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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

*Polar Bears and the Arctic (Magic Tree House Research Guides)* by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Bryce- young readers book review
Also by Mary Pope Osborne:

Magic Tree House #43: Leprechaun in Late Winter

Magic Tree House #34: Season of the Sandstorms

Magic Tree House #36: Blizzard of the Blue Moon

Magic Tree House #37: Dragon of the Red Dawn

Magic Tree House Research Guide: Tsunamis & Other Natural Disasters

The Random House Book of Bible Stories
Polar Bears and the Arctic (Magic Tree House Research Guides)
by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Bryce
Ages 9-12 128 pages Random House September 2007 Paperback    

While many series publications tend to lose quality as they grow in quantity, becoming watered down and repetitive, the Magic Tree House is a welcome exception. Seasoned author Mary Pope Osborne continues to produce unique childrenís literature. Osborne, her sister Natalie Pope Boyce, and illustrator Sal Murdocca provide intriguing research guides that complement the fictional narratives perfectly.

The newest research guide to be added to the collection is Polar Bears and the Arctic, meant to accompany Polar Bears Past Bedtime, the twelfth edition of the fictional series. In Polar Bears Past Bedtime, brother and sister duo Jack and Annie are swirled away from their home in Frog Creek, Pennsylvania to the Arctic tundra via the magic of legendary enchantress Morgan le Fay. A friendly seal hunter assists them before they fall victim to the freezing temperatures, providing warm fur coats and winter wear to cover their thin pajamas. Insulated against the cold, Jack and Annie venture out into the arctic wild, following the lead of their fatherly seal hunter as he introduces them to Inuit life. As always, there is a riddle to be solved along the way.

Polar Bears and the Arctic takes a more scholarly nonfiction approach to childrenís adventure. It opens with a note from Jack and Annie, explaining that their adventure prompted them to learn more about the Arctic. The book exhibits Jack and Annieís research findings on the Inuit lifestyle, animals of the Arctic, and how the two species coexist in a harsh environment.

Osborne and Boyce introduce readers to the perils of global warming and its effects on wildlife, encouraging action through further study. The chapters are accentuated with quotes from the children containing extra tidbits of information in addition to the core text. Additional resources are provided for further research, including website addresses, books, and movies.

Photographs and the artwork of Sal Murdocca add interest and depth, allowing children a more thorough picture of the subject matter. Illustrated maps and geographical references to the Arctic Circle emphasize the enormity of the region, which encompasses Greenland, Alaska, Canada, Europe, and Russia. For further interaction, readers can visit the accompanying website, where they have the opportunity to earn a stamp for their Magic Tree House Passport after answering a few trivia questions about Polar Bears Past Bedtime. Children are encouraged to earn a stamp for each novel released to complete a collection. The website offers extensive learning opportunities surrounding the series, from teacherís guides to online printables.

In a series containing 54 books, this is the sixth research guide co-authored by Osborne and Boyce. The sisters certainly have a talent for recognizing subject matter that appeals to young readers and for making learning fun. They present literature in a language that is easy for children to understand and relate to, but avoids condescension. Polar Bears and the Arctic takes on the heavy challenge of educating children about global warming and endangered species, but the authors encourage children to be a part of a solution that appears within reach.

Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

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  Sabrina Williams/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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