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Hot Topics! Reading List
Potpourri

Potpourri

1000 Play Thinks: Puzzles, Paradoxes, Illusions & Games by Ivan Moscovich
Visual challenges, riddles, and puzzles to help push thinking into these new frontiers, some original; others are adaptations of classic challenges. Bold, bright, colorful, and genuinely inviting, they are arranged by mathematical or scientific category, and ranked by a degree of difficulty from 1 to 10...
The Big Bug Search by Kamini Khanduri
Search through the detailed illustrations of periods of history from the cave man to the 20th century, showing cultures around the world.  Great entertainment for kids from pre-reading through adult!
Bridges: Amazing Structures to Design, Build & Test by Ted Williams
Historical and technical information on the design and construction, plus hands-on experiments. From analysis of the arch, beam, and suspension systems to the "care and feeding" of structures and reflections on bridges of the future. Projects involve building, measurement, and observation, testing the strength of varied paper shapes or constructing a Popsicle-stick truss bridge or writing bridge poems...
The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn Iggulden & Hal Iggulden
A guide book for dads as well as their sons, as a reminder of lore and technique that have not yet been completely lost to the digital age. Recall the adventures of Scott of the Antarctic and the Battle of the Somme, relearn how to palm a coin, tan a skin, and, most charmingly, wrap a package in brown paper and string. By learning how to place a splint or write in invisible ink, a boy might be prepared for anything, even girls (which warrant a small but wise chapter of their own).  Originally published in the U.K., adapted for American audiences.  Original U.K. version Amazon.co.uk
The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea Buchanan & Miriam Peskowitz
The manual for everything that girls need to know –– and that doesn't mean sewing buttonholes! Whether it's female heroes in history, secret note–passing skills, science projects, friendship bracelets, double Dutch, cats cradle, the perfect cartwheel or the eternal mystery of what boys are thinking...  U.K. version Amazon.co.uk
The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: A Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager and the Doomed by Karen Gordon
No ordinary book of grammar, but populated by a wickedly decadent cast of gargoyles, mastodons, murderous debutantes, and, yes, vampires (both transitive and otherwise), who cavort and consort in order to illustrate basic principles of grammar
The Great Animal Search by Caroline Young, Ian Jackson
Develop a sense of habitats around the world, and the animals that live there; from the arctic to the equatorial rainforests, from mountains to deserts, under the water and by the ocean...
The Great Castle Search by Jane Bingham
From Medieval European castles to Samurai strongholds, there are hundreds of things to spot on each double page of this beautifully illustrated book. As well as providing hours of puzzle-solving fun, each page is packed with fascinating facts in simple captions about what it was like to live and fight in all sorts of castles, through the ages...
The Great City Search by Rosie Heywood
Search through the glorious illustrations of cities and cultures around the world today!
The Great Dinosaur Search by Rosie Heywood
Find the dinosaurs in our history, searching through detailed illustrations of the periods of pre-historic earth
The Great History Search by Kamini Khanduri, David Hancock
Search through the detailed illustrations of periods of history from the cave man to the 20th century, showing cultures around the world.  Great entertainment for kids from pre-reading through adult!
The Great Planet Earth Search by Emma Helbrough
Search for things to spot around the world, including volcanoes, rivers, animals and more...
The Great Prehistoric Search by Jane Bingham
Search for giant insects in the swamps, the creatures of the ocean and the dinosaurs on the plains, and more. Also packed with fascinating geographical facts in short, easy-to-read captions...
The Great Undersea Search by Kate Needham, Ian Jackson
Fabulous illustrations and excellent text, lead children to learn about a variety of watery habitats!
The Great World Search by Kamini Khanduri
Great Aunt Marigold gives seekers a ticket for a Great World Tour with puzzles to solve, presents to look for and clues to help them find out where to go next.  Investigate cultures in cities and countries and cultures around the world!
The Great Wildlife Search by Caroline Young
Search through a tropical rainforest, a dusty desert, a peaceful pond and a shady woodland glade...
My Personal Yearbook by You! (or from Amazon)
Great outline for a year about you! From the places you'll go to the people you know, with places for the facts and the faces and all the fun... a great way to document the best of your year!
The New Well Tempered Sentence: A Punctuation Handbook for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed
by Karen Gordon
Classic punctuation handbook, featuring the further intrigues of cover girl Loona, the duke and duchess, and the mysterious Rosie and Nimrod
Psychology for Kids, Psychology for Kids II
These fascinating tests and experiments make it fun and interesting for kids to learn about themselves, their family and their friends... (also from Amazon.com Psychology for Kids and Psychology for Kids II)
Science of Hitting by Ted Williams
The classic handbook of baseball by it's greatest hitter, but at the same time, a fascinating study in mathematics of hitting and of baseball...
Skyscrapers!: Super Structures to Design & Build by Ted Williams
Learn about each stage of skyscraper-construction from planning to "cladding," or exterior.  Brief history of the skyscraper precedes hands-on learning activities, including determining the best foundation and constructing a frame. Includes about the Sears Tower, Woolworth Building and Transamerica Pyramid...  Note: includes the World Trade Towers

