Kids' corner

December 2004


Fantasy series ‘Abarat’ is long, but worth it If you’re into fantasy, this is definitely the book for you. This is the first book in the Abarat series by Clive Barker, and there is a second out right now. The third and the forth, plus three movies, will be coming out later. (I know all of this because I met the author at a book signing.)

This book is about another world, filled with strange creatures, but of course, if we were to travel there, we would look strange too. The main character, Candy Quackenbush, lives in her boring hometown, Chickentown, Minn., where you have probably guessed, the biggest part of their economy is chickens. So when Candy ends up going to the Abarat, she’s very excited, because she wanted a change.

Everything is so new and exciting. There are many islands, and each one is a different hour of the day. Soon she even seems to feel like she’d been to the Abarat before. She even knows a little magic. So begins Candy’s journey to find out who she is. But of course, everything isn’t that easy. She has a pursuer, Christopher Carrion, the Lord of Midnight, and his grandmother, Mater Motley. They want her out of the Abarat.

I think that many people will enjoy reading about Candy’s encounters with Carrion, and reading about her step by step, discovering who she is. I also highly recommend the second book of the series, Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War. They are both very long books, but you will want to keep reading until the very last page! Abby Petersen, 12, Des Plaines

Explaining Ramadan This essay is a celebration of and learning about all different peoples. Some people who are Muslim celebrate Ramadan and Eid. I am a Muslim. In Ramadan you don’t eat from dawn to dusk. Like some Christians celebrate Christmas, Muslims celebrate Eid and Ramadan. There are two Eids. One is after the month of  Ramadan (this year it was in late October) and is called Eid-ul-Fitr and one is after the Hadj pilgrimage. It’s called Eid-Al-Adha and will come in February.

We fast in Ramadan. Fasting is when you don’t eat from dawn to dusk. You can start fasting at any age except if you are a baby. You can do short fasts. Short fasting means you can fast for half a day (as a child). 

We pray also. Most of the month we also say Suras (or prayers). We get something called “sawaab”– lots and lots of it from Allah, who is God to some people. “Sawaab” means blessings. Here is one of our prayers: “Lay illa fay khoraish, illa fay him rehla tash shi tai was saif….” It’s lots of fun.

Some people don’t have any money, so they don’t eat. Sometimes they don’t eat at all and they die. That is why we fast. So that we know how people who don’t have any food feel from dawn to dusk. TASKEEN ALI KHAN, 6, Glendale Heights

Music Is Fun! Jazz! Classical! Blues!

So many kinds of music, so many sounds to use.

Beats in measures can change and mix. Be careful, time signatures can play tricks.

Pianissimo! Forte! Moderato! Sempre! I’m glad that I can play the piano. Yay!

There are so many instruments, but I like to play just one. It’s the piano. The piano makes music more fun

You have just read the poem that I wrote today. With a final word I shall end it, and that word is: FINE! CAMAIAH MCNEAL, 10, Chicago


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