Halloween History Around the World

Hi there! I’m doing a special blog post for Halloween but it’s a little late. Hope you enjoy anyway!

In Austria, some people will leave bread, water, and a lighted lamp on the dinner or kitchen table when they go to bed at night. The reason why they leave bread, water, and a lighted lamp on a dinner or kitchen table is that they believed by doing so the objects on the table would welcome the dead souls back to earth for this particular night is a night of strong cosmic energies. In Austria, Catholics celebrate the entire portion between October 30 and November 8 as Seleenwoche or All Souls’ Week.

On All Saints’ Day, Catholics attend church services in honor of the saints, the martyrs and those who have died for the Catholic faith. Some people may also visit their family’s graves to beautify the graves with wreaths and small lanterns. Sometimes, a mass is said at the gravesite and the grave is sprinkled with holy water.

On November 2nd which is All Souls’ Day, Catholics attend a special Requiem masses, where they can remember the people who may be close to them that have died. Prayers for the dead are said and votive candles are lit to honor their memories. In Belgium, people believed that it was bad luck for a black cat to cross your way.

Some people believed that it was unlucky for a black cat also to come into their homes or travel on their ships. In Belgium, people light candles in memory of their spiritless relatives. In Great Britain, everyone wants to welcome the friendly spirits with special soul-cakes for them.

When children in costumes called upon their neighbors’ homes on Halloween they would be given soul-cakes also! In some parts of Britain, Halloween was known as Mischief Night in the past. It was a night for mischief making.

People would take the doors off their hinges on that night. The doors were often tossed into ponds, or taken a long way away. In England, it is said that elves rode on the backs of the villagers’ cats. The cats had fun but the villagers didn’t and would lock their cats up so that the elves couldn’t catch the cats.

Children were told not to sit in the circles of yellow and white flowers where fairies have danced as they may be stolen by the fairies. It was also considered bad to sit under the hawthorn tree because the fairies loved to dance on the hawthorn tree and if the children saw them, their tempers would be prickled. In England, the black cat was considered to be good luck and a white cat was considered to be bad luck.

In England, children make punkies out of large beets. The children cut out a design of their choice into the beet. The children carry them through the streets and sing the Punkie Night Song afterward.

The children knock on doors and ask for money. In some parts of England, turnip Lanterns are placed on gateposts to protect homes from the evil spirits. In England, Halloween was nicknamed, Nutcracker Night or Snap Apple Night.

Families would sit before a great fire in the hearth, roasting nuts and eating apples. The families told stories and played holiday games. It was an evening of great fun and merriment.

In England, they continued to practice their deep-rooted, ancient pagan rites well after the arrival of Christianity in the middle of the sixth century. The Church fathers had become concerned that the popularity of non-Christian festivals was growing at the expense of Christian holy days. Pope Gregory I, in 601 issued a decree to his missionaries about the faith and customs of the people whom he wanted to convert to Christianity.

Gregory knew that it would be impossible to eradicate the beliefs of the natives totally and so suggested to his priests that they convert them whenever possible. If the native people worshipped at a well, or sacred grove, Gregory informed his missionaries to enshrine them to Christ and let the worship continue. Gregory’s successor Pope Boniface IV in 609, declared May 13 All Saints’ Day.

Unfortunately, while pagans were happy to add All Saints’ Day to their calendar, they were unwilling to give up their existing festival of the dead and continued to celebrate Samhain. Intent on eliminating the ongoing power of the pagan beliefs, Pope Gregory III followed in the footsteps of the earlier Christian leaders and intentionally united the Christian All Saints’ Day to the festival of Samhain. He then moved All Saints’ Day to November 1, which became more commonly known as All Hallows.

Because Samhain had traditionally fallen the night before All Hallows, it eventually became known as All Hallows’ Even’ or Halloween. Previous church leaders to Gregory III discouraged the Samhain tradition of wearing frightening costumes, but Gregory decided to allow people to dress up in honor of the saints. Other traditions, such as begging for food and kindling, were made legal by the Church, providing that any food that was given to the beggars would be given to the poor, rather than to appease the evil spirits.

The Church also added a second day to the festival that fell on November 2 and was called All Souls’ Day and was dedicated to the souls of those who are still left in purgatory. These souls had to endure the punishment of purgatory for their sins. It is believed that the lighting of candles and the saying of prayers for the dead would shorten the time they were to suffer in purgatory before they would rise to heaven.

The tradition of begging for food soon was replaced with souling or Soul Caking. The idea was for children to go from door to door asking for money to give to the poor and a soul cake to have for themselves. Every cake they would receive, the children would say a prayer for the souls of the dead.

Soul cakes were called several different names throughout England such as Saumas or soul mass cakes which were dark fruitcakes, another cake was covered in caraway seeds and made into a bun. In North England, the tradition of lighting bonfires was central to the Halloween celebration. Superstition was still very strong as a result of the aftermath of the witch-hunts; witches were believed to take to the air to harass everyone at Halloween.

Halloween was called Tan Day for the township of Lancashire. Tan Day was named as it was the Celtic tein, or fire and pitchforks full of burning hay were flung into the air to scare the witches. Another reason was the heat and the smoke of the bonfires would also drive away any airborne witches.

In Canada, people welcome trick-or-treaters by placing pumpkins called jack-o’-lanterns in their windows. Also in Canada, it is bad luck for a black cat to cross your path, enter your home, or even enter your ship. In Canada, people give trick-or-treaters treats to make sure they are not being played a trick on.

Children also make Jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween. Dressing up as witches, ghosts and beasts for trick-or-treating is done also. It was believed these costumes would protect people from bad luck.

Thousands of years ago there was a tribe of farmers called the Celts. They knew that the sun helped make their crops grow, so when autumn came the sun began to fade and they believed that the sun would be winter’s prisoner for six months. They were worried that the sun would not return so to make sure it did they held a festival on October 31.

During which, they asked the sun to return safely in the summer. All the cooking fires were put out and a huge bonfire was lit on the hillside. Here they prayed the sun would shine brightly after winter was over.

The next morning, they would return to the hillside take a piece of the burning wood from the remains of the bonfire and light new fires so as to bring good luck. Feasts were held over the new fires and people would dress up in costumes made out of animal skins. It was believed these costumes would protect people from bad luck.

