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The Story of Islam

Title: The Story of Islam

Author: Rob Lloyd Jones

Publisher: Usborne Publishing (Young Reading Series 3)

Number of pages: 61

Type of Book: Non-Fiction; History; Educational

Age: 8+

Buy it here: http://product.chelisbookazine.com/product-tag/young-reading-series-3/page/6/?orderby=date; https://www.amazon.com/Story-Islam-Usborne-Young-Reading/dp/0794518656

Price: N690; $5.86

MY SUMMARY

The story of Islam began with an ordinary man, an Arabian called Muhammad. In year 610, on a mountain close to Mecca, Muhammad sat alone in a cave when, out of nowhere, a voice spoke to him. The voice told him he was a messenger of God, an angel. Through that angel and some visions, he received revelations directing him to start a new religion, Islam. Muhammad spread the doctrines of this religion by word of mouth and with the use of animal skins but it wasn’t well received by Meccans. Muslims were persecuted for about 20 years until they took over Mecca after a war in year 630. Muhammad died two years later in year 632 but that was only the beginning of the religion. Over the next ten centuries, Muhammad’s Muslim army grew under the care of several successors (caliphs) and conquered several nations around Arabia, Christian and pagan alike, converting many to Islam. However, there was trouble in paradise. The Muslims had split into two groups, the Sunni Muslims and the Shi’ites.

Read this book to learn about these groups, the Abbasids, a group of Shi’ite Muslims who brought a period of great wealth, knowledge of the arts and sciences and culture to the world and the magnificent city of Baghdad; the Ottomans, arguably the greatest Muslims that ever lived; the Taj Mahal, the resting place of the Mughal empress, Shah Jahan, and the Crusades, the centuries-long war between Christians and Muslims over the holy city of Jerusalem.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: This book gives a brief but information-packed history of Islam with pictures, maps and illustrations and the most vivid words, I have read in a book in a very long time.  I have read it twice already. It’s a little slice of world history. I recommend for parents and children alike especially for lovers of history.

DOWN: None.

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. Islam: Submission to God’s will; Muslims: those who submit to God’s will
  2. The Five Pillars of Islam: Shahadah: a declaration that there is only one true God, Allah and Muhammad is his messenger; 2. Salah: prayers said 5 times a day facing in the direction of Mecca; 3. Charity, giving Zakah – a percentage of savings- to the poor; 4. Fasting (Sawm) in the month of Ramadan and 5. Hajj: a pilgrimage to Mecca
  3. صلى الله عليه وسلم (salla alllah ealayh wasallam) is said every time the Prophet Muhammad’s name is mentioned. It means ‘Peace be upon him’.
  4. Muhammad was buried in a tomb which was placed in: The Mosque of the Prophet, in Medina, ‘The City of the Prophet’.
  5. Some achievements of the Golden Age of Islam: Literature: One thousand and one nights (Tales from Arabian nights) one of the best collections of stories and poems from the Arabian empire (read a review of one of the stories, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves here); Baghdad, the most spectacular city in the world at the time, the House of Wisdom, an enormous library filled with books from which many of their ideas were birthed, Astrolabes and Magnetic compasses: helped people travel the world and used later by Europeans to discover America!

VIEW SAMPLE PAGES HERE: https://usborne.com/browse-books/catalogue/product/1/2338/the-story-of-islam/#&gid=1&pid=1

CHALLENGE: The Story of Islam

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a 300-word essay on the story of Islam in Nigeria. (8 – 9 year olds)

OR

  1. Draw a picture using only the details in the first four lines of the last sample page. See the link above for sample pages

 

  1. Write a 500-word essay on the story of Christianity (10-12 year olds)

OR

  1. Draw a picture using only the details in the first four lines of the last sample page. See the link above for sample pages

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book. Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Sunday, February 5th 2017. 

Next Book of the Week:

THE LAST DAYS AT FORCADOS HIGH SCHOOL by A. H. Mohammed

 

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photo credit: usborne.com

 

1

The Mystery of Shelf 12 L pt3

 

Continued from here

Ada opened her eyes slowly, trying to get used to the bright light in the room. She rubbed her head and swayed on her feet. The slide down the twisted tunnel made her head spin. It was worse than a roller coaster ride, she felt like she had been tossed around over and over again in a giant blender.

