Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Some freebies are better than others and one of the best I've seen lately is the Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online, a booklet from the government that can be ordered free of charge from http://bulkorder.ftc.gov/. You can order them in bulk and hand them out at PTA meetings and other venues where parents and educators meet. Our teens and tweens know more about the online and cell phone environments than most adults do. I just upgraded to a Blackberry and have yet to figure out how to use its features. Wish I had a teen around to help me set it up!

Advanced Reading Copies (ARCs) are wonder freebies as well and even better when they are signed by the author. Benedict Carey's The Unknowns

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Unknowns/Benedict-Carey/e/9780810979918/?itm=1&USRI=unknowns+carey is one of those books I thought I would dislike as I am so not into math, but I enjoyed it as a futuristic adventure and not as a math teacher might! Honestly, I ignored most of the mathematical computations that a group of young teens use to create a map to the underground tunnels that will take them to the nuclear power plant where a plan is underway to destroy the trash covered island the tweens live on. People have been disappearing from the enormous trailer park next to the underground nuclear power plant, but it isn't until their math tutor disappears that young Lady Di and Tom Jones pay attention. They know how to sneak from one place to another just about anywhere on their island but they need help to find the entrance to the nearby gigantic, ordorous dump, Trashmore. They are assisted by a unique set of characters who also live in Adjacent, the harsh environment that they call home. The best part of this book is rooting for Di and Tom as their self esteem and self confidence rise when they solve each piece of the puzzle their tutor left as clues. Give this one to the middle school tweens who enjoy math and/0r like solving puzzles.