A Book Review About One Crazy Summer

GetPageImage.aspxOne Crazy Summer, written by Rita Williams Garcia, takes place in the summer of 1968. It’s about three black sisters from New York going to meet their mother who had abandoned them, four years earlier, when the youngest girl was a baby. Their mother lived in Oakland, California where the black panthers ran a community center that fed the three girls free breakfast and taught them their rights as citizens. They learned a lot that summer in Oakland.

the-andy-griffith-show_thumbfistThe author used the story of the three girls to portray how black people were trying to change how they viewed themselves. They also were trying to change how they were viewed by white people. All the TV shows showed mostly white people. The girls in our story would read Jet magazine to find out what TV shows would have black people in them. They would rate the shows by whether or not the black people actually talked in it.

tumblr_inline_mxvjsaW0zW1rdmtif1968 was the first year that black plastic dolls were easily available. Even then, there was only one type people could buy. The youngest girl in the book had a white doll. When she arrived in Oakland with her white doll, a big deal was made of it.

young black panthers_jpgI loved the girls in this story. I liked how the youngest girl would take sides between her older sisters by adding “Surely did”  whenever she agreed with one of them. I also liked that the middle sister acted like a movie star, and I liked how the big sister took care of her little sisters before she took care of herself. The three girls had a lot of adventures that forced them to look at the world in a different way. They left New York with the message of “don’t make black spectacles of yourselves”, and by the time they left Oakland, they were raising their fist and saying “power to the people”! Every member of my family gives this book five stars!

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A Merman’s Tale by Anna Wren Daly

I wrote this story to continue the story in the writing prompt picture below.  My dad and I made the merman picture in Photoshop.  Click here to see a larger version of our image!

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The map was clear: this is where he would find it. He just hadn’t expected that he’d have to get wet. Reluctantly, he swam out to the giant concrete circle. He looked down into it but couldn’t see the bottom. He sighed, took a deep breath, and dove in.

As he held his breath, he kept swimming deeper and deeper into the water. There was less and less light as he went deeper. His hands hit something hard. He must have reached the bottom of the well. He began to feel around. He kept touching around and then felt something. He picked it up, and all of a sudden, the object began to glow. He dropped it in surprise. The thing he touched looked like a big fork, except, it was gold and it had three pointy ends that were shaped like arrows.

He began to run out of air. He had to go back up to the surface. He started going up, but he realized that he had forgotten the big fork. He needed air badly. The big fork started glowing brighter and brighter like it was telling him to get it. He mustered all of his energy and then swam down to get it. Then, the big fork glowed bright like the sun, blinding his eyes. The water began to get warmer and warmer until the big fork dimmed, and the warm water cooled.

When the fork went dim he was shocked that he didn’t need air anymore. He was surprised that he could see far off into the water. He looked down at his legs because they felt funny. He saw that his legs looked like a green dolphin’s tail. He looked at the fork and realized it was a trident.

The bottom of the well had disappeared. He saw a bunch of lights below. He tried to swim towards them but he didn’t know how to use his tail. He realized he was trying to kick his legs, but he didn’t have them anymore. He thought about how dolphins move. He tried to copy their motion and found he was swimming. As he made his way towards the lights, he could see a lot of people like him. People with dolphin tails. Derik began to swim towards his new life.

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The Long Walk to Water Book Review

book salvaThe Long Walk to Water, written by Linda Sue Park, takes place in Sudan. It’s about the problems of living in Southern Sudan. Life in Sudan was very hard because there was a civil war between the South of Sudan and North of Sudan. Another problem is that there is a lack of good drinking water in Sudan.

lost boysIn the civil war, the Sudanese rebels would capture boys and make them be soldiers. Then they would make boys do horrible things as soldiers. A lot of the boys escaped and had to walk all the way across Southern Sudan. These boys are known as The Lost Boys of Sudan. The boys then walked, barefoot, across a desert in Ethiopia to get to a refugee camp. On the walk to the refugee camp, some would die from hunger and exhaustion, and some would get eaten by lions.1280px-Children_queue_for_water_in_the_Jamam_refugee_camp_(7118755769) After living in a refugee camp for several years, the Ethiopian soldiers kicked them out of the camp and made people go across the Gilo river. People were shot by soldiers and killed by Crocodiles as they swam across the Gilo river.  Kids that survived had to walk all the way to Kenya without any adults to look after them. The lucky ones that made it too a refugee camp  lived there for many years. Some kids eventually got to go to America. Many of the Lost Boys of Sudan never got to see their parents again. The ones that did didn’t see their parents until they were adults.

