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Book Review: MICHAEL VEY 3: BATTLE OF THE AMPERE by Richard Paul Evans

michaelvey3Rating: 4 stars

Genre: Science Fiction

Suggested Audience: Middle school to high school. Lower and reluctant readers tend to have quite a bit of success with this series.

This is the third installment in the Michael Vey series by Richard Paul Evans. For those that aren’t familiar with it, this series is published by Glenn Beck‘s Mercury Ink. This series is a perfect example of what we should be doing as conservatives. There is nothing about this book that is political. At the core of the story are themes that any principled conservative would recognize; love of country; doing the right thing no matter the consequences; treating others with respect; courage and character.

Beck talks about this a lot on his radio and television show. Conservatives need to quit only playing the politics game. Liberals have been killing us with the culture for decades. Not all battles are fought at the ballot box. If you retake the culture, you will easily win the political contests down the road. It is books like this I intend to continue to highlight for teachers and parents. Readers are thinkers and leaders in development. Lots of books that ask kids to think about things that matter can significantly change the culture. The culture that many of them are currently immersed in is toxic. Stories like this ask them to think about values that will help them question and later fight that culture. This book belongs in your classroom along with the first two in the series. (Check out my review of Michael Vey 1 and Michael Vey 2.)

This book is not quite as good as the second book in the series. It is certainly not bad, but just didn’t quite rise to the same level for me as that one did.

The story takes off right where the second book ended. Michael and the other members of the Electroclan have destroyed one of the Elgen Starxource power plants in Peru. Lost in the Amazon and on the run from the Peruvian army, Michael must save his friends who have been accused of terrorism for destroying the power plant. At the same time, the evil Dr. Hatch is busy trying to take control of the ES Ampere, the flagship yacht of the Elgen corporation. The Battle of the Ampere is full of action and adventure that will keep readers highly engaged as Michael and the Electroclan race to save the day.

One of the things I love about this series, and I think it is a huge help for lower and reluctant readers, is that Evans writes the book in short chapters. The book is 307 pages, but it has 48 chapters in it. The book is also dialogue rich which makes for a quicker read.

My biggest criticism, and it drove me absolutely crazy, is that Evans overuses dialogue tags, and he has a terrible time finding a variety of words to use as dialogue tags. He said, she said, he said, she said, he said, she said… Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!! It’s a little strange, too. He has good word choice in most of  the writing. You also can tell he does a good job researching the books. They feel authentic. Also, I thought the climax and resolution of the book was a little too quick. It just felt like it could have used a little more development. But, hey, I’m just a voice out here in the wilderness who has never written a book, Evans has seventeen million books in print. :-)

If the Michael Vey series is not in your teen’s school library, personal library, or English classroom, it should be.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Young Adult Book Reviews, Young Adult Books

Larry Schweikart’s A Patriot’s History

SchweikartI have been going back through some old emails and notes for the site, and I came across an email from Larry Schweikart. For those that don’t know who he is, he is the author of A Patriot’s History of the United States and a few other similar titles. I have never read his books, but I do own a couple of them. Too many books, never enough time. patriotshistory

Anyway, for those that homeschool, or those that just like good American history resources, I wanted to point you in his direction.

Schweikart’s website that focuses on his books, www.patriotshistoryusa.com, has map links, bonus materials not found in the books, tests, and some study guides.

According to Schweikart, The Classical Historian, has created an entire  curriculum based upon his books.

I did mention this last year. Schweikart has a documentary, Rockin’ the Wall that focuses on how rock’n’roll helped tear down the Berlin Wall. In addition, he is trying to turn A Patriot’s History of the United States into video form. Here is a preview:

A Patriot’s History (concept trailer) from Rockin’ The Wall Studios on Vimeo.



Filed under Classroom Resources, history education

Building the Machine, Upcoming #CommonCore Documentary Movie


An investigative documentary into the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Featuring nationally renowned experts in education including, E.D. Hirsch, Jr., Sandra Stotsky, Jim Milgram, and many more.

(h/t Common Core: Education Without Representation)

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Filed under National Standards (Common Core), Videos