We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2015 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year, as well as reading challenges that we have pledged to join this year.
Our reading theme for November – December: The Butler Did It! MysteREADventure!
Last week, Myra wrote about John Townsend’s Amazing Mystery Series and mentioned the Bermuda Triangle. This week, I have two juvenile non-fiction books that talk in great detail about two of the world’s unexplained mysteries: the Stonehenge and the Bermuda Triangle.
Written by: Ken Karst
Published by: Creative Education (2015)
Book borrowed from Wayne County Public Library. Photos by me.
This book was shelved in the “New in Non-Fiction” section in the children’s department of our library. Part of the Enduring Mysteries series, Ken Karst’s Bermuda Triangle talked about stories surrounding the legendary region in the sea that has become famous for swallowing ships, planes, and their crews.
“It’s simple geometry: A triangle is a shape with three corners and straight sides. But nothing is simple about the Bermuda Triangle.”
— excerpt from the book
The book gives an overview about the location of the Bermuda Triangle. It is found in the area of the Atlantic Ocean with Florida on one corner, Bermuda on another, and Puerto Rico on the third. According to the book, this area is slightly bigger than California, Oregon, Washington, and Montana put together. So, yes, that’s quite a coverage.
There is a lot of history involved, as well as theories and possible explanations for the hundreds of disappearances that were believed to have taken place in the Bermuda Triangle. Some people said that the Bermuda Triangle has some kind of time warp into another dimension. Others have linked the Bermuda Triangle with the extraterrestrial. In fact, on June 5, 1965, a U.S. Air Force cargo plane was on its way from Florida to the Bahamas when it disappeared without a trace. An astronaut named James McDivitt claimed that he witnessed an object that was white and cylinder-shaped and later described it as a UFO, feeding the notion that the cargo plane had been taken by aliens. (I don’t know about you but that sounded like an X-File to me. *wink*)
In his book, Ken Karst also included summaries that described some of the most dramatic stories about the Bermuda Triangle. Despite the hundreds of stories surrounding the Bermuda Triangle, the book noted that the Bermuda Maritime Museum doesn’t have any exhibits or insights into the Bermuda Triangle. Isn’t that something?
I’m quite certain that there are other books about the Bermuda Triangle. Ken Karst’s version offers an assortment of stories, possible explanations, and pieces of legends about a vessel-hungry sea region. In addition, it also includes field notes for children to enrich their vocabulary, and offers two websites for additional information.
Written and published by: World Book (2013)
Book borrowed from the Wayne County Public Library. Photos by me.
Like Bermuda Triangle, World Book’s The Mysteries of Stonehenge is text-heavy but it does contain pages that beautifully combine text and photos. The text may be smaller in font but this book certainly offers a variety of information about the mysterious megalithic monument in England.
The Stonehenge is considered to be the most extraordinary monument in England. It is the complexity of Stonehenge and its role as part of an extensive grouping of ancient ruins that make the site outstanding. World Book does a good in unraveling the mystery and majesty of the Stonehenge.
Like Bermuda Triangle, there is a lot of history involved in The Mysteries of Stonehenge — probably more. The book will take readers back to the Stone Age as it traces the construction of an engineering masterpiece where thousands of people gather twice a year to celebrate the solstices. Then, there is a page devoted to scientists and archaeologists who devoted their time to study the Stonehenge. A separate chapter talked about how the stones got to Stonehenge, and another one presented long-held theories about the purpose of the Stonehenge. Whether it was a temple dedicated to honoring the sun, a vast cemetery, a healing sanctuary, or an astronomical observatory, one can only guess.
While I enjoyed reading both books, I think that The Mysteries of Stonehenge was a lot more fun to read, and it’s probably because it is rich with information (that has a more logical and scientific basis). It covers history, archaeology, and even human ecology. While I haven’t read the other books in the collection, I’d like to think that World Book’s Enigmas of History is a great resource to share with children.