The Knowledge, by Michael Cox, Alan MacDonald, Nick Arnold, and Kjartan Poskittby.  Visit Horribles! for the whole Horrible collection!

Artful Art (or from the Amazon.co.uk Artful Art)
Awesome Archaeology (or from the Amazon.co.uk Awesome Archaeology)
Dreadful Drama (or from the Amazon.co.uk Dreadful Drama)
The Gobsmacking Galaxy (or from the Amazon.co.uk  The Gobsmacking Galaxy)
Incredible Internet (or from the Amazon.co.uk Incredible Internet)
Mind Blowing Music (or from the Amazon.co.uk Mind Blowing Music)
Mind-Boggling Buildings (or from the Amazon.co.uk Mind-Boggling Buildings)
Smashin' Fashion (or from the Amazon.co.uk Smashin' Fashion)
Triffic Chocolate (or from the Amazon.co.uk Triffic Chocolate)
All the knowledge you'd like to know!!!
 

Basher Books!

Algebra and Geometry: Anything But Square! illustrated by Simon Basher, author Dan Green
Meet Polygon and Plane, Reflection and Rotation, Odd Number and his buddy Even Number and the three amigos Sine, Cosine and Tangent. Discover the secrets of their world and how they like to throw their numbers about...
Astronomy: Out of This World illustrated by Simon Basher, author Dan Green
Astronomy gives every important celestial body and concept its own page, where readers can learn its behaviors, likes, and dislikes up close and personal. From the flashy stars to the shadowy and strange objects that hang out like loners at the edges of the universe, no player goes unnoticed. Astronomy poster in the back!
Basher Science: Core Science Library illustrated by Simon Basher, author Dan Green
Biology: Life as We Know It!, Physics: Why Matter Matters and Chemistry: Getting a Big Reaction, in a boxed set
Basher Science: Earth Science Library illustrated by Simon Basher, author Dan Green
Planet Earth: What Planet Are You On?, Oceans: Making Waves! and Rocks & Minerals: A Gem of a Book, in a boxed set
Biology: Life as We Know It! illustrated by Simon Basher, author Dan Green
From cells to DNA, from viruses to mammals, from chlorophyll to flowers and fruit, and including the human body’s parts and systems, Biology is a single volume BIO101 course, illustrated for kids... 
Extreme Biology: It's Life But Not As You Know It! illustrated by Simon Basher, author Dan Green
Coming in February 2013!
Chemistry: Getting a Big Reaction illustrated by Simon Basher, author Dan Green
Begins with a short overview of the discipline and information on Antoine Lavoisier's 18th-century scientific findings. Concepts are grouped by associations: “Basic States” (solid, liquid, etc.), “Nuts and Bolts” (atom, ion, etc.), “Nasty Boys” (acid, base, etc.), and more...
Dinosaurs: The Bare Bones illustrated by Simon Basher, author Dan Green
Everyone knows about the physical attributes of dinos, but what about personalities to go with those prehistoric proportions? Welcome to this highly memorable one-stop guide to the world of dinosaurs, courtesy of Basher. Join the primeval party and meet terrifying Tyrannosaurus rex, huge Giganotosaurus and tiny Compsognathus. Also includes lots of information from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous Periods, including dinosaur dinners, habitats, and fossil discoveries...
Grammar: The Bill of Writes illustrated by Simon Basher, author Mary Budzik
Learning grammar used to be one of the most boring exercises ever, but not anymore! Basher illustrates each grammar basic - from parts of speech to sentence components to groupings and agreements - with its own character, who explains exactly what makes them tick and how they are used. The perfect reference for linguists of all ages who struggle to remember the difference between a preposition and pronoun!
