Tag Archives: 8-12

Tales From the Arabian Nights

imageTitle: Tales from The Arabian Nights
Author: Andrew Lang
Publisher: Award Publications
Number of pages: 304
Type of Book: Fiction; Classic
Age: 8+
Available here: https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Arabian-Nights-Essential-Classics/dp/184135838X
Price: $13.57
Set in ancient Arabian lands between Persia and China, this book tells the story of Scheherazade, the wife of the rich and powerful Sultan Schahriar. The Sultan loved his first wife to pieces. Sadly, she betrayed him, so he killed her and developed a hatred for all women. Vengeful,, he married a new bride every evening and killed her the following morning. His once loyal subjects hated and cursed him because they lost daughters to him daily. Then one day, a young lady, Scheherazade decided to marry the Sultan against her family’s wishes. She told him stories for a thousand and one nights to avoid being killed by him.
Scheherazade was portrayed as a master story teller as she wove fantastic magical tales of enchanted lands, genies, fantastic beasts, life changing adventures and dazzling jewels. She was able to keep him so interested in her stories that he kept postponing her death to be able to hear the end of each story. Some of the stories she told were age-old classics like The Seven Voyages of Sinbad, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (Read a review of this book here ) and Disney favorite, Aladdin and the Magical Lamp.
Read the book to find out what happened when Scheherazade ran out of stories.
UP: It is literally a book of stories. It is filled with fun and magical stories for children and adults, some with a moral or two. It also gives readers a sneak peak into life in ancient Arabia.

DOWN: None

4 stars
1 Why did Sultan Schahriar kill his wives the day after the wedding?: He believed all women were deceitful like his first wife and he wanted the world to be rid of them.
2 Who was Scheherazade: The first daughter of the Sultan’s Grand Vizir
3 Some of the stories told by Scheherazade: Blind Baba Abdalla, Ali Baba and the Forty thieves, the Seven Voyages of Sinbad
4 What happened after One thousand and one nights: Read the book to find out

CHALLENGE: Tales from The Arabian Nights

1. Write a 400 word story within a story set in ancient Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba land (8 – 12 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com
Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.
Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Sunday, February 19th 2017.
Next Book of the Week:

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photo credit: amazon.com

The Story of Islam

Title: The Story of Islam

Author: Rob Lloyd Jones

Publisher: Usborne Publishing (Young Reading Series 3)

Number of pages: 61

Type of Book: Non-Fiction; History; Educational

Age: 8+

Buy it here: http://product.chelisbookazine.com/product-tag/young-reading-series-3/page/6/?orderby=date; https://www.amazon.com/Story-Islam-Usborne-Young-Reading/dp/0794518656

Price: N690; $5.86


The story of Islam began with an ordinary man, an Arabian called Muhammad. In year 610, on a mountain close to Mecca, Muhammad sat alone in a cave when, out of nowhere, a voice spoke to him. The voice told him he was a messenger of God, an angel. Through that angel and some visions, he received revelations directing him to start a new religion, Islam. Muhammad spread the doctrines of this religion by word of mouth and with the use of animal skins but it wasn’t well received by Meccans. Muslims were persecuted for about 20 years until they took over Mecca after a war in year 630. Muhammad died two years later in year 632 but that was only the beginning of the religion. Over the next ten centuries, Muhammad’s Muslim army grew under the care of several successors (caliphs) and conquered several nations around Arabia, Christian and pagan alike, converting many to Islam. However, there was trouble in paradise. The Muslims had split into two groups, the Sunni Muslims and the Shi’ites.

Read this book to learn about these groups, the Abbasids, a group of Shi’ite Muslims who brought a period of great wealth, knowledge of the arts and sciences and culture to the world and the magnificent city of Baghdad; the Ottomans, arguably the greatest Muslims that ever lived; the Taj Mahal, the resting place of the Mughal empress, Shah Jahan, and the Crusades, the centuries-long war between Christians and Muslims over the holy city of Jerusalem.