This is how Halloween is said to have begun and is still celebrated today. Cats were considered by the Celts to be spirits and that cats could predict the future. In Ireland, the black cat was considered to be bad luck and if it crosses your path while walking or crosses the threshold of your home or ship it was considered bad luck.

In Ireland, children would cut scary faces into hollowed-out turnips, large rutabagas, or potatoes. Then place a candle inside them. Children once enjoyed throwing cabbages and turnips at doors at Halloween time.

Smashing bottles near windows was also done for fun. The Celts referred to Halloween as The Samhain Festival. It was during this time that you would lead your livestock home from summer pastures to the winter shelters.

Samhain Eve was a time when the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead grew thinner, and ghosts ventured toward the warmth if people’s homes and hearths. On the Eve, the Celts built bonfires in memory of their departed ancestors and left food and drinks on their tables overnight for eating by the ghosts. The tenth-century abbot of Cliny Odile changed Samhain’s name to All Saints’ Day.

October 31 became All Hallows’ Eve or Hallowes’ Even, and eventually would become Halloween. Halloween is now for the children, whose practice of trick-or-treating has its roots in the English custom of soul-caking. From medieval times onward, poor people would beg door-to-door for spiced cakes that the householders would award as payment for prayers the beggars promised to say for the householders’ ancestors.

This song was referred to as the soul-cakers song. In Ireland, they continued to practice their deep-rooted, ancient pagan rites well after the arrival of Christianity in the middle of the sixth century.

The Church fathers had become concerned that the popularity of non-Christian festivals was growing at the expense of Christian holy days. In China, the Halloween festival is known as Teng Chieh in which food and water are placed in front of photographs of relatives of people. Bonfires and lanterns are lit to light the spirits path back to earth.

Another Halloween festival is called The Feast of the Hungry Ghosts. In China, the souls of the dead, particularly
during the seventh lunar month, wander the earth in search of affection. They are known as the hungry ghosts because of their hunger for recognition and care.

The number of souls is usually increased by those who died unnatural deaths, and who may not have been given a proper burial or burial place which their families could visit in order to pay them respect. Other such Hungry ghosts that are abroad during this month are the spirits of people whose families had either died out or who showed no concern for their welfare in the beyond. Bereft of comfort, they feel abandoned and, lacking ancestral worship, may turn malignant and become powerful threats to the living.

The purpose of the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts, is dedicated to the earthbound spirits. It’s purpose is to make them feel welcome and to satisfy their spiritual hunger. This will placate any possible anger they might have and gain their gratitude.

In the sacred ritual of the day, the spirits are offered joss sticks, food and gifts. The gifts that are made of paper represent objects with which they were familiar while on earth and are intended to make them feel at home. Paper money is burnt on their behalf, to pay for their expenses in the netherworld.

Fires are lit to light the way for the hungry ghosts and a gesture of welcome. In Czechoslovakia, chairs are placed by the fireside. There is a chair for each family member and one for each family member’s spirit.

In Germany, people put their knifes away. This has to be done so they don’t risk hurting the returning spirits.
In the regions of Bavaria, Austria, and Southern Germany, Catholics celebrate the entire period between October 30 and November 8 as Seleenwoche or All Souls’ Week. In Hong Kong, there is a festival similar to Halloween.

During the Hungry Ghosts Festival or Yue Lan, ghosts and spirits roam the world for 24 hours. Some people burn pictures of fruit or money. This was believed to reach the spirit world and comfort the ghosts on this day.

In Italy, they make cakes in the shape of beans. These cakes are called Beans of the Dead. In Southern Italy, families prepare a special feast for the souls of the departed on All Souls’ Day.

When the family came home to find that their offerings hadn’t been consumed it meant that the spirits disapproved of their home and would work evil against them during the coming year. In Italy, November 1 has become a public holiday. In Japan, O-Bon festival celebrates the memory of the dead relatives.

Food and water is placed in front of photos of the dead. Bonfires and lanterns light the spirits’ path back to earth. O-Bon celebrated by some people from July 13-15 and others from August 13-15, O-Bon gets its name from the Sanskrit word for “to hang upside down.”

It refers to a legend about a Buddhist monk who is deep in meditation was able to see his long-lifeless mother hanging upside down in the Buddhist equivalent of misery. This was her punishment for eating meat during her lifetime which is a Buddhist taboo and refusing to repent of it. The monk was holy enough to go to misery and buy his mother’s passage to Nirvana with some of his own excess goodness.

On the first day of O-Bon, people decorate their loved ones’ graves with fruit, cakes, and lanterns. On the second day, spirit altars or they are referred to tamadana are assembled at home. Atop a woven rush mat stand the ancestors’ memorial plaques, tempting vegetarian dishes, and cucumbers carved to represent horses on which the spirits are invited to ride.

On the third day, whole communities gather for the bon-odori, a hypnotic, slow dance that moves in concentric circles or multiple lines. Hundreds of people often dance together. As evening falls, tiny paper lanterns are set adrift on river or sea: these omiyage gently light the spirits way back to the other shore.

Buddhist Japanese remember their dead at the time in autumn of equal days and nights. The festival that is celebrated is called Higan. It is a time when people visit the graves of friends and family who are dead.

They tidy up the area and think about the dead people. In Mexico, they have picnic lunches on the graves of their relatives. As this is a day of remembrance, happiness and celebration.

They bake bread and make candy in the shape of skull and crossbones, a casket, or a skeleton. The children run through the streets with lanterns and ask for coins. People light bonfires, set off firecrackers, and hang lanterns on trees to guide the souls of the dead home.

In Mexico, All Saints’ Day is devoted to all the departed children. This is a prelude to November 2’s Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead which is a national holiday on which all the grown-up ghosts will be arriving in full force. The littler ghosts get a head start.

To help them find their way back to the homes where they once lived, parents and still alive family members often shoot off firecrackers. In some parts of Mexico on this night, they strew a path of flower petals from the graveyard to the front porch. Mexico’s Day of the Dead calls for happy all day picnics beside the graves of dead relatives.

At home, people assemble little altars called ofrendas, stocked with the departed loved ones favorite foods and drinks, their photos, and other memories, as well as candles and pungent marigolds, a flower long associated with death. The Mexican custom of Erecting Day of the Dead altars has caught on north of the border, where the altars serve as the focus of ancestor rituals and memorials.

