Sunday, January 27, 2013

Lady Almina

How many of you are fans of the television show, Downton Abbey, the Masterpiece Classic series on public television?
Although Cora Crawley,  Countess of Grantham, is a fictional character,
there was a real life woman who is the subject of a book,  Lady Almina and the real Downton Abbey: the Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by  the Countess of Carnarvon.

Highclere Castle is the real name of the estate where Downton Abbey was filmed.

The fictional Cora was the daughter of a wealthy American. Lady Almina was the daughter of Lord Alfred Rothschild, whose wealth made the marriage possible.

Here is a sample:

"On Wednesday 26 June 1895, Miss Almina Victoria Marie Alexandra Wombwell, a startling pretty nineteen-year-old of somewhat dubious social standing, married George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, at St. Margaret's, Westminster."

This title  is an interesting choice for high school students with an interest in British history.

Almina's husband, Lord Carnarvon, had financed Howard Carter's exploration in Egypt and the discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb.  So this book contains information about that as well.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Men Behind the Science of Temperature

Whenever we feel ill, we have our temperature taken by a thermometer.

In the United States we use fahrenheit to measure temperature. In other parts of the world they use celsius.

Meet the men behind these temperature scales in Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Their Temperature Scales by Yoming S. Lin.

They are named Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit and Anders Celsius.

Here is a sample: " Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit invented a thermometer that was better than earlier ones....Anders Celsius created another temperature scale. This is the scale that scientists use today."

This joint biography tells about their work and includes other useful features: Inside the Science gives some facts about the subject of measuring temperature. A glossary and index  are included.

This title would be useful in Common Core Science Standards.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Literary Criticism and Book Reports

Literary criticism is something that can be incorporated into book reports even for grades 4-8. I recently read a book that is a candidate for this:
Suzanne Collins by Diane Bailey.

Not only is it a biography but it also  offers commentary on her Underland series, as well as The Hunger Games.

Here is a sample: "When Collins addressed the difficult problems of war in the Underland Chronicles, she raised the stakes in the Hunger Games trilogy. This time, it wasn't humans fighting giant insects. It wasn't even adults fighting adults. This time it was children fighting children."

This book contains a useful bibliography as well.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My First Guest

I am honored to have my first guest on this blog: J.Q. Rose, who is here to tell us about her new book. Welcome, JQ!

J.q. Rose

Thank you, Debbie, for hosting me today. I’m excited to be here and have the opportunity to tell your readers about this inspiring e-book for middle grade girls, Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women. 


Girls Succeed is an interactive e-book filled with stories of fifteen remarkable women. It is not a dry accounting of their careers, but an exploration of how they followed the path to success in their chosen occupation. When they were growing up some of the women, like girls who will be reading the book, dreamed of being a doctor, a horsewoman, an athlete, a writer, or horticulturalist. Others, specifically a chef, an entrepreneur, and semi-truck driver, discovered success in their careers later in life. But the one key component in each of their stories is their passion.


It is my hope these stories will be a GPS for girls. (I would say compass, however, kids these days may not know what a compass is!)  A GPS directs us to our destination and I believe these wonderful role models in the book will guide readers to help them to achieve their dreams. Reading about successful women can inspire and empower girls to pursue the passion within them. After all GPS could stand for Girls Path to Success.


The e-book includes resources for girls to learn more about the women I interviewed and about their careers. Not only are there books, magazines, and articles, I also added live links to websites on the Internet with updated information just a click away for the reader.


Highlights of the person’s career and a section for more information about her career are available at the end of the chapter. Take a look at the information following the chapter entitled Cooking up a Career, the story about Sue Chef, a creative cook and dynamic personality.




Sue has shared two of her delicious, easy-to-make recipes. Enjoy.  


Homemade Trail Mix


Combine ¼ cup unsweetened apricots, ¼ cup dried cherries (unsweetened), ¼ cup almonds, ¼ cup walnuts, ¼ cup roasted whole kernel pumpkin seed, and 5 cups Multi-Grain Cheerios. Serves 5


Sue says you can choose your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and whole grain cereal to create your own special blend of homemade trail mix.


Mango Berry Smoothie


In food processor, combine ½ cup water or milk, ½ cup frozen mango, ½ cup frozen raspberries, 2 oz tofu, 1 tsp honey


These recipes are from The Take Charge of ADHD Booklet with recipes by Sue Chef




Bachelor of Science in Education

Established Sue Chef, personal chef service

Launched and developed D & W Cooking School

Established Sue Chef Company

Host of “Get Fresh with Sue Chef” television show

Recognition for her work in the American Cancer Society and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International



Sue’s cookbook, Super Suppers

Take Charge of ADHD Booklet

Someone's in the Kitchen with Mommy, 100 Easy Recipes and Fun Food Crafts
for Parents and Kids
by Elaine Magee

Honest Pretzels: And 64 Other Amazing Recipes for Cooks Ages 8 & Up by Mollie Katzen

I Want to Be a Chef by Stephanie Maze

Cooking Rocks! Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Meals for Kids by Rachael Ray

  After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction writing with her first published novella, Sunshine Boulevard, released by Muse It Up Publishing in 2011. With Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women she returns to her first love, writing about real people. Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. Spending winters in Florida with her husband allows Janet the opportunity to enjoy the life of a snowbird. Summer finds her camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.