Everyday Tidbits...

The first day of school is always so bittersweet. Love being back on a schedule. Miss my boys.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Devils Food Cake...Preview

About the book:
It's been years since author Thom Mortenson has been back to Garrison, Colorado. As part of the library fundraising committee, who invited him to speak, Sadie Hoffmiller wants everything to be perfect—right down to the homemade Devil’s Food Cake she made herself. Murder, however, was not on the menu.

When Thom's manager ends up dead on stage, Sadie does what any woman with a history of solving murders does--jumps right in to offer her guidance and expertise. The police, however, are not very appreciative. In fact, they’d rather she just go home. But can Sadie help it if she keeps stumbling over information? Can she help it if the people intricately woven into the deception keep crossing her path? The more she learns, the broader the spectrum becomes and when the police refuse to take her seriously, Sadie has no choice but to sidestep them altogether in the pursuit of justice.

With her son Shawn at her side, her reputation on the line, and a full cast of suspicious characters, Sadie Hoffmiller is once again cooking her way through a case that offers far more questions than answers.

About the author:
Josi S. Kilpack grew up hating to read until her mother handed her a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond when she was 13. From that day forward, she read everything she could get her hands on and accredits her writing "education" to the many novels she has "studied" since then. She began writing her first novel in 1998 and never stopped. Her seventh novel, Sheep's Clothing won the Whitney Award 2007 for Mystery/Suspense and her most recent book, Devil's Food Cake, is the third book in the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series. Josi currently lives in Willard Utah with her husband, four children, one dog and varying number of chickens.
-------------------------------------

Devil's Food Cake is available now. I enjoyed the first two novels in this series, Lemon Tart and English Trifle, and I'm anxious to get my hands on a copy of Devil's Food Cake. After I do, you can read my review here.

You can learn more about Josi Kilpack here. You can read the first chapter here. You can purchase your own copy here.

The Old-Time Brand-Name Cookbook...Review

This cookbook is quite simply fun. I found it in a used bookstore several weeks ago. Sure, some of the recipes are interesting, but more than that, it's a terrific commentary about food and the evolution of cooking. Along with recipes, there are informative stories about the creation of food products like gelatin and the ability to flash freeze food, which was perfected by Clarence Birdseye.

The photos are vintage, as are the recipes. Some are appealing, such as "Orange Bread" and "Baked Pork Chops with Apples". "Beet Aspic" doesn't sound very good, but it was "up-to-date" in 1928!

I love the little excerpts and anecdotes sprinkled through out the book. They share things like this gem from 1895, To keep vegetables fresh, place them in a deep dish in about two inches of cold water. Take a piece of linen, soak it in water and spread over all, letting the corners dip into the water to keep the cloth moist. Place dish in a window where the the air can blow over it.

If you can track down a copy, this is just a fun book to read. That there are good recipes in it is simply a bonus.

Personal copy, but you can purchase your own copy here.

Read 1/10

* * * *
4/5 Stars


Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Sugarless Plum...Review

About the book:
It started as the perfect story. Zippora Karz was a member of the famed
New York City Ballet by the age of eighteen. By twenty she was starring as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, dancing roles created by Jerome Robbins, and traveling the world.

It was the stuff dreams are made of until, at age twenty-one, Karz became exhausted, dizzy and excessively thirsty. Heavy pancake makeup covered the sores under her arms that would not heal, but she neglected to go to the doctor. When she finally did, she was diagnosed with diabetes, and learned that if she continued to ignore her symptoms, she risked heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and amputation of her toes, feet and legs. She struggled to get the correct diagnosis and treatment, first thinking she had Type-2 diabetes, when in fact she had Type 1, juvenile diabetes. Once placed on an insulin regimen to regulate her blood sugar, she would inject herself with unsafe doses before going on stage in misguided attempts to obtain peak performance. The potentially fatal result of Karz's self-experimentation became all too real when she nearly lost consciousness. Her weight dropped and she became dangerously ill.

Balancing ballet and her blood sugar would be a long and difficult struggle for Karz, but eventually she learned to value her body and work with it, rather than rage at its limitations. In
The Sugarless Plum, Karz shares her journey from denial, shame and miseducation about her illness to how she led an active, balanced and satisfying life as an insulin-dependent diabetic and soloist with one of the world's most famous ballet companies. Through her fascinating story, those struggling with diabetes and other serious illnesses can find encouragement and inspiration as well as practical advice on achieving physical and emotional wellness.

After sixteen years with the New York City Ballet, Karz retired and took her passion and skills into a whole new arena as a diabetes educator and advocate, where today she inspires people to not just manage their illness, but to thrive and fulfill their passions.
The Sugarless Plum takes readers deep into the heart and soul of a young dancer, and is a remarkable testament to determination and perseverance.

This was a memoir I thoroughly enjoyed. I love ballet and while it's not a "tell all" book, the insiders look into the world of the New York City Ballet was fascinating. Zippora's account of the perseverance it took to become a prima ballerina is inspiring: the hard work and hours of practice; the pressure to not only excel, but succeed to the expectations of greats like George Balanchine.

Zippora's story is honest and unembellished. As she reaches her professional goals, her health declines and she finds herself not only striving to dance while sick, but unable to find out why she was sick. I found the story of her struggle with diabetes interesting. Diabetes isn't something I've dealt with personally, but is a disease that is very prevalent in the world today. It's also easy to make judgment calls and say that she should have asked for second opinions or even demanded more from her doctors. However, I think she did the best with what she had and could do at the time, and it's fortunate that she was able to find answers and ways of dealing with her diabetes before it was too late.

While not a book specifically about diabetes, Zippora nevertheless shares her knowledge and insights about diabetes and treating it.

Thanks to Caitlin Price of FSB Associates for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Zippora Karz here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 1/10


* * *
3/5 Stars


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Energy: Its Forms, Changes & Functions...Wildcard!

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card authors are:


and the book set of
Energy: Its Forms, Changes & Functions

The Main Book

The Student Journal

and The Teacher's Guide

New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books (September 30, 2009)

***Special thanks to Robert Parrish of New Leaf Publishing Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHORs:


Tom DeRosa left seminary and the church thinking he was throwing away his faith, but in reality he found a new religion: evolution. In 1978, Tom accepted Jesus Christ as Lord of his life. Soon after he studied biblical creation at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and came to the conclusion that a lack of knowledge of the biblical account of creation is greatly responsible for keeping many people from Christ. His commitment to breaking down those barriers is what led Tom to form Creation Studies Institute in 1988.


Carolyn Reeves, Ph.D. and her husband make their home in Oxford, Mississippi where they are active members of North Oxford Baptist Church. Carolyn retired after a 30-year career as a science teacher, finished a doctoral degree in science education, and began a new venture as a writer and an educational consultant.