Human Body: A Book with Guts illustrated by Simon Basher, author Dan Green
From the basic building blocks like Cell, DNA, and Protein, to Bones, Muscles, and all of the fun-loving Organs, readers will cozy up with the guys on the inside...
Math: A Book You Can Count On illustrated by Simon Basher, author Dan Green
Introduces basic mathematical terms such as zero, line, pi, quadrilaterals, ratio, bar graph, and x (representing unknown quantities). Each one speaks for itself. Subtract begins, “People often think I’m gloomy. Okay, I admit it, I’m the exact opposite of Add, that bubbly ball of smirking positivity. Later Subtract touches on subtracting negative numbers and offers a mental-math puzzler with an alternate method of reaching the solution. The colorful, iconic illustrations of the characters are appealing enough to disarm many mathphobic students, while those who love the subject will be in their element. Accompanying poster...
Music: Hit the Right Note illustrated by Simon Basher, author Dan Green
Guide to the building blocks of music. Meet Rhythm and Pitch, who know how to hold a tune; Time Signature, who loves to keep control; clever Chord, who works patterns to great effect; Brass, the powerful loudmouth of the instrument types; and Classical, Pop and Electronic from a crew of sweet characters...
Oceans: Making Waves! illustrated by Simon Basher, author Dan Green
Not content to stay on dry land, Basher takes to the high seas in this friendly guide to everything above and below the oceans. Meet the members of the Shoreline Gang, the Deep-down Dandies, and the characters in the Open-water Crew. Encounter deep trenches, curious creatures, mountains taller than any you will find on land, and the mixers and stirrers that keep the water flowing. Throughout Basher’s bold, cheerful artwork pairs with solid scientific information. Includes a must-have pull out poster of the oceanic characters...
The Periodic Table: Elements with Style illustrated by Simon Basher, author Adrian Dingle
Dingle shows all the elements of the periodic table on a chart with very original graphics and spotlights 64 of the elements for closer examination... 
Periodic Table Flashcards illustrated by Simon Basher, author Adrian Dingle and Dan Green
Periodic Table: Elements with Style! is now available in a handy deck so young chemists can take their favorite characters on the go. Each element appears with all of its handy information including its symbol, atomic number, atomic weight, color, standard state, and classification. Of course, each character still has all its distinctive charm to help students remember the basics. Perfect for studying, trivia, creating games and more... 
Physics: Why Matter Matters illustrated by Simon Basher, author Adrian Dingle
From gravity to the theory of relativity, imagine physics as a community full of wacky characters--the building blocks of the universe each with a unique personality... 
Planet Earth: What Planet Are You On? illustrated by Simon Basher, author Dan Gilpin
A cast of endearing, goofy cartoon creatures embody the concepts. Each one appears on its own spread and is grouped into categories, such as “Landlubbers” (i.e., continents) and “The Insiders,” including the earth's crust. Authors blend a surprising wealth of facts into the chatty, humorous text, which is filled with analogies kids can relate to...
Punctuation: The Write Stuff illustrated by Simon Basher, author Mary Budzik
