EL本棚紹介 (45) I Left My Sneakers in Dimension X, by Bruce Coville

[Welcome to the EL Book Introductions series. These posts are all short (<180 words) introductions/reviews of books in the EL library. They focus on telling you what we think will be interesting for you, a college student and English learner, so use them to help you find the right book for you. You can also use the tags to find books about topics you might be interested in.]

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This book continues the story started in Aliens Ate My Homework (although you don’t need to read that one first to understand the story). This time, Rod Allbright is joined by his cousin Elspeth and their alien friends on an adventure in Dimension X, a strange world with shape-changing aliens and giant monsters. It not only contains a whole new adventure, but it builds the relationships between the characters and develops some of the themes introduced in the first book.

What makes this book interesting, especially for language learners, is the description of the different alien environments. Dimension X is not a “snow planet” or a “volcano planet,” etc., like you see in so many movies and video games. The environments are very creative, and you must use your imagination as you read. Of course, there are some pictures to help!

My two cents: This is another great book for extensive reading (多読), although I think the final twist on the last page ruins the story a bit.

I Left My Sneakers in Dimension X - Alchetron, the free ...

EL本棚紹介 (44) Aliens Ate My Homework, by Bruce Coville

[Welcome to the EL Book Introductions series. These posts are all short (<180 words) introductions/reviews of books in the EL library. They focus on telling you what we think will be interesting for you, a college student and English learner, so use them to help you find the right book for you. You can also use the tags to find books about topics you might be interested in.]

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This is the story of Rod Allbright, a 6th grader living in America. Rod is bullied, comes from a single-parent home, and has to take care of his younger brother and sister. His life is not very great…and then an alien spaceship crashes into his room and changes his life forever! Rod is forced to aid the alien crew in finding an intergalactic criminal and bringing him to justice, or perhaps be killed—or worse?—in the process.

Although I never read it before, Aliens Ate My Homework was popular when I was a child. I did not know what to expect, and it was surprisingly good! Even though this novel was written for school children and contains a lot of rude humor, the story is still interesting and the characters have heart. There are themes of bullying, family, gender (one alien is non-binary), and more.

My two cents: While most of the text is just a fun adventure story, a few lines stand out. My favorite is, when encountering a new alien species, being told: “Biology is strange and wonderful, and not subject to moral judgement.”

Aliens Ate My Homework.jpg

EL本棚紹介 (43) Everything You Need to Ace Biology… (Matthew Brown) and Everything You Need to Ace Chemistry… (Jennifer Swanson)

[Welcome to the EL Book Introductions series. These posts are all short (<180 words) introductions/reviews of books in the EL library. They focus on telling you what we think will be interesting for you, a college student and English learner, so use them to help you find the right book for you. You can also use the tags to find books about topics you might be interested in.] _______ I am old compared to you, and it’s been a long, long time since I have studied science. I was surprised by how much in these books was different from what I learned in high school! Where Everything You Need to Ace Science… is aimed at middle school students, these two books are high-school level. HOWEVER, while the science content gets more difficult, the language is surprisingly friendly. The whole point of these books is to make science easy to understand. For that reason, all of the difficult science words have definitions. There are also pictures and charts to help you understand the English. If you are interested in studying English seriously, I recommend Everything You Need to Ace Biology…. This is because vocabulary words are often introduced with explanations of their Greek and Latin roots (e.g. bio = “life,” logi = “logic” or study; therefore “biology” = “study of life”). Also, there are short quizzes in all of these books, so you can check your learning progress. My two cents: I think that these are excellent resources if you are going to study science as a graduate student. Highly recommended! Sách - Everything you need to ace Biology & Chemistry - sổ ...

EL本棚紹介 (42) Everything You Need to Ace Science in One Big Fat Notebook, by Micheal Geisen

[Welcome to the EL Book Introductions series. These posts are all short (<180 words) introductions/reviews of books in the EL library. They focus on telling you what we think will be interesting for you, a college student and English learner, so use them to help you find the right book for you. You can also use the tags to find books about topics you might be interested in.]