Slowly she made out the shape of a boy in front of her. “Who are you?”

He was about her height, he wore square glasses and he was completely bald, like a chicken without feathers! He just stared right back at her. She rubbed her head again and looked around.

“What is this place?”

It was much like the library upstairs, but the books were older, browner, bigger and the room was brighter, dustier, deserted.

The boy with no hair smiled. “This is the Room of Knowledge”

He took her hand pulling her towards the center of the room. “You wanted to learn about waterfalls right? Come, I’ll show you”

He stopped at a shelf labelled W and he pulled an old dusty brown book from the stack of books on one of the rows. “Come, help me”

Ada held one end of the book and together they pulled the large book off the shelf and onto the floor. The boy sat cross-legged in front of the book and tapped the space next to him. Ada looked at him and then the shelf and then the mouth of the tunnel.

“My name is Zigi. Break will be over in 30 minutes. If you want to see the waterfalls, sit down, we don’t have time”

She sat.

Zigi flipped the pages of the book. All of a sudden, sounds of thrashing water filled the room. Ada sat up and looked around but Zigi kept flipping the images.

“Can’t you hear that?”

“What?” He looked up and looked around, his large eyeballs turning in his face. They heard nothing. Ada was confused. He flipped another page. The sound came again, louder this time.

That!”

“Oh, that!” Zigi smiled and turned back to the book. He kept flipping pages until he got to the page he wanted. “Now look”

Ada jumped up “You heard it right? What’s happening?”

“Look!!!” Zigi shouted pointing at the book.

Then Ada looked at the book. There were pictures of huge waterfalls splayed across the pages.  Ada stared at the book, then at Zigi. The sounds seemed to be coming from the waterfalls in the book! She shook her head and took two steps back.

“Zigi. What’s that? What kind of book is that? What is this place? I want to go”

Zigi smiled and flipped the pages some more. More pictures of waterfalls came up and the volume of the sounds that filled the room, seemed to rise and fall depending on the size of the waterfalls on the pages. “These waterfalls are in Nigeria! There are so many and this book shows all of them. It tells you everything you need to know about all of them. But do you know the best part?” he stopped, looked at her and smiled harder. “It takes you to all of them”

“What do you mean?”

Ada took a step forward and stared at the strange book. The pages seemed to come alive. She stared at the waterfall closest to her. It was called Agbokim Waterfalls. It was beautiful she thought. She could hear the sounds from the waterfall. A gust of wind flung her plaits across her face.

“Touch it” Zigi said “Touch it”

Ada looked at him, then the book. Slowly, she walked towards Zigi, she knelt next to the book and touched the page. Suddenly a hole appeared where her finger had been and a violent gust of wind rose from its mouth and sucked her into the page!

to be continued …

see you same time next week …

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2

The Mystery of Shelf 12 L pt2

 

Continued from here

It was the biggest library she had ever seen. Rows and rows of books from the floor all the way up to the ceiling. Just books! Small books, big ones, flat ones, thick ones, old ones, new ones, hardbacks, paperbacks! She had never seen so many books in one place at the same time. Her old school’s library was a small dark room with two white plastic tables, six white plastic chairs and twenty-three old books. Ada stood on a spot and spun, staring at all the books in the topmost shelf, her neck bent backwards so much that it looked like it would break. Then she looked down at the rest of the library. Where was her mystery writer, Z? She looked around. There were so many shelves, she didn’t know where to start from.

How can anyone find anyone in this place? she wondered. She looked at the note again. It didn’t say where she was supposed to meet Z. She started walking through the shelves, looking at the letter boxes at the top of each shelf.

“A .. B .. C .. D .. ”

Four shelves and four minutes later, no one walked up to her and no one had said anything to her. Ada looked at the note in her hand again. This time, she studied it wondering if she had missed something.

“Hmmm. Why are the 12 and L darker than the other letters?”

She looked up at the huge clock on the wall. It was 11:58 am. Just beneath the clock, there was a huge chart with the alphabets and numbers 1 -20. Suddenly, Ada’s eyes popped and she knew where she was supposed to meet Z.

She folded the note, pushed it into her pocket and hurried towards the center of the library. Just as she stopped in front of the shelf marked 12 L, a loud bang shook the library! Ada jumped and turned away from the shelf looking around. Everyone else seemed calm, like nothing happened. Then the bang came again and again and again.

