Saturday, November 7, 2015

Channing O'Banning and the Turquoise Trail

Spady, A. (2015). Channing O'Banning and the Turquoise Trail. Nashville, TN: Tommy Nelson Publishing

Children's / Fiction / Educational Chapter Book

I give this book 4 out of 5 Stars

Publisher's Blurb: High-Flying Adventure to the Wild West! 
When fourth-grade artist Channing O’Banning unearths something very weird on the school playground, she’s sure it’s going to be the biggest thing ever to happen at Greenville Elementary. But things take a rocky turn, and Channing never wants to show her face at school again.

Thankfully, Channing finds lots of rocks to hide under when her family visits the American West. With her signature colored pencil stuck in her ponytail and Teeny, the coolest pig on the planet, by her side, Channing discovers that art comes in many different forms—and that God is the greatest artist of all.

In this second book in the Channing O'Banning series, author Angela Spady packs in history and science, manners and morals, all with a dose of humor that will keep readers happily engaged.

The main character, fourth grader Channing O'Banning, is a budding artist who not only gives names to each of her colored pencils, but she always has one neatly tucked into her ponytail for her on-the-spot drawing needs. Whether Channing is happy, excited, embarrassed, or disappointed, readers will be able to relate to Channing's feelings. Better yet, in Channing, readers will find an excellent model for how to deal with those feelings. 

Angela Spady's writing is excellent and the book expertly edited.  Spady presents a lot of information that will hopefully spark in readers a Channing-like curiosity and encourage further research. (Spady has even included a "Did You Know" section at the end with some bonus information and some links.)  Some Christian elements are present, including a quote from the Bible which is perfectly natural in its inclusion and underscore the point being made about how people should behave. Other lessons -- on honesty, forgiveness, respect, saving -- are subtly taught so that readers don't know they are getting a lesson at all. 

The book is best suited to independent readers, ages six to nine, but it also could work well in the classroom as a read aloud to the students.  Award-winning illustrator Tammie Lyon provides fun, cute illustrations sprinkled throughout that provide a nice visual boost for young readers. 

Thank you to the publisher, Thomas Nelson, for providing me an eBook copy with absolutely no strings attached.  In exchange, I'm providing my honest review -- the only kind I give. 

November is National Native American Heritage month - 
this is a great book to get kids started!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Author Angela Spady is an award-winning educator, curriculum author, and mother to two daughters in Kentucky and New Mexico. Her innovative teaching techniques have been featured on PBS,  in KY Teacher Magazine, and in various print media around the country. She is a noted advocate for encouraging art and self-expression among  children, and is often sought out by both parents and teachers on this critical topic. She lives in Taos, New Mexico with her husband Steve, and can often be seen writing, painting, or simply gazing upon the Sangre de Cristo mountains for a little inspiration. Check out her tween's series The Desperate Diva Diaries 

Learn more on Spady's WEBSITE, which has more about her books, teacher resources, art activities,  and more. Or, follow the author on TWITTER or FACEBOOK.

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