Meg Thacher did an impressive job with the organization of the book and the depth of information she provided! She excels at writing content that is understandable to the audience it’s intended (9-14 years old) and is also appealing to adults.
The book is organized into the following sections/chapters
the stars and constellations
Thatcher provides an overview of the topic within each chapter, providing eye-catching call outs for defining terms. She provides activity ideas like starting a sky journal and includes a list of supplies and what your sky journal should consist of. I especially appreciated the information regarding best times for sky gazing, calendars of full moons and eclipses, and even directions for using your hands and fingers as a cosmic protractor! We are keen to try her directions for making a red flashlight for night vision. Thatcher gives excellent details around looking for constellations and the months to find them in the sky for seasonal sky gazing. As a visual learner, I found her visual depiction of a star’s life cycle extremely useful.
The Appendix is filled with essential charts and dates of eclipses, meteor showers, buying binoculars,etc. and a thorough glossary of terms.
As a homeschooling mom, I cannot say enough about this book. Besides the valuable information covered in this book’s text, she includes beautiful and relevant illustrations. My teenagers and my middle-school-aged son all loved reading this book. We plan to incorporate this book into our homeschool curriculum. If you enjoy using Unit Studies in your homeschool, you will find that this book will exceed a unit study. We plan to focus on the learning content over a semester and continue to refer to it monthly as we sky gaze! Oh, and I also love that the book has a hardcover, perfect for a resource book that will likely get a lot of use and even spend some time outside on clear nights, so having a sturdy cover is appreciated.
Skygazing will be released on October 13, 2020. It is a fantastic resource that belongs in every homeschool and school library. We will be referring to it often throughout our school year.
I love a fun, cozy mystery, and that’s exactly what this book is, and it’s at just the right time as we approach autumn and Halloween. Stella, the owner of the Wick and Flame candle shop, is helping a local Girls Scouts troop raise funds by hosting a haunted house tour. They have just the right place for the festivities and do a great job of building hype around the event by sharing stories about the house being haunted. But their fun attempts to stir up haunted talk becomes a bit too realistic when Stella discovers a human skeleton, buried in the wall.
The discovery of the hundred-year-old skeleton leads to many questions, suspicions and folklore. There are several people who are interested in the skeleton including a couple of anthropologistS, a local historian and a librarian who believes the skeleton belongs to a distant relative. Each of them has an interest in solving the mystery of who was buried in the wall all those years ago and why? As Stella, Andy, (the local police), and a cast of characters come together as a team to search for answers, they find themselves in the midst of a present-day murder mystery. Which member of the team is killed and why? You’ll need to read it to discover the surprising truth behind all of the mystery. I really enjoyed this book, the plot kept me guessing to the end. So many exciting plot twists and red herrings. Even as I approached the final chapters, I still was not sure who did it! This is my first time reading a book Christin Brecher, and it is the third book in the Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery series. I did not feel like I needed to read the first two in the series to enjoy the third, but I plan to read the first two now because I enjoyed this one so much! Stella’s character is very modern and likable, she’s like a young, hip Miss Marple. I love that she owns a candle shop and funnels her creativity into making interesting scents and styles of candles. Candle making is a hobby I enjoy as well and I’ve included a basic candle making tutorial below!
15 Minutes of Flame was just recently published on August 25, so it is available for purchase and it’s the perfect book for fall! Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity!
Candle Making Tutorial
I love making candles and the good news is, that all of the supplies needed are available at craft store. Here is the list of supplies:
Candle wax ( I use soy wax)
The container you want your candle in (I picked up the metal container for this one at Hobby lobby for $3.99 and used my 40% coupon making it $2.40)
Wicks, glue dots and pencils
Glass thermometer (Like a candy thermometer)
Something to stir the hot wax
Scent (if you want it scented) Hobby Lobby has a variety of scents for candle making.
Determine how much wax is needed
You will start by choosing the container you want to make your candle in and how many ounces it will hold. My container held 16 ounces. I found that 1.5 pounds of soy wax was needed to fill My 16oz container.