UP: This book gives a brief but information-packed history of Islam with pictures, maps and illustrations and the most vivid words, I have read in a book in a very long time.  I have read it twice already. It’s a little slice of world history. I recommend for parents and children alike especially for lovers of history.

DOWN: None.


5 Stars


  1. Islam: Submission to God’s will; Muslims: those who submit to God’s will
  2. The Five Pillars of Islam: Shahadah: a declaration that there is only one true God, Allah and Muhammad is his messenger; 2. Salah: prayers said 5 times a day facing in the direction of Mecca; 3. Charity, giving Zakah – a percentage of savings- to the poor; 4. Fasting (Sawm) in the month of Ramadan and 5. Hajj: a pilgrimage to Mecca
  3. صلى الله عليه وسلم (salla alllah ealayh wasallam) is said every time the Prophet Muhammad’s name is mentioned. It means ‘Peace be upon him’.
  4. Muhammad was buried in a tomb which was placed in: The Mosque of the Prophet, in Medina, ‘The City of the Prophet’.
  5. Some achievements of the Golden Age of Islam: Literature: One thousand and one nights (Tales from Arabian nights) one of the best collections of stories and poems from the Arabian empire (read a review of one of the stories, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves here); Baghdad, the most spectacular city in the world at the time, the House of Wisdom, an enormous library filled with books from which many of their ideas were birthed, Astrolabes and Magnetic compasses: helped people travel the world and used later by Europeans to discover America!

VIEW SAMPLE PAGES HERE: https://usborne.com/browse-books/catalogue/product/1/2338/the-story-of-islam/#&gid=1&pid=1

CHALLENGE: The Story of Islam


  1. Write a 300-word essay on the story of Islam in Nigeria. (8 – 9 year olds)


  1. Draw a picture using only the details in the first four lines of the last sample page. See the link above for sample pages


  1. Write a 500-word essay on the story of Christianity (10-12 year olds)


  1. Draw a picture using only the details in the first four lines of the last sample page. See the link above for sample pages

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book. Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Sunday, February 5th 2017. 

Next Book of the Week:



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photo credit: usborne.com


News/Events January 16th Week PSBW 2017 Reading Challenge


Dear Pint-sized Bookworms (and their mummies, daddies, aunties, uncles and teachers),

Happy New Year!!!!

Hope you had a great holiday! I did!

  1. We’re back! 

So, the holiday is over (yay!) and we’re up and running again! And this year, we’ll be bigger and better! Please visit our Blog schedule page here to get reacquainted with our basic plan for the year.

  1. The PSBW 2017 Reading Challenge

It’s the first month of the year! The month of making resolutions. So let’s put one more resolution up on that list: Participate in the PSBW 2017 Reading Challenge. 

It’s pretty simple, pick a reading plan below, draw up a reading list and start reading!!

(Let us know how you’re faring for a chance to win the PSBW 2017 Reading Challenge Prize and get a PSBW 2017 Reading Challenge Certificate at the end of the Year!!*)

Reading Plan

Good Bookworm: This plan is trés simple. One book One month. 12 books/year.

Super Bookworm: This plan is for avid readers. Two Books One month. 24 books/year.

Super Duper Bookworm: This plan requires A LOT of commitment. Four Books One Month. 48 books/year.

Reading List

Not sure what to read, simple look at our review list for different age groups: 8-12 years; 4-8 years;  0-4 years.


We can help you create a personalized reading list based on your/your child’s age and interests. Simply send an email to us with the subject: Reading List/ 2017 Reading Challenge.

#PSBWReadingChallenge2017! Let’s get cracking!

For more news, come back on Monday at 8am! Or better still, get our posts delivered directly to your email, SUBSCRIBE.

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Till then, keep reading!!

*Monthly Updates Required

photo credit: goodreads.com


The Mystery of Shelf 12L pt 5

Continued from here

Ada’s eyes came open slowly, widening with every second until her eyebrows almost touched her forehead.

