is the truth. You can read that back cover in the sample pages, and you can also read the table of contents and an excerpt. Anyway, if you don't want to spend time doing that, I can repeat to you some of the facts you could read there :)

    First of all, I want to highlight the fact that there are 90 detailed and colorful maps. Those maps include physical and political maps, maps about climate and precipitation, and about population. In addition to that, the maps are separated in different sections, and at the end of each section there is a chapter that centers on a particular problem. For example, at the end of the section dedicated to North America, the focus is on natural hazards, and in the section dedicated to South America the focus is on the Amazon Rain Forest. There are other chapters that focus on special themes in the sections regarding Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and Oceania, and Antarctica.

    As if that were not enough, you can find many charts and graphs alongside the maps. What is more, the organization of the information that accompanies them is clear and didactical. You will also be able to find country flags and facts, and some web sites where you will be able to find updated information, even after buying this Atlas. There is also a Glossary that defines some terms the average reader might not be familiar with, and a thematic Index.

    On the whole, my opinion is that this Atlas is great. It probably isn't the finest Geographic Atlas
    you can buy, but I think that it is likely to be the best you can buy at this highly reasonable price. I strongly recommend it, if you need an Atlas that is useful, not too big (so as to carry it with you) and specially not expensive. I think that you will enjoy reading it, and that you will learn a lot :)

    Belen Alcat ... Read more

    12. The Lotus Seed
    by Sherry Garland, Tatsuro Kiuchi
    list price: $7.00
    our price: $6.30
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0152014837
    Catlog: Book (1997-03-01)
    Publisher: Voyager Books
    Sales Rank: 20246
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gentle and Lovingly Written
    The pictures are lovely and the story is simple, yet eloquent. My own daughter was born whilst I was living oversees. I like to choose books that have a universal (mind expanding) appeal, or that tell a unique story from a far away land, or teach us about tradition. I would recommend this to anyone with small children that want to forego the tradtional fairy tale night time reads.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What a beautiful book!
    I can't get over how beautiful this book is. I can't wait to share it with my Vietnamese students and those who are war refugees. I would like to see if they can relate to the story.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simple, Yet Great Story!
    This story is easy for young children to understand and is good enough for them to ask for repeat readings, again and again. It contains a few factors that make for a great childrens book. It's relatively short, the illustrations are exceptional, it's easy to understand and it's a compelling story.

    Follow the life of Ba, a young Veitnamese girl, who collects a lotus seed from the imperial garden of her emperor to serve as a momento of a time in her childhood. She takes the seed with her through her tumultous life, as she grows, and moves to a new country, and to a new life. The seed seems to serve as a symbol of her past and her endurance.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully sentimental.
    An exceptional story with outstanding illustration. A girl wanting something to remember the Emperor by takes a seed from a lotus pod from the Imperial Garden. Throughout all of the trials and changes in her life she cherishes that seed until one day it is taken and planted by her grandson. Finally it grows to be beautiful and strong, "It is the flower of life and hope, no matter how ugly the mud or how long the seed lies dormant, the bloom will be beautiful. It is the flower of my country." A superb book that looks at families and Vietnamese culture. (explained further in author's note) ... Read more

    13. Stage Fright on a Summer Night (Magic Tree House #25)
    list price: $3.99
    our price: $3.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375806113
    Catlog: Book (2002-03-12)
    Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
    Sales Rank: 2686
    Average Customer Review: 4.91 out of 5 stars
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    Spurred on by another mysterious rhyme from Morgan le Fay, the magicallibrarian of Camelot, siblings Jack and Annie climb into their magic travelingtree house once again, this time on a journey to Merry Olde England--andShakespeare's theater. Their quest? To find "a special magic" that will,"without wand, spell, or charm / turn daytime into night." Armed only with theirbackpacks and a book about 16th-century England, Jack and Annie manage to solvethe riddle, save a bear from a cruel fate, and make their stage debut in "AMidsummer Night's Dream."

