Friday, October 28, 2016

Bad Girls of Fashion

Bad Girls of Fashion: Style Rebels from Cleopatra to Lady Gaga

By: Jennifer Croll

The book  cover the lives of ten women who made history and hugely impacted fashion. If it had not been for their influence fashion would not be what we know it today. Included are Cleopatra, Marie Antoinette, Coco Chanel, Marlene Dietrich, Madonna, and Lady Gaga. Sidebar subjects include: Elizabeth I, Marilyn Monroe, Rihanna, and Vivienne Westwood.

Photos and illustrations show the fashion risks and trends that these ladies took or started in their lives. This book will educate you about how fashion has changed through history but also how it has been used socially and politically as a tool to cause change. 

The book includes lots of trivia interspersed throughout.  For example Cleopatra knew nine languages and wrote medical texts and Marie Antoinette did not say "Let them eat cake".

I did find the way the book was organized confusing, but overall enjoyed learning about these powerful women and the history of fashion.

I think this would be a great read for those interested in fashion, art, history, or feminism. 

Publisher: Annick Press
Date: October 11, 2016
Age Range: 12 Years
Grade: 7+


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Stronger Than Steel

Stronger Than Steel: Spider Silk DNA and the Quest for Better Bulletproof Vests, Sutures, and Parachute Rope

By: Bridget Heos
Photographs: Andy Comins

First of all I hate spiders with a passion so for me to read a book that has anything to do with spiders is pretty unusual. Despite this fact, I found the book to be quite enjoyable.

The book takes us both in the field and lab to learn about the world of genetics through the study of spider silk. The book has a narrative approach and contains difficult science topics that are explained 
in a way young readers can understand. A wide variety of pictures are included that adds to the understanding of what is being explained. 

Randy Lewis takes spider DNA and injects it into goats, bacteria, silkworms and alfalfa in an attempt to discover a better way to produce spider silk. The books takes you through each of these process in detail. 

The strongest spider silk is five times stronger than steel, the possibilities for this are amazing! Spider silk could be used to produce a lighter but safer bulletproof vest and could be used to produce replacement tendons and ligaments in the medical field to just name a few of these amazing possibilities.

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Date: February 26, 2013
Lexile Level: 860L
Grade Level: 5-7

Educator Information:

I would recommend this book as a read aloud to introduce a unit on DNA or genetics, a topic for a book report or a book for a student that is very interested in spiders, DNA, or genetics. This book also addresses GMOs and could be used to start a discussion, a debate or introduce the topic to a class.

This book is part of the Scientists in the Field Series. This series introduces young readers what goes on in the field and the lab during various scientific studies in a way that is both entertaining and educational. The series covers a wide variety of scientific topics and would be a great resource in any science classroom.

The website provides an educators guide that is available for download.

Here are a few of the other books in the series I would recommend if you like this book.

Wonder By P.J. Palacio

If you were to ask me some of my favorite books of all time, this would definitely be in my top 5! I won't describe what I look like. ...