The waterfall stood before her in all its glory.

Seven rivers of rushing foamy water gushing towards the cliff and plunging many meters into the pool below with a thunderous roar. The first four and the last drops had gleaming white water while the fifth and sixth had water adorned with shining yellow streaks as if they had been kissed by the sun.

They could barely see the pool as the water pounded the rocks at the bottom creating moving clouds of water which seemed to fight against themselves before tumbling into a river which flowed a channel into the forest. A thick fog rose the foot of the waterfall almost all the way to the top making it impossible to see the bottom of the waterfall and the pool.

Ada took a step closer to the cliff and she felt the cold spray from the mist and the cold wind that seemed to push her aback, keeping her away from the cliff..

“It’s wonderful!!!!” she shouted trying to be heard over the deafening roar of the water

Zigi smiled and held up his camera.

Ada quickly threw her arms in the air and wore her brightest smile. This picture was especially for Iphie and the girls.

Zigi took her and dragged her away from the waterfall.

“We have a thousand and one things to see and do and almost no time left. We have to go!!?”

Fun facts about Agbokim

It’s located 3.5 hours by road from calabar

Swim in the bowl in the dry season and you may catch some fish.

The cave palace, mostly closed during the rainy season as a result of the water, houses the spiritual prince and princess of the area.

to be continued …

see you same time next week …

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Middle School #5: Ultimate Showdown



Author: James Patterson

Publisher: Cornerstone

Number of pages: 256

Type of Book: Contemporary, Fiction, Interactive/Activity

Age: 8+

Buy it here: https://www.laternabooks.com/laterna_product_details.php?v=17304&c=210; https://www.amazon.com/Middle-School-Ultimate-James-Patterson/dp/0316322113/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481486426&sr=8-1&keywords=middle+school+ultimate+showdown

Price: N3,000; $8.53


In this book, the siblings Rafe and Georgia Khatchadorian humorously argue about their views on some of the features and happenings in middle school like farting, bullying, cafeteria food, school dress code, dancing, etc. Rafe is the carefree, rule breaking, Khatchadorain while Georgia is the serious, rule keeping Khatchadorian. Both are opinionated, smart and good with words. Read this book to enjoy and actively participate in the lively debate between Rafe and Georgia and to try the dozens of incredibly fun activities scattered all over the book.


UP: It is a GREAT interactive/activity book. Readers are kept busy with all sorts of activities like drawing cartoons and comic strips, cutting out bookmarks, writing stories, going through mazes, doing crosswords puzzles, etc. They also participate in the debate between Rafe and Georgia by writing their own points of view in spaces provided in the book! Kids, boys and girls alike, will love this book. Perfect for keeping them busy for hours on end.

Another major highlight: It tackled a few important issues. One of them was Bullying. The section on bullying was quite informative especially the bit on word bullying, one of the prevalent problems faced by children in schools today.

It’s a great book for reluctant readers.

DOWN: This is not exactly a chapter book (which is ideal for children this age). It’s more like an activity book or a magazine.


5 Stars


  1. Types of Bullies? Word bullies and cyber bullies.
  2. A country named after a vegetable? Brussels (from Brussel sprouts!) Newsflash, the vegetable was actually named after the country.
  3. Georgia’s reaction when Rafe tricked her into dyeing her hair green? She decided to put purple dye in his body wash to turn his skin purple! (Luckily for him, she changed her mind)
  4. When does Rafe think jeans (trousers) become perfect? When you’ve worn them for 100 days without washing them, climbed at least five trees in them and worn a hole in the knee.
  5. Rafe thinks fairy tales are for babies, Georgia thinks they’re great. What do you think?