    Following the wildly successful formula of her Magic Tree House series (Earthquake in the EarlyMorning, Twister onTuesday, etc.), Mary Pope Osborne delivers another exciting chapter bookfor young readers (and read-aloud listeners). Additional information aboutShakespeare is included, plus a partial list of the more than 2,000 words andexpressions he invented. As always, illustrator Sal Murdocca's appealingblack-and-white drawings are well matched to Osborne's story. (Ages 5 to 9)--Emilie Coulter ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mary Pope Osborne's insightful look into Shakespeare's Time
    Once again Mary Pope Osborne delights her readers as she offers them a spectacular trip back in time to the Elizabethean Age and Shakespeare's theater. As Osborne lures readers in with her captivating tales, the illustrations by Sal Murdocca add to the book by showing readers what "Olde England" looked like. Stage Fright on a Summer Night gives vaulable historical data, while allowing Jack and Annie to experience the stage life and a personal encounter with Will Shakespeare. This book provides a great introduction for young readers to Shakespeare's plays and to common problems experienced by young actors. This Osborne book reminds me of King of Shadows by Susan Cooper, but Osborne focuses on a younger audience and shows us that youngsters,too deserve to know about one of the greatest writers ever known.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stage Fright on a Summer Night
    Stage Fright on a Summer Night by Mary Pope Osborne is a wonderful book for children. In this Magic Tree House book Jack and Annie travel back in time to Olde England and meet William Shakespeare as they are look for the magic to turn daytime in to night. In the book they the children learn about the city of London, the London Bridge and the theater in William Shakespeare's time.
    Mrs. Osborne has a great way of making her readers feel as if they are actually in Olde England with Jack and Annie. She also gives her readers just enough just enough historical facts that the readers are learning without know that they are. They think that they are just having fun reading a good book. I also liked the way Mrs. Osborne included quotes from Shakespeare's plays and then at the end of the book told in what plays the reader could find these. A long with the quotes Mrs. Osborne also included a list of words that Shakespeare had invented and that we still use today. I think that this is a great for young readers to see. With both the quotes and the word list in the back of the book I think this would be a great book for a teacher to use in his/her classroom to introduce both London and William Shakespeare to students.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Children love reading these books and they are educational
    My seven year old loves reading these books over and over again. While she is enjoying the books, she is learning about different places and times in history. She's learned about the Amazon, the wild west, hawaii, the civil and revolutionary wars, the middle ages, ocean mammals, and so much more. I highly recommend the whole series.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stage Fright on a Summer Night
    I loved Stage Fright on a Summer Night.It's about to kids,Annie andJack who go back in time to London.While they're in London they meet William Shakespear who askes them to cover for to faries(who are really two boys.)Jack and Annie agree to cover for two faries.But Jack gets stage fright and tries not to show it,but in the end he forgets his fear and was fabulous! William Shakespear thanked them and said good bye.

    5-0 out of 5 stars it was coolllll
    I gave my book five stars ***** because Jack and Annie go back to old England when William Shakespeare time. Morgan Lefay has this magic tree house they go back into time. When they were there this man came up and wanted them to be in a play. The man was William Shakespeare. I really recommend this book for you to read. ... Read more

    14. The Secret Garden (Illustrated Children's Library)
    list price: $16.99
    our price: $16.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0517221152
    Catlog: Book (2002-09-03)
    Publisher: Gramercy
    Sales Rank: 55340
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    15. The Whale Rider
    by Witi Ihimaera
    list price: $8.00
    our price: $7.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0152050167
    Catlog: Book (2003-05-01)
    Publisher: Harcourt Paperbacks
    Sales Rank: 12000
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Eight-year-old Kahu, a member of the Maori tribe of Whangara, New Zealand, fights to prove her love, her leadership, and her destiny. Her people claim descent from Kahutia Te Rangi, the legendary "whale rider." In every generation since Kahutia, a male heir has inherited the title of chief. But now there is no male heir, and the aging chief is desperate to find a successor. Kahu is his only great-grandchild--and Maori tradition has no use for a girl. But when hundreds of whales beach themselves and threaten the future of the Maori tribe, it is Kahu who saves the tribe when she reveals that she has the whale rider's ancient gift of communicating with whales.
    Now available in simultaneous hardcover and paperback editions.
    Feature film in theaters in June 2003!
    ... Read more

    Reviews (22)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Whale Rider
    This is a beautiful work that fills one with the chills of destiny. I decided to read the book after seeing the movie, and though the movie was very good, the book gives a greater flavor of the Maori culture.
    Koro Apirana is the chief of the tribe but he is disappointed when a girl first-born child comes instead of a boy. His eldest son's first wife dies, sealing the destiny for Kahutia Te Rangi to be the only heir to the chief. Her name also, is the one of the ancestor who was the first to come to their land, and the first whale rider. Koro's wife, Nanny Flowers gets their son to name her that, but afterward everyone says she's gone too far. Kahu proves to be a strong child, who loves her grandfather even though her love is not returned. When she hears the whales calling, destiny is calling her too. Witi Ihimaera's magical tale of Kahu brings a sense of the strength of the Maori culture to her readers. There is more to the book than the movie.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Movie v. Book
    I read the book after seeing the movie, and found the book to be grittier. The book explains the myth of Paikea (Kahutia Te Rangi), the whale rider, in more detail, and explores Maori social issues in more depth. The story is also told from the perspective of someone other than Kahu (Pai).