The Main Book Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 88 pages
Publisher: Master Books (September 30, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515700
ISBN-13: 978-0890515709

The Student Journal Product Details:

List Price: $4.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: Master Books; Student edition (June 30, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515719
ISBN-13: 978-0890515716


The Teacher's Guide Product Details:

List Price: $4.99
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: Master Books; Tch edition (September 30, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515727
ISBN-13: 978-0890515723

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTERs:








Investigation #1: Where Exactly Does Energy Go?


Think about this. Ella understands that light is a form of energy, but she is having trouble with the idea that light energy cannot be created or destroyed.

“Look,” she told her aunt, who is a science teacher. “When I flip the switch and turn off the lights, I cause all the lights in the room to go away.” She demonstrated and made the room very dark.

“Now look what happens when I turn the light switch back on. The room fills with light again. Didn’t I just create and destroy the light in the room?” she asked.

“No, you certainly did not,” her aunt said. “All you did was demonstrate how energy can change from one form into another.”

Let’s look at some examples of how energy changes from one form to another in this lesson.


German-born Albert Einstein was awarded the 1921 Nobel Price in Physics. His studies of light transformation helped to base his discovery of the photoelectric effect.


The Investigative Problems:

What are examples of energy?
Can one form of energy change into another form of energy?


Gather These Things:

1.5-vold dry cell
5-inch pieces of electric wire
Small wooden boards
Assorted rubber bands (different thicknesses, but same length)
1.5-volt light bulb
Sandpaper
Sturdy shoe box


Procedure & Observations

Electric energy ito light and head energy: Take a 1-5-volt dry cell, a five-inch wire, and a light bulb. Test different combinations until you get the light bulb to come on. Show your teacher when you are successful. Make a drawing to show how you connected everything.


Feel the light bulb. Can you tell if it has gotten any warmer? (Note: This is a small amount of head and it may not be easy to detect.)


Mechanical energy to heat energy: Rub a piece of sandpaper quickly over a board several times. Feel the sandpaper and the board. What kind of energy is produced?


Mechanical energy to sound energy: Remove the cover from a sturdy box and cut three groves on opposite edges of the box. Now choose three rubber bands of equal length, but each with a different thickness. Stretch the rubber bands around the box, fitting each into one of the grooves. Pluck each rubber band. Observe that it is vibrating. Listen for a sound. Repeat for each rubber band. Compare the pitch made by the different rubber bands. Record your observations.


The Science Stuff

Energy is what enables matter to move or to change. Energy is found in many different forms, such as heat, light, electricity, mechanical (the energy in moving things), sound, nuclear, and chemical. One form of energy can be changed into another form of energy. Still, the total amount of energy never changes. This means that energy cannot be created or destroyed. These ideas are expressed in one of the most important laws in all of science – the law of conservation of energy.

These activities illustrate some of the main forms of energy. Each activity shows one form of energy being changed into another form of energy. Electrical energy changed into light and heat, mechanical energy changed into heat, and mechanical energy changed into sound.

In the first activity, when the equipment was wired together correctly, an electric circuit was completed. An electric current then moved through the dry cell, wires, and light bulb. As the electric current moved through the light bulb, electric energy changed into light energy and heat energy.

This activity illustrates another important concept about energy. It shows that energy can be transferred from one place to another. Much of the earth’s energy is transferred from the sun to the earth.

Remember the conversation between Ella and her aunt? When Ella flipped the light switch, the electric current began to move through the wires and the light bulb. Inside the light bulb, electric energy changed into light and heat energy, which is the same thing that happened in your activity with electricity. When she turned the lights off, the objects in the room absorbed the heat and light energy. (This is a small amount of energy, and you probably couldn’t detect it without some sophisticated equipment.)

When you rubbed a board with sandpaper, your motion produced mechanical energy. This motion produced friction between the sandpaper and the wood, causing the molecules to move faster. As a result, both the sandpaper and the wood became hotter. Thus, the mechanical energy of the moving sandpaper changed into heat energy.

You were also the source of motion when you plucked the tight rubber bands, causing them to vibrate. Sound is produced when a force causes something to vibrate and produce sound waves. Sound energy is carried in waves.


Making Connections

Another way in which mechanical energy can produce sound waves is by tapping on a table. Tapping on the table causes the table to vibrate in the same way plucking on the rubber bands caused them to vibrate. Sound waves actually travel faster through the table than through the air. You can put your ear next to the table and hear the tapping sounds clearly. You can also raise your head and hear the sounds as the sound waves pass through the table and then through the air.

When electrical energy passes through a light bulb, it is changed into light energy and heat energy. Even though the heat energy is unwanted, it is still part of the electric bill. Engineers try to design light bulbs that increase the amount of light and decrease the amount of heat produced. Some progress has been made, but light bulbs continue to produce unwanted heat.


Dig Deeper

Start with the energy being given off from a TV or a radio in your home. Try to figure out where this energy comes from. See how far back you can trace the energy changes. This gets a little complicated, so get ad good reference book to help you.

What is the difference between an electric motor and an electric generator? They basically contain the same parts and are built the same way. However, an electric motor changes electric energy into mechanical energy, and an electric generator changes mechanical energy into electric energy.

In 1905, Albert Einstein proposed a theory that altered the law of conservation of energy. He said that matter can be changed into energy, and energy can be changed into matter, but the total amount of matter and energy in the universe remains the same. How was Einstein’s theory shown to be true?


What Did You Learn?

Give two examples of how one form of energy can change into heat energy. Give another example of an energy change.
List two ways in which energy does work for us.
The following list contains examples of forces, properties of matter, and forms of energy. Underline all the examples of forms of energy: inertia, heat, density, buoyancy, electricity, lift, weight, chemical, push, and nuclear.
Define mechanical energy and give an example.
What kind of energy can be quickly provided by a battery?
What is the law of conservation of energy?
Give an example of when an unwanted form of energy is produced in a device.
What happens to a roomful of light on a dark night with the lights are turned off?
Was energy transferred from the batter to the light bulb when an electric circuit was completed?

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Choice...Review

About the book:
One moment Carrie Weaver was looking forward to running away with Lancaster Barnstormers pitcher Solomon Riehl--plans that included leaving the Amish community where they grew up. The next moment she was staring into a future as broken as her heart. Now, Carrie is faced with a choice. But, will this opportunity be all she hoped? Or will this decision, this moment in time, change her life forever?

A tender story of love, forgiveness, and looking below the surface,
The Choice uncovers the sweet simplicity of the Amish world--and shows that it's never too late to find your way back to God.

Simply enjoyable. This is truly a story that shows how each choice you make carries a consequence. Sometimes those consequences are good and sometimes they are filled with sorrow and regret. While she loves her Amish world, Carrie's life hasn't been easy with a prickly step mother and a father and brother who suffer from hemophilia. But, when she falls in love with Sol, nothing else matters.