Read a preview here: https://issuu.com/jamespatterson/docs/ms_ultimate_showdown_preview_pdf?e=1711515/7128636

Watch the book trailer here:

 CHALLENGE: Middle School #5: Ultimate Showdown


  1. Write a story about bullies. (200 words) (8 – 9 year olds)


  1. Draw a 2-paged comic strip on bullying.


  1. Write a 300-essay story titled ‘All you need to know about Word Bullies’ (10-12 year olds)


  1. Draw a 4-paged comic strip on bullying.

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Sunday, December 18th 2016.

Next Book of the Week:

OKIOJO’S CHRONICLES: 1897 by Adeniyi Adeniji

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photo credit: Amazon.com




The Mystery of Shelf 12 L Pt 4

Chapter 2

Agbokim Falls

Continued from here


This time, the tumble down the tunnel wasn’t so bad. She was still slammed into the walls of the tunnel over and over again but the wind wrapped around her body like a soft cushion, shielding it from the hard walls of the tunnel. Ada squeezed her eyes shut and screamed all the way down. Suddenly, the tunnel threw her up with a giant belch and she landed on her bum smack in the middle of a forest. She opened her eyes slowly. There were giant trees all around her. Some tall and skinny, some tall and fat enough to be a house, some with lush green leaves, some without. All of them seemed to be trying to touch the sky and for the longest time, they all seemed to be dancing as they swam before her eyes. Shaking away the feeling of dizziness, she got up slowly, dusted her clothes and turned around to explore when whoosh! Something heavy rammed into her from behind and she fell flat on her face. Zigi’s square glasses landed next to her right cheek.

“Phew! Sometimes the tunnel ride is even more fun than the sight!”

He felt on the ground, right next to her eye for his glasses, picked them up, put them on and rose. “Here …” he offered her his hand “Get up, we don’t have a lot of time”

Ada spat a blade of wet grass out, ignored his hand and stood. “At least say sorry”.

“For what?” He perched his glasses on his nose.

“You knocked me down! You could have hurt me badly”

“No, the wind knocked me down and I fell on you. So blame the wind”

“Oomph!” Ada stormed off.

 “Careful, there are man-eating vines ahead and scary steps!” he shouted at her back. She kept walking. “There are two bottomless pits too! You can fall to your death!”

Ada stopped instantly. He ran up to her, grabbed her hand and started walking. “Sorry. Can you hear the birds?”

Ada listened and then she heard the distinct harmonious chirping of birds. It sounded like they were whistling one song in unison.

“There are many types of birds here. Bird watchers come here a lot.”

He dragged her through the lush green forest to a narrow path going downhill with wet slippery steps covered with a bed of green leaves and bracketed on both sides by hundreds of green and brown hairy vines.

Ada stopped.

“Come” he tugged at her hand. “We have to hurry. There’s a lot to see and we have to get back to school soon. Hold on to the vines”

He led her carefully but quickly down the path. They had walked for about ten minutes when suddenly the sound of thunder claps filled the air.

Ada stopped and pulled her hands out of his. “What’s that?!”

“Come on! It’s the waterfall, we’re almost there” he grabbed her hand again and continued walking.

But the thunderous sound seemed to be coming closer and closer.

Ada stopped. “I want to go back! I don’t like that sound! It’s scary. I want to go back”

“I thought you wanted to see a waterfall! Some of them are really loud!! This one is one of the loud ones. It’s the sound of the falling water! Don’t worry, it’s just water, Come!”

“No! She turned around and started walking back up the hill.

“I promise. It’s not scary! It just really loud but it’s not scary. And you’ll take a picture to show Iphie and her friends!”

Ada stopped.

“Ada, just imagine the look on Iphie’s face when she sees your picture. But you can’t take the picture if you go back now and without a picture, no one will believe you!”

She turned around.

“Good! We’re almost there” He grabbed her hand and ran so she wouldn’t change her mind.

The sound of the water was almost ear-piercing now. Ada swallowed and started trembling. Maybe I should just go back.

As if Zigi heard her, he stopped. “We’re here. Close your eyes.”

