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Kids Weird But True: 300 Outrageous Facts Paperback – December 22, 2009
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About the Author
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS inspires young adventurers to explore the world through award-winning magazines, books, website, apps, games, toys, television series and events and is the only kids brand with a world-class scientific organization at its core.
Jonathan Halling is an award-winning creative director at National Geographic, where he has worked for more than 20 years. A graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, he has also designed many book covers, including Buzz Aldrin’s No Dream Is Too High: Life Lessons from a Man Who Walked on the Moon. To learn more, visit jonathanhallingcreative.com.
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One weekend last spring, our son actually read one entire 300 pg. book from this series to my husband and I over the course of two days - 50 pg.s three times a day until he'd finished. I mention this because last year my son was sent to a reading specialist because his teacher was concerned that he was reading below his age-level. Although I was happy for him to receive the extra attention from the specialist, I always doubted that he had any real problems reading because he read the Nat'l Geo books to us constantly. Thankfully, I was right. He no longer sees the reading specialist, reads above his grade-level, and even reads out-loud to his classmates at lunchtime.
Why is this so important? Because kids are often labeled as poor readers when it's not that they can't read, but rather that they simply aren't interested in what they are being given to read. My teen-age step-daughter grew up thinking that she was a poor reader, too. That all changed when I gave her the Twilight Series. She read the last book, "Breaking Dawn," (756 pages) in less than 48 hours!
There are several elements that make the Nat'l Geo Weird, But True series so appealing, particularly to elementary aged boys. The layouts are very simple, not cluttered. Each fact is only one or two sentences long. The font is much larger than what you would find in a typical chapter book designed for this age group. And the visual images are excellent - exciting, funny, interesting - they immediately draw the reader in, curious to find out more.
As a parent, teacher, library volunteer, and chairperson of my son's Scholastic Book Fairs, all of the books in this series are ones that I have and will continue to recommend for lower elementary-aged children!
There are a few facts per full-color page and the graphics and design are engaging but not distracting. There are a couple of facts more gentle readers might find "gross", but they'll be largely palatable for the average elementary schooler's curious mind.
If you've got a budding explorer, scientist, adventurer, or trivia buff, this would be an excellent and entertaining way to perk their curiosity.