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

Unbored: The Essential Guide to Serious Fun by Joshua Glenn and Elizabeth Foy Larsen

What the Book’s About: Unbored is a 350-page collection of activities designed to get kids to put down their screens and use their tech skills to build things in the real world. Yes, there are science experiments in this book, but there are also instructions for yarn-bombing, upcycling, board games hacking, stop-action movie making, code cracking, and skateboard repairing.  This book is a wonderful combination of old school fun and high-tech flair.  

Why The Ten-Year-Old Likes It: “It tells you everything you need to know about how not to be bored. There’s stuff like The Game (which I just lost, by the way), how to make a remote control water blaster, and instructions for building a teepee for folks who have outdoor space. It’s really fun. This is the best book I’ve read in years.”

The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13599, Mirror Lake Internment Camp by Barry Denenberg

What the Book’s About: On February 19, 1942, shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, authorizing the round-up and internment of American citizens of Japanese descent. Ultimately, some 117,000 Americans were affected by this order.

The Journal of Ben Uchida is a fictional account of what it was like for one family caught up by Roosevelt’s orders. After the Pearl Harbor bombing, Ben’s father is arrested, and Ben, his sister, and his mother are shipped off to the Mirror Lake Internment Camp. Ben copes with the long lines at the mess hall, the dust storms that sweep through the desert, and the experience of being watched over from high by armed guards with baseball references and a healthy dose of humor.    

Why The Ten-Year-Old Likes It: “It shows what it was really like to be in one of those internment camps. I can’t believe we ever did that. I want to look into the rest of the series, because this book was really well-written and taught me a lot.”

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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 will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-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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