I was sent the first two books in a series of children’s books by Lori Jordan-Rice to review and keep. The book s are titled “Miss Trimble’s Trapdoor” and Miss Trimble’s Trapdoor, The Perseverance of Christopher Columbus.” Both books were illustrated by Fox Carlton Hughes.
Most of the children’s books that I read are geared for young children, about the age of my daughter(6 ½). These books are for children around my son’s age, 11 years old this weekend. The main character in the book is a fifth grade boy named Tyler, that is shy, socially awkward, and has trouble paying attention in class.
Because of this, Tyler has his own corner in the classroom that is designated his “quiet place.” This is where he goes, or is sent, when he is having trouble concentrating. When I read this, it reminded me of my son and how he needs a quiet place to work. He is easily distracted. This is also true for a lot of autistic children and for children with other disabilities. However, there was nothing in the book that stated that the character had a disability of any kind. I asked the author what was the inspiration for the main character, if he is based on anyone in particular. She replied, “The main character, Tyler, is based loosely around my own oldest son, who is shy and struggles with self esteem. He is smart, but really needs his own “quiet space” to think and do his best.”
Ms. Jordan-Rice is a former elementary teacher that had become frustrated with the lack of knowledge children were able to demonstrate in the area of history. It seemed that more and more, our children are growing up “historically illiterate – meaning, our kids may not know which country the United States fought to declare its freedom, what explorer discovered America or even who won the battle of the Alamo.” She has written these books to teach history in a manner that will be engaging to young children. Ms. Jordan-Rice says “ The ‘Miss Trimble’s Trapdoor’ series revolves around a fictional classroom full of characters and their daily lives, with an extensive history lesson embedded in each story.”
I did not find this to be true in the first book. To me, the first book was centered on introducing the characters in the book and had a little bit of historical information in it. I felt that this was the best way to write the first book in the series. It gives the reader the opportunity to learn about the characters and to get invested in the story that is being read, and the ones to follow.
The second book does contain an extensive history lesson it. Both stories have important life lessons that are taught, using what has happened in our past (history), to teach the main character how to handle problems he faces in the present. In the first book, “Miss Trimble’s Trapdoor,” Tyler meets Barnabas Bailey, a talking dog that acts as his teacher and guide when Tyler discovers the trapdoor.
Tyler learns an important lesson about friendship and the importance of liking yourself first. In the second book, “Miss Trimble’s Trapdoor The Perseverance of Christopher Columbus,” Tyler learns that you have to work hard, be persistent, and accept failure in order to achieve success. These are great life lessons that children need to learn and understand.
It is my opinion that these books are not just books that your child can read for entertainment. They would be excellent books to use for book reports. They provide opportunities to discuss and relate events in the past to the present. You can use them to challenge your child’s critical thinking and interpretation skills. There soon will be other books in the series available for purchase. I am looking forward to that. For more information about the “Miss Trimble’s Trapdoor” series, please visit www.MissTrimblesTrapdoor.com.
This giveaway is for one autographed copy “Miss Trimble‘s Trapdoor“ and “Miss Trimble‘s Trapdoor The Perseverance of Christopher Columbus.” You must live in the US to enter. This giveaway begins March 4, 2010 and ends March 20, 2010.
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