After heartbreak and disappointment, however, she chooses a different path; one that keeps her within the Amish community and her faith. Daniel is a good man and I found myself anxious for them to finally, honestly communicate. Several events in the book were unexpected and while filled with heartache, this isn't a sad story. It's a story of a woman's strength and faith in God.

An enjoyable, easy read. I liked these characters and can't wait for the next in the series.

Available January 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Thanks to Donna Hausler of Baker Publishing for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Suzanne Woods Fisher here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 1/10

* * * *
4/5 Stars


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Strictly Sundays...Review

About the book:
Joe Fitzpatrick's been working wonders in the kitchen and on the grill for decades. Now you, oh lucky one, can share his secret powers and wow friends and family alike. Serve real food that fills the belly, satisfies the soul, and wins the day. Not just Sundays.

I prepare dinner and my family sits down together nearly every night of the week to eat together. Even so, Sunday dinner is often a bit more special and something I like to spend more time preparing. Strictly Sundays is a beautiful little cookbook with just that premise. Many of the recipes aren't simple: they take some work and preparation, but the end result is a dish your family can enjoy together on a day that is just a little more special.

For those who don't cook with alcohol, be aware that many of these recipes call for wine, so you will want to find substitutes. For inexperienced cooks, many of these recipes could also be a little intimidating at first. However, nothing is out of reach or experience.

The book doesn't include any bread or dessert dishes. I also wish, just like I do with most cookbooks, that there was a photo for every recipe and that the binding was spiral so that it would lay flat. The photography, however, is gorgeous and perfect for a book that is more gourmet than ordinary.

Thanks to Bostick Communications for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Joe Fitzpatrick here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 1/10

* * * *
4/5 Stars


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Becoming Lucy...Review

About the book:
After her parents' deaths, 17-year-old heiress Lucinda Bishop takes refuge on her aunt and uncle's ranch in Barton Creek, Oklahoma. If it weren't for ranch hand Jake Starnes, the genteel young woman wouldn't survive the backbreaking work. But a dark secret torments him. Can Jake face his past before somebody claims Lucinda's hand---or her life?

Some books you just connect with, and others you don't. This one sounded very promising and the cover just invites you to pick it up. Becoming Lucy was a historical novel that just fell flat for me. Oh, I liked Lucinda well enough, although she and her family were just a bit too perfect. Jake was a nice guy, but his story was predictable. Some of the characters are a bit colorful, which helps. The conflict between Lucinda and her uncle was washed over and wrapped up too neatly. I think the premise held a lot of potential, but delivered little. My copy is an ARC and I found many inconsistencies and annoying editing details that I hope are cleaned up in the final version.

Clean, Christian romance that will appeal to many, just not to me this time.

Thanks to First Wildcard and LeAnn Hamby of Strang Book Group for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Martha Rogers here. You can read the first chapter here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 1/10

* *
2/5 Stars


Friday, January 15, 2010

Dinosaurs for Kids...Review

About the book:
A powerful new children's book from Answers in Genesis president and founder Ken Ham!


Dinosaurs are a fascination for children - and a wonderful opportunity to share biblical history! Ken presents an easy to understand timeline for youngsters in helping to put these amazing creatures into a realistic perspective! With seven "Fs" to guide the way, Ken shares the true story of these amazing creatures and how they fit perfectly into the study of history, Genesis, the flood of Noah, and their discovery in modern times.My dinosaur-obsessed 9 year old loves it, mostly for the terrific graphics. I found it educational and fascinating for the non-evolutionary stand it takes and the biblical examples and scriptural references used.


While parts are a bit preachy, the book is well written for a child's level. The language is simple, but rich and the graphics and illustrations are beautiful. Ken Ham even provides discussion points for those who might disagree with the perspective of dinosaurs and the Creation.

Overall, a refreshing look at the unique world of dinosaurs from a unique perspective. I think it is a book that definitely needs to be read together as parent and child, because of the potential for discussions and lessons learned.

Thanks to First Wildcard and Robert Parrish of New Leaf Press for the opportunity to review this book. You can read the first chapter here. You can learn more about Ken Ham here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 1/10

* * *
3/5 Stars

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Becoming Lucy...Wildcard!

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Becoming Lucy

Realms (January 5, 2010)

***Special thanks to LeAnn Hamby | Publicity Coordinator | Strang Book Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:



Martha Rogers is a former schoolteacher and English instructor. She served as a newsletter editor for the writer’s organization, Inspirational Writers Alive! for six years and is the state president. She is also the director for the annual Texas Christian Writer’s Conference and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Her novel, Not on the Menu (May 2007), is a part of Sugar and Grits, a novella collection with DiAnn Mills, Janice Thompson, and Kathleen Y’Barbo. Rogers has a Master’s Degree in Education, worked for twenty-eight years as a secondary teacher, and has worked as a supervisory teacher at University of Houston Clear Lake and as an instructor of English Composition at Houston Community College. Martha and her husband live in Houston, Texas and have worked with teenagers at First Baptist Church for twenty-four years.

Visit the author's website.



Product Details:

List Price: $10.99
Paperback: 297 pages
Publisher: Realms (January 5, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 159979912X
ISBN-13: 978-1599799124

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Oklahoma Territory 1896

Jake Starnes hunkered down in his jacket. He smelled
frost in the air, but the cold in his bones came from fear, not
the temperature. A gust of wind threatened to take his hat. He shoved it down tighter to secure it.

He peered ahead at the barren landscape and the outline of the town of Barton Creek. Naked trees stretched forth to the skies against a backdrop of prairie grass that spread as far as the eye could see toward distant mountains. It bore no resemblance to the beautiful hills of Texas where he grew up. He missed them, but he'd probably never get the chance to see them again. He sighed in resignation to the life that lay ahead. A life he hadn't chosen. It had chosen him the day he chose to wear a gun.

Mrs. Haynes sat beside him and nudged his arm. "How much longer will we be? Dear little Lucinda. I pray she doesn't have to wait too long for us. I thought Ben would be done with the stock, but since he wasn't, I'm thankful you were available."

"Happy to oblige, ma'am. Won't be long now." Mrs. Haynes had talked about her sister's "poor orphan child" for the past two months. He could sympathize with the child because he lost both his parents just after he turned fifteen. She must be grieving terribly.

The pressure of Mrs. Haynes's hand on his arm brought him to the present. "Jake Starnes, you're not paying one bit of attention to me. If your mind is on the work you left at the ranch, don't worry about it. Ben and the others can take care of your chores."

"I know they will." Gray clouds covered the late October sky. "It's getting darker. Hope we get back home 'fore night sets in. That wind's coming straight down across the prairie with nothing to stop it."

"Dear me, I do pray Lucinda is dressed warmly." Mrs. Haynes pulled her shawl more tightly about her shoulders.

"You said she's coming from Boston, so she knows about cold weather." He peered at the horizon. The few buildings of Barton Creek drew closer. Another ten minutes and they'd be in town.

