Book Reveiw 8-1
Friday, January 30, 2009

By Denise Turney

Kane Press Books social studies connects series show children “solving mysteries, contributing to their schools or communities, and discovering that they can play important roles in the world.”  This is the first book in the series that I have read.    Keesha’s Bright Idea speaks to a subject often mentioned and focused on in the news – energy and the environment.
Like many sisters, Keesha works her brother’s nerves.  She is not one to be at a lack for words.  In the opening scene, her face is bright.  Her brother on the other hand is drumming his pencils on a book.  His love is music and he’s trying to prepare the band that he’s in for an upcoming contest he badly wants to win.  “Guess what?” Keesha says.  “I’ve got an ultra-cool idea for Earth Day.  And you all get to help!”  Her persistence is a part of her personality.  Because of this her family, especially her brother, Eddie, know that they won’t be able to escape joining in with Keesha’s idea.  Even his running off to the basement to play music with the band he is in won’t keep him from Keesha.
Keesha’s bright idea is highlighted with factual notes placed throughout the book.  For example, one note reads:  “We use energy when we heat or cool our homes, turn on the lights, cook, take showers, use computers and TVs, ride in cars or airplanes – and for so much more!”  The focus of Keesha’s bright idea added with the factual notes teach children and parents alike.  I learned a new fact about energy when I read:  “Your home is full of Energy Hogs.  The fridge (or refrigerator) is one of the greediest.  It gobbles up energy like a great big pig!  And the longer the door is open, the more energy gets wasted.”  Another fact I think is important to pass along that readers will learn more about in the book have to do with the energy that cell phone chargers (even when not in use) and computers that are still although not being use.
Keesha’s Bright Idea is a book where everyone wins.  Keesha’s family helps the environment by taking steps to appreciate and use energy wisely and Keesha’s the band that Keesha’s brother is in learns a few lessons of their own.  This is a book that teaches from a school-based level as well as a book that tells an entertaining story.  At the end of the book are questions teachers and book club leaders can use as well as more tips each reader can review as they personally contribute to the effort to appreciate and use energy around the globe wisely.
The writing style in the book is fluid and easy to read and understand.  Characters in the story accurately reflect families akin to Keesha’s in the real world.  Parents, teachers and children alike will appreciate this.  I loved Keesha’s attitude!  She’s a girl with courage and s punk!  I expect to see other books on the shelves about this courageous little girl.

Visit Denise online at  Read excerpts from Denise’s two new books online FREE by e-mailing with “Request New Free Excerpts” in the subject line.


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