Category Archives: space

Paradox by Ammi-Joan Paquette

paradox_thumbToday Biblio Links once again welcomes prolific author Ammi-Joan Paquette! She’s had three picture books and two middle grade novels published so far, with another picture book coming out this fall.

Today’s review is for her thrilling sci-fi debut young adult novel Paradox.

Publisher’s summary:  Fans of James Dashner’s Maze Runner series will love this postapocalyptic adventure about a girl who must survive an alien planet in order to save the Earth.

Ana only knows her name because of the tag she finds pinned to her jumpsuit. Waking in the featureless compartment of a rocket ship, she opens the hatch to discover that she has landed on a barren alien world. Instructions in her pocket tell her to observe and to survive, no doubt with help from the wicked-looking knives she carries on her belt. But to what purpose?

Meeting up with three other teens–one boy seems strangely familiar–Ana treks across the inhospitable landscape, occasionally encountering odd twists of light that carry glimpses of people back on Earth. They’re working on some sort of problem, and the situation is critical. What is the connection between Ana’s mission on this planet and the crisis back on Earth, and how is she supposed to figure out the answer when she can’t remember anything?

~

Once I realized that I could NOT put this book down, I immediately thought of several reluctant readers in my library who would love this fast-paced, sci-fi mystery. It’s got a strong female main character, an unfolding mystery, high stakes, danger, and a fascinating other-world setting. Really, what’s not to love?

As a librarian in a very culturally diverse school district, one of the things I appreciate most about Paradox is something I haven’t seen mentioned in other reviews:  the book’s multicultural cast of characters. Ana Ortez is the main character, and she is eventually joined by three other teens, Todd Oslow, Ysa Klein, and Chen Wai. Race or culture doesn’t factor into the plot or dialogue at all. Love that.

JoanI asked Joan to tell us how Paradox might fit into your library or classroom.

BiblioLinks:  A student walks into my library and I think, That kid needs a copy of Paradox. Who is this kid?

Joan: The ideal PARADOX reader is a student who looks for fast-paced stories and benefits from highly active, engaging storylines. It’s a spare, quick read that would be ideal for reluctant readers. It’s also great for kids with a scientific inclination, and those who like to puzzle out problems and collect data to come to a conclusion. The perfect read for analytical thinkers who want to put their active brains to recreational use!

BiblioLinks: I agree, Joan–this book will definitely appeal to reluctant (and avid!) readers. If we were to peek into a classroom where a teacher is using Paradox in a lesson or with a small group, what might we see?

 Joan: There are many science-based springboard discussions that could arise from this book: the development of disease and how contagious agents could be spread across a global landscape; the very real developments of space travel and the recent discovery of potentially habitable planets; rotation of binary solar systems and how they differ from our own. There’s also a lot of story connections to be made, connecting the generational links and organizing them into a time-sequential storyline, understanding the logic of how the different elements in the book all fit together. Students might also use the enclosed news articles as a springboard to writing their own articles highlighting recent real-life scientific breakthroughs they find exciting and groundbreaking.

 BiblioLinks: Lots of STEM connections for educators to explore. In addition to using the newspapers articles as springboards like you mentioned, the interview transcript with Ana’s mother could also spark spin-offs where students could create mock interviews with other characters in the story. The present-tense, third person point of view would also make for some interesting discussions.

Where can teachers, librarians and students learn more about you and your book?

 Joan: You can find me on the web at www.ajpaquette.com, and for more about PARADOX specifically, visit the Random Buzzers forum to read some Q&As from teen readers here, or drop by here to read the opening chapter.

Biblio Links: Thanks for joining us, Joan!

Teachers and librarians, click here for rave reviews of Paradox.

The Nitty Gritty~

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: June 2013

ISBN-13: 978-0375869624

Interest Level: ages 12 and up

Number of Pages: 240

Visit Shannon Messenger's website for more marvelous middle grade titles!

Although Paradox is a young adult title, it’s recommended for ages 12 and up, so I’ve included it in Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday round up. Click here to visit her blog for more middle grade recommendations.

Thanks to Sheila at Book Journeys for starting this meme, and Jen (Teach Mentor Texts) and Kellee (Unleashing Readers) for turning it into a kid-lit meme!

Thanks to Sheila at Book Journeys for starting this meme, and Jen (Teach Mentor Texts) and Kellee (Unleashing Readers) for turning it into a kid-lit meme!

