Sunday, July 25, 2021

#IMWAYR 🚗More Summer Reading☀️

Our Reading Adventures
Long road trip ahead, perhaps a rainy day is in your forecast, or summer vacation is winding down and "there's nothing to do" now? No worries! National Geographic Kids has just the thing to help fill in those long stretches of time with three books full of all kinds of information  - some useful, some interesting, some enlightening, all entertaining. These books are perfect for quiet moments alone, or to share with the whole family and with friends. 

More Surprising Stories Behind Everyday Stuff
by Stephanie Warren Drimmer
National Geographic Kids, 2021, 256 pages
There are often funny, surprising or just plain interesting stories behind familiar everything items and  isn't that just the sort of trivia we all love to know? The book is divided into 10 chapters, each with its own category, such as Playthings, Traditions, Health & Medicine, Fabulous Food and Devices & Doodads, to name just a few. For example, did you know that the Yo-Yo is an ancient Greek toy? Or that buttons were around in 2000 BC, but it took 3000 more years for the buttonhole to be invented? And who doesn't like a nice slice of pizza? Apparently the ancient Greeks did. Sure, it has evolved since then  but it's basically to same idea. I've loved a nice cherry-flavored popsicle ever since I was a kid, and I'm kind of not surprised, but definitely pleased to discover popsicles were invented by an 11-year-old kid named Frank Epperson in 1905. This book is so filled with bytes of information and ideal for a long car ride - not only will it entertain kids, but they will soon be reading their discoveries out loud for the benefit of everyone in to car/train/plane, making it good reading practice, too. 

101 Life Hacks: Genius Ways to Simplify Your World
by Aubre Andrus
National Geographic Kids, 2021, 208 pages
This is really a lot of fun to read and think about. It is chockablock with simple, time-saving, useful ideas, most using common household objects, as well as suggestions for making life better. There are simple breathing exercises for relaxing, waking up and even curing hiccups. Going on a trip? Find useful hacks for packing more efficiently with just a few folding techniques. My personal favorite packing idea - reusable shower caps for keeping dirty shoes away from clothing. I also liked the idea of wrapping my lunch-to-go in a bandana instead of plastic wrap - environmentally kind and the bandana serves as a convenient napkin. My other favorite - I do a lot of photocopying at Staples and always forget a folder to put it in. I've used this hack since I read about it in this book - take a plastic bag, put in a piece of card the same size and keep it in your backpack or tote bag so you always have a neat way to carry papers, including school reports or teacher handouts. These are just some of the handy dandy hacks you'll find in this book. This is kind of an inspiring book so don't be surprised to find yourself thinking up other useful hacks.      

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2022
National Geographic Kids, 2021, 352 pages
When I was a kid, I used to love to read the Information Please Almanac (which became The Time Almanac in 1998. So it isn't surprised that I give all kids in my family who are 8 and older the National Geographic Kids Almanac every year. There is a broad range of topics in this year's book. As usual, it is divided into eleven chapters beginning with Your World 2022 covering things that happened in 2021 and things that will happen in 2022 (yikes! Harry Potter will be 22 years old), lots of pets found forever home when Covid-19 hit and the Olympics were postponed. There is now a chapter on Kid vs. Plastic, an important topic for the world of tomorrow. There's also information on Science and Technology, Culture, Animals, Space, Wonders of Nature and History Happens, and so much more. On of the things the Almanac always does so well is connecting the past with the present. Just take a look at page 247 to see what I mean. Beginning with the Civil Rights Movement, right up to the death of John Lewis in 2020 and his "Good Trouble" legacy. There is a chapter on Fun & Games which has proven very popular among my young readers. Each chapter ends with a short quiz and some homework help on each topic. 

All three of these books is entertaining and informative, filled with facts, serious and fun, history, current events, and some short biographies of people who have impacted our world. They are all compact in design and ideal for tossing in a backpack and taking along on short or long trips, waits at the dentist/doctor's office and just hanging around the house.   

Last week, I also read 
Long Distance by Whitney Gardner
Voyage of the Sparrowhawk by Natash Farrant

It's Monday! What are you reading? is the original weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.  It's Monday! What are you reading? - from Picture Books to YA is a kidlit focused meme just like the original and is hosted weekly by Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers. The purpose is the same: to recap what you have read and/or reviewed and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week.


  1. I love these Nat Geo Kids books. My 11yo daughter, who doesn't enjoy nonfiction, finds them engaging. And my 4yo loves looking through them at all the beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing these as I haven't picked them up yet!

  2. What a great set of books from National Geographic! I used to read a lot of their books, and these sound like so much fun, especially More Surprising Stories Behind Everyday Stuff—that is fascinating about button holes! And I keep hearing lots of praise for Long Distance as well. Thanks so much for the great post!

  3. My own girls loved National Geographic titles, thanks for introducing me to so many new ones.

  4. I would snap up these National Geographic books in a heartbeat if I was still working. They were always popular in the library.
    I have a reserve on Long Distance and am looking forward to reading it when it becomes available.

  5. Agreed on the Nat Geo books, they typically get read in the library. Thanks for sharing!


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