Ada stopped and squeezed her eyes shut immediately. Then she blocked her ears with her hands too. Zigi grabbed her elbow. They took twenty steps and stopped.

“Now, open your eyes”



to be continued …

see you same time next week …

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The Mystery of Shelf 12 L pt3


Continued from here

Ada opened her eyes slowly, trying to get used to the bright light in the room. She rubbed her head and swayed on her feet. The slide down the twisted tunnel made her head spin. It was worse than a roller coaster ride, she felt like she had been tossed around over and over again in a giant blender.

Slowly she made out the shape of a boy in front of her. “Who are you?”

He was about her height, he wore square glasses and he was completely bald, like a chicken without feathers! He just stared right back at her. She rubbed her head again and looked around.

“What is this place?”

It was much like the library upstairs, but the books were older, browner, bigger and the room was brighter, dustier, deserted.

The boy with no hair smiled. “This is the Room of Knowledge”

He took her hand pulling her towards the center of the room. “You wanted to learn about waterfalls right? Come, I’ll show you”

He stopped at a shelf labelled W and he pulled an old dusty brown book from the stack of books on one of the rows. “Come, help me”

Ada held one end of the book and together they pulled the large book off the shelf and onto the floor. The boy sat cross-legged in front of the book and tapped the space next to him. Ada looked at him and then the shelf and then the mouth of the tunnel.

“My name is Zigi. Break will be over in 30 minutes. If you want to see the waterfalls, sit down, we don’t have time”

She sat.

Zigi flipped the pages of the book. All of a sudden, sounds of thrashing water filled the room. Ada sat up and looked around but Zigi kept flipping the images.

“Can’t you hear that?”

“What?” He looked up and looked around, his large eyeballs turning in his face. They heard nothing. Ada was confused. He flipped another page. The sound came again, louder this time.


“Oh, that!” Zigi smiled and turned back to the book. He kept flipping pages until he got to the page he wanted. “Now look”

Ada jumped up “You heard it right? What’s happening?”

“Look!!!” Zigi shouted pointing at the book.

Then Ada looked at the book. There were pictures of huge waterfalls splayed across the pages.  Ada stared at the book, then at Zigi. The sounds seemed to be coming from the waterfalls in the book! She shook her head and took two steps back.

“Zigi. What’s that? What kind of book is that? What is this place? I want to go”

Zigi smiled and flipped the pages some more. More pictures of waterfalls came up and the volume of the sounds that filled the room, seemed to rise and fall depending on the size of the waterfalls on the pages. “These waterfalls are in Nigeria! There are so many and this book shows all of them. It tells you everything you need to know about all of them. But do you know the best part?” he stopped, looked at her and smiled harder. “It takes you to all of them”

“What do you mean?”

Ada took a step forward and stared at the strange book. The pages seemed to come alive. She stared at the waterfall closest to her. It was called Agbokim Waterfalls. It was beautiful she thought. She could hear the sounds from the waterfall. A gust of wind flung her plaits across her face.

“Touch it” Zigi said “Touch it”

Ada looked at him, then the book. Slowly, she walked towards Zigi, she knelt next to the book and touched the page. Suddenly a hole appeared where her finger had been and a violent gust of wind rose from its mouth and sucked her into the page!

to be continued …

see you same time next week …

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The Mystery of Shelf 12 L pt2


Continued from here

It was the biggest library she had ever seen. Rows and rows of books from the floor all the way up to the ceiling. Just books! Small books, big ones, flat ones, thick ones, old ones, new ones, hardbacks, paperbacks! She had never seen so many books in one place at the same time. Her old school’s library was a small dark room with two white plastic tables, six white plastic chairs and twenty-three old books. Ada stood on a spot and spun, staring at all the books in the topmost shelf, her neck bent backwards so much that it looked like it would break. Then she looked down at the rest of the library. Where was her mystery writer, Z? She looked around. There were so many shelves, she didn’t know where to start from.

