Wednesday, June 30, 2010

About The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

The July Featured Book of the Month, the Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, is unlike most detective stories, being told from the perspective of an eleven year old girl who has a passion for poison! Flavia de Luce is a chemistry loving, bicycle riding, spirited and intelligent girl who stumbles upon peculiar events. Set in the 1950s, Flavia starts out her summer in an English village fighting with her two older sisters and brewing dangerous potions in her secret laboratory. Suddenly, life takes an unusual turn when a dead bird appears on their doorstep with a bright orange stamp on its beak. A strange red-headed man has an argument with her father and the next morning Flavia discovers the unknown man dying in their cucumber patch. Young girls would normally be frightened of a murder committed outside their own home, but Flavia’s interest burns with curiosity. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.” The summer starts to look very promising to Flavia and she is determined to solve this murky mystery!

Alan Bradley presents a young heroine who is an engaging, quick-witted, and fearless sleuth. Winner of the 2007 Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger, this inventive detective story is a delightful read with many twists and turns.

Winner of the 2007 - Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger
Winner of the 2009 - Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel

Read an excerpt from NPR’s website

Check out the international versions of the book covers!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Here is a trailer to promote the book:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Discussion questions for Last Child in the Woods

We’re sure that Last Child in the Woods has given you a lot to ponder! (By a pond, perhaps?!) But in case not, here are some questions to think about, wherever you may be.
Please share your comments!

Can you compare your own childhood interactions with nature to those of a contemporary child? What are the similarities? Differences?

Can a child in an intensely urban setting easily find “a piece of nature” (without going to a park)? Where might they find it?

What’s more real for today’s children, technology or nature? Or is there a balance?

What experience in nature have you had that you wish every child could have? Why?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

About Richard Louv

Richard Louv is an American journalist credited with identifying the phenomenon and coining the now-common phrase known as “nature deficit disorder.” He has written for major American newpapers like The New York Times and Washington Post and was a columnist for the San Diego Union–Tribune from 1984 – 1987. He is the author of seven books, arguably the most famous being Last Child in the Woods.

To review recent columns and commentaries, visit Mr. Louv’s blog, Fieldnotes from the Future, a component of the Children’s Nature Network of which he is chairman and co-founder. And be sure to check out Louv’s official website for information about his books and the latest news in the Children and Nature movement.

Louv is married to Kathy Frederick Louv and is father to Jason, 28 and Matthew, 22.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

About Last Child in the Woods

Find your favorite tree stump and pull out your copy of June's Featured Book of the Month, Richard Louv's Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder.

The author contends that today's children, unlike children a mere thirty years ago, are dangerously deprived of exposure to nature, the thing that inspires, teaches and gives us comfort. Gated communities, obsession with electronic technology, and changing standards in education are just some things that distract our children from their "eighth intelligence" and creativity.

Louv includes some great quotes and stories from the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Beatrix Potter, Mark Twain, and Thomas Edison that credit their early curiosities to time spent in wood and field. And it’s certainly interesting to ponder what role the natural world played in our own childhoods and how it shaped our adult pursuits.

Is nature inaccessible to today’s children?
Can we go back to nature? How?
Or is nature even important anymore?

The author, a former journalist, offers up research from environmentalists and educators that lays bare the reasons for reconnecting, rebuilding, rethinking, and redesigning our relationships with the outdoors.

There are suggested actions to take and activities to pursue with kids. Who knows, maybe we can go back to Walden! What do you think?

Written by Bob