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This is a big—a very big—textbook introducing basic scientific concepts. It was written for middle school students in the US, but it can be useful for you, too. As a general introduction, there are units on all physics, chemistry, engineering, outer space, biology, weather, ecology, and a lot more. The vocabulary is a little challenging, but important words are underlined and definitions are highlighted. There are lots of pictures and some jokes that make reading a pleasant experience.

Don’t borrow this book and expect to read all 533 pages! Look at the table of contents (目次) and skip to a unit that you are interested in. Even reading just one unit will be an accomplishment, and you might even learn something interesting, too.

My two cents: Science books are good for “learning what you already know.” I think you will learn more English by choosing a topic you already know about in Japanese than by reading something completely new.

EL本棚紹介 (41) Time for Kids: Ready, Set, Write!, by Time for Kids

[Welcome to the EL Book Introductions series. These posts are all short (<180 words) introductions/reviews of books in the EL library. They focus on telling you what we think will be interesting for you, a college student and English learner, so use them to help you find the right book for you. You can also use the tags to find books about topics you might be interested in.]

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You have probably heard of Time magazine because it is very famous around the world. Well, Time also makes interesting and easy to read books called Time for Kids. Even though this book is “for kids,” it actually has a lot of really good writing tips.

When I teach academic writing, I talk about brainstorming and prewriting, topic sentences, proofreading, etc. This book teaches all of the same topics using simple language and examples. There are sections on non-fiction writing (like writing essays for class), and also fiction (stories), poetry, newspaper reporting, and more. I think any English student could learn something useful from the Section 1: Prewriting pages about “choosing a topic” and the Section 2: Drafting pages about “nonfiction writing.”

My two cents: You do NOT have to read every page in this book. Find the topics that look useful for YOU and read those first.

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EL本棚紹介 (40) Time for Kids Science Scoops: Planets! (Lisa Jo Rudy), Earthquakes! (Barbara Collier), Volcanoes! (Jeremy Caplan)

[Welcome to the EL Book Introductions series. These posts are all short (<180 words) introductions/reviews of books in the EL library. They focus on telling you what we think will be interesting for you, a college student and English learner, so use them to help you find the right book for you. You can also use the tags to find books about topics you might be interested in.]

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These three books are easy-to-read introductions to the planets, earthquakes, and volcanoes. Yes, they are “for kids,” but they are well written and teach a lot of good vocabulary.

One of my learning philosophies is that “it is easier to learn what you already know.” These books teach science for children, so you probably already know most of the facts inside. But that’s a good thing! If you already know a lot about the topic, then reading should be much easier. Also, it is a good way to improve your English vocabulary by learning concepts you already know in Japanese in a new language.

My two cents: If your teacher wants you to do extensive reading (多読) but you don’t like fiction, try one of these books.

Time For Kids: Volcanoes! (Time for Kids Science Scoops ...

EL本棚紹介(39) Redwall, by Brian Jacques

[Welcome to the EL Book Introductions series. These posts are all short (<180 words) introductions/reviews of books in the EL library. They focus on telling you what we think will be interesting for you, a college student and English learner, so use them to help you find the right book for you. You can also use the tags to find books about topics you might be interested in.]

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Do you know The Lord of the Rings (ロード・オブ・ザ・リング)? Now, imagine that story, but with mice and rabbits instead of humans and elves. That’s what Redwall is.

This is a really good book to get lost in. Many of the characters are very likable, there is a lot of humor, and there is a lot of drama as well. Redwall is the story of the Redwall Abbey, where the peaceful mice of Mossflower live. Suddenly, the abbey is attacked by an evil rat, Cluny the Scourge, and all of the good animals have to work together to protect their way of life.

Redwall is a children’s fantasy book, like Harry Potter, but that does not mean it is not worth your time. It is often beautifully written, and you can learn a lot of good nature vocabulary from it. In addition, it uses British English, and there are a lot of words you are probably unfamiliar with.