Jake's stomach began churning like those blue-black clouds rolling across the sky. Were it not for the little girl waiting for them, he'd have turned back home now. If the sheriff in Barton Creek recognized him or had questions about him being a stranger in these parts, he'd be in a heap of trouble.

He'd avoided going into the settlement ever since he came to Oklahoma six months ago. His wanderings ended at the Haynes's spread, where he'd stopped to ask for work. His first intention to stay only a month or so then move on changed when the Haynes showed him a kindness and love he sorely missed. They had become the family he had lost years ago.

Now the thought of entering the town caused fear to rise like bile. What would happen if the lawman in town recognized him and Ben Haynes learned about Jake's past, a past he wanted to forget?



Lucinda stared down at the dusty ground beneath the worn wooden bench of the Wells Fargo depot and twisted her black-gloved hands in her lap. She searched the area for a familiar face. Where were Aunt Amelia and Uncle Ben? Her escort had fallen ill in the last town, but Lucinda had been determined to come on alone despite protests, and now she sat here with no one to meet her. Doubt clouded her mind over the decisions of the past month.

With no one else to call family, she'd had no choice but to come west. Aunt Mellie and Uncle Ben could never replace Mama and Papa, but being a part of the Haynes family would help take away the loneliness haunting her days.

She swiped at something as it brushed her cheek. An insect of some kind flew away, and she shuddered. What other strange things would she see this day? Her gaze swept across the scene before her. Several buildings across from the depot included a general store. She stood and made her way across the uneven ruts crisscrossing the street, if the hard-packed ground could be considered a street. A sign advertising Anderson's General Store squeaked on its chains. Welcome warmth greeted her when she pushed her way through the double doors.

A woman behind the counter peered at her. "May I help you, dear?"

The aroma of lamp oil and peppermint mingled in the air. "I stepped in to get out of the wind. I'm waiting for my Uncle Ben and Aunt Amelia to pick me up."

The gray-haired woman wiped her hands on her white apron. "Are you talking about Amelia Haynes?"

"Yes, ma'am. I've come to live with them."

The lady beamed. "Welcome to Barton Creek. I'm Bea Anderson, and that's my husband Carl over there." A slightly bald man helping a customer grinned and nodded in her direction.

Mrs. Anderson pulled up a stool beside the wood stove. "Sit a spell and get warm. Ben and Amelia should be here soon."

A young man by the shelf of canned goods turned and smiled. Lucinda offered a small one in return. Heat rose in her cheeks as he continued to stare.

She broke her gaze and pointed to glass jars filled with a rainbow of colors. "Thank you, but I must go back over to the depot. I'll take a few of those peppermints if you don't mind."

Mrs. Anderson filled a small bag with the candy. "It's a mite colder out now. Sure you don't want to stay here until they arrive?"

Lucinda handed the woman a few coins and grasped the bag. "Thank you for your concern, but I don't want them to have to hunt for me. Maybe I'll see you again."

"If you come to church on Sunday, you surely will." The bell over the door jingled, and another customer entered. Mrs. Anderson turned her attention to the new patron. The young man smiled and nodded as Lucinda turned from the counter. She didn't smile in return. Mrs. Anderson should have introduced him. Were proper manners of no importance here on the frontier?

Lucinda crossed back to the depot that was down from the town's answer for a hotel. The only fully brick building in sight, it had grand windows, and cut glass adorned the wooden doors, but it couldn't compare to the ones in Boston. Of course, nothing in these buildings resembled the beauty of the masonry of her hometown.

She returned to the bench and popped a peppermint into her mouth. The sharp sweetness teased her taste buds as she savored her favorite candy. It brought back memories of Papa bringing a bag of treats home to her every week.

She'd be eighteen in less than six months and old enough to take care of her own affairs. Until then, however, she had to comply with the lawyer's recommendations. At least her aunt and uncle were family, and she longed to be a part of a family once again. She missed having someone concerned about her welfare. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson had been kind, but they had their own affairs to tend to. Her only fear now lay in losing her own identity so far away from everything she knew and loved.

With no idea what lay ahead, one thing was sure: she would have to learn to do without the amenities enjoyed as the only child of a wealthy family. But if Aunt Amelia could come out here and live and be entirely happy, Lucinda had to at least give it a try.

A gust of wind whipped open her dark blue cloak and stirred a small whirlwind of dirt. She coughed from the dust and wrapped the thick wool tighter around her body to ward off the cold. If Aunt Amelia and Uncle Ben didn't arrive soon, she'd have to go back inside to escape the weather.



Mellie Haynes shivered in the frigid air. In a few minutes she'd be with her young niece. Dear Lucinda. How would she fare in this country? Amelia missed her sister and the wonderful letters they exchanged, but that couldn't begin to compare to the grief Lucinda must bear.

The Haynes ranch house may not be as elegant as Lucinda's home in Boston, but it was warm, comfortable, and large enough to accommodate her own son and daughter as well as Lucinda.

She pictured her young niece and Becky together. Surely Lucinda's upbringing would have a positive effect on her
daughter's hoydenish behavior. Of course, Becky was only twelve, but the time had come for her to learn more ladylike ways.

Mellie considered the young man beside her. Jake couldn't be much more than a few years older than Lucinda. Such a handsome face, but so full of sadness, it had drawn her to him like a moth to light when he arrived at the ranch all those months ago. He'd become more like a second son. She wanted to erase that haunted look in his eye and believed she'd succeeded until today.

When they reached the main street, her heart beat a little faster. Her precious niece huddled on the bench, staring at the ground. She would offer Lucinda plenty of comfort and love to help her adjust to all the changes in the days ahead.



Lucinda sat with head bowed against the wind as it blasted around the corner. She yanked on her bonnet to keep it from flying off into the street. She hadn't felt this lonely since the day after the funeral.

Wagon wheels creaked and broke the silence. Her name echoed across the street, and she glanced up. Aunt Amelia waved and called to her again. Relief flooded Lucinda's soul. She bolted from the bench and ran into her aunt's welcoming arms.

Aunt Amelia hugged her tightly. "Oh, my dear, I'm so sorry we're late. Your uncle Ben couldn't leave the ranch, so I had Jake bring me."

A young man in dusty boots and a brown hat stood waiting by the wagon. Hair the color of the wheat fields she'd passed in Kansas escaped from under his hat and brushed his shoulders. He tipped the brim back with a forefinger, and his eyebrows arched as though surprised to see her.

Aunt Amelia hugged her again before stepping back. "Oh, let me look at you. You've grown even more beautiful since we saw you at the funeral." She turned to the cowboy. "Jake, come and meet Lucinda."

The young man sauntered across the unpaved street and removed his hat. Steel blue eyes met Lucinda's gaze and sliced through her with razor sharpness. She gulped. No one had ever looked at her like that.