One-stop guide to using punctuation marks correctly. Each mark is each represented by its own character – from unassuming Semicolon to loud-mouthed Exclamation Mark – who explain in their own words what makes them tick and how they are used. “Do’s and “Don’t”s provide practical advice to help every child unravel the rules and regulations of the English language...
Rocks & Minerals: A Gem of a Book illustrated by Simon Basher, author Dan Green
An in-depth look at the ground beneath our feet, through charming illustrations paired with basic information told from a first person perspective. Meet a community of characters based on the things that form the foundations of our planet: rocks, gems, crystals, fossils and more...
Rocks & Minerals Flashcards: A Diamond of a Deck illustrated by Simon Basher, author Dan Green
Rocks and minerals are grouped into families, and each is presented with key facts and metrics such as hardness, color, origin, and components. Basher's iconic character-driven artwork gives each rock or mineral a friendly face to go with all the scientific detail. These cards make a handy study aid, quiz tool, or rock-hunting companion... 
Sticker Book: Science That Sticks illustrated by Simon Basher
Fun and funky poster and sticker book to introduce the youngest readers to the wonderful world of Basher Science. Featuring some of the friendly and iconic superstars of the best-selling titles in the series—Rocks & Minerals, Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Planet Earth, Oceans, and Physics—as well as four pages of reusable stickers and gentle, child-friendly text, this book is an appealing, interactive treat for the youngest science hounds...
Technology: A byte-sized world! illustrated by Simon Basher, author Dan Green
Discover the secrets behind the devices we take for granted, and learn about the amazing inventions that have transformed our lives. From the Movers and Shakers who power our physical world, to the Gizmos, Home Bodies, and High Rollers who power our vehicles, entertainment, and smartphones—and pretty much everything else around us—a compelling guide to the big-bytes whiz-kids, powerhouse motors, and other characters who drive our inventive, highly engineered world...
US Presidents: Oval Office All-Stars illustrated by Simon Basher, author Dan Green and Edward Widmer
The nation's leaders as you've never seen them before. Every president, from George Washington to Obama, has his own entry and speaks directly to the reader. Lively and enlightening articles bring history to life. Meet James Monroe, known as the "Last Cocked Hat" because he pranced around in an outdated wig, hat, and breeches! Learn more about "Uncle Jumbo" (better known as Grover Cleveland): the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms. Find out how Ronald Reagan helped end the Cold War. Quirky facts: Did you know that John Quincy Adams had a pet alligator? That Teddy Roosevelt (and his whole family) could walk on stilts? Or that Lyndon B. Johnson had worked as an elevator operator? You will be on first-name terms with every single one of America's Head Honchoes!
Weather: Whipping Up A Storm illustrated by Simon Basher, author Dan Green
Welcome to the wild world of weather! Meet Hurricane, a violent blusterer; Atmosphere, a many-layered character who keeps the planet cozy; hard-nut Hail and sneezy Sleet; Drought, the dusty fellow who makes life hard for animals, plants and people; and mischievous El Niño, who messes around with ocean currents to chaotic effect. Includes plenty of detail on the forces that make weather work...