Oh! It’s only the clock she thought. It’s 12 o’clock!

She heaved a sigh of relief and counted with the clock.

“ … 7.. 8.. 9.. 10.. 11.. 12 ..”

Then from no where, two hands came out of the shelf 12 L, covered her mouth and dragged her into the darkness!

 

 

to be continued …

see you same time next week …

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The Merchant of Venice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title: The Merchant of Venice

Author: William Shakespeare

Publisher: Simon and Schuster/Penguin

Number of pages: 238/240

Type of Book: Classic, Fiction

Age: 8+

Buy it here: http://product.chelisbookazine.com/product/shakespeare-made-easy-the-merchant-of-venice/ ; http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743477561/ref=s9_simh_gw_g14_i1_r?ie=UTF8&fpl=fresh&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=desktop-1&pf_rd_r=1GK4W5GM4C1NZ7RVSYSQ&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=2437869742&pf_rd_i=desktop; http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0141013958/ref=sr_1_4?p=S02G&keywords=the+merchant+of+venice+penguin&ie=UTF8&qid=1462364686;

free download here (unabridged version for older readers): http://uppcolleges.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/merchant_of_venice_12.pdf

Price: N1440; $3:87;  $5:00

MY SUMMARY

This story features two friends Bassanio and Antonio who borrow money from a shrewd Jewish moneylender called Shylock. Bassanio is the happy-go-lucky kind, he has fallen in love with an heiress, Portia and needs the money to woo her. Antonio is a wealthy Venetian Christian merchant with a healthy dislike for Jews. His ships however are at sea so he is forced to borrow money from a Jew to fund Bassanio’s trip. The friends promise Shylock a pound of Antonio’s flesh if the debt is unpaid by the date set by Shylock! Things go wrong when Bassonio, after successfully wooing Portia hears that Antonio’s ships were lost at sea and Shylock, having lost his daughter to a Christian and knowing of Antonio’s dislike for Jews wanted his pound of flesh. Read the book to find out how the friends escape Shylock’s clutches, if they do.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: I loved this book as a child! Once upon a time, it was my favourite book in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD! And if, like me, you were born in the 80s, then you read ‘Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare!’ J I recommend for everyone, old and young alike. Do you want to know much I loved it? Look at TRIVIA No. 6.

DOWN: As with all Shakespeare’s books, the unabridged version might be a bit much for children.

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. How much did Bassanio and Antonio borrow from Shylock? 3000 gold coins (ducats)
  2. What happens to Shylock’s daughter Jessica? She steals a lot of money from her father and runs away from home with Lorenzo, a Christian.
  3. How does Portia’s father choose a husband for her? He sets up a test with three caskets. Whomever chooses the right casket wins her hand in marriage.
  4. What happens when a suitor fails the test? Not only will he not win Portia’s hand in marriage but he will not be able to marry anyone else for the rest of his life!
  5. Who is the young brilliant lawyer, Balthazar who defends Antonio in court? Portia, dressed as a man.
  6. I have 5 names and I got one of them (at age 10) from this book. What is that name? Nerissa

Visit William Shakespeare here: http://www.shakespeare-online.com 

CHALLENGE: The Merchant of Venice

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a 600-word essay on contemporary moneylenders (8 – 9 year olds)

OR

  1. Write a 600-word essay on contemporary moneylenders AND Read the summary and write your own ending for this story. (600 words) (10-12 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Sunday, May 8th 2016.

Next Book of the Week:

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW by William Shakespeare

 

 

 

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The Comedy of Errors

Title: The Comedy of Errors

Author: William Shakespeare

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Number of pages: 272

Type of Book: Classic, Fiction

Age: 8+

Buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Comedy-Errors-Folger-Shakespeare-Library/dp/0743484886/ref=tmm_mmp_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr= ; free download here (unabridged version for older readers): http://www.pubwire.com/DownloadDocs/PDFiles/SHAKESPR/COMEDY/COMEDYOF.PDF

Price: $5:99

MY SUMMARY

This story is one of mistaken identity and as is common with stories of this nature, what follows is chaos for the characters and laughter for the readers. One fateful night, two women gave birth to a set of identical twin boys each. The first woman was a wealthy merchant’s wife from Syracuse, the other, a poor woman. The latter sold her twins as servants to the former’s twins. Shortly after, the merchant and his family were caught in a storm at sea; the wife and a set of twins (one son and one servant) was lost. Distraught, the merchant named the surviving boys after the lost boys. Many years later, both boys (Antipholus of Syracuse and Antipholus of Ephesus) and their servants (Dromio of Syracuse and Dromio of Ephesus) happened to be in the town of Ephesus at the same time. This led to mass confusion, a lot of beatings, some arrests, an almost exorcism and riotous laughter!

