Monday, 14 October 2013

Jack Templar: Lord of the Vampires

Lord tour
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00007]  Jack Templar and the Lord of the Vampires Jack is back. After his adventures at the Monster Hunter Academy (which included fighting a goblin army, befriending an ancient werewolf, and battling two fire breathing dragons), Jack Templar was hoping for a rest. No such luck. In Book #3 of the Jack Templar Monster Hunter series, Jack embarks on a quest to track down and acquire the first of the five mythical Jerusalem Stones, an ancient power found by his ancestors the Templar Knights. Only the reunited Stones can stop Ren Lucre, the Dark Lord who holds Jack’s father hostage and prepares for an all-out war against an unsuspecting human world. But each Stone is held by a different Creach Lord and recovering them will not be easy. Jack and his friends begin their quest by seeking out one of the most powerful and dangerous keepers of the Stones, the Lord of the Vampires. The fate of the world rests on Jack’s shoulders and he will be tested like never before. But true monster hunters always do their duty…come what may. Jack Templar and the Lord of the Vampires.

Okay, now I have to just add my review in here, I have been an AVID follower since the very first book.  And I must say how each book keeps MY interest and keeps me involved.  And this one was no exception, in fact this one had me darn near in tears.  No I won't go into more detail than that.  What I will say is that the author has created a wonderful and dramatic world which is well suited to all ages.  This book does have violence in it, and would be more suited for those children who can deal with that sort of thing.  But it is done in a manner which is well suited to even the youngest of readers.  My son is 10 and he absolutely LOVES this series!

Jack Templar is amazing, and his crew of other young children are equally amazing.  Some of the things they do just will literally have you gasping and screaming out be careful!

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book!  Did I just yell??? Okay well that shows you how very much I loved this book!  What are you waiting for?  Click the link above and go buy it!!!

Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy (Book 2) After barely surviving the onslaught of monsters that tried to kill him the day before his fourteenth birthday, Jack Templar leaves his hometown on a quest to rescue his father and discover the truth about his past. Joined by his friends Will and T-Rex, and led by Eva, the mysterious one-handed monster hunter, Jack sets out for the Monster Hunter Academy where he hopes to find answers to his questions. Little does he suspect that the Academy is filled with dangers of its own, many of them more terrifying than anything he’s faced so far.
Jack Templar: Monster Hunter (Book 1) Orphan Jack Templar has no memory of his parents and only the smallest details from his Aunt Sophie about how they died. The day before Jack's fourteenth birthday, things start to change for him. At first it's great: A sudden new strength helps him defend his nose-picking friend "T-Rex" from the school bully, and even his crush, Cindy Adams, takes notice. But then a mysterious girl named Eva arrives and tells him two facts that will change his life forever. First, that he's the descendent of a long line of monster hunters and he's destined to be in the family business. Second, that there's a truce between man and monster that children are off-limits...until their fourteenth birthday! Jack has only one day before hundreds of monsters will descend on his little town of Sunnyvale and try to kill him. As if that weren't enough, things get even more complicated when Jack discovers that the Lord of the Creach (as the monsters are collectively known) holds a personal grudge against him and will do anything to see that Jack has a slow and painful death. To stay alive and save his friends, Jack will have to battle werewolves, vampires, harpies, trolls, zombies and more. But perhaps the most dangerous thing he must face is the truth about his past. Why do the other hunters call him the last Templar? Why do they whisper that he may be the "One?" Why do the monsters want him dead so badly? Even as these questions plague him, he quickly discovers survival is his new full-time job and that in the world of monster hunters, nothing is really what it seems.
Jack Templar Monster Hunter was chosen as a Book of the Year Finalist by Foreword Reviews.
Author Jeff Gunhus Jeff Gunhus grew up in Cyprus, Greece, and Saudi Arabia where there was a distinct lack of television. He quickly found books were the gateway to incredible adventures, fascinating characters and unbelievable discoveries. Now, with five children of his own (all who watch too much television, in his opinion), he has enjoyed revisiting his old books and reliving those adventures all over again.

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Friday, 11 October 2013

Education in the wilds...

So for those who follow this blog you know that I do quite a few reviews of books.  However today I am going to do something a bit more oriented towards my home schooling.  As you know I have a 10 year old son with special needs.  He also has a total aversion to learning in any format.  And trust me I've tried just about every curriculum out there, special needs curriculums, Commor Core Curriculum, etc etc etc.  He has in fact said in no uncertain terms that he does not want to learn anything.  Basically at 8 years old he dropped out of school for all intents and purposes.

Now I've only been home schooling him for a year now.  But in that time that mindset has not changed at all.  He still does every task I set him to as slow and drawn out as possible with as little effort from him as possible sometimes to the extent of just writing in anything.  And lets not even go into art here, because that is where most children do well within his spectrum yet he is still drawing much as a prep child does.  Now I say all this because I need you to understand just where my son is in his educational foray.  Basically,he is a 10 year old in Kindergarten/Prep.  Can he work harder?  Yes, when I force him, and yes I do mean force him, he can now read at a grade 7 level which for him is a huge improvement, and he even has a blog which if I sit on him he actually posts to.  The doctors have stated it in such a manner... "He is the laziest child they have ever seen."

Now my fight with them has always been how can you diagnose him with any issues when he was too lazy or stubborn or whatever words you wish to use to describe him as to take the IQ test?  Now as his new mother, I saw right away there were issues with him, not so much in his ability to do things because he is quite smart, but I knew that he just didn't have that drive that my girls had to succeed or for that matter to even research into a topic that interests him.

But Connor CAN learn!  After a full two weeks spent using Amanda Bennett's Cavernous Caves lapbook kit, mind you it was supposed to be a one week lapbook but Connor always takes a minimum of double the allotted time to complete any task, we went on a trip to the local caves here in Australia.

What happened there was an example how a piece of paper cannot always tell you just what your child has learned.  Connor could tell the person that there were stalactites and stalagmites, though he couldn't remember which was which.  But for the first time Connor went off exploring on his own.  He willingly followed the tour guide through an area of the cave that mom and dad decided to forgo because it entailed crawling on our tummies.  My son, who is afraid of basically everything went willingly to try something new.  He explored that section of the cave and his father and I stood near where it would exit only a few yards from where it started but hey it was something daring to us.  Here is a photo of him climbing up out of the tunnels.

Now that is not the only thing he did.  He flipped off his headlamp and proceeded to explore a cavern in complete darkness by feel only.  This was a fun, and exciting walk thru a zig zag cave that was quite long but really was probably only about 30 meters but it sure felt like it was much longer.  Our sense of hearing was amazing in that darkness, it took only seconds for our other senses to take over where our eyes once were.  It was an amazing experience and one I must say I never thought he would be willing to try.  But once again he surprised me.

This just showed me that even though I keep thinking he isn't learning anything because his work is so poor, that he does learn some things.  Yes he may never be able to write in a better sentence than a first grader.  Yes he is not going to meet the base Common Core for the school system.  Yes he will never prove to be an Einstein.  Yes he is 100% different than my girls.  But he does maintain some knowledge and I can only hope and pray that one day he will be able to hold a job and have a family and maintain a lifestyle at least as good as his father's and mine.  For now, I will keep working with him, keep spending time with him, and keep taking him to whatever outside things we can afford to do.  And who knows maybe some day something will spark his desire to learn.