Arts and Crafts

Action! and Fantasy Cartooning by Ben Caldwell (or from Amazon, Action! Cartooning and Fantasy Cartooning)
Easy-to-follow handbooks help a child draw unique faces and develop fantastic scenarios for their heroes and villains. Action! coaches artists to add motion and expression to drawings, while Fantasy! offers specific guidelines for creating kings, dragons and other characters of legend...
 
Activity Books by Fiona Watt et al. (or visit Usborne Books and search on "Activity Books")
Great introductions, for kids.  ages 4 and up, or 6 and up (Dinosaurs and Tractors)
bullet How to Draw Dinosaurs
bullet How to Draw Fairies and Mermaids
bullet How to Draw Princesses and Ballerinas
bullet How to Draw Trucks and Tractors
 
Art: An A-Z Guide by Shirley Greenway
Highlights 59 terms that are important "to a discussion and understanding of art." Each term is richly illustrated with popular and lesser-known examples...
 
Art School by Anna Milbourne et al. (or visit Usborne Books and search on "Art School")
Great ideas for drawing, introducing techniques and styles, hints and activities, with Internet Links to lots more.  ages 10 and up
bullet Drawing Animals
bullet Drawing Cartoons
bullet Drawing Faces
 
Complete Book of Drawing by Alastair Smith & Judy Tatchell (or visit Usborne Books and search on "Book of Drawing")
Wonderful drawing book for aspiring artists ages 12 and up, lots of detail and variety, many techniques and styles...
 
Ed Emberley's Drawing Books by Ed Emberley
Kids drawing at it's simplest, and most complete...
bullet Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Faces
bullet Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals
bullet Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Weirdos
bullet Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Trucks and Trains
bullet Ed Emberley's Fingerprint Drawing Book
bullet Ed Emberley's Great Thumbprint Drawing Book
bullet Ed Emberley's Big Green Drawing Book
bullet Ed Emberley's Big Orange Drawing Book
bullet Ed Emberley's Big Purple Drawing Book
bullet Ed Emberley's Drawing Book: Make a World
bullet Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Halloween
bullet Ed Emberley's Christmas Drawing Book
bullet Ed Emberley's Picture Pie
bullet Ed Emberley's Picture Pie Two
bullet Ed Emberley's Complete Funprint Drawing Book 
Klutz Books Recommended
They're books, they're toys, they're Klutz Books!  From Shrink Art Jewelry to Scoubidou - A Book of Lanyard & Lacing, from Paper Stained Glass to Origami - a collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art... There are so many of these great books, they get their own Hoagies page!  Don't miss teh Klutz books for our youngest kids, including Tree House Bugs and Pop Bead People.  Click Klutz Books to investigate them all...
 
The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards
Translated into thirteen languages, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is the world's most widely used drawing-instruction guide... Also New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain Workbook: Guided Practice in the Five Basic Skills of Drawing
 
Playtime by Ray Gibson et al. (or visit Usborne Books and search on "Playtime")
Getting started drawing and painting, lots of great simple ideas, and ways to add to them...  ages 3 and up
bullet I Can Draw Animals
bullet I Can Draw People
bullet I Can Crayon
bullet I Can Cut and Stick
bullet I Can Fingerpaint
bulletBig Book of Playtime Activities bind-up of all titles, available only through Usborne Books
 
What Shall I Do Today? by Ray Gibson et al. (or visit Usborne Books and search on "What Shall I Do")
Great project ideas, easy to use, fun to create...  ages 4 to 8
bullet What Shall I Draw?
bullet What Shall I Paint?
bullet What Shall I Make? (bind up of What Shall I Do Today titles...)
 
Young Artist by Lucy Smith et al. (or visit Usborne Books and search on "Young Artist")
More details, for bigger kids.  ages 9 and up
bullet How to Draw Animals
bullet How to Draw Cartoons and Caricatures
bullet How to Draw Cats
bullet How to Draw Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life
bullet How to Draw Horses
bullet How to Draw Lettering
bullet How to Draw Machines
bullet How to Draw People
bullet How to Draw Robots and Aliens
bullet How to Draw Spacecraft
 

