I recently joined the review team at The Homeschool Village, and am looking forward to sharing our experiences with you all. As such, here's our first HSV review:
We were recently sent a copy of The Case of the Missing Mountain, by Kim Jones. It retails for $14.99, and is an 80 page, paperback activity book, which teaches about Mount St. Helens, from a Young Earth, Creation based perspective. (This book is published by Master Books, which is a part of the New Leaf Publishing Group. They are a great source for Christian books.)
The book is full of puzzles, codes, and mazes, which teach about this particular volcano, volcanoes in general, and various other natural phenomena in the surrounding area. There are before and after pictures of Mount St. Helens, (and the surrounding areas,) and related experiments to do at home.
The goal in the book is to solve 7 "mysteries." At the conclusion of the book, you can print a certificate and badge to celebrate your status as a "Mystery Ranger."
At the end of the book, there is a section which connects the eruption at Mount St. Helens with the biblical flood and Noah's Ark. The premise is that the devastation, and subsequent regeneration around Mount St. Helens could be used to illustrate the the feasibility of the flood, as a real, historical event.
L, who is 6 as of last week, enjoyed working in the book. It was challenging to him as a beginning reader, and required some help from mommy. A child of 7 or 8 might be able to do much of the book independently. (Although for what it's worth, I enjoyed doing it with him. That's part of the fun of homeschooling, right?)
The pictures in the book were really interesting, especially the before and afters. The puzzles and codes captivated L, who has recently really gotten into things like word searches. The experiments are interesting and fun, but they're actually doable, meaning they don't require mom to acquire lots of exotic supplies, and they don't take hours.
L enjoyed doing the old standby, vinegar and baking soda volcano.
A a result of starting in this book, I think we're going to do a little mini unit on volcanoes. L wants to learn more. :)
We enjoyed this book, and would recommend it. It sounds as if there will be other books in the series. We'll be on the lookout for them.
As an aside, I thought the the bio I received about the author was pretty interesting, so I'm posting it as well.
About Kim Jones: National Park Ranger Kim Jones lived adventure as a ranger at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area in Washington! Interpreting mysteries of science and history to park visitors, Kim’s love of nature and adventure met a perfect match! However, in her job as a park ranger, Kim’s faith in God and belief in creation was challenged! The answer to that challenge came from an unexpected place…a mountain that had been blown to bits!
Exploring Washington, during her time off, Kim discovered the Seven Wonders Creation Museum near Mt. St. Helens. The jaw-dropping evidences of creation she learned there helped reinforce Kim’s faith and spurred her on to work at the museum and assist in guided tours of the volcanic area the next summer. That summer was when the “Mystery Rangers Series” was born.
Kim’s trail adventures along life’s path also include being a fourth grade teacher, curriculum designer and teacher for outdoor school programs, Arkansas State Park Naturalist, assistant backcountry guide and counselor and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Outdoor Education from Northern Illinois University.
Kim’s passion for teaching children about God’s Creation in nature through hands-on experiential fun-filled activities can be seen in her first book in the Mystery Rangers Series, Mystery Rangers: The Case of the Missing Mountain, published by Masterbooks.
Kim is married to her knight in shining armor and has two cute dogs. She continues enjoying teaching about God’s Creation through writing, hands-on natural interpretation, games, and team building at outdoor camps. Kim is available for public speaking and presenting Creation Camps. See thenaturetour.com for details.
Disclosure: We were provided with a review copy of this book as a part of the HSV review group. No other compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.