In Mexico, October 27 is the Feast of the Holy Souls or Fiesta de las Santas Animas, families begin the fiesta by cleaning their relatives’ graves and adorning them with pine needles and flowers. The families assemble a temporary altar near the gravesite, stocking the altars with candles and all kinds of foods such as meat, beans, chilies, salt, tortillas, fruit and sometimes adult beverages. Each person in the family then takes turns in talking to the departed spirit, offering it the food and assuring it that it is loved.

The ceremonies go on for several days, as every family has more than one grave to attend to. In the United States, trick-or-treaters are welcomed by placing lighted pumpkins known as jack-o’-lanterns in their windows. The North American tradition of trick or treat comes from the original idea that you must be kind to dead ancestors or they will play a trick on you.

Neopagans of North America honor their ancestors on October 31. It was once believed that on this night any souls who had not yet passed into the paradise of the summer lands might return to wander the streets and visit their old homes once more. Neopagans celebrate the festival today as a turning point between the old and the new year, as well, the date of October 31 as the gateway between the worlds.

Many neopagans also believe that on the eve of Samhain, the veil that separates each world that of the living and that of the dead is at its thinnest and that on this night, there is a better chance of being successful in communicating with their ancestors. In the Philippines, people will light candles in the memory of their dead relatives. In Poland, doors and windows are left open to welcome the spirits or the visiting souls.

In Portugal, they have feasts of wine and chestnuts at the cemetery. In Portugal, they bake special sugar cakes with cinnamon and herb flavoring. Parentalia the Roman holiday dedicated to honoring dead family began precisely at the sixth hour on the thirteenth day of February and lasted a full nine days afterward.

These English parental days weren’t a spooky time for the average Roman citizen. Rather, these were days of obligation and feasting, quiet and respectful, introspective, like a wake. During the Parentalia, all temples were closed, weddings were forbidden, and governmental magistrates uncharacteristically appeared in public devoid of the insignia of their office.

People visited their parents’ and other relatives’ graves, bringing objects such as milk, wine, honey, oil, and spring water. Some brought sacrificial blood from the bodies of black animals. They decked the graves with roses and violets.

Dining with the dead at the grave site, the celebrant would offer the traditional greeting and farewell of the holiday which is Salve, sancte parens and Hail, holy ancestor. The Vestal virgins, the priestesses who tended the goddess Vesta’s shrine in the Forum performed rites of their own at the Parentalia. The senior Vestal paid a ceremonial visit to the group’s parental tomb which was the early Vestal, Tarpeia.

On May 9 is the Lemuria a festival held to remove the more hungry ghosts. The Lemuria is a festival held for homeowners to rid their homes of resident lemures. A celebrant would walk through the house barefoot at midnight walking from room to room with one hand upheld in the fig gesture which is the thumb held between the second and third fingers.

The celebrant’s mouth would be filled with dried black beans which he would spit out one by one as he walked. The beans were used as ghost bait. As he walked he would spit a black bean out and say the chant nine times: With these I redeem myself and mine.

The idea was that the lemures would be following him, eating the beans that had been spat out by the celebrant. While the celebrant was walking around with the ghosts following him people weren’t to look back during the ritual. Once the celebrant had come full circle, he would wash his hands thoroughly then he would beat brass pans together making as much noise as possible so as to bid the lemures leave.

A festival held called Feralia is much like the Day of the Dead ceremony. The name feralia comes from the verb ferre meaning to carry, or to ferry. The Roman families would go to the ancestral graveyard, ferrying offerings.

The reasons was that they believed the ghosts were hovering around the graves, so they take food to extinguish the pyres. Once the ancestors were honored and fed, comes the ceremony Caristia from the word Cara meaning dear. This was a holiday to re-affirm, a day of affectionate family reunions.

All fighting was forbidden, old feuds would be forgotten, and sibling rivalries would have to be set aside. In Russia, the blue cat is said to bring good luck. Blue cats like the Russian Blue, British Blue and Burmese.

In Scotland, Soul Cakes were known as Dirge Loaves and were flat, round buns of oat flour. Scottish superstitions ran deeper and darker than most. In memory of the fact that Scotland had been the only country to burn to death its supposed witches, children in Aberdeenshire would run around their villages, banging on doors and shouting.

This practice continued until the early twentieth century. Effigies of witches were burned on the Halloween bonfire. A dummy of an old woman called the shandy Dan was wheeled in a cart to the center of a large gathering of villagers and then tossed onto the fire with much celebration.

They also smashed bottles near windows. March 13-19 in Spain is Las Fallas which is in honor of St. Joseph whose feast day is on March 19. There are fireworks, bullfights, music, costumed revelers and parades.

Giant models of people or papier-mâché effigies called ninots are stuffed with fireworks and burned. The bonfires and burning of effigies is done to blazing away the last vestiges of winter and welcoming the glow of the summer Sun. In Australia, they celebrate Guy Fawkes Eve as the day for Halloween or as it is also known Mischief Night or Danger Night.

On this night, it is a day for children to create mischief by doing tricks or getting a treat. It is not widely done in Australia as it is in America and elsewhere, in fact most children in Australia celebrate it as dancing at their schools or in other activities. Not as a day to create lawless or other mischief.

In Estonia, folktales tell of unsuspecting people who wander into village churches on All Saints’ Day night only to find all the pews filled with ghosts who sit and kneel attentively while a ghostly priest celebrates mass at the altar. French bellmen would walk through the streets warning of the arrival of, “The spirits are about to arrive!” Once everyone heard this they would all hurry to bed and shut their eyes.

Today, the French children beg for flowers with which to decorate churches and the graves of loved ones. In Guatemala, the advent season is a time of men dressing up as the devil in costumes playfully chasing children through the streets. To bring the season to a close on December 7, people are to light bonfires in front of their homes.

They would toss accumulated garbage and other debris onto these. In the City, fireworks explode into the night. This event is called the Burning the Devil or La Quema del Diablo.

Saint Martin’s Day, November 11th, is a celebration in Holland has a lot in comparison to “trick-or-treating”. People in Holland go around getting treats by ringing on some doorbells, singing songs for which they are given sweets or tangerines. They go around with lanterns and here is one of the songs they sing:

Elf November is de dag,
Dat mijn lichtje,
Dat mijn lichtje.
Elf November is de dag,
Dat mijn lichtje branden mag.

