Dangerous Wildfires by Lola Schaefer – PPBF

Dangerous Wildfires: Part of the Lightning Bolt Book Collection

Lola Schaefer, Author

Photographs: Acknowledgments of contributors at the end of the book

Lerner Publications, Nonfiction,  Jan. 1, 2022

Suitable for ages: 6 – 9

Themes: Wildfires, Climate Change, Danger, Staying Safe 

Opening: “Lightning strikes dry grass. The wind blows and sparks fly. A fire begins.”

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Climate change is making wildfires worse, and it’s important to know how to stay safe. Read about what causes a fire, what makes it grow, and what happens when fire makes people leave their homes.

A spark from a lightning strike or a campfire can quickly grow into a wildfire covering acres. Learn about the types of wildfires, how climate change increases the danger, and how to stay safe. Plus hear from a wildfire survivor!

Why I like this book:

Many readers live in areas where wildfires reek havoc in the forests around them.  Sadly, wildfires are becoming part of their lives. And if they aren’t personally impacted they see the wildfires reported on the daily news.

This book is age appropriate for emerging readers, 6-9. It is beautifully designed so that readers will enjoy the simple text — four chapters that explain what happens, gives important facts, answers many of their questions, and includes  amazing photographs on each page that showcase wildfires from beginning to end. Each photo has a brief insert that points to what the text explains. Readers will be surprised to learn that wildfires can do some good.  

This book is part of a larger series, the Earth in Danger — part of the Lightning Bolt Books collection.. Some of the other titles include: Dangerous Blizzards, Dangerous Droughts, Dangerous Earthquakes, Dangerous Floods, Dangerous Hurricanes, Dangerous Tornadoes, and Dangerous Volcanoes. Sadly enough, we are dealing with all of these dangers every year.

These books belong in every elementary school library. They are perfect go-to books that can be used in the classroom or used by kids for reports.

Resources: The book is a resource and will lead to many important discussions at home and school.  If you live in areas where wildfires begin, put together a safety kit for home or school (instructions in the book).

You may want to check out the Smokey the Bear Link for kids and educators. Sign up to be a Smokey’s Scout and explore the fun activities.   

Lola Schaefer is a professional author, teacher and public speaker. She has published more than 275 books in the past 25 years with trade, school/library, and classroom publishers. She is a writing consultant in elementary and middle schools, as well as a frequent presenter at writing conferences and workshops. She lives and works in Georgia.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

*Reviewed from a library copy.

 

 

 

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Healer and Witch by Nancy Werlin

Healer & Witch 

Nancy Werlin, Author

Candlewick Press, Apr. 12, 2022

Suitable for ages: 9-12

Pages: 304

Themes: Healer, Witch, Magic, Danger, Deceit, Trusting one’s self, Historical fiction

Book Jacket Synopsis:

Sylvie and her mother and grandmother are beloved, trusted healers in their medieval French village at the end of the Middle Ages, though some whisper that fifteen-year-old Sylvie and her grand-mere deal in more than herbs and medicines. Perhaps they’re a bit . . . witchy? After her grandmother dies, and an attempt to use magic to heal her mother’s grief yield tragic consequences, Sylvie leaves her village in search of a teacher. Accompanied by Martin, the farrier’s youngest son, Sylvie finds herself on a journey rife with strange alliances, powerful temptations, danger and deceit.

In the end, there may be only one wise woman Sylvie can trust in a world that would define her limits: herself. 

Steeped in the healing arts and magic, award-winning author Nancy Werlin’s first novel for younger readers is a beautifully crafted, quietly powerful story that follows a young woman gifted with magic as she struggles to manage her powers — and claim her strength — without violence.

Why I like Healer & Witch:  

Nancy Werlin has written an enthralling adventure about a girl’s journey of self-discovery, believing in herself, finding courage in the midst of danger, and taking her place in the world.  Werlin’s writing is original, lyrical and magical, despite the themes of danger, deceit and evil.  Readers will enjoy spending time in medieval France where healers are considered witches and could face Inquisition, This story will encourage readers to form their own opinions about the differences between healing and witchcraft. 

The characters are compelling and unforgettable as they reveal their good and evil natures along the way. Sylvie is a 15-year-old healer who has made a terrible mistake. Sylvie is a sensitive and deeply caring individual who knows that her gift is from God and that she must use it for good. Since she no longer has her Grand-mère to guide her, she embarks upon a journey to find a teacher who can help her understand and use her gift. Eight-year-old Martin, is a cheerful, barefoot boy who wants to see the world instead of becoming a farrier alongside his father. He joins Sylvie and his presence offers an unexpected perspective to the story. Along the way they meet Ceciline, a wise women, Monsieur Robert Chouinard, a merchant and businessman, and Madame du Bois, an astrologer. Each character will reveal their true nature and help Sylvie make new discoveries about herself.

The short chapters make for easy reading, and Sylvie’s gripping journey will keep even reluctant readers turning pages just to find out what’s going to happen next. I was surprised by the ending, which is satisfying and hopeful.

Nancy Werlin is the author of several books for teens, including, Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good, the National Book Award Finalist The Rules of Survival, the Edgar Award winner The Killer’s Cousin, and the New York Times bestseller Impossible. About Healer and Witch, her first novel for middle-grade readers, she says, “Reading historical fiction was my very first love.” Nancy Werlin lives outside Boston.

Greg Pattridge hosts Marvelous Middle Grade Monday posts on his wonderful Always in the Middle website. Check out the link to see all of the wonderful reviews by KidLit bloggers and authors.

*Review copy provided by Candlewick Press in exchange for a review.