My two cents: I read this book as a child, and I want to share it with you. The language may sometimes be difficult, but give it a chance, and you might find you love it!

Jacques brian redwall 19 eulalia! viny : comtaicu

EL本棚紹介 (38) Ghosts, by Raina Telgemeier

[Welcome to the EL Book Introductions series. These posts are all short (<180 words) introductions/reviews of books in the EL library. They focus on telling you what we think will be interesting for you, a college student and English learner, so use them to help you find the right book for you. You can also use the tags to find books about topics you might be interested in.]

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Have you seen the movie Coco (リメンバー・ミー) about the Mexican festival of the dead? If you enjoy that world or are interested in Mexican culture, you should look at Ghosts. This is the story of Catrina and her sister Maya moving to a new town in California. Maya is very sick, and Catrina tries to care for her and be a responsible big sister. But they are both children, and it is very difficult.

What happens when they find out that everyone in their new neighborhood is obsessed with ghosts? And what happens when they find out that the ghosts are real? Don’t worry—nothing scary happens: the answer is just a weird, fun, and sometimes heartwarming little story. This is a light read with a fun art style, and definitely is worth your time.

My two cents: A very little bit of the dialogue is written in Spanish, and there is some Mexican culture from this book, so some of it might be unfamiliar to you. That’s a good thing—you can learn something as you read.

Ghosts HC (2016 Scholastic) By Raina Telgemeier comic books

EL本棚紹介(37) Watchmen, by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins

[Welcome to the EL Book Introductions series. These posts are all short (<180 words) introductions/reviews of books in the EL library. They focus on telling you what we think will be interesting for you, a college student and English learner, so use them to help you find the right book for you. You can also use the tags to find books about topics you might be interested in.]

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Watchmen is hailed as one of the best graphic novels of all time, and for good reason. It poses serious questions about morality, personal responsibility, and the value of human life. By juxtaposing personal drama between a group of ex-superheroes, the chaos of the gritty crime-infested New York streets of the 1980s, and the Doomsday Clock counting down to nuclear holocaust, it forces the reader to consider things from a series of conflicting points of view. When nuclear war and total human annihilation are on the line, every line of text, every comic panel counts.

As you can guess from this introduction, Watchmen is not necessarily an easy book to get through. Although it should be read from beginning to end, I know that is a very difficult challenge. Instead, I strongly suggest starting with “Chapter IV: Watchmaker,” which stands by itself as a standalone character portrait. You could also just read the end of each chapter, which contain pages from books written by characters in the graphic novel.

Watchmen has been made into a movie (Watchmen (2009) – IMDb) and a TV series (Watchmen (TV Mini Series 2019) – IMDb) as well.

My two cents: Give Watchmen your time, and it will give a lot back.

Watchmen by Alan Moore (Paperback) 9780930289232 | eBay

EL本棚紹介(36) Mooncakes, by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker

[Welcome to the EL Book Introductions series. These posts are all short (<180 words) introductions/reviews of books in the EL library. They focus on telling you what we think will be interesting for you, a college student and English learner, so use them to help you find the right book for you. You can also use the tags to find books about topics you might be interested in.]

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Do you like witches? Magic? Werewolves? How about young romance? A diverse ethnic mix of LGBTQ characters? A man who has a pigeon’s head? Mooncakes has all of this and more. It is a story of a family of witches attempting to protect their town from a dangerous horse demon…until they find out the surprising truth behind who summoned the demon in the first place, and why.

Mooncakes is a light read and has some colorful and sometimes creative artwork. The art style, characters’ speech, and values all feel exactly like contemporary internet culture. It is not just an interesting story. This book is also a good window into youth culture today—youth culture, from a much more feminine perspective than most of the other books in the EL library.

My two cents: This book has a non-binary character. Instead of “he” or “she,” they use “they/them” pronouns. You should become used to using these pronouns, even though they are probably not taught in your English textbooks.

Mooncakes - Wendy Xu & Suzanne Walker