How can anyone find anyone in this place? she wondered. She looked at the note again. It didn’t say where she was supposed to meet Z. She started walking through the shelves, looking at the letter boxes at the top of each shelf.

“A .. B .. C .. D .. ”

Four shelves and four minutes later, no one walked up to her and no one had said anything to her. Ada looked at the note in her hand again. This time, she studied it wondering if she had missed something.

“Hmmm. Why are the 12 and L darker than the other letters?”

She looked up at the huge clock on the wall. It was 11:58 am. Just beneath the clock, there was a huge chart with the alphabets and numbers 1 -20. Suddenly, Ada’s eyes popped and she knew where she was supposed to meet Z.

She folded the note, pushed it into her pocket and hurried towards the center of the library. Just as she stopped in front of the shelf marked 12 L, a loud bang shook the library! Ada jumped and turned away from the shelf looking around. Everyone else seemed calm, like nothing happened. Then the bang came again and again and again.

Oh! It’s only the clock she thought. It’s 12 o’clock!

She heaved a sigh of relief and counted with the clock.

“ … 7.. 8.. 9.. 10.. 11.. 12 ..”

Then from no where, two hands came out of the shelf 12 L, covered her mouth and dragged her into the darkness!



to be continued …

see you same time next week …

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A Winter’s Tale













Title: A Winter’s Tale (found in Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare)

Author: William Shakespeare

Publisher: Dover Publications/Penguin Classics

Number of pages: 112/304

Type of Book: Classic, Fiction, Play

Age: 8+

Buy it here: https://www.laternabooks.com/laterna_product_details.php?v=17883&c=111; http://www.amazon.com/Winters-Tale-Dover-Thrift-Editions/dp/0486411184 ; free download here (unabridged version for older readers): http://shakespeare.mit.edu/winters_tale/full.html

Price: N1500; $3.00; 7.99 GBP


A tale of woes really. The King Leontes of Sicily, in a fit of jealousy imprisons his pregnant wife and tries to poison his friend, King Polixenes of Bohemia because he believes the two are having an affair. His friend escapes however the wife doesn’t. She gives birth to a little girl, Perdita while in prison and dies shortly afterwards during her public trial. Her first son dies during this trial as well. Meanwhile, King Leontes, believing Perdita to be a product of the suspected affair abandons the child. She ends up in Bohemia and is found and raised by a shepherd. Sixteen years later, she meets and falls in love with the only son of King Polixenes, Prince Florizel. Florizel loves Perdita but Polixenes doesn’t approve of this union because they all think Perdita is a commoner and so the lovebirds decide to run away, to Sicily! Read the book to find out how the King Leontes is reunited with his long lost daughter and to see the unexpected but very happy twist at the end of the book!


UP: It evoked a lot of feelings from me. It’s funny and sad at the same time. I remember heaving a sigh of relief after reading this story some 20 years ago.  Great ending. I recommend for all the members of the family.

DOWN: None


4.5 Stars


  1. Why did King Leontes try to poison King Polixenes? Because he thought Polixenes was having an affair with his wife.
  2. This person falls in love with Perdita but is forbidden to marry her by his father? Prince Florizel, the son of King Polixenes.
  3. Who is Antigonus and what became of him? King Leontes’ servant. He was charged with the task of getting rid of Perdita. A bear ate him.
  4. Apollo’s Oracle had this message for King Leontes: You will not have an heir until you find your daughter, Perdita.
  5. What is the origin of the name, Perdita?! It’s a Latin word meaning LOST.

Visit William Shakespeare here: http://www.shakespeare-online.com

Read the book here: http://shakespeare.mit.edu/winters_tale/full.html

CHALLENGE: A Winter’s Tale


  1. Imagine waking up and realizing that you were lost as a child and you’re really a Prince/Princess, then write a short 600-word story describing life as a prince/princess


  1. Write a 100-word short poem about jealousy.

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Sunday, May 29th 2016.

Next Book of the Week:

AS YOU LIKE IT by William Shakespeare


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