Poppins Book Nook! October Book Review and Giveaway

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

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Welcome to October’s Poppins Book Nook!  This month the theme is Beyond Our Planet!  Space is one of our favorite categories of science; we are always on the lookout for neat science courses about the planets, our galaxy and beyond.  Not to mention the newest NASA news!


a Fall 2014 233But, sometimes it’s hard to find great science fiction for my son, who’s 12.  We stumbled upon Sigmund Brouwer’s Robot Wars series awhile ago, and found much to interest us in them.  We haven’t read the entire series but we can recommend the first one, Death Trap, for young adult readers ages 12-16.

Death Trap tells the story of Tyce Sanders.  He’s a 14-year-old scientist in the Mars Colony who works with virtual reality.  The Mars Colony’s mission is, as you’d expect, to create a liveable home for humans, which means creating gardens, which produce air to breathe, and maximizing the talents and abilities of each person in the Colony.  (Which is why you find a 14-year-old scientist there!)

Tyce has a specific challenge that’s unlike any other resident of Mars Colony.  He’s in a wheelchair.  But this also gives him a reason to delve further into virtual reality; because there he controls a robot who can actually move around with the freedom Tyce lacks….either inside OR outside the Colony dome.

Unbeknownst to Tyce, however, all is not as calm and peaceful as it seems in the Colony.  Peril is just ahead; and those in charge think that some people who seem less important than others should be sacrificed so that others can live.  Tyce races against time to find a solution that will enable him–and others–to live and the colony to be saved.  Will he succeed?

Death Trap includes books 1 and 2 of the original Robot Wars series, and this review covers the first book.  If your teen enjoys science fiction and you’re looking for that genre with a Christian worldview, you’ll be glad you found this.  As a scientist, Tyce has only ever believed in what he could prove; and while his mother is a woman of faith, he didn’t believe that God could be proven…and that He was therefore not there.  As the events of the book unfold, Tyce realizes that he truly needs someone beyond himself; and someone who measures a person’s worth in better ways than the villains around him.

Enrichment Activities

Of course, with Beyond Our Planet as the month’s category, there are a plethora of cool space activities you can do with your children!  Here are just a few that we enjoyed this month!

  1. Make a papier mâché Mars.  I’m sure you’ve done this before, but I think 3D models and art are SO fun!  First, find a round balloon and blow it up to the size you’d like your planet to be, and set it on a plastic cup.  Then, mix up your paste.  I used 2C water to 1C flour.  You’ll want to use a whisk to make sure that all the lumps get stirred in; otherwise, your glue won’t be quite as thick as you need it to be.  Next, cut or tear strips of newspaper.  (We think 1″ wide strips work the best.)  Now you’re ready to dip the paper strips into the paste mixture, and wrap them around your balloon.  You’ll want to fit them as closely as possible. a Fall 2014 222When you’ve got the planet the size you want it to be, let it dry overnight.  The next day, you can paint!  We did a search on bing.com to find some great photos of Mars.  We know it as the red planet, but the pictures we saw had more of an orange cast, so that’s what we painted.  We also added the darker areas and the white polar ice caps. a Fall 2014
  2. Visit the NASA website!  You can find out about current missions and news, watch NASA Television and videos, and visit the galleries of incredible photos.  There is also an awesome NASA Kids Club, where students can learn more about space and play challenges.  **As with any website, things can change quickly; I always recommend that parents and children visit recommended websites together.
  3. Check out some cool apps.  One of our newest favorite Android apps is Stellarium, which enables you to set your time and location in the app.  Once you do that, you can see what constellations and planets are over your home.  You can view this in several ways; with just the names beside the lights in the night sky, or with the entire constellations drawn over them.  It is just fascinating and an incredible science tool.  I can’t wait to use it the next time we go camping!


Beyond Our Planet Bundle GiveawayBeyond Our Planet Bundle Giveaway! Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky entrant will win a bundle of fun for the theme of Beyond Our Planet.  This bundle will include a copy of the storybook The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons and a Space & Astronauts Bucket Playset.

Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside in a country that receives U.S. Postal mail. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom’s disclosures found here {http://enchantedhomeschoolingmom.org/disclosures/}.  Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Poppins Book Nook Themes 2014 - 2015

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ The Kennedy Adventures ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom’s Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama


Enjoy!  –Wren


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