Those were the words to the Sint Maarten Song. This is the story of why the Dutch celebrate Saint Martin. It was a dark and stormy night.

Martin was quite alone on that dark stormy night. He only had a cloak and a singular piece of bread. He was returning home when suddenly a poor and homeless man appeared in the darkness.

Martin felt pity for the man and gave him half his piece of bread, and half his cloak and offered him hospitality in his home. Now he is called Saint Martin and is known for his kindness to the stranger. That is why they celebrate Saint Martin’s Day.

It is popularly a night for mischief and is called Mischief Night or Danger Night, which is on November 5th. The Odo Festival is held to mark the return of the dead which is the Odo to those still living, this occurs in the village of Igbo, Nigeria. The festival has three stages.

The first stage is observed with ritual celebrations and festivities to welcome those returning from the spirit world. The spirits stay for six or more months. Their departure is an emotional affair as they will not return for two years.

There are Odo plays featuring different characters in costumes. Most roles are by men with women as chorus members and as spectators. Children in Sicily go to bed on November 1 well aware that outside, in all the graveyards, the dead are rising from their tombs and coming like Santa Claus to deliver candies, cookies, and gifts to leave for them in celebration of All Saints’ Day.

On All Souls’ Day, the Sicilian chefs mark the holiday with almond-flavored “bones of the dead”, bone-shaped biscotti, with molded-sugar dolls, and with fave dei Morti, little Venetian cookies in the shapes of fava beans, a legume associated since ancient times with rites of the dead. Vu-Lan or Wandering Souls’ Day is a festival celebrated by all Vietnamese. When a person dies, it is believed their soul goes to inferno where it is judged and, depending on the person’s behavior on earth, is sent to heaven or kept in inferno.

Souls in inferno can gain release by the prayers of the living. Wandering Souls’ Day is the best time for these rituals. Inferno’s gates are opened at sunset and the bare hungry souls fly out, returning to the family altars.

Tables are spread with a meal for the ancestors and ‘wandering souls’, and incense sticks and votive papers are burned. This takes place in large rooms or outdoors so there is plenty of room for the ‘wandering souls’ who have no relatives, or whose relatives have forgotten them. In Wales, people build Halloween fires on the Vigil of Samhain.

The celebration is very somber. Each of the family is to write his or her name on a white stone which is then thrown in the fire. Then all of the family members march around a fire, praying for good fortune.

The next morning, after the fire has died out, each member sifts through the ashes to search for the stone. If any stone is missing, it means that the spirits will call upon the soul of that person during the coming year.

I got this photo at http://www.dltk-teach.com/minibooks/halloween/felt.h2.gif but I got this orginally at Google Images.

Pumpkin Pictures

Source I Used:

http://www.jackolanterns.net/traditions.htm

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Sparkle: A Sparkly Life as a Fairy Princess

Hello, everyone! If you have a holiday you’re celebrating, enjoy it! This story is a fantasy version of my life. Hope you enjoy my story!

Once upon a time, there lived two parents who wanted at least a daughter and a son. So one night on September 13 in the year 2000, a daughter was born at 9:00pm. Her name was Sparkle because her eyes sparkled like diamonds ever since she opened her eyes for the first time. When Sparkle was 4, her mother discovered that her daughter had a short arm deletion called 18p- and her mother decided to find out as much as possible about 18p-. When Sparkle was 5, her parents had a son on November 12 in the year 2005. His name was Ocean because he had ocean colored eyes ever since he had opened his eyes for the first time. When she was 9, she went to her first 18p- conference in Las Vegas. She made 2 friends named Rainbow and Shimmer and she had a lot of fun at her 1st conference! Ever since then, she liked the conferences. She had gotten books, clothes, homemade stuff, and other store-bought stuff for Christmases to come. When she was 15, she got almost everything she wanted especially the laptop and telescope. She even got what she wanted for her birthday. So far, they live happily ever after! 

Please note that I changed some of the details for safety reasons! Thank you for reading my story!

I got this at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/73/f2/42/73f242994aa7b7d8eb50009e89b4add0.jpg but orginally I got it at Google Images.

 

 

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Books I Recommend: Thanking the Moon by Grace Lin

Hey there, everyone! This is my 28th book recommendation. Thanks so much for participating!

1. Thanking the Moonby Grace Lin
2. Catching The Moonby Myla Goldberg
3. Abuelita’s Heartby Amy Córdova
4. Brown Girl Dreamby Jacqueline Woodson
5. The World Almanac for Kids 2013by Infobase Learning
6. How to Read the Solar Systemby Chris North and Paul G. Abel
7.Fairy Heaven and the Quest for the Wandby Gail Carson Levine
8. Phenomenaby Donna M. Jackson
9. The Princesses Collectionby Ann Braybrooks
10. Making Amazing Artby Sandi Henry
11. Lili on Stageby Rachel Isadora
12. Follow the Drinking Gourdby Cari Meister
13. The Red Threadby Grace Lin
14. Rules of Summerby Shaun Tan
15. Soccer on Sundayby Mary Pope Osborne
16. The Year of the Babyby Andrea Cheng
17. The Ghost Ship Mysteryby Gertrude Chandler Warner
18. Red Thread Sistersby Carol Antoinette Peacock
19. Three Adventures of the Boxcar Childrenby Gertrude Chandler Warner
20. Schoolhouse Mysteryby Gertrude Chandler Warner
21. The Movie Star Mysteryby Gertrude Chandler Warner
22. The Eagleby Cynthia Rylant
23. The Year of the Fortune Cookieby Andrea Cheng
24. The Mystery of the Grinning Gargoyleby Gertrude Chandler Warner
25. Caitlin the Ice Bearby Daisy Meadows
26. The Wide Awake Princessby E.D. Baker
27. Secret at the Chocolate Mansionby Leslie Margolis
28. The Enchanted Guideby Julie Ferris
29. The 10 Best Anxiety Bustersby Dr. Margaret Wehrenburg
30. The Swiss Family Robinsonby Johann Wyss
31. Serafina’s Promiseby Ann E. Burg

(amazon affiliate links)

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Interesting Facts About Rocks

Hey there! I’m researching rocks because I’m curious about them. I also like rocks because they are so interesting. Enjoy!