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: Humour! It lives up to its title. Most stories featuring identical twins are filled with laughter, this one features two sets of identical twins so its twice as much fun! I recommend for all the members of the family.

DOWN: None

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. The story is set in the city of Ephesus
  2. Egeon, (the father of the twins) must do this to avoid being executed the next day? Give a thousand marks to the Duke of Ephesus.
  3. While dining in his brother’s house, (he’s mistaken for his brother) Antipholus of E does this: he woos his brother’s wife’s sister!
  4. Antipholus of Ephesus suffers this as a result of the mix-up: He’s locked out of his own house
  5. His wife thinks he has gone mad and begs an exorcist to cure him.
  6. He’s accused of refusal to pay a debt and he’s locked up in prison.

Visit William Shakespeare here: http://www.shakespeare-online.com

Watch the play here:

CHALLENGE: The Comedy of Errors

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a 600-word comedy of errors. (8 – 9 year olds)

OR

  1. Write a 1000-word comedy of errors (10-12 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Sunday, May 1st  2016.

Next Book of the Week:

MERCHANT OF VERNICE by William Shakespeare

 

 

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A Tale of Two Cities

A-Tale-Of-Two-Cities-9780746096987-291x450

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title: A Tale of Two Cities

Author: Charles Dickens

Publisher: Usborne Publishing/Dover Publications

Number of pages: 64, 304

Type of Book: Classic, Fiction

Age: 8+

Buy it here: http://product.chelisbookazine.com/product/a-tale-of-two-cities-young-reading-series-3/; http://www.amazon.com/Tale-Cities-Young-Reading-Three/dp/0746096984/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1461361373&sr=1-2-fkmr0&keywords=a+tale+of+two+cities+by+charles+dickens+usborne+publishing; http://www.planetpublish.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/A_Tale_of_Two_Cities_T.pdf; free download here (unabridged version for older readers): http://www.planetpublish.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/A_Tale_of_Two_Cities_T.pdf

Price: N580; $1.98; $4.50

MY SUMMARY

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…’ It was the period just before the French Revolution. The rich got richer and lived lavishly and the poor got poorer and suffered untold hardship and injustice at the hands of the rich.

Against this backdrop Lucie Manette’s life unfolds. Lucie is reunited with her father after eighteen years. He has been unjustly imprisoned in the Bastille for almost two decades for witnessing a murder. They return to a peaceful life in England until fate takes them back to France to serve as witnesses at a trial. In France, Lucie meets Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton who fall in love with her. After an eventful trial, the Manettes return to Engalnd with Carton and Darnay and Lucie marries Darnay. Again, life seems to be peaceful for the Manettes until Charles returns to France, during the French Revolution and is caught, tried and sentenced to death for committing treason. Read this book to find out how Charles escapes death, if he does.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: I enjoyed reading this book, first because it was a bit of fiction with a slice of history and secondly because it reminded me of Les Miserables. Dickens is a wonderful story spinner. My best character was the death spinner Mrs. Defarge who used knitting for a brand new purpose: to put down the names of aristocrats to be killed. The first line is also one of the best opening lines i’ve ever seen, second only to Lemon Snicket’s opening line in ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events: Book One’

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

This line stuck in my head for years! I read this book some twenty years ago and promptly forgot everything about it except this line. I recommend for older independent readers, boys and girls alike.

DOWN: The unabridged version might be a bit much for children especially because the diction is anything but simple but the abridged version is almost skeletal.

RATING

4.5 Stars 

TRIVIA

  1. The two cities? London and Paris
  2. An extraordinary feature of Mrs. Defarge’s knitting? She knits the names of all the rich people to be killed during the Revolution.
  3. These two love Lucie Manette and look like identical twins? Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton.
  4. Charles Darnay’s secret identity? He is the nephew and heir to Marquis Evremonde, the much hated French aristocrat.
  5. Why was Lucie Manette’s father away for 18 years? Because he witnessed the death of a young boy and girl at the hands of Marquis Evremonde so the latter put him in Prison.

