I Survived The Sinking of the Titanic 1912

by Lauren Tarshis
published by Scholastic
5 out of 5 stars
Elementary Readers

The I survived series is very popular with the elementary readers. They are fiction stories but they learn a little about history at the same time.My youngest really enjoyed the whole series and says this one is by far her favorite

I enjoyed the story of George and Phoebes story. I liked that even though they could afford and were staying in a expensive suite, they became friends with immigrant passengers. George is just your regular everyday mischievous boy.  Aunt Daisy is on a journey to heal and honoring her late husband who wanted to travel on the Titanic. She ask her niece and nephew if they would like to join her journey. George likes to explore and gets in trouble but is likeable sweet kid. Phoebe is his little sister that loves him so much and fears his trouble making ways will get him sent to military school. That is the least of their worries while aboard the Titanic. However thanks to Georges exploring the ship and memory of what Mr Burrow’s said about secret passage the workers used to get to the different levels, he just might save the day

Does Aunt Daisy, Phoebe, George, Enzo and Marco escape the Titanic together? Do they get separated? Does being on the Titanic bond these 5 people beyond the Titanic?


Disaster Strikes: Tornado Alley book #2

by Marlane Kennedy
Published by: Scholastic


Wyatt lives on a cattle ranch in Oklahoma where you closest neighbor is the next ranch about 7 miles or more away. He is lucky that neighbor is also his friends Joshua and Jackson, they are just the distraction he needs since his girly girl cousin Alison is visiting from New York. All she is interested in is the cute animals on the ranch. So is not to happy to have to take her along with him when him and his friends head off to the lake to go fishing while his mom and dad are busy doing other things.

They are all having fun fishing and hanging out even with Alison there. Wyatt starts to notice a change in the sky. Big huge wall cloud is near them and it’s got a sickly green tint to it. That isn’t good, anyone who lives in tornado alley knows that means tornado! My girls know that and have ever since they are little tots. The kids race to get home and to the root cellar before the monster tornado bares down on them. However city girl Alison doesn’t want to get into the storm cellar till she gets her friend Wyatt’s dog in there with them. So she runs off to get him, leaving Wyatt to run after her, leaving Joshua and Jackson in the root cellar hoping their friends are safe.

While Wyatt and Alison ride out the storm in the barn with the spooked animals. The tornado is tearing apart the ranch and other ranches close by. Are Wyatt’s mom and dad OK since they are out and about in this storm? Is Joshua and Jackson’s parents and home OK?

This book is a fast read that is entertaining and has a bit of suspense in it. At the end of the story the author includes some interesting tornado facts as well as some great tips on what to do if you find yourself in the middle of a tornado’s path. The Disaster Strikes series is sure to become a favorite with boys and girls and would be a great addition to any home, classroom or school library!

I Survived The Attacks of September 11, 2001

by Lauren Tarshis


I survived the attacks of September 11, 2001 is part of the wonderful series I survived. This one is a more recent addition to America’s History. This event is one that shaped the world that our kids only know. Most of the kids who read this book were just little babies or not even born yet. I remember this day like it was just yesterday.

In this book Lucas comes from a family of firefighters. He has grown up around them and the firehouse that housed ladder 177.  So it is only natural that when he finds out he might never play football again he knows he needs to get Uncle Benny on his side and help him talk some sense into his parents. I mean Uncle Benny is the reason he eats, breathes and sleeps football. So he figures he can sneak away from the bus stop, head into NYC, talk with Uncle Benny and head back with out his parents ever finding out. Little did he, Uncle Benny, the firemen of Ladder 177, NYC and the rest of America know but September 11th would be a day that would go down in the history books.

I like how Lauren tells this piece of history and makes it very real. I can picture what happens after the planes hit the  twin towers and all the Lucas and the rest of the characters of NYC experience. It was like reading bits and pieces of the news all over again. She doesn’t sugar coat it and not every one makes it. What happens on September 11th affects the characters way past those first few days, weeks and months. This would be a great read aloud for elementary and middle school classrooms on September 11th. This would be a great book to read just because or as a history book.

We are really enjoying this series and  I love that each book really is full of historical events. She makes history books and reading likeable. I like that each book includes several pages at the end that talks more about that event. This book includes a timeline of the events, (something I bet you will be amazed as a parent that you remember very well and after all these years), why she wrote this book, and she explains September 11th in kid language that makes these horrible events easier to explain. Another reason this book would be great for the classroom, home school room, or just in your own home bookshelf.

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