Saturday, November 7, 2015

Kid Konnection: The Trouble with Ants

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week I'm going to share with you a cute book that's the start of a new series!

Summary: Science-obsessed fourth grader Nora has ants all figured out—now she just has to try to understand her fellow humans!

The trouble with ants is . . .
. . . people think they’re boring.
. . . they are not cuddly.
. . . who would ever want them for a pet?

Nora Alpers is using her new notebook to record the behavior of ants. Why? Because they are fascinating! Unfortunately, no one agrees with her. Her mom is not happy about them being in the house, and when Nora brings her ant farm to school for show and tell, her classmates are not very impressed. They are more interested in cat videos, basketball practice, or trying to set a Guinness World Record (although Nora wouldn’t mind that).

Mostly they are distracted by the assignment their teacher Coach Joe has given them—to write a persuasive speech and change people’s minds about something. Will Nora convince her friends that ants are as interesting as she thinks they are? Or will everyone still think of ants as nothing but trouble? -- Knopf

I just love middle grade books especially ones like THE NORA NOTEBOOKS: THE TROUBLE WITH ANTS by Claudia Mills and illustrated by Katie Kath. This is the first book in a new series, and I think it's a great start. This book was entertaining and it had some great messages!

Nora is a fourth-grader who loves ants! When she receives a new notebook, she can't wait to start recording the behavior of the ants in her new ant farm. While Nora loves ants, not everyone understands her passion for the creatures. In fact, her entire class goes crazy when she brings her ant farm to school!

It's probably obvious that Nora doesn't exactly fit in with the other fourth graders. Both of her parents and scientists and Nora loves science. The other girls in her class are more interested in watching cute cat videos, and the boys seem to be interested in sports. Nora even has friends who are boys -- that she's not crushing on. Imagine that!

Nora is one smart chickie and very determined to prove herself. So much so that she decides she wants to set the world record for being the youngest person to ever have an article published in a journal. She studies her ants, watches for behavior changes, and even makes hypotheses. She writes up her findings and sends them off to Nature magazine hoping to be published.

Meanwhile Nora's teacher, Coach Joe, gives the class an assignment to write a persuasive speech and change people's minds about something, Nora wants to convince her classmates that ants and research and science aren't boring. Based on her classmates behavior when she tried to show them her ant farm, Nora has her hands full!

I thought THE TROUBLE WITH ANTS was adorable. The book was written for a young middle grade audience, and the illustrations in each chapter were the perfect complement to the story. I loved Nora, even though (or maybe because) she was a bit quirky. And I do think boys and girls alike will appreciate her story and her passion towards something unusual.

I was impressed with how cute THE TROUBLE WITH ANTS was. There was plenty of humor in the story that will appeal to kids. The descriptions of the cat videos were hilarious, and I loved the banter between the two kids who had crushes on each other. In addition, Nora's good friends had an interesting experience of their own when their dog got skunked. Thank goodness, Nora knows a lot about science!

As a parent, I really appreciated this story. It was exactly the type of book that I would like to see kids read. Most kids will be able to relate to the characters and the story, while also being entertained with the humor and situations. In addition, there were some fantastic messages in the story. First of all, Nora shows children that it's okay to be different and have a passion for something unusual. The story also taught kids a thing or two about acceptance and friendship. Finally, I loved that this book showed the importance of science in children's lives, and especially girls' lives!

I was definitely impressed with THE TROUBLE WITH ANTS. I look forward to more of The Nora Notebooks books in the future. Highly recommended for kids ages 7 - 10.

Thanks to Blue Slip Media for providing a review copy of this novel.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

Oh my gosh, I totally forgot I have that book! It sounds adorable!!