Welcome to The Book Guardians!

We sincerely hope that this site is a blessing to you, and that it will help you in deciding which books are a good fit for your family!

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile

by Gloria Houston
illustrated by Susan Condie Lamb

Religious/Secular Content:-no
Adult Content:-no
Mature Topics:-no
Strong/Inappropriate Language:-no
Drug/Alcohol Use:-no
Educational Value:-yes
Positive/Negative Message:-Teaches the history of a library.

Oh, another great picture book!! This one is written by the same author that wrote My Great-Aunt Arizona...look into it, it's a good one as well!!

I think I'm partial to this book because it takes place in North Carolina-our home!

The book opens and you meet Dorothy, a little girl who loves books and loves people. She loves to loan out her books to her friends so that they too can find the treasures in them. Dorothy then determines that when she grows up she will become the librarian of the fine brick library in the center of the town square in her hometown of Massachusetts.

We find out however that even after attending college; preparing herself to be the best educated librarian that she can be; her plans don't happen like she thought.

The story then takes readers to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina where Miss Dorothy's librarian dreams take a route that she didn't quite expect.

Oh, this is a lovely book!! It displays how one person's love of books can permeate her surroundings and affect the lives of those she comes in contact with. It teaches that although things may not turn out exactly as we had planned that doesn't mean that our dreams won't be fulfilled. Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile also inspires a love and respect for libraries and librarians alike.

If you are a book lover-and you probably wouldn't be reading this blog if you weren't-then you need to check out this and other books by Gloria Houston. You won't be disappointed.

This book would also be a good addition to any study on libraries that you may be doing in your homeschool!  

The Firehouse Light

by Janet Nolan
illustrated by Marie Lafrance

Religious/Secular Content:-no
Adult Content:-no
Mature Topics:-no
Strong/Inappropriate Language:-no
Drug/Alcohol Use:-no
Educational Value:-yes
Positive/Negative Message:-no

We recently ended our 2010/2011 school year with a trip to a local fire department. It was a pretty last minute deal but I am so glad that we went. The fireman was extremely detailed and the kids (especially my son who went clad in his very own fireman outfit) loved it! Afterward we took a trip to the library and like all other Mom's out there I decided to look for a book that would compliment what we had just learned.

I happened across The Firehouse Light book by accident and immediately fell in love with the illustrations. (What can I say, I am visual...pictures attract me!!) They were done using acrylics and are a feast for the eyes!!

Anyway, the book! It's story starts out with this line, "A long time ago, when horse-drawn buggies delivered ice to keep food cold, and laundry dried on ropes in the sun, fires were fought with buckets, axes, and hand-pulled carts with water hoses." As the story unfolds, we find out that these poor firefighters had to fiddle with with lanterns in pitch-dark sheds to quickly find the equipment they needed. Then, one day, and elderly citizen brings to the firefighters a gift of a single lightbulb.

The book then skips ahead 10 years with every turn of the page and the readers learn what life was like in that little town for its citizens and its firefighters after 10 years of having the light, 20 years, 30 years on up to 100 years. And that lightbulb, well, it stays lit.

At the 100 year mark the townspeople throw a long deserved celebration for their faithful lightbulb. And ya know what, in the afterward at the end of the story we learn that the bulb-the same lightbulb-is still hanging from a single cord twenty feet above the ground in the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department's Station #6. It even has its own backup generator (to keep it going), webcam and website: http://www.centennialbulb.org/.

It's an amazingly sweet story that teaches so much! First of all it teaches history; the evolution of fighting fires, the evolution of a town and the evolution of it's people. It teaches math; counting by 10's up to 100. And it teaches, although quite subtly, how important faithfulness and dedication are to our society.

This is a great book! I highly recommend it for all of your firefighting enthusiasts!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hot X: Algebra Exposed

by Danica McKellar
illustrated by N/A

Religious/Secular Content : None-
Adult Content : Yes-
Mature Topics : Yes-
Strong/Inappropriate Language : Yes, minimal-
Magic/Witchcraft : No-
Disrespect/Rebellion : Yes-
Drug/Alcohol Use : Yes-
Violence/Abuse : Yes-
Educational Value : Yes-
Positive/Negative Message : Positive-

Hot X: Algebra Exposed is a middle/high school book about Algebra. It is written towards that age group and specifically for GIRLS. 
There is no distinguishable religious slant yet it does not talk against religious beliefs (it would be more secular than religious!).
The book is written for modern day girls aged 13+. There is reference to crushes on boys, obsessing over boys, dating, sex, drinking, partying and drugs. The focus on boys and liking them is prevalent throughout the book. 
Here is the lowdown on what might be of concern to some (myself included):

  • "kick-ass" -dedication page
  • "suck"- page xiv and throughout the book in reference to her other book by the title Math Doesn't Suck as well as slang for 'bad'.
  • "kick butt"- page 3
  • "tool" as it meaning "total loser"- page 10
  • Wishing a guy would like her who she had a crush on- page 15
  • Giving the impression that smarts gets the job, money and the life one dreams of (material pursuits)- page 20
  • Romance and sex are talked about- page 26
  • Drugs, partying- page 30
  • Boy crazy- page 39
  • Dating/boyfriends- throughout the book
  • Kissing- page 40
  • Crushes on boys is prevalent throughout the book
  • Bullying- page 72
  • Imagining the variable x is a kiss from 'some guy' (denotes it is alright to get kisses from various guys)- page 85
  • Breaking up with a boyfriend (at the age of 15)- page 140
  • Kissing- page 140
  • Domestic violence- page 146
  • Wishy-washy with emotions (I took it to denote that is it okay to like one moment and not another)- page 182
  • Martinis- page 239
  • "kick-ass"- page 263
  • Drinking wine (and while on the job)- page 272
  • Polygamy (gives the definition)- page 298
  • "heck"- page 286
Some good points:
  • Modest attire mentioned "your cute tankini and cover-up"- page 202
  • References to faith and God helping in ones life- page 222
  • Overall there is a message of being positive and confident in who you are and your abilities. 
  • Don't let math get the better of you- don't let the 'fear' run your life.
  • Don't let others control your actions and be true to yourself.
Because this isn't a review of this book as a math book I will leave it at what I have. But I do intend to read it more fully to see how it does stack up as a math book and will write a review on my blog soon.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Phillipians 4:8