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Book Review: “Hunter” by Mercedes Lackey

From a young age Joyeaux trained in a remote monastery to destroy the infestation of fay that plagues the world. Now the walls built to keep the people safe no longer hold the Otherworlders back and Joy is called to the capital city to join their team of hunters. As cameras broadcast her every move to legions of adoring fans, Joy must learn to navigate her newfound stardom and the rocky political climate. Even though the powerful elite are trying to hide reality from the populous to keep them complacent, Joy realizes that it’s becoming impossible to cover up the truth. Playing a delicate game, Joy is happy just to do her job until her mentor is killed and she must confront the cities secrets in order to establish a safe place for herself and the people she has come to love.

Lackey’s innovative imagination shines through as she continues to surprise readers with fresh characters and worlds. Envisioning a dystopian society where magic and mystical creatures reign supreme provides the perfect backdrop for the frank and powerful character of Joy. Even though the supporting characters often fill standard character types (bully, romantic interest, and outcast) their interactions with Joy give them the needed depth. With some plot and setting elements only slowly revealed, the overall structure may feel laborious but in the end this device connects well with Joy’s own path of discovery. Fans of Lackey will find something delightfully new here while others with find this a great entry point.

By Rachel Wadham, Host of WORLDS AWAITING 

Find this and other book reviews at: http://byucbmr.com/.

 

DISCLAIMER:

At Worlds Awaiting we discuss a wide range of information aimed at supporting adults who want to build literacy skills in their children.   We understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to children’s development, so the information we provide is intended to reach a wide audience. The books and other resources we recommend will also naturally cover a wide range of interests and subject matter that addresses a range of maturity, reading, and comprehension levels.  Since no one understands a child’s needs better than their caretakers, we encourage families to critically select the books and resources that meet their own individual needs and standards.

Scientific Literacy

As our regular listeners know, at Worlds Awaiting we discuss a wide range of literacies. These include traditional literacies like reading and writing. But we also expand our conception of literacy into a wide range of other disciplines. It’s easy to understand that to be literate in a specific discipline you need to understand the conventions and skills related to that area. For example, some of the more fundamental skills in science is the ability to ask and answer questions. So, in order to be scientifically literate, one needs to be able to develop the curiosity to be the kind of questioner a scientist is. But scientific literacy goes well beyond forming the skills in order to do good science. It is also about having the ability to consume science. A person who is literate in science is also one who is able to think critically about scientific issues. Being able to read about a scientific discovery in a newspaper and then judge and assess the validity of the conclusions the information offers, is one way a person shows he or she is scientifically literate.  This kind of application implies then, that a person is informed about scientific issues when they can evaluate the quality of information and the sources that generate it and those that report it, and can come to their own conclusions so as to make their own personal arguments. This kind of literacy engagement extends oneself beyond personal concerns to participate in the broader conversations of a community. Being able to critically look at the world around us and generate new knowledge from our experiences, is essentially what being literate means for all disciplines. Particularly when we consider disciplines like science which impact so much of what we do. Being able to be a critical consumer not only helps us engage in that particular discipline, but it also enables us to be socially responsible contributors to the significant conversations of our day. As you listen to our show and my thoughts here, we hope you’ll consider that literacy is more than what you thought it might be.  

By Rachel Wadham, Host of WORLDS AWAITING 

Check out these links for more information about scientific literacy: 

http://www.literacynet.org/science/scientificliteracy.html

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar11/vol68/num06/Teaching-Science-Literacy.aspx

http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2015/09/14/440213603/scientific-literacy-it-s-not-just-about-the-facts

DISCLAIMER:

At Worlds Awaiting we discuss a wide range of information aimed at supporting adults who want to build literacy skills in their children.   We understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to children’s development, so the information we provide is intended to reach a wide audience. The books and other resources we recommend will also naturally cover a wide range of interests and subject matter that addresses a range of maturity, reading, and comprehension levels.  Since no one understands a child’s needs better than their caretakers, we encourage families to critically select the books and resources that meet their own individual needs and standards.

Colonial Williamsburg

You don’t need a DeLorean to travel back in time! All it takes is a short carriage ride into Colonial Williamsburg to go back to the time of the American Revolution. Time period dress, dirt roads, and brick buildings all surround you while walking down main street.

This is where the founding fathers overthrew the British government and started the first assembly of elected representatives. Many of the laws that we have today were thought about and discussed in this city. How amazing is that?! To stand in a place like this, where such a significant piece of American history happened, is inspiring.

Take a moment to explore the historic buildings in Williamsburg; American patriotism is deep in every brick and every beam. At Colonial Williamsburg you can see the flags waving in the breeze, taste the period food, hear discussions about the Constitution, and march to authentic colonial snare drums. There is a sense of pride for our country felt throughout the city when you walk through the Governor’s Mansion and the House of Burgesses.

When you go, be sure to take a moment to appreciate the sights around you and feel the history that took place. Appreciate the great country we live in, and the sacrifice that took place before we became a nation.

From the desk of Maren Owen, a producer of Traveling with Eric Dowdle on BYU Radio.

Learn more about some of your favorite place with Eric, Wally and Autumn on Traveling with Eric Dowdle. Weekdays 11am-12pm ET except Tuesdays on BYU Radio (Sirius XM Channel 143).

Text Complexity

A lot of educators today, including myself, are talking about text complexity. The basic assumption here is that as readers grow they need to be able to read and comprehend increasingly complex texts. Without a doubt, becoming a better reader is an important step in the literacy development of all children. However, as an educator, I have a very strong concern that we are measuring text complexity in the wrong way. Since the 1920s we’ve been quantifying text complexity though readability formulas, the most familiar are the Fountas and Pinnel, the Lexile, and the Accelerated Reader. While leveling books in this way can be helpful for students as they begin to understand their own reading abilities, it is important to be clear that these levels are not the only way we should judge the complexity of texts.  Because these formulas rely on only a limited view of a text and they don’t take into account the reader themselves, these numbers should only be used as a starting place for book selection. Since no experimental studies have established standards that reveal the optimal level for learning, comprehension, interest, and efficient reading, we cannot rely on formulas to help us find the right books for the right readers. As an educator I’m against using any type of system that forces children to read books that fall into the narrow category of their perceived reading ability. Preventing students from checking out a library book because it was not on their level or not allowing them to receive credit for a reading a book above their level, only prevent children from exercising the same freedom that we have as adult readers to choose the books that are right for us. Let’s let kids find the books they enjoy, and put the use of readability formulas in their correct place. Because complexity, while important, is not something we should use to prevent kids from reading.

By Rachel Wadham, Host of WORLDS AWAITING

DISCLAIMER: 

At Worlds Awaiting we discuss a wide range of information aimed at supporting adults who want to build literacy skills in their children.   We understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to children’s development, so the information we provide is intended to reach a wide audience. The books and other resources we recommend will also naturally cover a wide range of interests and subject matter that addresses a range of maturity, reading, and comprehension levels.  Since no one understands a child’s needs better than their caretakers, we encourage families to critically select the books and resources that meet their own individual needs and standards.

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