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Busygoddess
02-03-2011, 08:23 PM
Jay is really into the Goosebumps books and the American Chillers series. So, we have come to an agreement - for each one of those books he reads, he has to read another book of an entirely different genre (still his choice, just have to be different genre). So, while picking out random books, we came across Wolf Stalker. It is the first book in the National Park Mystery (http://gloriabooks.com/national.html)series from NatGeo. The books are written by a mother & daughter, aimed at 4th-6th grades, and even include some color photos (Wolf Stalker takes place in Yellowstone, so there's a photo of Old Faithful, a wolf, and more).
Jay is really enjoying Wolf Stalker & can hardly wait to read the next one. I haven't read it yet, but I think I'll be reading it tonight or this weekend (so I know how accurate he's been as he tells me what's been happening). I thought I'd let you all know about this series, in case you haven't found it yet.
Jay has been marking the big, laminated wall map of the U.S. to show which states he's read about in the American Chillers series (not that the books are educational at all, but each one takes place in a different state). Now, he's also going to mark the locations of the National Parks as he reads about them in the National Parks Mysteries series.

brendag
02-03-2011, 08:36 PM
Ok, these look interesting! I love the concept! Too old for my kids right now, but I bookmarked the page for later.

Thanks
Brenda

sdvance
02-03-2011, 08:58 PM
My 7 year old with love this series! Thanks for the info.

MarkInMD
02-03-2011, 11:50 PM
Might be worth looking into for Hurricane, too. Thanks for the info!

Busygoddess
02-04-2011, 06:06 AM
Ok, I read Wolf Stalker last night (only 147 pgs, so a quick read). If you'd be reading to a younger child, or letting a younger child read it, you might want to read it first to check that you're ok with the themes. The story revolves around a family - mom a wildlife vet, dad a photographer, 12y.o. boy, and 10y.o. girl. In this story, they are joined by a temp foster kid (13y.o.) whose mom has disappeared (it is assumed that she has abandoned him) & hasn't seen his dad since he was 7 (mom & dad fought, dad decided to leave, was going to take boy, mom threatened dad with knife, dad left). The family is investigating an alleged wolf attack in Yellowstone. A man claims that a wolf pack were outside of Yellowstone, chased his dog into Yellowstone, and killed the dog. Then, a wolf is shot. The family has to figure out what really happened with the 'wolf attack' and try to save the injured wolf. The kids and parents are separated for a time, and the kids are in the wild fending for themselves. This book might be a little much for a young child, due to these themes and situations.

It is a well-written book. One of the authors is an award-winning Mystery writer & the other is an award-winning Science writer. They did a good job with character development, of the kids mainly, since they are the main characters of the story. The siblings behave very much like typical siblings of those ages - fighting a lot, but also banding together when needed. The kids are portrayed as fairly typical, happy, intelligent kids (not geniuses or anything, but not the totally ignorant characters in some books). The foster child is obviously less happy, since his mom is missing & he's convinced she wouldn't leave him, so he believes that something must have happened to her. The authors also did a good job at describing the beauty of Yellowstone and the unparalleled majesty of the wolf. It's quite obvious that the authors have some knowledge & did some research for this book, which I always appreciate. The Afterword is written by the Wolf Restoration Project Leader at Yellowstone. All in all, I'd say it's a good read for a child. It has some parts that may be a little intense for a younger child, like the scene where they find out who shot the wolf. It also seems like a good intro to the Mystery genre. We've tried getting Jay to read Mysteries before, but he's never really enjoyed them. This is a realistic story, with realistic characters, and isn't cheesy like some kids' Mysteries.

Jay really wants to continue reading this series, and I intend to let him. The next one takes place in Hawaii. We'll probably pick it up on Monday, while at the library.

lynne
02-04-2011, 10:59 AM
Brandi - Thanks for the review. I think Nick (almost 10) would be frightened by that, but they sound interesting.

For those of you with kids in this age group, he really loves the Percy Jackson books (Rick Riordan). There are 5 (I think?) books in the series. He also likes the Hank Zipzer books by Henry Winkler.

Busygoddess
02-04-2011, 11:36 AM
Brandi - Thanks for the review. I think Nick (almost 10) would be frightened by that, but they sound interesting.



That's why I posted about it after I read it. I know that all kids react differently to things, are scared of different things, sensitive to different issues, etc. I also know that some parents don't want their kids reading about certain issues & situations until they're older. So, I figured, since I had brought up the series, it was only right to inform of issues that may need to be taken into consideration.

Jay & I just had a nice long talk about the book - what he thought of certain situations, who he thinks shot the wolf, what he thinks happened with the alleged wolf attack, his predictions of what's going to happen next, etc. Now he's in my room finishing reading it.

lynne
02-04-2011, 11:54 AM
I appreciated that. Nick is very easily scared and very sensitive. He cried this past fall on the Haunted Mansion ride, he wouldn't watch "A Christmas Carol" with me, etc.

ItBeganInCamp4
02-04-2011, 06:42 PM
Thanks for the great review! It's nice to hear of a new series and also the issues that may be too much for some kids so we can make a good decision!