boys fetching waterIn Sudan, many people don’t drink clean water like the people in the United States. People in Sudan have to drink from the same puddles that animals drink from. Water that animals drink from have parasites. People that drink this water get sick from the parasites. Some people even die from the parasites. Many people in Sudan spend their whole lives with parasites in their bodies.

In The Long Walk to Water, the author created two characters. One character ,named Salva, demonstrates the sadness of living through the war. The other character, named Nya, portrays the lack of good drinking water in Sudan.  The book also describes how some people are trying to bring good drinking water to all parts of Sudan.

This book is really good. It taught me about the civil war that lasted for almost thirty years and it taught me about the water problems in Sudan.  It’s a great book to read as a family.

The Big Bang Theory By Bill and Anna Daly

Is the Big Bang Theory really true? No one knows for sure, but there is a lot of evidence to support it. The sign of a good hypothesis is that it predicts things that haven’t been discovered yet. Let’s take a look at a few of the things the Big Bang theory predicted we would discover .

In 1929, Edwin Hubble discovered that the distant stars and galaxies were moving away from us. He, also, discovered that the speed in which the stars and galaxies move away from us is determined by how far they are from us. The stars and galaxies that are farther from us move at a faster speed than the stars that are close to us. In fact, the speed is proportional to their distance from us.
Hubble expansion
Look at the diagram above. Star PINK is two light years from us, Star WHITE is one light year from us, and Star YELLOW is .5 light years from us. After a certain amount of time, Star PINK is four light years from us, Star WHITE is two light years from us, and Star YELLOW is one light year from us. Star PINK moved two light years in the same amount of time that Star WHITE moved one light year and Star YELLOW moved .5 light years. That means that Star PINK is moving twice as fast as Star WHITE because it is twice as far away from us and four times as fast as Star YELLOW because it is four times as far away from us. Their speeds are proportional to their distance. That is how real stars behave.
Hubble expansion un reverse
It is reasonable to assume that if you reverse the direction that these stars are traveling (that is, go backwards in time) they would all join each other at a single point at the same time. If you know how far away the stars are and how fast these stars are traveling, you could calculate how long it would take them to reach that meeting point. In our universe, the meeting time would be reached in 13.7 to 13.8 billion years.

Matter heats up as it is compressed. Scientist figured that if the Big Bang theory was true, the universe would have had to have been incredibly hot in its early phases. So hot that electrons could not interact with protons and, that as the universe cooled, the only atoms that could form would be hydrogen and helium (and a smidge of lithium). This would mean that the universe would be almost all hydrogen and helium. As it turns out, 98% of the universe is made of hydrogen and helium. The 2% of heavier atoms were made in stars after the early formation of the universe. Scientists, also, predicted that energy would be released in a very specific wave length at the moment protons were able to interact with electrons to form hydrogen and helium. They predicted that this energy would come from everywhere in the universe. This energy was discovered, in the 1960s.

If you are interested in learning more about why so many scientists think the Big Bang theory is true, WATCH THIS TED TALK VIDEO AFTER WATCHING OUR VIDEO ABOUT THE FORMATION OF THE UNIVERSE.

An Introduction To Big History

We have begun to study Big History. Most history classes start with our first civilizations or when humans started farming, 11,000 years ago. Big History begins with the Big Bang, 13.8 billions years ago. Our version of Big History looks at what science has to tell us about the evolution of our universe and how we evolved as a species. It then looks at what history tells us about how technologies have changed and how our behaviors have changed with them.

We plan on making a series of videos about the evolution of our universe, the evolution of our species, and the evolution of our behavior as a species. We hope you enjoy the first video which introduces the subject.