New Channing O’Banning Chapter Books For Early Readers ~ Review

Channing OBanning CoversThis month Thomas Nelson is introducing a new chapter book series for early readers by Angela Spady, featuring a quirky 4th-grade girl, Channing O’Banning.

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, but was given a free book to review. I am an affiliate of Amazon, and will receive a small commission if a link on this page is used to make a purchase.

The Stories

In Channing O’Banning and the Rainforest Rescue (Book #1), we are introduced to the main character, her family, friends, and her Nana’s pet potbellied pig, Teeny.  The story begins with Channing mad at her best friend Maddy for spending all of her time with the new boy Marco.  Marco is from Costa Rica, and further irritates Channing when he talks of animals with “weird” names such as a blue jeans frog and a quetzal bird.  When she travels to Costa Rica with her family and Marco, she learns how to get along with him and gains an appreciation of a different culture.  She also learns about the endangered rainforests, and plans to start a “green” campaign at her school.  At the end she makes up with her best friend.

Book #2, Channing O’Banning and the Turquoise Trail, begins with Channing and her friends digging in their school’s back  yard, thinking that they have discovered dinosaur bones.  When this is proved otherwise by her sister, Channing is very embarrassed and angry at her.  The story takes us to the American West, where Channing discovers and appreciates Native American art.  She also learns about turquoise and dinosaurs.  Along the way she and her sister decide to get along, and when she gets back home she learns that she didn’t need to be embarrassed with her friends.

Channing OBanning Inside 1

Your kids should enjoy the illustrations by Tammie Lyon – Channing herself is a budding artist who likes to draw with colored pencils.

My Review

Although the publisher recommends this series for ages 6 – 10, I plan to wait until my daughter is 7 or 8 before giving her the books.  Mostly because I’d like for her to read them herself (instead of me reading them to her out loud), but also because of the “crush” of the best friend on a boy.  This is a major theme throughout the first book, and I’d rather not introduce that concept too soon! Channing is also a little disrespectful towards her teachers, and doesn’t always treat her friends and sister very well.  I believe the author was trying to portray a realistic 4th-grader.

That said, I believe these are fun and informative books for early readers.  They get to go along on adventure with a quirky 4th-grader to a culture with which they may not be familiar, and learn something along the way!  They have a subtle, underlying Christian theme, with a verse quoted here and there, and God mentioned once or twice.  Channing’s parents and Nana are involved in her life and are positive role models. They use her circumstances as opportunities to teach character traits, and Channing learns and improves her attitude by the end of each book.Channing OBanning Inside 2

Conversation Starters

I recommend that a parent read the books as well (it took me an evening or two to read each of them).  There are several ideas in each book that would be great to talk over with your kids:

  1. Channing calls Mr. Doring, her science teacher, “Boring Doring.”  What do you think about this nickname?  (Opportunity to talk about respecting teachers and others.)
  2. What do you think about Maddy’s crush on Marco?  Why do you think Channing was so mad? (Opportunity to talk about crushes, jealousy, and about excluding others.)
  3. The “green” campaign described at the end of Rainforest Rescue is a simple plan for kids to do their part to help the environment.  Although the “green” movement can be a little controversial, I think it’s good to talk about the way we can be good stewards of the earth God gave us.
  4. Channing and her sister didn’t get along very well.  What do you think about the names they called each other?  How do you think you can get along better with your sister or brother? (Opportunity to talk about how we treat others, including siblings.)
  5. Channing was pretty embarrassed when she found out the dinosaur bones they were digging up were really just concrete.  What do you do when you are embarrassed?  Have you felt embarrassed recently?

Purchase Information

The Channing O’Banning books are recommended for kids ages 6 through 10 (use your own discretion).   Channing O’Banning and the Rainforest Rescue and Channing O’Banning and the Turquoise Trail are available in both paperback ($6.29) and Kindle ($3.99) editions..

To preview the Turquoise Trail (Book #2), please scroll down below the giveaway form.

Giveaway

Tommy Nelson publishers has generously offered one of my readers a copy of Channing O’Banning and the Rainforest Rescue and Channing O’Banning and the Turquoise Trail! One winner will receive both books.

The giveaway is open to U.S. residents and will run through midnight on Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Must be at least 18 years old to enter. The winner will be contacted via email and will have two days to claim the prize. If unclaimed, a new winner will be drawn. The winners’ entries will be verified. Please enter the contest using the Rafflecopter form below. All entries are optional.

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Copyright 2015 Kathryn Depew (except publisher’s image).

Channing O’Banning and the Turquoise Trail by ThomasNelson

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, but was given a free book to review. I am an affiliate of Amazon, and will receive a small commission if a link on this page is used to make a purchase.

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