Prepare your candle container
To prepare your candle container you will adhere your wicks To the bottom. How many wicks you use is up to you. My container is wide so I chose to use three wicks. I was afraid one wick would end up burning only down the center. I always adhere my wicks to the bottom of the container so when I pour the hot wax, they stay put. I use glue dots on the bottom of each wick and press them firmly to the bottom of the container.
Next, I use pencils to hold the wicks in place. My wicks were extra long, so I wrapped the ends around my pencil. This is a great way to keep the wick standing up straight so it burns evenly. I could have trimmed the wicks first, but because I wasn’t sure how tall I would need them in the end, I waited.
It’s time to melt your wax
Now it is time to melt your wax. If you have a double boiler you can use that, just make sure your pot with the wax will be easy to pour from. I do not have a double boiler so I poured my wax into my pouring pitcher and set the pitcher in a pot of water to bring to a boil.
Carefully heat your wax and stir as it melts. You will need your thermometer. Allow the wax to reach 185°F before adding fragrance. This temperature is known as the “Goldilocks Zone.” It’s hot enough for the fragrance oil to fully bind and mix with the wax, but not so hot that any fragrance might be lost to the heat.
Add the candle fragrance
Once the wax hits 185°F, add the fragrance then remove the pitcher from the heat. Stir gently for about 2 minutes. This may seem like an easy step to skip, but mixing thoroughly is important for getting the best fragrance from your finished candle.
Pour your wax into the candle container
Allow your wax to cool to 135 degrees then slowly and carefully pour your wax into your prepared candle holder.
Allow your candle to cool and become solid – I always make sure that where I pour my candle is where I will leave it to cool, moving a container of hot wax isn’t a great idea. Once it is cool, you can remove the pencils and trim the wicks to about 1/4 inch above the candles surface and cover it.
Before burning, I do recommend allowing the candle to “cure”—optimally for 2 weeks and at least 4-5 days to get the best scent out of your candle.
Hello and thanks for stopping by my small corner of the Internet. My name is Amelia and in short, I love to read, I always have, but I have not always had the time because, well – life. This year I retired from teaching, I’ve been a college professor for more than 25 years. It wasn’t an easy decision and I actually languished in the process of easing my way out, going from full time, to adjunct with an almost full time schedule, to only a class here and there to finally, exiting and closing the door. I suffered an identity crisis for a minute. It’s weird to be something for so long and then suddenly stop being it. I survived the crisis though because I picked up a book for pleasure, and just like that, all was right with the world. It has been as many years since I have truly read for pleasure. Sure, I’ve been able to sneak in a good book here and there, but ultimately, the halls of higher ed demand their pound of flesh and I generally paid my dues in research or text book writing and editing. It’s ok if that last sentenced about research and textbooks made you a little drowsy, it did me too. At some point in any academics life, even the “suggestions for future research” lose their appeal.
So, here I am, with time, sweet time, on my hands and I have filled every spare moment with reading for pleasure. I feel like I am about two decades behind on reading and I’m making up for it in spades now. Through various “bookstagram” and twitter accounts I became familiar with the acronym ARC – or “advanced reader copy” The world of book reviewing was suddenly on my radar and I am all about that life. So, I signed up with various platforms and started pleading requesting books to read in exchange for an honest review. Much to my delight there were publishers willing to answer my plea. And this is how I landed here- creating a blog to share my book reviews. I do want to clarify that not all of my book reviews will be for ARCs. I have 25 years of pleasure reading to catch up on, so there will be reviews of books you probably read 15 years ago 🤷♀️ But the ARCs I do review will include information about the author, publisher and when it will be available to purchase.
So, there ya have it, I’m pretty excited about this place and sharing lots of bookish things with you. I’ll probably share other stuff too because I have more free time now, so more time for hobbies. If you want to sign up to receive updates from my blog, feel free to drop that email address below.