Geologists define rocks as aggregate of minerals. Minerals are naturally occurring, not unhealthy substances with specific chemical compositions and structures. A rock can be filled of many crystals of one or more minerals, or combinations of many minerals. Several exceptions, such as coal and obsidian, are not composed of minerals but are thought to be rocks.

People often use rocks for include building materials, roofs, sculpture, jewelry, tombstones, chalk, coal for heat, and more. Oil and natural gas can also be found in rocks. Many metals like a fork are made from rocks known as ores. Even, prehistoric humans used rocks as early as 2,000,000 B.C. Flint and other hard rocks were very important raw materials for crafting arrowheads and other special natural made rocks.

Around 500,000 B.C., rock caves and structures made from stones had become important forms of shelter for early man. During that time, early men had learned to use fire, a development that allowed humans to cook food as needed to survive and greatly expand their geographical range. Eventually, most likely no sooner than 5000 B.C., humans had realized that minerals such as gold and copper could be from rocks. Tons of ancient monuments were crafted from stone, including the pyramids of Egypt, built from limestone about 2500 B.C., and the buildings of Chichen Itza in Mexico, also of limestone, built near A.D. 450.

Since the 1500s, scientists have studied minerals and mining, fundamental aspects of the study of rocks. Georg Bauer published Concerning Metallic Things in 1556. By 1785, the British geologist James Hutton published Theory of the Earth, in which he explained his observations of rocks in Great Britain and his conclusion that Earth is much older than previous scientists before him had guessed. Geologists are scientists who study the earth and rocks, distinguish three main groups of rocks: igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks, and metamorphic rocks.

These distinctions are made on the basis of the types of minerals in the rock, the shapes of individual mineral grains, and the overall texture of the rock, all of which indicate the environment, pressure, and temperature in which the rock was made. Igneous rocks form when magma is below the land of the Earth or lava at the land of the Earth hardens. The minerals in the rock will make crystals or grow together so that the separate crystals make 1 crystal altogether. Igneous rocks and magma make up much of the oceanic and continental crust, as well as most of the rock deeper in the Earth.

Igneous rocks can be identified by the interlocking appearance of the crystals in them. Typical igneous rocks do not have a layered texture, but exceptions exist. For example, in large bodies of igneous rock, relatively thick crystals that are made early can sink to the bottom of the magma, and less thick layers of crystals that are made later can accumulate on top. Igneous rocks can form deep within the Earth or at the surface of the Earth in volcanoes.

In general, igneous rocks that form deep within the Earth have large crystals that indicate a longer period of time during which the magma cools. Igneous rocks that form at or near the surface of the Earth, such as volcanic igneous rocks, cool quickly and contain smaller crystals that are difficult to see without magnification. Obsidian, also called volcanic glass, cools down so fast that no crystals are made. Nevertheless, obsidian is considered to be an igneous rock.

Igneous rocks are classified on the basis of how much minerals there are and the size of the crystals in the rock. Extrusive igneous rocks have small crystals and crystallize at or near the Earth’s surface. Intrusive igneous rocks cool slowly below the Earth’s surface and have larger crystals. Rocks made up of thick, dark-colored minerals like olivine, pyroxene, amphibole, and plagioclase are called mafic igneous rocks.

Light-colored, less thick minerals, including quartz, mica, and feldspar are called felsic igneous rocks. Common igneous rocks include the felsic igneous rocks granite and rhyolite, and the mafic igneous rocks gabbro and basalt. Granite is an intrusive igneous rock that includes large crystals of the minerals quartz, feldspar, mica, and amphibole that form deep within the Earth. Rhyolite includes the same minerals, but forms as extrusive igneous rock near the surface of the Earth or in volcanoes and cools quickly from magma or lava, so its crystals are difficult to observe with the naked eye.

Similarly, gabbro is more coarse-grained than basalt and made deeper down in the Earth, but both rocks include the minerals pyroxene, feldspar, and olivine. Fabulous exposures of igneous rocks occur in the volcanoes of Hawaii, volcanic rocks of Yellowstone National Park are located in Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, in Lassen Volcanic National Park and Yosemite National Park in California. Sedimentary rocks are those made of grains of preexisting rocks or organic material that, in most cases, have been eroded, deposited, compacted, and cemented together. They typically form at the surface of the Earth as sediment moves as a result of the action of wind, water, ice, gravity, or a combination of these.

Sedimentary rocks also form as chemicals precipitate from seawater, or through accumulation of organic material such as plant debris or animal shells. Common sedimentary rocks include shale, sandstone, limestone, and conglomerate. Sedimentary rocks typically have a layered appearance because most sediments are deposited in horizontal layers and are buried beneath later deposits of sediments over long periods of time. Sediments deposited rapidly, however, tend to be poorly layered if layers are visible at all.

Sedimentary rocks are made in many different environments at the surface of the Earth. Eolian, or wind blown, sediments can accumulate in deserts. Rivers carry sediments and deposit them along their banks or into lakes or oceans. Glaciers make unusual deposits of a wide variety of sediments that they pick up as the glacier expands and moves; glacial deposits are well exposed in the northern United States. Sediments can travel in currents below sea level to the deepest parts of the ocean floor.

Secretion of calcium carbonate shells by reef-building organisms produce large quantities of limestone. Evaporation of seawater has resulted in the formation of widespread layers of salt and gypsum. Swamps rich in plants can produce coal if organic material accumulates and is buried before aerobic bacteria can destroy the dead plants. Sedimentary rocks are classified on the basis of the sizes of the particles in the rock and the composition of the rock.

Clastic sedimentary rocks comprise fragments of preexisting rocks and minerals. Chemical precipitates are sedimentary rocks that are made by precipitation of minerals from seawater, salt lakes, or mineral-rich springs. Organic sedimentary rocks formed from organic matter or organic activity, such as coal and limestone made by reef-building organisms like coral. Grain sizes in sedimentary rocks range from fine clay and silt to sand to boulders.

The sediment in a sedimentary rock reflects its environment of deposition. For example, wind-blown sand grains commonly is evidence of abrasion of their surfaces as a result of colliding with other grains. Sediments transported long distances tend to decrease in size and are more rounded than sediment deposited near their precursor rocks because of wearing against other sediments or rocks. Large or heavy sediments tend to wear out of water or wind if the energy of the water or wind is insufficient to carry the sediments.

