Showing posts with label Newbery Award Winners. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Newbery Award Winners. Show all posts


Hear Us Teach; A Poem By Scott C. Waring

Hear Us Teach; A Poem By Scott C. Waring

To be a teacher, a sculptor of a child’s destiny, was always my goal.
I wanted to enlighten their minds and release them back into the wild.
I wanted to stop wars, and end world hunger with my teachings.

I believed I could make a difference in someone’s journey though life.
A belief I still hold today.
I never chose this job for the money, but for the sparkle in the eye that tells me the child gained enlightenment.

Parents complain often of what children should and shouldn’t learn.
They censor our books, our pledges, our souls.
There might as well be a sign on the door that says “Notice: No God, No hugs, no service.”

Students yearn for knowledge of the world around them.
They thirst for it.
They hunger for it.
They even sometimes fear it.
Most often they get board with it.

So we as teacher jump up on chairs and make funny faces.
We use unusual voices.
We use elements of surprise.
This we hope will keep their attention.
This we trust will captivate their imaginations.

Teachers are more than parents, because the parents don’t want to be themselves.
Quietly we teach children ethics, morals and proper behavior, without the parents consent.
We listen and assist the students in a way that they don’t get at home.

Those who don’t want to learn in class are those we worry about the most.
They are the ignored, the single parented, the broken horse that could have used gentling, but now lacks spirit.
When you show them a kindness, they are the ones who appreciate it the most.

For in their world, it’s dark and cold.
They feel ignored, in the way and a Burdon to others.
It’s a dreadful place to be, a youngster without a childhood, without a parent, without a hug.
These are the students who stay in at recess to talk alone with the teacher.

Parents say teachers must treat all children equally, but I have yet to meet such a person. Perhaps the one who could stroll upon the surface of water. Yes - a teacher.
Parents preach that which they themselves can not possibly do.
They choose to have children.
They choose to ignore them.
They blame the teachers for their child’s shortcomings.
These we call parents.

Through years of teaching, colors gradually fade in the grass and flowers and in the sky above.
Through the obstacles and the hardships, teaching for us begins to loose its appeal.
We as teachers begin to realize we are trying to move a mountain with a spoon, one scoop at a time.

We teach.
We remember how we felt in the beginning, our hair now gone gray and we teach.

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Book Review of West’s Time Machine, A Novel for Kids.

Foreword Magazine called it, “a fascinating adventure through time.” West’s Time Machine is an exhilarating novel that is jam packed with 187 pages of never-ending action. For those who love the thrill of time travel and those who love Einstein, this book combines the two to create the adventure of a lifetime.

A year after the tragic car accident that killed West and Gina’s parents, the kids come across some old boxes in a shed. The boxes belonged to their parents and to their amazement, one of them contained the parts of a 1955 Harley Davidson. West felt that his parents would love to have put that old bike together, so as a tribute to them, he and his baby sister begin to piece together the motorcycle until they at last finish it in all its glory.

The old shed that contained the box of motorcycle parts also held many other boxes with the bold white letters ‘Property of NASA,’ written across them. The kids catch sight of these and asked their grandmother about them. As it turns out, their father bought them long ago at a NASA auction and thought he could build something useful from all the parts. West and Gina decide to search through the boxes to see what fun treasures they might find. They find a mysterious brown folder marked TOP SECRET. They opened the folder and found the plans for building an actual time machine. They quickly set upon themselves to build this machine from the parts in the boxes. Once built, they attached it to the side of the motorcycle.

When trying out the motorcycle, they accidently activate the time travel box, which transports them back in time to the August 5th, 1948. Here they meet Albert Einstein. He becomes fascinated by the motorcycle and takes it for a joy ride. West and Gina jump on behind him and shoot through time until they find themselves safely back at home in 2008.

The two kids teach Albert Einstein about the many technological marvels of today, like laptop computers and on-line chatting plus much more. When West’s teacher takes a small break to have her baby, Einstein gets the chance to take over. Albert takes the time machine box off the motorcycle and brings it to class with him in hopes of learning more about it. When Albert isn’t paying attention, one of the students begin messing with the time machine and in avertedly ends up sending the entire classroom and its contents into the past to 1875. The students are taken aback at first, but then decide that they should take this opportunity to look around a bit at their surroundings.

West encounters Billy The Kid in a jail cell window and gets talked into reaching in the adjacent window to grab the jail keys off the desk. He hands them to Billy, not wanting to leave a kid behind bars. After some interesting interactions with the local towns folk, Einstein leads them back to their classroom and turns on the time machine taking them all back to the present. This causes the students to go home, raving about the great Mr. Albert and how he caused them to become more interested in science and history. The school principal is so taken aback that he offers Mr. Albert the chance to teach West’s classroom for the rest of the week.

