Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Science, Geography, Fun: The Voyager's Stone

A great book is a wonderful thing. And when a book does more than one thing, it is a treasure. The Voyager's Stone: The Adventures of a Message-Carrying Bottle Adrift on the Ocean Sea by Robert Kraske (illustrated by Brian Floca) is one of those books.

We first read it a few years ago and loved it; took it out from the library many many times. After raving about it repeatedly to a friend, we received it for a Christmas gift one year. (Thanks L's!) We read it yet again, and again. Now, my kids are reading it on their own and doing a project around it for our homeschool reading group.

The Voyager's Stone is the story of a bottle tossed into the sea. The bottle contains a rock and a note. We get to follow Voyager as "he" travels the oceans to his destination. During these travels Voyager encounters an octopus, killer whales, sharks, whales, penguins... Gets stuck in the mud and released by a huge storm... goes from the Caribbean up to the Grand Banks, to North Africa and beyond.

Our reading group project involves a large world map, some map pins, string, and pictures of a waterspout, a lighthouse, an octopus, the Sargasso Sea... among others yet to be drawn. This will be presented at our next meeting.

The Reading Group is comprised of about 10 homeschooling families with kids ranging from 4 to 10. Every month we meet to share books we read on a particular topic. This month it's oceans; last month was artists, other topics were animals, history, and space. Broad topics, intentionally. The kids share the books in whatever way they like best: we've seen poster, Lego projects, Playmobil figure setups, handmade books, written/oral reports. It's a lot of fun and such good practice for the kids to get up and speak a bit before a group.

The Voyager's Stone is an adventure story, a geography lesson, a jumping-off point for all sorts of science investigations. This is a book to treasure.

Updated to answer a question: This is a large-ish format picture book, about 80 pages (no pages numbers!), some pages are more picture than text. I imagine we have read it in one sitting. But most likely we'd pop up a lot to look something up... and I just noticed it's out of print! Buy a used copy today!


SmallWorld said...

That sounds fantastic! Is this a chapter book or a read-at-one-sitting book?

Sandy said...

I just requested it from my library. Thanks.