Sediments deposited rapidly as a result of slides or slumps tend to include a larger range of sediment sizes, from large boulders to pebbles to sand grains and flakes of clay. Such rocks are called conglomerate. Along beaches, the rhythmic activity of waves moving sediment back and forth produces sandstones in which the grains are well rounded and of similar size. Glaciers pick up and carry a wide variety of sediments and often scratch or scrape the rocks over which they travel.

Sedimentary rocks are the only rocks in which fossils can be preserved because at the elevated temperatures and pressures in which igneous and metamorphic rocks form, fossils and organic remnants are ruined. The presence of fossils and the types of fossil organisms in a rock provide clues about the environment and age of sedimentary rocks. For example, fossils of human beings are not present in rocks older than approximately two million years because humans did not exist before then. Similarly, dinosaur fossils do not occur in rocks younger than about 65 million years because dinosaurs became extinct at that very time.

Fish fossils in sedimentary rock indicate that the sediments that make up the rock were deposited in a lake, river, or marine environment. By establishing the environment of the fossils in a rock, scientists learn more about the conditions under which the rock formed.

Spectacular exposures of sedimentary rocks include the Grand Canyon which is in Arizona, the eolian sandstones of Zion National Park which is in Utah, the limestones of Carlsbad National Park which is in New Mexico, and glacial features of Voyageurs National Park which is in Minnesota. Metamorphic rocks are named for the process of change that affects rocks. The changes that make metamorphic rocks usually include rises in the temperature (generally to 392°F) and the pressure of a precursor rock, which can be igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic, to a degree that the minerals in the rock are no longer stable. The rock might change in mineral content or appearance, or even both. Clues to identifying metamorphic rocks include the presence of minerals such as mica, amphibole, staurolite, and garnet, and layers in which minerals are aligned as a result of pressure applied to the rock.

Common metamorphic rocks include slate, schist, and gneiss. Metamorphic rocks commonly are made in mountains such as the Appalachian Mountains, parts of California, and the ancient, eroded metamorphic rocks in the Llano Uplift of central Texas. Metamorphic rocks are classified depending on their constituent minerals and texture. Foliated metamorphic rocks are those that have a layered texture. In foliated metamorphic rocks, elongate or platy minerals such as mica and amphibole become aligned as a result of pressure on the rock. Foliation can range from alternating layers of light and dark minerals typical of gneiss to the seemingly perfect alignment of platy minerals in slate.

Some metamorphic rocks aren’t foliated and have a massive texture devoid of layers. Mineralogy of metamorphic rocks reflects the mineral content of the precursor rock and the pressure and temperature at which metamorphism occurs. As sediments undergo metamorphism, the layers of sediment can be folded or become more pronounced as pressure on the rock increases. Elongate or platy minerals in the rock tend to become aligned in the same direction.

For example, when shale metamorphoses to slate, it becomes easier to split the well-aligned layers of the slate into thin, flat sheets. This property of slate makes it an attractive roofing material. Marble-metamorphosed limestone typically does not have the pronounced layers of slate, but is used for flooring and sculptures.

Metamorphism of igneous rocks can cause the different minerals in the rocks to separate into layers. When granite metamorphoses into gneiss, layers of light-colored minerals and dark-colored minerals form. As with sedimentary rocks, elongate or platy minerals become well-aligned as pressure on the rock increases.

As sediments undergo metamorphism, the layers of sediment can be folded or become more pronounced as pressure on the rock increases. Elongate or platy minerals in the rock tend to become aligned in the same direction. For example, when shale metamorphoses to slate, it becomes easier to split the well-aligned layers of the slate into thin, flat sheets. This property of slate makes it an attractive roofing material.

Marble-metamorphosed limestone-typically does not have the pronounced layers of slate, but is used for flooring and sculptures. Metamorphism of igneous rocks can cause the different minerals in the rocks to separate into layers. When granite metamorphoses into gneiss, layers of light-colored minerals and dark-colored minerals are made. As with sedimentary rocks, elongate or platy minerals become well-aligned as pressure on the rock increases.

It is possible for metamorphic rocks to change into other metamorphic rocks. In some regions, especially areas where mountain building is taking place, it is not unusual for several episodes of change to affect rocks. It can be difficult to unravel the effects of each episode of metamorphism. The word igneous comes from the Latin word ignis which means of fire. Sedimentary rocks make layers at the bottoms of oceans and lakes.

Layers of sedimentary rocks are called strata.

I got this photo at http://www.hydroponicsnewyorkcity.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/river-rocks.jpgimage but originally Google Images.

What Websites I used:

http://science.jrank.org/pages/5919/Rocks.html

http://www.ducksters.com/science/rocks.php

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Books I Recommend: The Weight of a Mass by Josephine Nobisso

Hey there! This is my 27th book recommendation list. Please note that near the end there are Amazon short links and I’ll be using them instead.

1. The Weight of a Massby Josephine Nobisso
2. Decemberby Eve Bunting
3. The Telling Stoneby Maureen Doyle McQueen
4.Tink, North of Never Landby Disney
5. A Summer of Sundays by Lindsay Eland
6. Cinderellaby Disney
7. Livvie Owen Lived Here by Sarah Dooley
8. Once Upon A Marigold by Jean Ferris
9. Antastia’s Secret by Suzanne Dunlap
10. Four Clues for Rani by Disney
11. Drizzle by Kathleen Van Cleve
12. The Seven Tales of the Trinket by Shelley Moore Thomas
13. The Class Trip from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler
14. The Magic Finger by Ronald Dahl
15. The Games Book by Huw Davies
16. The Spotted Dog Last Seenby Jessica Scott Kerrin
17. A Single Shardby Linda Sue Park
18. Unhooking the Moonby Gregory Hughes
19. Who’s in Chargeby Courtney Sheinmel
20. Sprinkles & Surprisesby Coco Simon
21. Get Into Gear, Stilton!by Geronimo Stilton
22. The Secret of the Maskby Gertrude Chandler Warner
23. Friends of Liberty by Beatrice Gormley
24. Bailey the Babysitter Fairyby Daisy Meadows
25. Changes for Julieby Megan McDonald
26. Happy New Year, Julieby Megan McDonald
27. Van Goghby Ernest Raboff
28. Yeh-Shinby Ai-Ling-Louie
29. The Boy Who Found The Lightby Dale De Armond
30. The Story of Noodlesby Yang Ching Compestine
by Ying Chang Compestine

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A Story About A Cat Who Has Magic Powers

Hi, everyone! I chose this story because I wanted the story to be worthy of sharing. Take a deep breath and enter the magical cat story below.

