Why Does Popcorn Pop?

Okay, guys. This book is a tad different, so just bear with me.

Different? you say. How?

Well, for one thing this book isn’t fiction, it’s non fiction. But not like I Am Malala,(https://bookwormgirl804.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/i-am-malala/) which is a biography and sort of tells a story. It’s like a trivia book. For foodies.

I was browsing the library one day when I saw this book. I checked out the inside cover, which basically said that Why Does Popcorn Pop? is a bunch of answers to food related questions, like, why is ketchup “catsup,” how many animal crackers are there, why doughnuts have holes, and what’s actually IN McDonald’s meat. (Not as disgusting as you may think.)

Being the huge trivia geek and baker nerd I am, I borrowed it.

And it was actually interesting! I mean, if you want to hear a story, don’t borrow this. But if you’re up for whatever, borrow Why Does Popcorn Pop?

The only thing I found boring was the section on beer and wine. Obviously, I’m still a teenager so I don’t drink (and I don’t think I ever will when I’m older ’cause the health teacher scared the heck out of me with her addiction talk) and a whole chapter on alcohol is definitely NOT up my alley.

So, yeah. If I knew the author I would ask him to make a kid version of this book with words that aren’t as difficult (for elementary students) and no drinking section (this part should be self explanatory).

Due to a more challenging vocab, I would recommend Why Does Popcorn Pop? to middle schoolers and up. Also, I would give this book 4 stars.

Why Does Popcorn Pop?

Color Me Dark: The Diary of Nellie Lee Love, the Great Migration North

Where should I start? I guess I could say that this book is for 4th to 6th graders. And that the main character in an African American girl named Nellie.

Nellie looks like (I mean no offense by using the following term) a white girl because her skin is so light and people often mistake her as one.

Nellie wishes she looked more like her older sister, whose skin is very dark, because she loves her.

Nellie and her family face much discrimination and evil in Tennessee; it is 1919 after all. But they’re used to it.

What I think tips them all off the edge is when their Uncle Pace (according to the sheriff) gets drunk and hit by a train and dies. It’s pretty obviously this didn’t happen on account:

a) Pace never touched alcohol in his entire life.

b) He’s African American, which leaves him (in the people’s eyes) a target of discrimination. Probably *hint hint, wink wink* someone did something to him.

After spending some final moments with her uncle, Nellie’s sister stops talking.

Nellie’s parents take her sister, Erma Jean, to a hospital care center and then their father makes the announcement:

“We’re moving to Chicago, kids!”

Okay, it didn’t sound EXACTLY like that but I’m sure that by quoting from the book I’d be breaking some sort of copyright infringement law.

Nellie and her entire family are hopeful. They think that the North will be much more accepting of who they are, but instead discrimination might actually be worse!

The only difference is that the people in Chicago stand up for their rights and the people in Tennessee don’t.

In Color Me Dark you get to see Nellie’s diary, which is pretty cool. I think it helps you understand what it was like to live in a world of discrimination even worse than today’s!

Five stars, definitely!

Color Me Dark: The Diary of Nellie Lee Love, the Great Migration North

12 Again

Patrick’s mom has mysteriously disappeared the day before her 40th birthday. All she did was go to her Mom’s house!

His father says she’s on “vacation” but Patrick and his brother, Kevin, don’t buy it. They know there’s something else going on. Murder? Blackmail? Kidnapping?

Meanwhile, Patrick’s mom, Bernadette, wakes up and finds herself a tiny little 7th grader. Even more surprising, her mom – who had been killed in a car accident – is alive! It seems like her 12 year old self, her mom, and their house has been transported to modern times!

Detta is worried about her family and is super confused, but she manages to enroll as a student and makes some awesome friends. She even relearns how to do a cartwheel!

Patrick notices the new girl but doesn’t pay much attention. He just focuses on emailing his mom from his new email account.

Finally, Detta responds to her son. She doesn’t tell him who she is (in fear of freaking him out) but tells him to find some awfully odd things that sound a lot like stuff in his grandmother’s potion recipes.

Can Patrick and Bernadette work together to fast forward the clock of time before it’s too late?

I thought that 12 Again was fairly interesting. I guess it was a mystery story.

12 Again deserves 5 stars and is for ages 11 to 14.

12 Again

The Top Ten Summer Reads of 2015

Hey guys! It’s finally here! My first top ten list! 🙂 (In no particular order)

1) The Candymakers by Wendy Mass

The Candymakers is about 4 12 year old kids who lead very different lives. One’s a spy, one’s a candymaker’s son, the other’s obsessed with the afterlife, and the last is a snobby know it all.

All four of them embark on a quest to make the best candy and win the candy-making contest. None of them know that this will change their lives and bring an unexpected mission to save their host candy factory, Life Is Sweet.

Yeah, it’s pretty long. 400 something pages, I think. Totally worth it, though!

2) Paige By Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge


3) I Am Malala by Patrica McCormick and Malala Yousafzai (gosh, that name is hard to spell!)


4) Rush For The Gold: Mystery At The Olympics by John Feinstein

Okay, yeah. I admit it. I’m NOT a sporty girl, and I have no idea why I chose this book. The only exercise I do is with my fingers (typing, texting…)

But, it was great! Basically, a rising 16 year old swimmer enters the 2012 Olympics and gets the taste of a celeb’s life. (Swarms, sneaky agents, strict dad, cut off from all friends, disgusting articles about how “hot” you are… not very good.) She and her sportswriter boyfriend think her swim agent’s up to no good and try to stop whatever sneaky plan he has in mind.

5) The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

OH. MY. GOSH. BEST. BOOK. EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I could go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about the Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus series BUT I don’t want to bore you all with my nerdy prattle.

Percy Jackson is a demigod – half greek god half mortal. When his mother is held prisoner by Hades, god of the Underworld, and Zeus’s, lord of the skies and ruler of the gods, lighting bolt goes missing, Percy has a choice. Grab his mom and make a run for it, or find the bolt and stop a major war between the gods.

The Lightning Thief is REALLY funny, sarcastic, and action packed and is one of my all time FAVES!!!!!!!!!!

6) The Girl Who Owned A City by O.T. Nelson

When all the people in the world above 12 die out, the kids are left alone to fend for themselves. Life is hard, especially for Lisa. She needs food, water, protection from gangs, transportation, and her little brother to stay safe.

Eventually, Lisa forms and army and a city of the neighborhood kids. But when gangs attack and conquer her city, Lisa HAS TO FIND A WAY TO GET IT BACK!

The graphic novel version is cool, too!

7) Spy School by Stuart Gibbs


8) Out of My MInd by Sharon Draper


9) I Am A Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb 

Super funny!: https://bookwormgirl804.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/i-am-a-genius-of-unspeakable-evil-and-i-want-to-be-your-class-president/

10) The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly


So, I hope this helps you with summer reading and stuff! Tell me how you do in the comments and what you thought of the books on the list!

The Top Ten Summer Reads of 2015