Aunt Amelia introduced him as Jake Starnes. A muscle twitched in his well-tanned jaw, and a gust of wind blew a few strands of hair across his face. Still, he stared. Curiosity swelled from within, but she averted her eyes. The handsome young man in dirty boots and a blue jacket was like no other young man Lucinda had ever met.

She lifted her chin into the air and turned her gaze toward the station. "My bags are over there."

He stepped behind Lucinda to survey two trunks and a mound of other pieces. He emitted a low whistle. "All that stuff yours?"

At Lucinda's nod, he shook his head, then hefted the smaller trunk onto his shoulder. With his free hand he grasped the handle of her largest bag. "I reckon it'll fit, but we'll all three have to ride on the bench." He strode across the way to a wagon hitched to a pair of horses.

Lucinda scurried to keep up. Dismay swelled in her chest as she surveyed the wooden contraption. No carriage? How far would she have to ride up on that narrow seat? "How far is it?" she asked.

"It's about an hour's drive out to the ranch. Mrs. Haynes, maybe we should have brought the bigger buckboard."

Aunt Amelia covered her mouth with her hand. "I'm sorry. I should have thought of that, but this will have to do for today."

Jake pushed his load into the back of the wagon. He turned to Aunt Amelia and offered his assistance to lift her onto the wooden plank bench. After she settled herself, he nodded toward a step on the side and reached for Lucinda's elbow.

Lucinda tensed at his touch but accepted his help. She perched next to her aunt. Not even a cushion on the boards to soften the impact, but the thickness of her petticoats and coat would ease the bumps a bit.

As soon as she was situated, Jake turned back to the station. "I'll get the rest of your things."

Jake's dark jacket strained across his broad shoulders as he lifted the final two boxes and almost staggered under their weight.

Aunt Amelia leaned against her arm. "Jake's a strong young man and a big help on the ranch."

Lucinda's cheeks again filled with heat. Ashamed to think her aunt caught her observing the cowboy, she let her gaze wander back to the street and the buildings. How different from what she expected, but then she had no way of knowing what awaited her in Barton Creek.

Before she could take time for further inspection, Jake returned to heave the last small trunk onto the wagon.

Jake frowned up at her. "'Tain't Boston, but it's growing."

His words echoed her thoughts and unnerved her even more. She clasped her hands to keep them from shaking.

He unhitched the horses and climbed up beside her aunt, then reached behind him for a heavy wool coat. Jake pushed his long arms into the sleeves and buttoned it around his chest. A flick of the reins and the team moved forward.

Wide-open range and grasslands spread across the scene with distant hills giving character to an otherwise dull landscape with its brown and pale greens. Leafless trees sent crooked fingers into the overcast sky. The land looked as though God had created it and then forgotten it. Lucinda shivered as the wind sent chilling gusts through her cloak.

Aunt Amelia grasped Lucinda's hand. "Our house isn't a big one by any means, but we have plenty of room for you, and Becky is excited to have another girl around the ranch. You'll share a room with her."

Share a room? Lucinda hadn't counted on that either. What other surprises lay waiting for her? The view of bleak land sowed more seeds of doubt in her mind. She should have insisted on staying in Boston. How would she ever fit into life on a ranch in such a lonely place?

If only Mama and Papa hadn't been so protective, she might not be as ill at ease as she was now. The sound of her name broke into her reverie. "What was that, Aunt Amelia?"

"I said Lucinda is rather a formal name for the west. How about Lucy? It's short and easy to say."

Change her name? What next? She rolled the name on her tongue but didn't care for the feel of it. If she changed her name, then she'd be giving up one more part of herself. Manners restrained her tongue from a sharp answer. "I'll have to think about the name for a while if you don't mind, Aunt Amelia."

Her aunt pursed her lips. "Of course, dear, but you can call me Aunt Mellie. Everyone at the ranch and in town does except for this young'un here." She nudged Jake in the arm. "Don't you think she looks like a Lucy?"

Jake shot her a quick look. "Sounds fine to me, ma'am," he said politely.

"Yes, Lucy is a good name." Mrs. Haynes grinned at Jake but spoke to Lucinda. "His name is Jacob, but we all call him Jake. Even your cousins have shortened names."

Love emanated from her aunt, but Lucinda would wait awhile before agreeing to change her name. She leaned forward a bit to observe Jake just as he cut his gaze to hers. A strange feeling of excitement engulfed her, but the unknown sent an icicle of fear through her heart.



Jake matched Lucinda's stare until she turned her head. Was that fear he saw in her eyes? What had he said or done to frighten her?

He observed Lucinda's ramrod straight back, her hands clutching a dark blue cloak around her. Raven black hair peeked from beneath a bonnet. He didn't know her age, but she had to still be in her teen years. What had led him to think Lucinda was a child? Of course Mrs. Haynes always referred to her as a little girl. Nothing prepared him for the young lady seated on the other end of the wagon bench.

Mrs. Haynes eyed Lucinda's traveling clothes. "We'll have to get you some more comfortable things for life on the ranch."

Jake swallowed a chuckle as Lucinda protested. "No need for that. Mr. Sutton thought I needed a proper traveling gown, but most of the things his wife helped me with are much more practical." More practical? Jake doubted it. A refined lady from Boston like her wouldn't know the first thing about what to wear at a ranch. A twinge of sympathy ran through him. She looked as out of place as a pig at a cattle auction.

"Here we are," said Mrs. Haynes. "Welcome to your new home, dear."

Before them the Rocking H ranch spread out across the horizon. The roof outlines of the house, bunkhouse, and barns drew near. Jake urged the horses forward, eager to deliver his unusual charge and return to his work. Lucinda's troubles were none of his business. Besides, he had enough troubles of his own to carry.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Matter: Its Properties & Its Changes...Wildcard!

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card authors are:


and the book set of
Matter: Its Properties & Its Changes

The Main Book

The Student Journal

and The Teacher's Guide

New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books (May 8, 2009)

***Special thanks to Robert Parrish of New Leaf Publishing Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHORs:


Tom DeRosa left seminary and the church thinking he was throwing away his faith, but in reality he found a new religion: evolution. In 1978, Tom accepted Jesus Christ as Lord of his life. Soon after he studied biblical creation at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and came to the conclusion that a lack of knowledge of the biblical account of creation is greatly responsible for keeping many people from Christ. His commitment to breaking down those barriers is what led Tom to form Creation Studies Institute in 1988.


Carolyn Reeves, Ph.D. and her husband make their home in Oxford, Mississippi where they are active members of North Oxford Baptist Church. Carolyn retired after a 30-year career as a science teacher, finished a doctoral degree in science education, and began a new venture as a writer and an educational consultant.