    The book stirred my imagination very differently than the movie. The movie had an ethereal quality that the book doesn't have as much, but the book explores the mystery surrounding the myth in a way that the movie doesn't begin to touch upon.

    This book is immensely respectful of its characters, their failings, fears, and shortcomings, and despite the fact that the book centers on a founding myth, its humanity and compassion will move you. I highly recommend this engrossing, moving read, even to adults. In terms of an appropriate audience, children under ten or eleven might be upset by some of the scenes in the book, ranging from whaling practices to the consequences of an auto accident.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, magical, ...
    I didn't know about the incredible Maori author Witi Ihimaera until I saw the movie. After seeing it, I had to read the book. Don't expect it to be just like the movie, but I highly recommend both the book and the movie. The basic question is can a girl be a Maori leader? I really enjoyed learning more about Maori traditions and beliefs as well as the wisdom of the elder characters. For example, I thought the custom of burying the birth cord was fascinating.

    The book had additional levels of folklore and mythology. I don't want to get into details as not to spoil the story, but I have a few general comments. I especially found the mother wise in naming the child and the play or power play between man and woman is a recurring theme. Karen Woodworth-Roman

    5-0 out of 5 stars One "Whale" of a Novel
    Author Witi Ihimaera has written a wonderfully delightful novel about a young girl's (Kahu)quest for her grandfather's love. A grandfather so deep into tradition he refuses to acknowledge her love and the new traditions of change. He passionately looks for the new whale rider, which will lead the village and his people. Often missing that the leader is right under his own house in female form. The story is told through her uncle, Rawiri ( which is a slightly different interpretation than what is in the excellent film version of this work). This is novel for all ages to read and appreciate regardless. I was pleasantly surprise at the amount of depth here in the novel and the wonderfully imaginative way the story unfolds. I can't remember when I last heard whales talk to each other, or when I laughed so hard at the all too familiar antics and love between grandmother, Nanny Flowers and grandfather, Koro Apirana which left me pleasantly nodding my head. For all of us who have ever dreamed that they were destined for more in life this is a must read.
    "Hui e, haunmi e, taiki e" Let it be done!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Eight-year-old Kahu craves her great-grandfather's love
    Eight-year-old Kahu craves her great-grandfather's love and attention, but he is focused on his duties as chief of the Maori in New Zealand and has little time for her. She stands to be the heir of her kingdom, as there is no male to take over, and struggles to honor herself in the face of her tribe and grandfather despite her sex in this moving story of achievement. ... Read more

    16. The Big Wave
    by Pearl S. Buck
    list price: $4.99
    our price: $4.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0064401715
    Catlog: Book (1986-05-31)
    Publisher: HarperTrophy
    Sales Rank: 140043
    Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Kino lives on a farm on the side of a mountain in Japan. His friend, Jiya, lives in a fishing village below. Everyone, including Kino and Jiya, has heard of the big wave. No one suspects it will wipe out the whole village and Jiya's family, too. As Jiya struggles to overcome his sorrow, he understands it is in the presence of danger that one learns to be brave, and to appreciate how wonderful life can be.

    The famous story of a Japanese boy who must face life after escaping the tidal wave destruction of his family and village.

    1948 Children’s Book Award (Child Study Association) ... Read more

    Reviews (10)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is a powerful story about a volcano and the sea.
    Kino lives on a farm on the side of a mountain in Japan. His best friend Jiya lives in the fishing village on the foot of the mountain. Everyone in the village fears the Big Wave. When the Big Wave comes Kino and Jiya's lives are changed forever, but their friendship will never end. I liked this book, it was interesting to read about how a volcano and the sea combined can be so powerful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A story of friendship and courage
    "The Big Wave," by Pearl S. Buck, is a short novel that takes place in Japan. The main characters are Kino, a farm boy who lives on a mountainside, and his good friend Jiya, who is the son of a fisherman. The two boys bond despite the cultural differences between the farming and fishing communities. But with the presence of a volcano and the threat of the great ocean wave of the book's title, life holds danger for these boys.