Visit Charles Dickens here: http://www.charlesdickensinfo.com

CHALLENGE: A Tale of Two Cities

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a 600-word essay on the French Revolution. (8 – 9 year olds)

OR

  1. Write a 600-word essay on the following: a. The French Revolution. b. The Biafran War (10-12 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Tuesday, April 26th 2016.

Next Book of the Week:

COMEDY OF ERRORS by William Shakespeare

 

1

Adaeze the true Princess

IMG_5704

Title: Adaeze the True Princess

Author: Nnenna Ochiche

Publisher: Grace Springs Africa Publishers

Number of pages: 164

Type of Book: Contemporary, Fiction

Age: 8+

Buy it here: Laterna Books 13 Oko Awo Street, Victoria Island, Lagos; The Hub, Palms Shopping Mall, Lekki, Lagos;  http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1523963271?keywords=adaeze&qid=1457472822&ref_=sr_1_2&sr=8-2

Price: N1,000; N1,000;16.80 GBP

MY SUMMARY

Eight-year-old Adaeze was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. With a name that literally means ‘Daughter of a King’ she considered herself a princess and was treated as such by her parents. She had bad grades in school, stuffed herself with food till she became overweight and got everything she wanted WHEN she wanted, either by simply asking or throwing herself on the floor and screaming her head off. She was spoilt beyond belief.

Then one day, everything changed. Adaeze’s dad got into trouble with the law and skipped town, her mum became sick. All of a sudden, Adaeze had to leave her illustrious life in urban Lagos to move to almost remote, Aba to live with her strict, poorly dressed and almost impoverished aunt. Suddenly, she couldn’t eat pizza and ice cream at will, make intermittent phone calls, go shopping, watch TV and play computer games.

Read the book to find out how Adaeze fared in Aba and how Aunty Felicia helped her become a true princess.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: I enjoyed reading this book. It reminded me (sooo much) of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”. It also reminded of my primary school days especially the Iburibu incident. Like Adaeze’s mother, the incident made me laugh till I cried. It brought memories of fighting in school. Humor! Adaeze was so badly behaved sometimes that the reader is shocked into laughter. Some of the tricks/antics Aunty Felicia employed to try to change Adaeze were downright funny.

Honestly, where the child hero of this book is Adaeze, the adult hero is Aunty Felicia. She was the highlight of the book for me. I recommend for older independent readers, boys and girls alike.

DOWN: It was a bit slow-paced and there were minor grammatical errors. It almost had a didactic tone, almost.

RATING

4 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. Adaeze’s reaction when she saw her cousin Jones riding her bike. She yelled at him, grabbed his shirt, pulled him off the bike, threw him on the floor and bit his ear!
  2. A typical day in Adaeze’s life? She would go to school, come home, eat lunch and wail to avoid doing her homework with her private tutor. Her mum would apologize, send the tutor away and try to pacify her with pizza and ice cream, then she would watch cartoons till 10pm. When her dad returned, he would bring chocolate and a bucket of fried chicken. She would eat as much as she could and then go to bed.
  3. What did Adaeze’s parents do whenever she failed in school? They blamed the teacher(s) and moved Adaeze to another school.
  4. “So many diseases just love a child with excess fat.” Who said this and why? Aunt Felicia. She was trying to get Adaeze to lose weight.
  5. Adaeze told this person everything? Isi, her equally spoilt best friend.
  6. Why did Adaeze get into a fight in church? Because a child told her she was fat. She called her Iburibu (literally: you are fat)

Visit Adaeze here:  https://www.facebook.com/Adaeze-the-True-Princess-906886066073899/  

CHALLENGE: Adaeze the True Princess

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. True princesses treat others with kindness. True or False? Write a 600-word essay on the most important qualities a prince/princess must have.

OR

  1. Write a 600-word short story with any of the following themes: Service to others OR Friendship

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Sunday, March 14th 2016.

Next Book of the Week:

THE WIZARD OF OZ by L. FRANK BAUM

*A copy of this book was given to me in exchange for an honest review