Category: readers

Book Giveaway! – “Zeke, Ky and the Mountain Stream” (Gwynneth Beasley)

By , July 21, 2010 1:26 pm

One of the really fun things about blogging is all the people you “meet.”  Recently a former Unplugged Project participant, blogger and now published author Gwynneth Beasley (hooray Gwynneth – congrats!!) contacted me to see if I would be interested in hosting a giveaway of one of her books.  When she mentioned that it was about the very unplugged activity of camping (unless you are in a 40 foot RV with satellite TV of course, LOL) I was definitely sold.

One night at dinner Zeke announced, ‘I have made a decision everybody.  We are going camping this weekend and no one is bringing the computer, the phone, their mobile, the TV or the DVD.’

quote from p.1, Zeke, Ky, and the Mountain Stream

Yes, Zeke, Ky and the Mountain Stream is perfect for an Unplug Your Kids review and giveaway!

Gwynneth kindly sent me two copies all the way from Australia, one for my family to read, and the other to give away to an Unplug Your Kids reader.

I wasn’t able to show the book to my children right away since they were camping for a few days with their father.  A happy coincidence I thought!  When the kids returned from a fun camping adventure of their own, they were ripe to read the tale of Zeke and Ky’s camping trip.  They all enjoyed the book and I found them picking it up and rereading it on their own later, even my older children.

Zeke, Ky and the Mountain Stream has a large, easy to read font and the vocabulary is fairly basic which would make it a good choice for younger readers who are just transitioning to “chapter books.”  Each page contains just a few sentences of text and a simple photo illustration.  The book length (18 pages) is also great for younger children with short attention spans.  It would make a wonderful read-aloud book too and could inspire lots of conversations about camping, nature, the power of positive thinking, and the value of unplugging once in a while!


  • To enter the giveaway for my free copy of Zeke, Ky, and the Mountain Stream, simply leave a comment with a quick summary of a favorite outdoor or camping activity that you do with your children (or grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc.).
  • For an additional chance(s) to win this book, you can subscribe to Unplug Your Kids (link is in upper right sidebar).  Just leave another comment here to let me know.
  • The giveaway ends on Wednesday, July 28th at 8:00PM PST.  I’ll select a random winner based on all entries, and announce the winner on Thursday, July 29th!
    Comments are now closed. Winner to be announced tomorrow (July 30th). Thank you all!!

Early Readers: Pirate Adventures!

By , February 26, 2009 9:26 pm

In my never ending quest for good early readers, I recently stumbled upon this “treasure” for pirate-loving boys: Treasure Island – Easy Reader Classics Series.  I bought the first two of the set of four for my 6 year-old son who was in need of some interesting reading material.

My son is currently at that awkward, in-between phase of reading acquisition. Even the most advanced Bob Books and other phonics-style readers are too easy and boring, but full-on chapter books are a bit too hard and could lead to frustration.

This Treasure Island series seemed to be just the ticket. Each book is part of an ultra-simplified and abridged version of the classic adventure tale by Robert Louis Stevenson. They describe the adventures of a boy named Jim who, after finding an old treasure map, winds up on a ship in search of the lost treasure. Of course Jim must outwit the pirates who are also seeking the treasure. Is this not the dream of many young boys out there?

My son LOVED the first two books so much (he read them immediately one after the other), that I had to get online right away and order the last two. I am not exaggerating when I say that he was literally counting the days until his books arrived. When they did, he ripped open the box and devoured them both right away.  Any book that has that sort of effect on my new-reader son gets my 5 star recommendation!!

There are other Easy Reader Classics series too: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Jungle Book, The Story of Doctor Dolittle, and The Wind in the Willows. We’ll definitely be trying another set soon.

Reading Level Facts:

  • Each book is 32 pages long and is divided into four chapters so young readers can feel that they are reading a true “chapter book.”
  • The type is fairly large and there are just a few sentences on each page which is a perfect layout for short, young attention spans.
  • There are many large, colorful illustrations that I actually found to be somewhat mediocre in quality, but my son didn’t seem to mind.


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