Wednesday, April 29, 2009

State of Quarries by Elysabeth Eldering--Book Review

The Junior Geography Detective Squad returns in State of Quarries, the second book in this continuing series of the fifty states by Elysabeth Eldering.

Matt is busy in his room studying when his younger sister Mary Beth strolls in begging to play the game Matt received as a gift from his mother. Like the typical older brother he says, "no"; but Mary Beth soon convinces him that a round would be fun. And like the last time when they played with Matt's friend Guy, they place a bet. This time, the loser has to perform the other person's most hated chore.

Clue by clue pops up on the screen, each clue getting easier as they advance. Who will uncover the identity of the state in this round first? And who will be left doing double chores?

I eagerly awaited the release of the second book in the Junior Geography Detective Squad series. Book 1, State of Wilderness--which we reviewed here--introduced us to Matt Peterson, his mother, his best friend Guy and his younger sister Mary Beth, and led the kids along on an adventure that made learning fun.

With Guy only being mentioned in the second book, but not present to participate in the game, State of Quarries depends upon the healthy competitive side of sibling rivalry to move the story along, as each sibling hopes to uncover the answer first and not be stuck with the other person's most hated chore.

As I mentioned when I reviewed State of Wilderness, Eldering really taps into what it is like to be a young person, so Matt and Mary Beth are realistic characters. They bicker, they tease, and they each want to win.

Aidana WillowRaven returns to illustrate the second book, providing cover art and interior illustrations that help depict the clues and the handheld game. The rustic look of many of these illustrations subtly symbolizes the many years of history that the reader is uncovering as she picks up clue after clue and learns United States geography.

Once the game is over and the state's identity has been revealed, there is a section that provides more facts about the state and a series of discussion questions. This book is perfect not only for your child, but is also an excellent classroom resource. Teacher's Guides are also available.

Learning doesn't get any more fun than this!

Title: State of Quarries
Author: Elysabeth Eldering
ISBN-10: 0-9797513-9-X
ISBN-13: 978-0-9797513-9-4
SRP: $10.99 (U.S.)

1 comment:

elysabeth said...

Excellent review, Cheryl. Thank you so much. Be prepared, state 3 - State of Reservations is half finished and I'm looking for a nice break in work to complete it and get it edited. I can't wait to get to States 4, 5 and 6 (I really want the covers so I can order more bookmarks - lol) - Anyway, I will get you something in hand for doing the reviews. I look forward to more from you and thank you, thank you - such wonderful words. - E :)