Showing posts with label Growing Up. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Growing Up. Show all posts

Monday, October 5

BOOK REPORT: Best Mystery Series

In honor of National Mystery Series Week, here’s a compilation of some of the most timeless children’s mystery series. Check out these titles at your local library!

Nancy Drew, Carolyn Keene
A mild-mannered teenager, Nancy Drew stumbles into mystery upon mystery and solves crimes with wit, gumption, and help from her trusty friends, George and Bess. Follow Nancy as she recovers stolen objects, finds the truth behind spooky phenomena, and foils the crook’s plans! After first appearing in 1930, Nancy Drew has been reborn and revived throughout the years by way of computer games, movies, and updated books with modern story lines.

The Hardy Boys, Franklin W. Dixon
Frank and Joe Hardy are a pair of ordinary teenage brothers who frequently become tangled within the plots of countless mysteries. Male counterparts of Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys series was created by the same American writer and publisher, Edward Stratemeyer. Both series were penned under ghostwriters Frank Dixon and Carolyn Keene, but the stories were actually contributed by many different writers.
Encyclopedia Brown, Donald Sobol
Boy detective Leroy Brown has a brain full of trivia and operates his own detective agency. Solving the mysteries for the neighborhood children, Encyclopedia Brown picks up sleuthing tips from his police chief father and aides in the solving of many of his father’s police cases! Donald Sobol, author of this acclaimed mystery series, has collected many writing accolades, including a special Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for his contributions to the genre.
Harriet the Spy, Louise Fitzhugh
Eleven year old Harriet Welsch knows that she’ll be a famous writer someday. Dedicating all of her free time to jotting down her most inner thoughts and observations, Harriet strictly follows her daily spy route, spying on her classmates and neighbors. Harriet’s life is somewhat isolated, leaving her to channel her opinions of herself and others into a notebook. Tension ensues, however, when the notebook is discovered by her classmates and Harriet’s secret thoughts come spilling out. 
The Boxcar Children, Gertrude Chandler Warner
Four orphaned children make a home out of an abandoned boxcar and are eventually taken-in by their long-lost grandfather. As the children visit their grandfather during school holidays and travel to different locations, the Boxcar Children stumble upon mysteries wherever they travel. Including over 100 titles, this mystery series was originally written in the 1920’s by a 1st grade teacher.

Basil of Baker Street, Eve Titus
The mouse version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, Basil of Baker Street follows a mouse-detective and his biographer, Dr. Dawson. The sleuthing pair reside in a mouse community built in the basement of 221B Baker Street. Reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, Basil and Dr. Dawson solves mysteries and are in constant pursuit of Basil’s nemesis, the criminal mouse-mastermind, Professor Ratigan.

For more ideas, check out these popular children’s mystery novels:
The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin
The Invention of Hugo Cabert, Brian Selznick
Horton Halfpott, Tom Angleberger
The Wizard of Dark Street, Shawn Thomas Odyssey
The Aviary, Kathleen O’Dell

Discover more literary gems through Fairmont’s Pinterest board Literary Genius!

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Images by Wikipedia, Goodreads, & Amazon

Monday, August 10

HOW TO: teach your child about money

It’s never too early to provide your child with a strong foundation of financial wisdom and guidance. Learning financial principles at a young age will set the stage for a smoother transition into adulthood. From making small purchases with his or her own money to paying for college and beyond, wise financial stewardship is an essential skill.   

The Forbes article titled “The 5 Most Important Money Lessons to Teach Your Kids” encourages parents to take advantage of teachable moments in order to advise children about personal finance. For example, include your six-to-ten year old when making purchases at the grocery store. Give him or her several dollars and allow the child to make a selection based on parameters you have given (e.g. money must be spent on fruits or vegetables, cost not exceeding the specified amount, etc.). Parents should also remain interactive while shopping with children. Talking aloud and posing questions to your child, such as “Is this item essential?” or “Should we save money by buying an off-brand item instead?,” will keep him or her engaged in the activity and foster the concept that money is finite.

A U.S. News & World Report article, “7 Ways Smart Parents Teach Their Kids About Money,” references CEO of Steve Schaffer’s method of teaching his own children about money. When doling out weekly allowances, Schaffer deducts a quarter for “family taxes” and requires each child to put 15% of the week’s money into a savings account. The child may then choose what to do with the remaining amount, which is where a multitude of teachable moments occur organically. For instance, instead of buying the toy that your child has been begging for, encourage him or her to set a goal and save their own money for the purchase. This is a perfect situation for eliminating instant gratification and teaching goal-setting, money saving, and perseverance. As discussed in past blog post “HOW TO: Foster a Strong Work Ethic,” present opportunities for your child to earn extra money by establishing a list of chores to be completed for payment.

Another idea to consider is using a clear container instead of the classic piggy bank. This will give your children a visual reminder of their saving and purchasing goals. You can also teach the value of coupons and sales by encouraging your child to hunt for coupons in the newspaper. Also, consider limiting the amount of advertising your child is exposed to when trying to teach money-conscious values. Open a dialogue about advertisements and commercials by asking questions like “Would you spend your money on that?,” “How much do you think that item costs?,” or “Do you think we really need that item?” View past blog post “CHALK TALK: Helping Young Children be Aware of the Purpose of Advertising” for more about parenting in an ad-saturated world.

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools

Image by Claudio Jule, Free