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How Do You Burp in Space? And Other Tips Every Space Tourist Needs to Know by Susan E. Goodman, illustrated by Michael Slack

Thanks to Anatastia Suen for creating Non-Fiction Mondays, and to Abby the Librarian for hosting today!

Thanks to Anatastia Suen for creating Non-Fiction Mondays, and to Abby the Librarian for hosting today!

Welcome to Non-Fiction Monday! Feel free to add a link to your own Nonfiction Monday post and I’ll update as the day goes on. Scroll all the way down to see the recommendations.

It’s also What Are You Reading Monday…

MMGM2

…and Marvelous Middle Grade Monday,    so check out Teach Mentor Texts, Unleashing Readers, and Shannon Messenger‘s site for more kid lit recommendations.

On to my non-fiction review for today…

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I’ve read oodles of books on space and astronauts,  but this is the only one I’ve seen in guide-book format. The voice is friendly, accessible, and informative, and gives readers an idea of what it might be like to actually travel in space–not as an astronaut, per se, but as a tourist. It’s packed full of facts that will appeal to reluctant readers–how to burp in space, go to the bathroom in orbit, and sleep while acting as a satellite. But it also explains the science behind everything that happens in a space craft, and the author’s note tells how research factored into this engaging work of non-fiction.

Publisher’s description:  Want to blast into orbit? Walk on the moon? Snag a personal photo of a shooting star? Well your time is coming! And when it does, you’re going to need How Do You Burp in Space? 

This guide is filled with the kind of information you’d need to plan any vacation including what to pack (hint: no bubble bath or juggling balls!); what to expect from your accomodations (a sleeping bag attached to the wall), and what to do for fun (leapfrog on the moon!). Grounded in the history of space travel and the planned future of space tourism, this guide book will leave young adventurers daydreaming about future intergalactic space vacations. Get ready to rock your rocketship!

Hand this book to the kid who:

* is interested in space travel

* likes to read text in small chunks–there are lots of sidebars, including quotes from astronauts, that break up the text into manageable  chunks for reluctant readers

* enjoys cartoon-like illustrations–illustrator Michael Slack blends his illustrations with photos from space, and they’re loads of fun to look at!

Use this to teach:

Facts About Space–While this is an obvious curriculum tie-in, the facts in the book are likely to remain in a kid’s head because they’re related to how a space traveler would experience a trip in space. The book debunks the myth that there is no gravity in space, and offers a crystal-clear explanation of why.

* Motivational Role Models--In an age where movie stars, athletes and singers don’t always behave themselves, astronauts make for a refreshing set of role models for kids (and adults, for that matter…).

*Non-Fiction Text Features–Includes a table of contents, sidebars, captions, glossary, space timeline, and index.

Visit the author’s Website here and illustrator’s site here.

The Nitty Gritty~

Click  here for reviews.

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Publication Date: July 9, 2013

ISBN-10: 1599900688

ISBN-13: 978-1599900681

Number of Pages: 80

Interest Level: 8 and up

Sondra has another PB biography recommendation over at Sonderbooks Review.

Sondy has another PB biography recommendation over at Sonderbooks Review.

Visit Abby the Librarian for a review of this YA memoir.

Visit Abby the Librarian for a review of this YA memoir.

Alex over at Randomly Reading has a review on this Willie Mays biography.

Alex over at Randomly Reading has a review on this Willie Mays biography.

Click here for a review of Bad Girls at Jean Little LIbrary.

Click here for a review of Bad Girls at Jean Little LIbrary.

Visit Mrs. Yingling's blog today a review of this PB biography.

Visit Ms. Yingling’s blog today  for a review of this PB biography.

Reshamad warns of a possible cuteness overload on this review!  Check it out on Stacking Books.

Reshamad warns of a possible cuteness overload over at Stacking Books!

All green thumbs head to  Wrapped in Foil for Roberta's review.

All green thumbs head to Wrapped in Foil for Roberta’s review!

Head over to the Non-Fiction Detectives for this review.

Head over to the Non-Fiction Detectives for this review.

Head over to Prose and Kahn for Brenda's review.

Head over to Prose and Kahn for Brenda’s review.

Click here for Lisa's review at Shelf-employed.

Click here for Lisa’s review at Shelf-employed.

Click here for Jeff's review over at NC Teacher Stuff.

Click here for Jeff’s review over at NC Teacher Stuff.