Tag Archives: Harper Collins

Flashback Four: The Pompeii Disaster

Title: Flashback Four: The Pompeii Disaster 

Author: Dan Gutman

Publisher: Harper Collins

Number of pages: 235

Type of Book: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Historical, Adventure

Genre: Middle Grade (MG)

Age: 8 – 12

Buy it here: Twitter/Instagram: @Bookwormcafeng; https://www.amazon.com/Flashback-Four-3-Pompeii-Disaster/dp/0062374451/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=flashback+four+pompeii&qid=1604955382&sr=8-1

Price: N1500; $7.50

MY SUMMARY

In part three of the Flashback Four series, the four tweens travel back in time to AD 79 to take pictures of one of the world’s most devastating natural disasters: the eruption of Mount Vesuvius aka, the day a huge volcano erupted and buried the Roman city of Pompeii in volcanic ash. What seems like a simple mission – dash into Pompeii, find a good spot, take a picture of the volcano, and dash back into the time machine to modern day New York – goes awry when the flashback 4 are kidnapped. The girls become slaves in a laundromat and the boys become gladiators in one of the first amphitheaters ever built, fighting hardened criminals and wild animals. They have one hour to escape captivity and make it out of Pompeii or become part of ancient history. Read the book to find out how it all plays out.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: This book was a first for me because it is a book of fiction with elements of nonfiction and I loved the blend of fiction and non-fiction. I loved the narrator’s voice, it was fun and cheeky and he spoke directly to the reader making it even more interesting. Finally, I love that I learnt a thousand and one things. I learnt about Pliny the Younger, the city of Pompeii and volcanoes. The book features a whole section on making a DIY volcano at home! Perfect science experiment for these homeschooling days!

I guess the ultimate highlight is that to celebrate my birthday and my love for history (it bothers on obsession really) my sister and I visited the Getty Villa in Malibu, California last year. The villa is a recreation of the Villa dei Papiri, one of the ancient Roman country homes destroyed during the Pompeii disaster. It was like walking through a time machine. It was really easy to imagine some of the scenes in this book because of the villa.

DOWN: Gosh, the book was about 50 pages too long and incredible slow-paced. These made it book very putdownable! When I read reviews of the series I was shocked to see words like ‘action-packed’, ‘fast-paced’. Ah! I was really confused. I mean, there was some action and a few cliff hangers but fast-paced? No! Long story short, it took 10 whole days to read the book and even at that, it was a struggle. (I read 500-page books in 2 days!) If I didn’t have to read it as mentor text and for the blog as well, I may never have finished reading the book. But hey, thumbs up for the nonfiction elements, they were out of this world. Check the trivia section out for some of the mind rocking ones.

RATING

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TRIVIA

  1. Romans used urine to wash their clothes. Yup, they soaked the clothes in tubs filled with old urine and had slaves step in them.
  2. The average male during the Roman Empire stood about five feet tall, i.e. the height of an average 13-year-old boy.

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Make a Volcano using the instructions on pages 50 – 54.

CHALLENGE: Flashback Four: The Pompeii Disaster 

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Read Pliny the Younger’s letters on the Pompeii Disaster and write a short story about the disaster.

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 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 15th 2020.

Next Book of the Week:

BEASTS MADE OF NIGHT by Tochi Onyebuchi

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The Good Egg

Title: The Good Egg

Author: Jory John; Illustrator: Pete Oswald

Publisher: HarperCollins

Number of pages: 40

Type of Book: Picture book, Fiction

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Good-Egg-Jory-John/dp/B0817JDTLL/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Price: $9.75

MY SUMMARY

This is a funny and insightful tale about the importance of self-care and taking things easy. The verrrrrry good egg likes for everything and everyone to be perfect. She (I liked to think of the egg as female, just because I am partial to female characters😀 ) is always ready to help anyone and everyone, she specifically says ‘… if you need any help whatsoever, I’m your egg.’ She also cleans up after her housemates who she describes as ‘not-good’ eggs because they ignore bedtime, throw tantrums, cry for no reason and eat sugary cereals (typical toddlers). Of course, she’s really exhausted every night and eventually, she starts cracking up, literally. Read the book to find out how the good egg deals with the problem of being ‘too good’

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: It tickled my funny bone, I loved it. The word play was hilarious: ‘Egg was cracking up’, ‘egg’s head felt scrambled’, names of the other eggs: Meg, Sheldon, Frank😀 The illustrations were particularly funny and charming. The eggs were really cute and expressive. I really loved the good egg’s huge round frames. I loved the page where the egg was sick and took IV fluids labelled ‘yolk’❤️ I think Pete Oswald did a fantastic job with the illustrations. In fact, the two, John and Oswald make a perfect match. They have worked together on several great books: The Couch Potato, The Bad Seed. (Check them out too)

I loved the universal themes of the book: It’s OK to not be perfect; we need to be as good to ourselves as we are to others; we need to take things easy and we need to take time off to cool off when things get too much.

Finally, I love that even though it’s a book for kids (a picture book) it really is wonderful for adults as well.

DOWN: None.

RATING

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Watch a read-aloud video here:

CHALLENGE: The Good Egg

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Draw an angry egg, a happy egg and a sad egg (4 – 6 year olds)
  • Find four things the good egg did to ‘relax’ in the crossword puzzle below (7 – 8 year olds)
ZDCYPAINTGJBX
VNOHGONDSAMNO
KSARESBENGEDN
HBGRAYWKBLUAN
IMEDITATIONET
ODSJAAGKNRSRS
OCNKLEWALKSNA
LXSBAELPGUPLF

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com.

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 4 – 8 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 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 25th 2020.

Next Book of the Week:

QUEEN IDIA OF BENIN by 234 Express

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photo credit: amazon.com