Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Daniel X- Watch the Skies!!!

As a teacher, I always look forward to the start of a new school year, and a fresh set of young readers to teach. I also look forward to keeping up with my students from previous years and seeing how they are doing as they move up in school.

Last Friday, throughout the day I had visits from 4 of my boys from last year in 4th grade. They did not stop by to tell me about their summer, or ask how my group of 3rd grade boys was doing this year...nope...word had gotten out that I had a copy of the new Daniel X book by James Patterson (okay, I sort of let the cat out of the bag to one of my former students).

You see, last year I had read and reviewed the first Daniel X book (click here to read that review). And it was so good I used it as a read aloud in my 4th grade all boys class. They LOVED it! And when I say LOVED I mean LOOOOVVVEEEDDD! Several of them borrowed it and read it on their own.

So I was very excited when I heard the newest Daniel X book was out, and I was given the opportunity again, to read and review it here on m blog. I read the first 30 pages immediately after the Fed-Ex guy delivered it to my house this summer. And quickly polished off the book within a day or two, and decided to read it again. It is THAT good!!

In this latest book, Daniel, a young Alien Hunter, continues to take on wildly interesting characters from other planets who come to Earth to destroy the human race. Daniel has superpowers which he uses to defeat these unsavory characters, including the ability to conjure up a group of friends who help in in the fight, and his parents (who were killed by the infamous Ergent Seth in the beginning of Patterson's first Daniel X book).

Daniel tries, sometimes unsuccessfully, to fit in among his peers on Earth bu attending school, ad dating, but these attempts often fall short as Daniel's battles with aliens must take precedence.

Patterson uses vivid language and descriptions, along with lots of action to hook his readers. What 9, 10, or 14 year old boy can resist a story packed with a plethora of outlandish aliens, out of this world weaponry and references to the electronics, language, food and places of today's pop culture.

Research shows that around grade 3 o 4 boys began to lag hind girls in reading. When asked why they on;t read as much as they play video games, listen to iPods, text their friends, etc. most boys will s it is because there is nothing interesting for them to read. Daniel X provides a great reading experience for boys from grade 3 on up.

As a teacher, I think one o the greatest benefit to reading these books to my students and getting them hooked on this series, is that the chapters are short(usually 2-3 pages) and boys can get a quick sense of accomplishment after reading less than 20 minutes.

I am already reading the first Daniel X book to my current class of 3rd grade boys, and plan on reading the second book to them as well. That is when I get it back from my 4 students from last year who are already lined up to borrow it!!

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