Once upon a time, there was a cat named Maggie McRita who wanted to be different from every other cat. So she went to her cat books and read but couldn’t get any ideas.

After she finished reading, she decided to research on her cat laptop. She discovered so many ideas and she brainstormed to choose the best idea yet.

The best idea was to learn some magic and become famous. She set out for her kitten books again which were in the cat fun room.

This time she read magic cat books, so she looked at the beginner tricks. She assumed that all the magic was going to be slightly easier than her kitten chores.

She decided to do a coin trick as her first trick. She decided to do a card trick as her next magic trick at 6:00pm PDST or 9:00pm.

She practiced until bedtime and she got so good, she had a good idea. She had started to perform in front of her whole cat family.

She started performing for other cats who lived in the country and they started asking her to perform at a cat birthday party. She started getting famous during her magic tricks.

She wanted a lot of cats to help out too and she wanted a mate. Soon, she was traveling to places she had always dreamed of going.

She finally found a cat who wanted to mate with her and his name was Concertino. She fell in love but she kept on doing her magic tricks and they both had the same clever idea.

She got married to Concertino 3 months later. She and Concertino did magic tricks and traveled together to places they always dreamed of going.

They had two twin kittens named Water and Earth. As the kittens grew up, they helped with magic but they really wanted to be artists.

When they were old enough, they told the truth. Maggie wasn’t disappointed in them, she figured that was what they were up to.

So, off they went and they both found mates that were also twins. They offered to be in just one house.

So they lived in a cat mansion. The mates wanted to become artists also so Water and Earth set off to teach their mates as much as they knew.

Shortly afterward, they each had 4 babies. Meanwhile, Maggie had some health issues and she was unable to do magic during that time.

So the rest of the family helped her to do magic until she was healthy again. She went onward to doing challenging tricks.

One day while Maggie was practicing, she fell on her paw weirdly. The paw hurt so much that it was bleeding and she couldn’t get up.

So the rest of the family went to look for the cat doctor. They found her and the family told them that Maggie had hurt her ankle and come as fast as she can.

After a few seconds, the doctor arrived. The doctor told the family including Maggie that she had a broken ankle and she had to sit in a wheelchair for a few days.

Shortly afterward, she began to walk on crutches for a month. After the month had past, she walked with a rainbow walker that glittered for the rest of the year.

After the last of the year had past, she was able to walk again. She was advised not to do any advanced magic tricks that involved her paws.

She kept that warning for years to come and when her health fell for the last time, no one was able to help her at all. She slipped into a coma that lasted a few weeks and the coma kept coming back after a few weeks more.

Then the coma kept getting worse until she slept the whole time. Eventually, her breathing slowed down until it was nothing at all.

At that point, her death had struck her almost immediately and they thought that she was just holding her breath. Her whole family was completely devastated and that was only her 2nd life and they no longer did magic.

However, they remembered her for the rest of their lives. They put her in the cat Hall of Famous Cats and every cat who didn’t know her asked someone who knew her.

The End

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I got this photo at http://orig10.deviantart.net/5182/f/2013/182/9/e/magic_kingdom_by_ivany86-d6biz63.pngimage but originally Google Images.

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Shadows Are Always There

Hi there, everyone! This free verse poem is about shadows. Hope you enjoy!

Shadows

Shadows are the darkness of day.
Shadows are the eclipses of the day.
Shadows are almost always there.

Shadows are fast as a cheetah.
Shadows are entertaining like a prism.
Shadows are bright like a rainbow.

Shadows are from the sun.
Shadows are from the super moon.
Shadows are from the bright stars.

Shadows are awesome.
Shadows are funny.
Shadows appear everywhere at one point.

I got this photo at http://www.artlimited.net/user/0/0/1/6/9/5/7/artlimited_img209229.jpgimage but originally Google Images.

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The History of Cupcakes

Hi there! I decided to research about cupcakes because I was reading a fictional cupcake book. Hope you enjoy the cupcake facts!

The cupcake evolved in the United States in the 19th century, and it was revolutionary because of the amount of time it saved in the kitchen. There was a shift from weighing out ingredients when baking to measuring out ingredients. According to the Food Timeline Web, food historians have yet to pinpoint exactly where the name of the cupcake originated.

There are two theories: one, the cakes were originally cooked in cups and two, the ingredients used to make the cupcakes were measured out by the cup. In the beginning, cupcakes were sometimes called “number” cakes, because they were easy to remember by the measurements of ingredients it took to create them: One cup of butter, two cups of sugar, three cups of flour, four eggs, one cup of milk, and one spoonful of soda. Clearly, cupcakes today have expanded to a wide variety of ingredients, measurements, shapes, and decorations – but this was one of the first recipes for making what we know today as cupcakes.

Cupcakes were convenient because they cooked much quicker than larger cakes. When baking was down in hearth ovens, it would take a long time to bake a cake, and the final product would often be burned. Muffin tins, also called gem pans, were popular around the turn of the 20th century, so people started created cupcakes in tins.

Since their creation, cupcakes have become a pop culture trend in the culinary world. They have spawned dozens of bakeries devoted entirely to them. While chocolate and vanilla remain classic favorites, fancy flavors such as raspberry meringue and espresso fudge can be found on menus.

There are cookbooks, blogs, and magazines specifically dedicated to cupcakes. Icing, also called frosting in the United States, is a sweet often creamy glaze made of sugar with a liquid, such as water or milk, that is often enriched with ingredients such as butter, egg whites, cream cheese, or flavorings. It is used to cover or decorate baked goods.

Elizabeth Raffald documented the first recipe for icing in 1769 in the Experienced English Housekeeper, according to the Food Timeline. The simplest icing is a glace icing, containing powdered sugar and water. This can be flavored and colored as desired, for example, by using lemon juice in place of the water.