Origami

The Complete Book of Origami: Step-by Step Instructions in Over 1000 Diagrams by Robert J. Lang
Create nearly 40 striking paper figures with clear, step-by-step instructions and helpful diagrams. Features simple to advanced objects: cube, parrot, rabbit, seagull, cuckoo clock, rocket, mouse, elephant, violinist, Viking ship, and many more...
The Hands-On Marvelous Ball Book by Bradford Hansen-Smith
A picture book for all ages, from 4 or 5 to adult.  Jimmy discovers a marvelous ball that keeps shifting its shape, size, and color, this book offers directions for making three-dimensional geometric figures from simple materials: thin paper plates, bobby pins, and masking tape...  You can, too!
Explore Folding of the Circle: Book 1
Explore Folding of the Circle: Book 2
Explore Folding of the Circle: Book 3 all by Bradford Hansen-Smith
Experience the circle and many more beautiful geometric forms, through art, patterns and design, geometry, crafts, origami, mathematics, and more. Useful in the classroom, homeschooling, or for self-study.  Can be used alone, or in conjunction with the introduction in The Hands-On Marvelous Ball Book
Folding circle Tetrahedra: Truth in the Geometry of Wholemovement by Bradford Hansen-Smith
The first comprehensive guide to the process of folding circles....
The Geometry of Wholemovement: folding the circle for information by Bradford Hansen-Smith
A demonstration of teaching geometry and algebra by engaging the problem-solving mind with hands-on folding activities. This process reveals primary patterns that are an important beginning for 5 & 6 year-olds, as well as for older students or art/math teachers. A great companion to Folding circle Tetrahedra: Truth in the Geometry of Wholemovement, with more depth and information
Origami Design Secrets: Mathematical Methods for an Ancient Art by Robert J. Lang
We all know one, some of us is one... a Grammar Snob!
  A fun way to learn grammar, while we learn to laugh at ourselves...
Origami Insects and their Kin by Robert J. Lang
Create a swarm of cleverly designed paper insects. Noted origamist presents step-by-step instructions and diagrams for 20 challenging projects: spotted ladybug, tarantula, tick, butterfly, grasshopper, dragonfly, praying mantis, scorpion, and more. Intermediate to advanced level...
Polyhedron Origami for Beginners by Miyuki Kawamura
Simple instructions for recreating the intricate mathematical world of the many-sided solid figure. A comprehensive collection of polyhedron origami from tetrahedron to icosahedron. Each solid object is formed from simple folded units, and illustrated with clear step-by-step diagrams...
Unit Origami: Multidimensional Transformations by Tomoko Fuse
Tomoko Fuse is recognized at home and abroad as one of the most original and exciting of all up-and-coming origami talents. In this book, she explains her method for combining folded-paper units in an insertion fashion that results in an endless sequence of multidimensional variations giving new life and freshness to old-fashioned origami classics...
 

Moviemaking

The Guerrilla Guide To Moviemaking by C.R. Bell
A guide for educators and the self-taught alike, offering bite-sized lessons to help beginning filmmakers develop the skill, the vocabulary and an affordable toolkit for better filmmaking. With an emphasis on inexpensive alternatives to traditional high-priced lighting and grip equipment, Bell's delightfully hilarious sketches make the filmmaking process simple to understand and easy to apply, including some of the trickiest technical aspects of planning, setting up camera angles, shooting, lighting, editing and sound...

Words!

The wrong words...??  Words organized!

Biting the Wax Tadpole: Confessions of a Language Fanatic Recommended by Elizabeth Little
We all know one, some of us is one... a Grammar Snob!  A fun way to learn grammar, while we learn to laugh at ourselves...
Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation Recommended by Lynne Truss
Who would have thought a book about punctuation could cause such a sensation?  Or try the audio CD version - listen to "Cutting a Dash," the hit series about punctuation that inspired the hit book...
Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite Recommended by June Casagrande
We all know one, some of us is one... a Grammar Snob!  A fun way to learn grammar, while we learn to laugh at ourselves...
Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers by Penny Noyce
When Aunt Adelaide sends thirteen-year-old cousins Ivan and Daphne on a treasure hunt in the rain, they never expect to stumble into a whole new world--an enchanting land where words and numbers run wild. They are surprised again when the first people they meet beg them to find Lexicon's missing children, who have wandered off, bewitched by lights in the sky. Trekking between villages in search of clues, the cousins encounter a plague of punctuation, a curious creature, a fog of forgetting, the Mistress of Metaphor, a panel of poets, and the illogical mathematicians of Irrationality... Visit Lost in Lexicon for more fun!
Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences Recommended by Kitty Burns Florey
A little history, a little instruction, and a Ton of Fun!  I wish I learned sentence diagramming in school from this author!!
The Wrong Word Dictionary: 2,000 Most Commonly Confused Words Recommended by Dave Dowling
Even good writers sometimes find the right word elusive. Or is it illusive? The correct usage for more than 2,000 words that people commonly misuse is provided in this concise and accessible handbook that assures, insures, and ensures that anyone who wants to communicate accurately and effectively chooses the right word every time...