Gina and West beg Albert to help them rescue their parents who died in a devastating car crash one year earlier. When Albert is certain that he has learned how to control the time machine, all three of them get on the motorcycle and begin traveling through time. Suddenly West and Gina’s argument breaks out into a hitting and kicking fight while on the bike. They accidentally hit some of the time machine controls, sending them not to the past, but sprawling forward into the future! More than 2300 years into the future, where they find the last city left on Earth, Atlantis. The three of them get shrunk down to size of raisins so that they can enter the miniature city of Atlantis, where they find the only food sources are insects and fungus. Trying to save the people of Atlantis, they strap the time machine box to both the motorcycle and the tiny city in an attempt to bring them back to the year 2007, when food and life on Earth is plentiful and their parents were alive. When they arrived, they had only minutes to prevent their parent’s car accident. The people of Atlantis offered to pay back his kindness by helping to save his parents.

It is a captivating book with adventure around every corner. They travel through time not once, but many times, encountering many oddities and wonders that stimulate the creativity and imagination of the reader. This is a must have for any library. This novel can be found at any on-line bookstore like or

Book Review of George’s Pond, a Novel for kids.

Foreword magazine called it “an enchanting story with significant emphasis on the values of friendship and family.” This book that’s brought tears and laughter to so many readers, is a novel that we tend to take for granted. It emphasizes friendship and family before all else. If you enjoyed reading the wonderful adventures of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, then you will truly come to love George’s Pond. It’s become very popular among elementary school libraries and junior highs across the country. It handles the inevitability of the cycle of life with more skill and wisdom than any novel since E.B. White wrote Charlotte’s Web. This novel can be found at any on-line bookstore like or

The full title is George’s Pond, Created in the Beloved Tradition of Charlotte’s Web, by author Scott C. Waring. In this187 page novel, a curious character sprouts up. His name is George and he is a fearless and entertaining little turtle.

When the sun begins drying up his shallow puddle of water and the hungry crow’s overhead threatens George, his future seems bleak until a boy and his dog stumble upon the turtle in the nick of time. The ten-year old boy called West and his dog Friendly take the turtle home to an old two-story farmhouse. There the boy names the turtle after George Washington, his favorite president. Not long after this, the boy rescues a baby gray squirrel that he names Nadia.

The boy learns that all three animals can speak, and only he understands them. This brings them closer together during many great adventures of exploring the back yard. West shows the turtle his remote controlled helicopter, which is quickly commandeered by George and used in many of their travels in the back yard. Their bonds of friendship grow until they can no longer see each other’s differences, but instead look upon one another as family.

An eviction notice by the local bank informs the owners that either they pay up all past payments, or must leave the property within 30 days. The looming eviction causes West and his three friends to begin to wonder what will happen if they lose the house and property, but is far outweighed by the threat of losing each other forever.
George, Nadia and Friendly, decide to explore the attic. They discover an old map hanging on the wall. It’s a map of the back yard showing what it looked like before the house was built. Upon the map they found B.B.’s Gold Mine. They realized the significance of their find and began the hunt for the lost mine.

Time was not on their side; only a few days still remained before the bank took away their farm. They soon found B.B.’s Gold Mine. The mines entrance went downward into the ground where they found a vast maze of tunnels till they came upon a large room. Within the huge cave was a shallow pond that was forty meters in diameter. Thousands of tiny lighting bugs lit up the cave wall with their tiny bottoms glowing powerfully.

George swims along the shallow cave pond and attempts to explore its bottom for any gold nuggets that might still remain. Friendly and Nadia search the area around its edges. As the little turtle was swimming across the pond, he found a small island at its opposite end. Upon the island he discovered something greater than gold, his long lost grandfather. He teaches the little turtle the meaning of freedom, the history of his family and the importance of loyalty to those you love.

When the boy confronts the large turtle, he discovers that this aged turtle once, belonged to his Father, but had been set free because he loved his turtle and wanted it to be happy.

In the end, George the turtle, Friendly the farm dog and Nadia the silver squirrel manage to find a large gold nugget, thanks to the old turtle they meet on the island. Nadia gets legions of squirrels to make a walking carpet to carry the gold nugget upon. Upon this cute and furry carpet, the farm boy and his pets carry the gold down the street all the way through the small town until they reach the bank. There they deliver the gold to the bank manager, who was just three minutes from closing the bank for the day.

Overall, this book will enthrall both children and adults alike. Readers will defiantly find marvelous and useful life lessons within these pages, from being kind to those who are different, to helping those who are in need. George’s Pond is a fantastic story for all ages, and will make you both laugh and cry throughout this awe-inspiring tale.