More complicated icings can be made by beating fat into powdered sugar (as in buttercream), by melting fat and sugar together, by using egg whites (as in royal icing), and by adding other ingredients such as glycerin (as in fondant). Some icings can be made from combinations of sugar and cream cheese or sour cream, or by using ground almonds (as in marzipan). The first mention of the cupcake can be traced as far back as 1796, when a recipe notation of “a cake to be baked in small cups” was written in American Cookery by Amelia Simmons.

The earliest documentation of the term cupcake was in ‘Seventy-five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats’ in 1828 in Eliza Leslie’s Receipts cookbook. In the early 19th century, there were two different uses for the name cup cake or cupcake. In previous centuries, before muffin tins were widely available, the cakes were often baked in individual pottery cups, ramekins, or molds and took their name from the cups they were baked in.

This is the use of the name that has remained, and the name of “cupcake” is now given to any small cake that is about the size of a teacup. The name “fairy cake” is a fanciful description of its size, which would be appropriate for a party of diminutive fairies to share. While English fairy cakes vary in size more than American cupcakes, they are traditionally smaller and are rarely topped with elaborate icing.

The other kind of “cup cake” referred to a cake whose ingredients were measured by volume, using a standard-sized cup, instead of being weighed. Recipes whose ingredients were measured using a standard-sized cup could also be baked in cups; however, they were more commonly baked in tins as layers or loaves. In later years, when the use of volume measurements was firmly established in home kitchens, these recipes became known as 1234 cakes or quarter cakes, so called because they are made up of four ingredients: one cup of butter, two cups of sugar, three cups of flour, and four eggs.

They are plain yellow cakes, somewhat less rich and less expensive than pound cake, due to using about half as much butter and eggs compared to pound cake. The names of these two major classes of cakes were intended to signal the method to the baker; “cup cake” uses a volume measurement, and “pound cake” uses a weight measurement. Cupcakes have become more than a trend over the years, they’ve become an industry!

Paper baking cups first hit U.S. markets after the end of the World War II. An artillery manufacturer called the James River Corporation began manufacturing cupcake liners for U.S. markets when its military markets began to diminish. By 1969, they consolidated business as a paper company and left artillery manufacturing behind.

During the 1950s, the paper baking cup gained popularity as U.S. housewives purchased them for convenience. Their flexibility grew when bakers realized that they could bake muffins as well as cupcakes in the baking cups. The modern idea of the cupcake is probably different from the historical origin of the phrase.

Imagine what it would be like being a cook in 19th-century Britain or North America. When food historians approach the topic of cupcakes, they run into a gray area in which the practice of making individual cup-sized cakes can become confused with the convention of making cakes with cup-measured ingredients. The notion of baking small cakes in individual containers probably began with the use of clay or earthenware mugs.

It could have been a way to use up extra batter; to make the most efficient use of a hot oven by placing small ramekins, or little baking dishes, in unused spaces; or to create an evenly baked product fast when fuel was in short supply. Early in the 20th century, the advent of multi-cupcake molded tins brought modest mass production methods to cupcake making, and a modern baking tradition was born. Cakes in some form have been around since ancient times, and today’s familiar round cakes with frosting can be traced back to the 17th century, made possible by advances in food technology such as: better ovens, metal cake molds and pans, and the refinement of sugar.

I got it at storify.com but I originally got it at Google Images.

image

Websites I used:

http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/spring07/ayers/history.html

http://people.rit.edu/kge3737/320/project3/history.html

http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/food-facts/who-invented-the-cupcake.htm

http://inventors.about.com/od/cstartinventions/a/Who-Invented-The-Cupcake.htm

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Where Would You Fly

Hi there, everyone! You are about to enter a writing & inspiring world. So hang on to your memories on Earth! Look below and you’ll see the writing prompt and story.

If you were a bird and you could fly anywhere, where would you go? (Look below for my answer). If I were a bird and I could fly anywhere, I would go to a tropical island that I could have all that’s needed. Look below for my story.

A Bird Flies Over An Island

I lived happily with my owner until one day, I was looking for my owner when I saw something below. I flew down to investigate and explore. I had found out this was the island of the Colorful Fairies. When I saw the Fairies, I asked them where my owner was and found out that my owner had went to heaven.

The Fairies said my real family was here. So I set out to find them. I asked around and I was about give up when a fruit fairy asked is that my family. I told her, “Yes,”!

My family asked me what happened to my owner. So I told them, he went to heaven. They felt sorry for me. They said that I was welcome to stay with them as long as I didn’t grab food before the rest of my family did.

I stayed as long as I could. I knew that I had to return to Hawaii. I had to be in a pet store again but this time, nobody came. So I mated and had 6 baby birds but I never forgot my family.

5 years later, I decided to visit the island with my new part of family. They loved to see their grand-birds and my mate. I promised I’d come back every 2 years until they went up to heaven and all went well.

The End

This photo below I got from http://www.tringa.org/images/8861_House_Finch_05-09-2008_0.jpg.

image

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Books I Recommend; The Green Dog by Suzanne Fisher Staples

Hey there, everyone! This is my 26th book recommendation list!

1. The Green Dog by Suzanne Fisher Staples
2. The Honeybee Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner
3. The Garden Thief by Gertrude Chandler Warner
4. The Year Sherman Loved Me by Jane St. Anthony
5. Completely Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
6. Midnight on the Moon by Mary Pope Osborne
7. Hawai’i by Deborah Kent
8.
Louisiana by Allison Lassieur
9. California by Tamra B. Orr
10. The Persian Cinderella by Shirley Climo
11. Princess Aasta by Stina Langlo
Ordal
12.Two Speckled Eggs by Jennifer K. Mann
13. Braiding Hair by Diana Meachen Rau
14. The Wee Christmas Cabin of Carn-na-ween by Ruth Sawyer
15. Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead by Judy Goldman
16. It’s Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder
17. As Simple as It Seems by Sarah Weeks
18. The Outer Space Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner
19. The Whale by Cynthia Rylant
20. Phillipa Fisher and the Fairy Promise by Liz Kessler
21. T The Pizza Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner
22. The Princess Bride by Barry Denenberg
23. Fortunately, the Milk Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
24. Strega Nona’s Magic Lessons by Tomie dePaola
25. Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing by James Weldon Johnson
26. I In the Heart by Ann Turner
27. How to Draw Nevada’s Sights and Symbols by Eric Fein
28. Lala Salama by Patricia MacLachlan
29. Where the Sunrise Begins by Douglas Wood

(amazon affiliate links)

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