The most popular vocabulary books, just for fun!

500 Key Words for the SAT, and How to Remember Them Forever! by Charles Gulotta
Pictures and stories to help you remember the meanings of five hundred of the words that appear most frequently on the SAT. Learning is fast, fun, and forever
Bethump'd with Words by Covey MacGregor
A unique perspective on English as well as keen sense for the 'natural' comedy and humor of the language, made their first appearance in the board game edition of Bethump'd with Words
Bibliophile's Dictionary: 2000 Masterful Words and Phrases by Miles Westley
290 words commonly found on the SAT test and is presented with easy to remember memory aids in the form of word associations and humorous cartoons
Words That Make a Difference Recommended by Robert Greenman
and More Words that Make a Difference Recommended by Robert Greenman and Carol Greenman
Passages from the New York Times (Words) and the Atlantic Monthly (More Words) demonstrate hundreds of our language's most interesting words.  Both books feature wonderful literary passages, many by renowned authors, with More Words reviewing the history of the vocabulary through the ages and pages of the Atlantic Monthly...
Vocabulary Cartoons: Building an Educated Vocabulary With Visual Mnemonics by Sam Burchers, Max Burchers, Bryan Burchers
290 words commonly found on the SAT test and is presented with easy to remember memory aids in the form of word associations and humorous cartoons
Vocabulary Cartoons II: Building an Educated Vocabulary With Sight and Sound Memory Aids by Sam Burchers, Max Burchers, Bryan Burchers
hundreds more words...
 

But Why???

The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs
Jacobs embarked on a life-changing quest: to read the entire contents of the Encyclopedia Brittanica, all 33,000 pages, all 44 million words.  The mission began in October 2002, with the word "a-ak." The world launches hilarious misadventures through 32 volumes, as Jacobs accumulates useful and less-so knowledge, and along the way finds a deep connection with his father, examines the nature of knowledge vs. intelligence, and learns how to be rather annoying at cocktail parties...
The Nobel Book of Answers: The Dalai Lama, Mikhail Gorbachev, Shimon Peres, and Other Nobel Prize Winners Answer Some of Life's Most Intriguing Questions for Young People by Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, George Vithoulkas, and others
Nobel Prize winners honored for their work for peace and in science, economics, medicine, and literature speak to children about elemental issues...
Now You Know Volume 1 Recommended by Edward Zaccaro, and Now You Know Volume 2 Recommended
Volume 1 includes 700 additional fun and challenging questions for advanced students 6th grade and up, in categories: math, money, science, geography, history/government, language of algebra, and facts and factoids; Volume 2 contains 700 additional questions in categories including math, money, science, geography, history/government, analogies, and facts and factoids... Watch for the new trivial game based on the books!

Intellectual Devotionals  Daily growth for your mind!

The Intellectual Devotional: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Roam Confidently with the Cultured Class by David S. Kidder and Noah D. Oppenheim (or from B&N on Audio CD, or from Amazon book or Audio CD)
The Intellectual Devotional Modern Culture: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Converse Confidently with the Culturati by David S. Kidder and Noah D. Oppenheim (or from Amazon)
The Intellectual Devotional: American History: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Converse Confidently about Our Nation's Past by David S. Kidder and Noah D. Oppenheim (or from Amazon)
A colection of 365 daily doses of knowledge, in seven topics each week, including history, literature, philosophy, mathematics and science, religion, fine arts, and music.  Though I must admit, we keep The Intellectual Devotional in a different room than the bedroom...

Mental Floss Clean out your brain!

