What’s The Ten-Year-Old reading this week?

The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas

Book cover for The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas

What the Book’s About: The powerful magician Nevery has just returned to Wellmet after a 22-year absence, when a young thief robs him. The thief, a pickpocket named Conn, steals Nevery’s locus magicalicus, the source of his power. Being so close to that much power should have killed Conn, but it doesn’t. Intrigued by this, Nevery takes Conn on as his apprentice. Conn doesn’t have much time for magic lessons, though, as the magic in Wellmet is slowly draining away and it’s up to Nevery and Conn to figure out why.

Why The Ten-Year-Old Likes It: “It has characters you can relate to, and it’s set in exactly the kind of fantasy/sci-fi universe I like — kind of medieval, kind of Victorian, kind of right now.”

Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Creatures by John Malam and Steve Parker

Book cover for Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and other Prehistoric Creatures

What the Book’s About: John Malam and Steve Parker’s encyclopedia presents brief blurbs on hundreds of different dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures, grouped by type. Most species just get a paragraph or two summarizing their major features, but a few of the more famous ones, such as the T. Rex and the Triceratops, receive a two-page spread.

The Ten-Year-Old loves this format, because it makes it easy for her to compare several similar species and identify their differences. The book provides just enough information to keep her intrigued, and not enough to be overwhelming.

This is an older reference book on dinosaurs, and in places it shows its age. Careful readers will notice some out-of-date facts and gaps in the species list in this fifteen-year-0ld book, but it still provides a nice overview of the various dinosaurs paleontologists knew about when the book was published in 2003.

Why The Ten-Year-Old Likes It: “I like that it puts a lot of similar species on the same page, so it’s easy to see their differences. I also like that it has lots of drawings, all done by hand. Can you imagine being able to draw like that? When I try to draw the dinosaurs from this book, they end up looking like beans with hats.”

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About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book, Did Dinosaurs Have Belly Buttons?, is currently planned for release in 2018. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, chatting about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.blog, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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