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:




The Main Book Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Perfect Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books (May 8, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515603
ISBN-13: 978-0890515600

The Student Journal Product Details:

List Price: $4.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books (May 8, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 089051559X
ISBN-13: 978-0890515594
Product Dimensions: 10.6 x

The Teacher's Guide Product Details:

List Price: $4.99
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books; Tch edition (May 8, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515611
ISBN-13: 978-0890515617

Matter

Its Properties & Its Changes


By Tom DeRosa & Carolyn Reeves


Investigation #1: The Physical Side of Chemicals


Think about this. A detective collected samples of food from the table where a victim was eating when he collapsed. The detective sent them to a crime lab. A few days later, the lab called to say they had positively identified a poison in the victim’s food that was not in anyone else’s food. Have you ever wondered how someone in the crime lab could figure out what chemicals are present in food or in someone’s blood or in something else?


The Investigative Problems:

How can the physical properties of a chemical substance be used to help identify the substance?


Gather These Things:

Magnet
Iron nail
Sugar cube
Copper penny
Container of water
A piece of paraffin
Small amount of vegetable oil


Procedure & Observations

Your teacher will show you ten items. Your job is to identify one of the items on the basis of its physical properties. You should eliminate any item that doesn’t match the descriptions. These are the physical properties of the item: It is round. It is flat. You would not want to eat it. It would be hard to break. It is shiny. What is the item that has all of these properties?

Your teacher will give you some more substances to investigate, but each of these will be a pure chemical substance. They will be either an element or a compound.

Bring a magnet near each substance and observe if the magnet has an effect on it. Place each substance in a container of water and observe if it floats or sinks. Note if it is soluble (will dissolve) or insoluble (will not dissolve) in the water. Note also the color and whether it is shiny or dull. Put this information in a data table.


(sample of date table)


The Science Stuff

Physical properties are often characteristics you can see, hear, taste, smell, or feel, but may include any physical characteristics of a substance. You used some simple physical characteristics to identify one of the ten items you were first shown.

Some of the items you were shown were pure substances (like the glass), and some were a mixture of many substances (like the apple). A pure chemical substance could be either an element or a compound. (We’ll learn more about elements and compounds later.) A fragment of a pure substance would have the same properties as the whole substance. All of the basic particles in a pure substance are the same. For example, a piece of pure iron only contains particles of iron and a container of pure water only contains particles of water.

Properties such as size and shape were helpful in identifying the first items, but they are seldom considered in identifying pure chemical substances. The properties of the five pure substances listed in the chart will be present regardless of the size, shape, or amount of the substance. Scientists look for characteristics that will remain the same no matter where the chemical is found. Almost any substance can be made into a round shape, so this would not be helpful in knowing what chemical is present.

We examined physical properties of several pure substances, including the effects of a magnet, whether the substance would float or sink in water, whether the substance was soluble or insoluble in water, its color, and its shininess. There are many other properties we could have considered, such as odor, taste, density, hardness, brittleness, elasticity, melting and boiling temperatures, solubility in other liquids, conductivity of heat and electricity, and viscosity.


Making Connections

There is a huge need for methods, instruments, and trained people to identify chemical substances that are present in things. Identifying unknown chemicals is part of the study of analytical chemistry. This includes what chemical are present, their characteristics, and how much is present. There are many crime labs that hire people to help solve crimes by identifying things such as drugs, alcohol, poisons, or traces of gunpowder. Medical labs test blood and urine for the presence of many kinds of substances. Other labs help identify pollutants in the air, water, and environment. Industries must consistently monitor their products for impurities. These are only a few of the places where chemicals are analyzed.

One of the most important things any society can do is to maintain a clean source of water. During the Industrial Revolution, many factories were built next to a river so they could dump their wastes into the river. Congress eventually passed a number of laws to try and keep our water sources free of pollution. Even today, environmentalists look for better ways to prevent pesticides and other harmful chemicals from being washed into rivers and lakes after a rain.


Dig Deeper

Labs generally use both traditional methods and a variety of instruments to identify chemical substances. An instrument known as a spectroscope is often used to help analyze the chemicals in something. Do some reading about spectroscopes to find out how they work and what uses thy have.

Crime labs hire forensic scientists. What do forensic scientists do? Is there more than one kind of forensic scientist? If so, what are the different areas in which they work?

What are some of the U.S. laws that try to prevent water pollution? Do all countries have similar laws? Try to find the name of one charity whose mission is to provide clean water to people who don’t have clean water to drink.


What Did You Learn?

What are physical properties of chemical substances?
When scientists want to know what chemical substances are in an item, they seldom consider the size, shape, and amount of the item. Why is that?
Give ten examples of physical properties used by scientists to describe a chemical substance.
What is a pure chemical substance?
What are some of the things students learn about in analytical chemistry?
What are some of the main things that are don in medical labs?
How might an environmental agency use a lap that analyzes chemical substances?
Are the physical properties of pure iron the same anywhere pure iron is found?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Forces & Motion: From High-Speed Jets to Wind-Up Toys...Wildcard!

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card authors are:


and the book set of
Forces & Motion: From High-speed Jets to Wind-up Toys

The Main Book

The Student Journal

and The Teacher's Guide

New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books (January 16, 2009)

***Special thanks to Robert Parrish of New Leaf Publishing Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHORs:


Tom DeRosa left seminary and the church thinking he was throwing away his faith, but in reality he found a new religion: evolution. In 1978, Tom accepted Jesus Christ as Lord of his life. Soon after he studied biblical creation at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and came to the conclusion that a lack of knowledge of the biblical account of creation is greatly responsible for keeping many people from Christ. His commitment to breaking down those barriers is what led Tom to form Creation Studies Institute in 1988.


Carolyn Reeves, Ph.D. and her husband make their home in Oxford, Mississippi where they are active members of North Oxford Baptist Church. Carolyn retired after a 30-year career as a science teacher, finished a doctoral degree in science education, and began a new venture as a writer and an educational consultant.





Product Details for the main book:

List Price: $ 12.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 88 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group/Master Books (January 16, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515395
ISBN-13: 978-0890515396

Product Details for the student journal:

List Price: $ 4.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group; Student edition (January 16, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515409
ISBN-13: 978-0890515402

Product Details for the teacher's guide:

List Price: $ 4.99
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group; Tch edition (January 16, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515417
ISBN-13: 978-0890515419

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:




Forces & Motion

From High-speed Jets to Wind-up Toys


By Tom DeRosa & Carolyn Reeves


Investigation #1: Wind-up Walking Toys, Speed, Time, and Distance


Think about this. Many people still consider “Bullet” Bob Hayes to be the world’s fastest runner. In the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, he was part of a 4 X 100 relay race. He was already running when he took the baton. He completed his 100 meters of the relay in 8.6 seconds. He also ran the 100-meter dash in 10.05 seconds. In this race, he started from a still position. Four years later at the Mexico City Olympics, James Hines ran an official time in the 100-meter dash that was less than 10.0 seconds for the first time ever. His record stood for several more years, but Bullet Bob’s relay race time will be a hard record to break.