    This is a simple but beautifully told tale. Buck's themes include courage in the face of danger, the impact of geography upon the lives of the Japanese people, and the cycles of death and life. But most of all the book is about hope and friendship. For a good companion text, try one of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Reverent and lovely
    I bought this book at a yard sale for twenty five cents. I read it to my six year old daughter and it was her favorite bedtime book for several months. It was a joy for me to discover how much I loved it, too.

    The themes are "mature," in that a boy watches his entire family die and then his friend watches him grieve this loss. My six year old was not too young for this, however; to her, death is as natural as the sun coming up unless I make a big deal about it. Pearl Buck presents a deep reverence for life, death, and living with danger and uncertainty that permeate the story in an accessible and real way. The end message is hopeful and joyous.

    I found in this book something rare in children's and even much contemporary adult fiction: a nonthreatening, sensitive portrayal of how people deal physically and emotionally with overwhelming loss; it's sort of like Elizabeth Kubler Ross 101 for a child's understanding. How unusual, and valuable.

    Kathleen Norris wrote in The Cloister Walk that for many years literature gave her what religion gives some people in the way of guidance and comfort in life's challenges. It seems to me the pinnacle of good literature to show commonalities between people of all ages, all over the world and through history, suggesting values people from other cultures and times have used to deal with universal human dramas. For me, The Big Wave does that.

    I hope I'm not the only parent who thinks kids deserve books with more substance than Junie B. Jones and Captain Underpants offer. Pearl Buck obviously respected children and their capacity to understand. Add to that its lovely clear language and stunning imagery of the setting...well, all told this is maybe my favorite kid's book, even if it only cost a quarter.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Big Wave
    The book is about two kids named KIno and Jaya. They ate ina smal town were a gigantic sunami is going to hit. Kino and Jaya need to find a way to survive.

    The messege is not to go back were you were because bad things are going to happen. I think that they shouldn't have went back.

    It was a good because the big wave has action. So it was cool. I like the book because it showed how to survive.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Life before and after Sunami
    Better known for her youth in China, Pearl Buck has written an insightful tale set in undated Japan. Best friends Kino and Jiya grow in different situations as their fathers are engaged in seemingly opposed occupations: rice farmer and fisherman. But Buck's theme--the interweaving of skills which provide a balanced tapesty of Life--is gently expresssed in this little book. Besides the aspect of childhood friendships, she deals with the heavy topic of the role of Death in Life, by presenting the stoic Japanese philosophy which permits the renewal of hope despite overwhelming diaster.

    Although short this tale is not really intended for children under 12. Depicting cataclysmic events and mature themes, this book serves as an excellent introduction to a unit on Asia--both its geology and its Oriental perspectives on man's role in the world. It might even be considered an Allegory for middle school readers. Serious and sobering, THE BIG WAVE is a fast read for thoughtful minds. ... Read more

    17. America the Beautiful : A Pop-up Book
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $15.09
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0689847440
    Catlog: Book (2004-10-19)
    Publisher: Little Simon
    Sales Rank: 34
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    Every Robert Sabuda pop-up is a marvel, but America the Beautiful is singularly remarkable for its inspired interpretation of the classic American anthem. Each page presents a magnificent pop-up featuring a line from the first (and best known) verse of "America the Beautiful." Sabuda has included the song in its entirety, featuring mini pop-ups, in a small booklet on the final page. Beginning with the Golden Gate Bridge, and ending with a spectacularly regal Statue of Liberty, Sabuda's America the Beautiful is a lovely keepsake that also serves as a patriotic primer for teaching young ones about America. --Daphne Durham's The Significant Seven
    Master paper engineer Robert Sabuda answers the seven questions we ask every author.

    Q: What book has had the most significant impact on your life?

    A: Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel. I specifically remember feeling as if I'd become a grown-up reader because many of the pages did not have pictures.

    Q: You are stranded on a desert island with only one book, one CD, and one DVD--what are they?

    A: The Stand by Stephen King
    Madonna's Greatest Hits
    Strangers with Candy: Season One

    Q: What is the worst lie you've ever told?