Forbidden Knowledge: A Wickedly Smart Guide to History's Naughtiest Bits by Will Pearson (Editor)
Condensed Knowledge: A Deliciously Irreverent Guide to Feeling Smart Again by Editors of Mental Floss
Instant Knowledge (Collins Gem) by Editors of Mental Floss
Packed full of tidbits, quirky facts and history, this delightfully eclectic new magazine teaches you what you should have learned in school - but didn't
If you like the books, try out Mental Floss Magazine and Board Game

Useless Information Don't miss the related website!

Einstein's Refrigerator and Other Stories from Flip Side Of History by Steve Silverman
Weird and bizarre subjects of true-life stories...
Lindbergh's Artificial Heart: More Fascinating True Stories From Einstein's Refrigerator by Steve Silverman
More weird and bizarre true-life stories...

Look! A whole series of books written just for our kids! But Mom, but Dad, Why???

Imponderables : The Solution to the Mysteries of Everyday Life by David Feldman
the first of the Imponderables series... Why is a mile 5,280 feet? Which fruits are in Juicy Fruit' gum? Why does an X stand for a kiss? Why don't cats like to swim?
Do Penguins Have Knees? by David Feldman
The fifth book in the Imponderables series that answers questions about everyday life for which encyclopedias, dictionaries, and almanacs just don't have the answers
How Do Astronauts Scratch an Itch? by David Feldman
The whys of everything from why the letter 'x' is used in algebra to why potato chip bags are hard to open...
How Does Aspirin Find a Headache? by David Feldman
The 7th in the series, answers such questions as do snakes sneeze?, what does Barney Rubble do for a living?, and why doesn't glue get stuck in the bottle?
What Are Hyenas Laughing At, Anyway? by David Feldman
Feldman's knack of asking 'imponderable' questions continues in this blend of science and puzzles about everyday life, like why do mosquitoes seem to like some people more than others?
When Do Fish Sleep?: And Other Imponderables of Everyday Life by David Feldman
A third collection of answers to everyday conundrums, like why are tennis balls fuzzy...
Who Put the Butter in Butterfly?...and Other Fearless Investigations into Our Illogical Language by David Feldman
Demystify our language's most curious clichés and quips, from cooties and mugwumps to Ps and Qs and Peeping Tom...
Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise? and Other Imponderables by David Feldman
Here are the answers to questions that have been keeping you and your loved ones up nights...
Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses? by David Feldman
Why do we kiss under mistletoe? And why are blueprints blue?...
And if you like the books, try the game!
Marlarky (Patch Products)
Players try to bluff answers to Imponderable questions, and opponents try to determine the real answers from the ones that are simply malarky...

Or check out the hardback combination editions (at very reasonable prices)...

Life's Imponderables: Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise? When Do Fish Sleep? Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses? by David Feldman
A World of Imponderables: When Did Wild Poodles Roam the Earth? Do Penguins Have Knees? How Does Aspirin Find a Headache? by David Feldman

Everything you ever wanted to know about Theater...

Complete Idiot's Guide to Amateur Theatricals by John Kenrick
Everything you need to know about picking the right show; licensing, casting, and budgeting; organizing a schedule; costumes, makeup, staging, lighting, and music; tickets, fundraising, programs, cast parties, and more. Illustrated with help plans and photos from actual productions...
How Does the Show Go On? by John Kenrick
Everything you need to know about picking the right show; licensing, casting, and budgeting; organizing a schedule; costumes, makeup, staging, lighting, and music; tickets, fundraising, programs, cast parties, and more. Illustrated with help plans and photos from actual productions...

More Answers...

A Short History of Nearly Everything Recommended by Bill Bryson, or A Short History of Nearly Everything: Special Illustrated Edition
From primordial nothingness to this very moment, A Short History of Nearly Everything reports what happened and how humans figured it out. [Bryson's] aim is to help people like him, who rejected stale school textbooks and dry explanations, to appreciate how we have used science to understand the smallest particles and the unimaginably vast expanses of space...

Purchases made through Amazon links benefit Hoagies' Gifted Education Page - thanks!


Last updated May 22, 2014

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