These very fast runners were moving an average of about ten meters every second. Use a meter stick to mark off ten meters and make a prediction of how many meters you think you could run each second. Would you like to be able to figure out how many meters you can run in one second?

We can calculate the speed of a moving object by testing wind-up toys. How far a wind-up toy moves can be measured with a ruler. How long it takes the toy to move a certain distance can be measured with a watch. These two numbers can be used to calculate its speed.


The Investigative Problems:

How can we determine the speed and motion of a wind-up talking toy?
How can this be shown on a graph?


Gather These Things:

Walking toy
Chart
Pencil
Clock with second hand
Toothpicks
Metric ruler (with each cm divided into tenths)


Procedure & Observations

For these measurements, you will need a metric ruler where each centimeter is divided into tenths. Look carefully at the markings on the ruler. Notice there is a long line by each number. There are shorter lines following each number. The short lines are written as decimal numbers. Measure the line to the right by putting the zero mark of the ruler at the beginning of the line. The correct answer is found by writing the last whole number, a decimal, and the number of short marks following the number. The abbreviation “cm” is written after these numbers. Did you get 15.3 cm for your answer? Work with a partner. Each of you should draw two or three more lines. Measure each other’s lines. Check each other’s answers.
Lay the ruler out in front of you. Wind up the walking toy next to the ruler and measure how far it walks in ten seconds. Record. Calculate its average speed by dividing the total distance it walked in centimeters by ten seconds. Write your number answer followed by cm/s. This is read “centimeters per second.”
Measure how long it takes for the wind-up toy to walk one meter. Record. If it doesn’t make it that far, record how far it walked and the time it walked. Calculate its average speed by dividing the distance it walked by the time. The speed will be in m/s (meters per second) if it walks as far as a meter. If you measure the distance in cm, your answer will be in cm/s.
Go back to the starting point. Wind up the toy again. This time lay down a toothpick next to the ruler every time the instructor calls out a five-second interval. Record for 30 seconds. Measure the distances between toothpicks and record in the chart below.
Graph the results of distance versus time. Your teacher will show you how to put this information in the graph. Does your graph make a straight line or a curved line? Try to think of a reason for this.
Did your walking toy start out fast and then get slower until it stopped, or did it keep walking at the same speed all the way?
Race your walking toy with someone else’s. Which one was the fastest?


The Science Stuff

The motion of an object can be described by changes in its position, by its direction, and by its speed. Speed can be calculated by measuring the distance an object moves and the time it takes to move that distance. Divide the distance by the time to get the speed.

The distance traveled equals the object’s speed multiplied by the time traveled. The same units of time must be used. For example, if a toy travels 50 cm/minute and it travels fro a total of two minutes, it has traveled a total of 100 cm. The calculations would be 50 cm/min X 2 min = 100 cm. Minutes would cancel out, leaving cm as part of your answer.

Different aspects of motion can be shown on a graph. If the speed of the walking toy stayed the same, the graph line will be straight, but if your walking toy slowed down, the graph line will be a curve. Remember, the source of energy for walking toys is a wind-up spring. A tight spring may provide more energy than a loose spring.

Scientific measurements are taking in metric units. The correct abbreviation for centimeter is cm; for meter, it is m. the correct abbreviation for centimeters per second is

Cm/s; for meters per second, m/s.


1 centimeter (cm) = 1/100 meter
1 meter (m) = 100 centimeters
1 kilometer (km) = 1000 meters


Dig Deeper

See if you can use the Internet or some reference books to find the runners who have run at official speeds of ten meters per second or greater. (There won’t be many.)

Do additional research to find some more world records for swimming, skating, bicycling, or other sports.

Use the Internet or some reference books to find the top speeds of several animals. Did you find any that you could outrun? What is the difference in how humans run and how certain animals run.

(If you choose one of these projects, use a creative way to display your findings.)


Making Connections

Sometimes a highway patrol officer will stop a car for speeding, and the driver will insist that the car was traveling within the speed limit. Is it possible that the car’s speedometer is not accurate? Mile markers along the highway and a watch can tell if your car’s speedometer is accurate. To do that, have the driver hold the car’s speed at 60 miles/hour. Start timing with a watch that has a second hand as the car reaches a mile marker. Stop timing as the car reaches the next mile marker. The speedometer is accurate if the car travels one mile in 60 seconds. One mile/minute is the same as 60 miles/hour. You can also calculate the speed of your car by dividing the distance of one mile by the time it takes the car to travel from one mile marker to another.

Suppose you are traveling in a car wit the cruise control set at 65 miles per hour and your driver drives for two hours without stopping. Multiply the speed by two hours to see how many miles you have traveled in two hours, as: 65 mi/hr X 2 hr = 130 miles.


What Did You Learn?

What two things do you need to know in order to calculate speed?
What is the formula for calculating speed?
How would a line graph of the speed of a runner look when the runner goes slower and slower? Or faster and faster? Or maintains the same speed?
What are three ways in which motion can be described?
If you are riding in a car that is traveling at 60 miles per hour and you travel for three hours, how far have you traveled?
Suppose an object is traveling at a supersonic speed of 800 m/s. Write this speed using all words and no symbols.
Calculate the speed of an animal that ran 50 meters in 10 seconds. Write the number answer with the correct unit symbols.
What is the source of energy for the walking toys you used for this activity?


Friday, January 8, 2010

Dinosaurs for Kids...Wildcard!

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Dinosaurs for Kids

Master Books (October 15, 2009)

***Special thanks to Robert Parrish of New Leaf Press for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Ken Ham is the founder and executive director of Answers in Genesis in the USA and one of the most sought-after Christian speakers in North America. He is the author or co-author of many books and is heard daily on the radio program, “Answers...with Ken Ham,” on more than 300 stations worldwide. Ken is also featured in various videos including the series, “Answers in Genesis with Dr. Gary Parker,” and the 12-part series of 28-minute videos, “Answers...with Ken Ham.” Ken's teaching is clear, true to the Bible, engaging, and challenging. Many have found salvation and others have been encouraged and equipped to reach others with the gospel through Ken's ministry.


Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

Price: $14.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 64 pages
Publisher: Master Books (October 15, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515557
ISBN-13: 978-0890515556

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Dinosaurs for Kids

by

Ken Ham, illustrated by Bill Looney


Dinosaurs can provide a great way to learn about history. You may already be familiar with some of these dinosaurs. These drawings show you what we think they may have looked like. Now, we don’t know for sure, of course, as we usually only find their bones as fossils (and most times, only a few of their bones). Artists use what bones have been found, knowledge about living animals, and some imagination to come up with drawings like these. See if you can pronounce these dinosaur names:


Dilophosaurus (die-LOF-o-SWAR-us), meaning “two-crested lizard.”
Styracosaurus (sty-RAK-o-SAWR-us), meaning “spiked lizard.”
Triceratops (tri-SER-a-tops), meaning “three-horned face.”
Megalosaurus (MEG-a-lo-SAWR-us), meaning “big lizard.”
Iguanodon (i-GWAHN-o-don), meaning “iguana tooth.”
Ceratosaurus (ser-ah-toe-SAWR-us), meaning “horned lizard.”
Deinonychus (die-NON-i-kus), meaning “terrible claws.”
Velociraptor (vee-LOHS-i-RAP-tor), meaning “swift robber.”
Ultrasaurus (UHL-tra-SAWR-us), was so nicknamed because of its enormous size.
Seismosaurus (SEIS-mo-SAWR-us), meaning “earthquake lizard.”


Did you know there are hundreds of dinosaur names? However, there were not hundreds of types of dinosaurs. There were a number of similar ones that should be grouped into categories known by what the Bible describes as “kinds.” Does that sound a little confusing? Well, this book will help to explain this and a lot of other things about dinosaurs you may not know.


(Pictures with names):

Dilophosaurus
Styracosaurus
Triceratops
Iguanodon
Ceratosaurus
Velociraptor
Ultrasaurus
Seismosaurus


Before we begin, I don’t want you to miss out on knowing what my very favorite dinosaur is! In fact, I think he deserves this whole page to himself! It is the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex (ti-RAN-oh-SAWR-us-rex), meaning “tyrant lizard king.” I’ll let you in on a secret – I love T-rex because I like his teeth! I use teeth to teach kids and parents some very interesting things about dinosaurs – things that you may not have heard or really understood before. But it is very important to understand the truth about dinosaurs!


FOUR FAST FACTS

T-rex fossils are found in Canada and the western United States.
The first documented T-rex fossil was discovered in 1902 by Barnum Brown.
Scientists think T-rex skeletons were made up of close to 200 bones.
T-rex had around 60 teeth, which ranged in size based on their placement in the jaw of the skull.


With a strong tail extended for balance, an adult T-rex could be a little over 40 feet in length, 12-13 feet tall at the hips, and weigh between 5 and 7 tons. T-rex’s jagged teeth could be up to 9 inches long, and like sharks, the T-rex was able to replace teeth when one was lost.

What’s in a name? Remember that the T-rex name means “tyrant lizard king.” But secular scientists are still wondering whether T-rexes were active hunters or clever scavengers, or a combination of both. However, creation scientists are able to explain the evidence in a different way using the biblical account of history, as we will soon learn.


FOUR FAST FACTS

The word “fossil” is from the Latin word meaning “dug up.” Scientists often make assumptions about dinosaurs based on a few fossilized bones, bone fragments, or other fossil remains, impressions, etc.
Only a few thousand dinosaur skeletons have been discovered.
The vast majority of fossils discovered are marine invertebrates (creatures that don’t have backbones like clams).


I’m sure you have lots of questions about dinosaurs. I believe I can answer many of those questions for you because dinosaurs are not a mystery at all. I know someone who was there when dinosaurs came into existence, and was also there when they seemed to disappear from the earth. In fact, this “someone” has written a book for us that gives a detailed account of the history of the universe. He tells us when the earth began, as well as when all the living creatures and the first humans appeared.

Now, you may be asking “Who is this someone you say was there to see the dinosaurs?” He is the Creator of all things. He knows everything because He is all powerful and has always been around. And this Creator had a book written for us to give us the details of how time began, and how the universe and all life came into existence. This book also tells us who we are, where we came from, and why we exist. It also gives us information on what is going to happen in the future! There is no other book like this on earth. It is unique, and it is called…the Bible.

When you understand the Bible, you will understand more about dinosaurs. The Bible helps us to answer questions about dinosaurs and about the world around us today.

Bigger. Among the most widely known type of dinosaurs, the sauropods (“lizard foot”) are some of the largest creatures to ever walk the earth. Many of these dinosaurs are known by only a few pieces of bone fragments, and debate continues on just which dinosaur was the largest ever. As discoveries continue, more will be known about these massive giants. Sauroposeidon (“earthquake god lizard”) was considered the largest dinosaur ever to live, until the discovery of Argentinosaurus (“silver lizard”). Though only a few bones of each creature have been found, many scientists estimate that Argentinosaurus was larger, though Sauroposeidon may have been taller.

Smaller. Compsognathus (“elegant jaw”) is among the smallest dinosaurs discovered. A little bigger than a chicken, this dinosaur weighed around 6 pounds. Some scientists have found smaller creatures, like Microraptors, which they try to use to prove dinosaurs were the evolutionary ancestor of birds – real science and the Bible disprove this idea. Archaeopteryx (“ancient wing”) is another example of a creature once thought to prove this link, but that idea has now been proven false.

Did you know that the Bible is really a collection of books written by people specially inspired by God, the Creator, to write down exactly what God wanted us to know? The Bible tells us more about who God is and why we can always trust Him to tell us the truth:

The God of the Bible is the true God: “But the LORD [is] the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King…” (Jeremiah 10:10).
The God of the Bible is infinite – He is all knowing, all powerful: “Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:5).
The God of the Bible lives forever – He lives in eternity – He had no beginning and has no end: “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever…” (1 Timothy 1:17).
The God of the Bible is the only true God – other gods people claim to have are false gods: “Therefore You are great, O LORD GOD. For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides…” (2 Samuel 7:22).
The God of the Bible is all wise and all knowing: “…in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3).
Wow! What an awesome God.


The Only One.

Only God is a witness to the entire history of the world, including the history of dinosaurs. During the creation week, God created dinosaurs and flying reptiles. Pterosaur (“winged lizard”) like this one, could have wing spans of 30 feet. Stegosaurus (“roof lizard”) is easy to recognize with two rows of large plates running along its arched back, and its multi-spiked tail. Corythosaurus (“helmet lizard”) is a great example of dinosaurs with bony crests on their heads. Scientists think these crests were used in making sounds.

Does any human being (including any scientist) know everything? Has any human being always existed? The answer to both questions is, of course, NO. However, who is the only one who knows everything? Who is the only one who has always been there? The answer to both of these questions is, “the Creator God of the Bible.”


True History!

I call the Bible “The History Book of the Universe.” This is because it is a book that tells us how time and the universe began. And in the very first book of the Bible, the Book of Genesis, we are given a detailed account of not only how God created everything to begin with, but also major events of history that happened after creation.

You might be saying, “Wait a minute, haven’t scientists already found out lots of things about dinosaurs – that they lived millions of years before people and that they lived during the dinosaur age 200 million to 65 million years ago, and then they became extinct?”

Well, not all scientists say that! And though the majority of people today might believe that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago, the majority are wrong on this. And more and more people are now finding out the truth because they listen to and understand God’s Word!