    A: That I'd be finishing a book project on time.

    Q: Describe the perfect writing environment.

    A: I live in New York City, so anyplace that's quiet.

    Q: If you could write your own epitaph, what would it say?

    A: "Robert Sabuda--Bookmaker."

    Q: Who is the one person living or dead that you would like to have dinner with?

    A: Benjamin Franklin

    Q: If you could have one superpower what would it be?

    A: Invisibility

    ... Read more

    18. The Scrambled States of America
    by Laurie Keller
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0805058028
    Catlog: Book (1998-10-15)
    Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
    Sales Rank: 2229
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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    One day, Kansas wakes up grumpy. The other 49 states are stretching, yawning, and pouring maple syrup onto each other's pancakes, but irritable Kansas announces to his kindly neighbor Nebraska that life is dull and changes must be made: "All day long we just sit here in the middle of the country. We never GO anywhere. We never DO anything, and we NEVER meet any NEW states!" Nebraska, sick of hearing North Dakota and South Dakota bicker all the time, agrees to help organize a party for all the states. It's a hit! Late into the evening, Idaho and Virginia get up onto the stage and suggest that all the states change places.What a state of affairs. Minnesota, who switches places with Florida, gets a sunburn. Kansas, having traded places with Hawaii, gets lonely and sings some soggy blues so sad that a shark sheds a mournful tear offshore. Nevada and Mississippi fall in love. Despite the initial excitement, the new arrangement just doesn't feel right. The states manage to swim, fly, bike, and hitchhike their way home, and everyone goes to bed in the right place--even Kansas is happy to be home after such an adventure. This wacky, thoroughly engaging tale of mixed-up geography is a good bet for some awards.Perhaps best of all, the large format and riot of detail allow for plenty of amusing asides. Books that claim to "make geography fun" usually have to be taken with a dose of skepticism: so often, the teaching is there and the entertainment isn't. This delightfully quirky and original book shows how it should be done. (Ages 4 and older) --Richard Farr ... Read more

    Reviews (29)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Colorful illus. & fun story cleverly mask geography lesson!
    It isn't often you come across a children's book that's unique in it's story, fun in it's presentation, and a delight to read. Laurie Keller accomplishes this with "The Scrambled States of America". The unique idea of each state having it's own personality and voicing it's opinions on his place in the country, is both comical and creative. This book brings together colorful illustrations and a geography lesson, which will have children learning the names & shapes of the states after reading the book for just the first time! I highly recommend this book as a source of knowledge, imagination, & fun.

    Joi M. Lasnick

    5-0 out of 5 stars An educational laugh-fest!
    I don't know who loved this book more--me or my 3 year old son!
    It's definately a fun way to learn a little about the states, and introduce youngsters to the USA. This was one book he wanted to read again, and again, and again & I was happy to read it each time. It's silly & fun for kids & adults!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very Funny and Educational Book
    The Scrambled States of America is a great book because it's both
    funny and educational. It helped me learn the names of the fifty
    states. My little brother who can't read yet, can identify all
    of the states because of this book. We also enjoy the card game...

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Scrambled States of America
    The Scrambled States of America
    By Laurie Keller
    Reviewed by Jason P. (age 8)

    "There's no place like home". That's what all 50 states learned in this hilarious, slightly romantic tale.

    It all starts when Kansas (who was very angry) decides to invite all the states to a "states party" to meet new states.
    At the party, Nevada and Mississippi fell in love. Later, Virginia and Idaho suggested that all the states switched places. All the states agreed to this, so they all changed places through the day.
    Will our fair country stay like this? Find out in The Scrambled States of America!

    I liked this book because (like I told you) it was hilarious! I really liked the part when all the states went home.

    I recommend this book to kids who: 1) like fiction, 2) can read picture books.

    Read this book to find out the funniest U.S. story ever!

    5-0 out of 5 stars FUN BOOK
    Fun pictures, fun words, fun everything! if you like the "scrambled states of america" then you'll like "open wide tooth school inside" witch is by the same author
    FUN FUN FUN!!!!!!!!!! ... Read more

    19. First Book of Sushi (World Snacks)
    by Amy Wilson Sanger
    list price: $6.95
    our price: $6.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1582460507
    Catlog: Book (2001-09-01)
    Publisher: Tricycle Press
    Sales Rank: 11161
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    For families that place good food high on their list of priorities,educating their wee ones about the joys of sushi may be far more important thanteaching about bunnies and balls and flowers. But even those who don't knowfutomaki from hatahata will relish the playful rhymes and lushcollages in Amy Wilson Sanger's wonderful First Book of Sushi.

    Miso in my sippy cup,
    tofu in my bowl.
    Crab and avocado
    fill my California roll.
    English-speaking tots will love wrapping their lips around Japanese words suchas tekka maki, ebi, and wasabi, and will soon be joining inthe bouncy recitation of sushi favorites for the very young. This bright littleboard book, with its gorgeous array of patterns and textured, mixed-mediacollages, looks good enough to eat. And who knows, it might even inspire pickyeaters to try a little egg tamago or squishy salmon roe (otherwise knownas ikura)! (Baby to preschool) --Emilie Coulter ... Read more

    Reviews (18)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific!
    My kids got this book when they were about 6 months old. They loved the rhythm even then, and it's still one that they pick up and ask for now, at 18 months. I love it as a parent - I think the author is clever and talented!

    It will make much more sense, both rhythmically and logically, if you remember to include the line on the back cover as the end of the book.

    On some of her other books, she includes either definitions of the food or pronunciation guides - this has neither, so I may be butchering the words, but no one seems to care.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fun for every sushi-loving parent
    If you don't love sushi, you might not care about this book. But boy is it cute! And baby LOVES it (8 months). He giggles whenever he sees the ikura page -- I don't know if it's the fun illustrations or the clever words. But whatever, as long as he's happy. One day perhaps he, too, will share our passion for sushi.

    I'd give this as a gift to any sushi-loving, parent-to-be.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Your baby will grow up with this story
    I bought this for my nephew for Christmas when he was eight months old. He is now 15 months old and has it read to him every night. He loves this book. He often grabs it from his book table. It's the perfect book for small children - short, colorful and rhymey. Just remember that the book actually ends on the back cover, which I thought was a little strange. My sister has memorized this book since she reads it every night and so have I. I plan on giving this book at baby showers.

    2-0 out of 5 stars doesn't compare to Hola Jalapeno
    I bought this because my two and half year old nephew has enjoyed Hola Jalapeno for many months and I thought I'd try something new. He loves to be read to but this one just won't keep his interest. I'll keep trying. Maybe when he's a bit older.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
    Our baby is only 3 months old, but she is very captivated by this book. The designs and patterns really appeal to her. She will study it and has even started to turn the pages herself! I highly recommend it for babies. ... Read more

    20. High Tide in Hawaii (Magic Tree House)
    list price: $3.99
    our price: $3.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0375806164
    Catlog: Book (2003-03-25)
    Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
    Sales Rank: 3065
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    When the Magic Tree House whisks Jack and Annie off to Hawaii it’s for more than a vacation–they’re in search of a fourth kind of magic for Morgan! On the way they help an island community survive a tidal wave and, of course, take some time out to surf! Ultimately, they discover that the magic that they have found in this set of four books are everyday magics: the magic of the arts, the magic of the natural world, the magic of community; and the magic of fun. ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great fun and educational
    My seven year old loves reading these books over and over again. While she is enjoying the books, she is learning about different places and times in history. She's learned about the Amazon, the wild west, hawaii, the civil and revolutionary wars, the middle ages, ocean mammals, and so much more. I highly recommend the whole series.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Wonderful Adventures of Jack and Annie
    This book would be a good choice for people like my friend Lily, who are interested in magic and exploring different times. The Magic Tree House books can go back to times when the dinosaurs ran around and I think there was one when slavery was going on in America. In this book, the characters went to Hawaii and Jack and Annie learned about the huge waves there.
    In my favorite part, they were at the beach surfing and Jack was reading a little bit about where they were. He felt a movement and searched up what that was in the book. The wave got bigger and bigger until it was huge, and they had to run away from it. They ran to the top of a giant hill to be safe.
    These books are great for 3rd graders reading independently.

    5-0 out of 5 stars High Tide in Hawaii is Great!
    Would you ever want to have a magic tree house? In High Tide Hawaii, author Mary Pope Osborne tells us that one summer day two kids named Jack and Annie travel in their Magic Tree House. It can take them anywhere. It took them to an Hawaiin Island of long ago. A tidal wave causes strange things to happen. They go to a luau and eat strange native food. This is a good book! You should read it because it is in Hawaii and I think it's cool. ... Read more

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