Archive for August, 2015

1 Event That Will Help You Expand Your Readership: Meet and Greet

#meetngreet #link up

Dream Big, Dream Often

imagesWhat day is it??!!  Meet and Greet Day!

Ok so here are the rules:

  1. Leave a link to your page or post in the comments of this post.
  2. Reblog this post.  It helps you, it helps me, it helps everyone!  So don’t be selfish, hit the reblog button.
  3. Edit your reblog post and add tags (i.e. reblogging, reblog, meet n greet, link party, etc.), it helps, trust me on this one.
  4. Share this post on social media.  Many of my non-blogger friends love that I put the Meet n Greet on Facebook and Twitter because they find new bloggers to follow.  This helps also, trust me.
  5. And if you leave a link and don’t follow me, how about ya show ole Danny some love?

Now that all the rules have been clearly explained get out there and meet n greet your butts off!

The Social Media post will publish…

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DRIVE AND DETERMINATION

Alexander The Great: The Macedonian Who Conquered the World

Written by Sean Patrick

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This book is not a biography or carefully researched book about military history. Rather it is a book with a very specific point of view on how to set out to achieve your goals. In fact, the first quarter of the book deals with the theory that the simplest way to defeat obstacles that stand in your way and to systematically accomplish the goals you set for yourself is to be as determined in your drive as Alexander the Great. Patrick’s theory states that if you do this, you will show your bravery and tenacity to your opponents, who will then lose the will to keep fighting you.

The middle section of this book retells the events of Alexander’s campaigns. Patrick consistently presents Alexander in a favorable light, largely discounting other reasons for success or failure. Finally the last third of the book explains what the author calls The Power of Purpose. All of us should learn from Alexander’s journey to greatness that to be successful the reader needs to do the following: strengthen her will by having a clear purpose, put that purpose into motion, and then follow through to reach the goal by never relenting or giving up on it.

This is an interesting theory, if you are looking for inspiration and motivation. On the other hand, if you are expecting to find a book based on meticulous historical research or an accurate portrait of Alexander’s life, this one will not fill your expectations. At approximately fifty pages, it is a short motivational read for young adults and adult readers.

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WHAT IS IT?

Area 51 Aliens and UFOS – Mysteries, Secrets and Facts about Aliens and UFOs at Area 51

Written by Michael Dicks

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Dicks has done his research on a controversial topic; he presents it in a straightforward and objective fashion. This book is not a sci-fi tale of invasion of the earth by little green men. In this book of approximately eighty pages, the author covers a lot of territory.

To summarize briefly, readers will learn about the exact location and historical background of Area 51. They will learn about the earliest projects dating back to the 1940’s and 1950’s like the A-12 Spy Plane and the Lockheed U-2, plus other projects that have been rumored tested there. The author explores the conspiracy theories, and the rumored alien crash at Roswell, NM. He discusses mysterious cleanup activities around the base. I found the discussion about ancient texts around the world and DNA analysis interesting. Dicks discusses the testimony of those who claimed to have seen aliens including astronauts and pilots from the US and Russia. Perhaps the most controversial part of the book is the work of Dr. Dan Burisch and the Lotus Project which discuss aliens as human intelligences from the future.

Whether you believe in aliens or not, this book is a well-written analysis on the subject of Area 51. Appropriate for readers ages twelve and older, I am sure that budding middle grade scientists and sci-fi fans interested in the subject will be able to handle the text.

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PANDEMONIUM

Gabby Gibson: Middle School Detective

Written by Sharon Broomall

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The author has her pulse on the middle school audience. Gabby Gibson, the protagonist, is the perfect heroine. Gabby’s dad has passed away, but she follows in his footsteps as detective par excellence.

She is a seventh grader at Preston Middle School who experiences many of the problems that her young readers face. There is gossip among the girls, bullying, the nerds, those perceived to be the haves and the have-nots. The dialogue is funny and authentic. Readers will laugh and cry with the characters and their foibles. Student and adult characters share equally the laughter and the criticism.

Plot centers around the mystery of how the Panda mascot of Preston Middle School got his head cut off at an important soccer game, and how the money for the annual seventh grade dance went missing. When the dance is canceled by principal, Mr. Sauerbutts, Gabby kicks her detective skills into high gear. There are enough twists and turns to keep the plot interesting. Our detective thinks she has the answer, but discovers she was wrong. Will Gabby solve the mystery and save the dance? Does the Panda mascot find his head?

At just under two hundred pages, the book is a nice fit for readers ages nine and up. Just a suggestion, a few simple drawings might have made some of those hilarious scenes even more effective.

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ODD ONE OUT?

A Sliver of Sun (The Piper Lee DeLuna Series Book 2)

Written by Dianna Dorisi Winget

ASliverofSun,picThis is the second book in a series centering around the character of Piper Lee DeLuna, but I did not read the first book and feel this second book can easily be read as a stand alone story. Piper is ten years old. She is trying desperately to fit in with her new family. Piper’s dad died in an airplane crash, her mother has recently remarried. Her stepdad, Ben, also has a ten year old daughter. Now Piper has a new dad, stepsister, and a new home. To complicate matters further, the girls soon find out a new baby is on the way.

Piper is funny and clever; the book covers issues of bullying, blended families, struggling to fit in, and the everyday problems children in middle school face. You want to root for Piper; the reader empathizes with her struggles and laughs at her foibles. One of the funniest incidents involves the girls’ attempt to control the sex of their soon to be born sibling. The dialogue is fun and authentic; the characters are believable and the text flows along well. Middle grade readers and teens will probably find themselves identifying with many aspects of this tale. Look forward to seeing what happens to Piper next. Recommended for readers age eight and older.

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A DOG’S LIFE

The Adventures of Zelda

Written by Kristen Otte

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Thirteen adventures told in first person by an adorable little pug named Zelda. Poor Zelda begins her life in a kennel and stays there for two years until Hannah and Nate adopt her. Once at home with her two owners and their children, Ben and Lucy, life becomes so much more interesting.

Zelda makes the reader laugh and cry. She relates her struggles and triumphs. Readers learn how she manipulates her owners into rewarding her with treats, how she rescues her family from the mean vacuum cleaner, and tackling the skateboard ramps at the park. As one reads on, Zelda takes us to obedience school, and her lonely experience in pet boarding when her family takes a vacation. I laughed at Zelda’s attempt to make friends with Squeaky, the squirrel, and how she discovered what snowmen and leaf piles really contain. Anyone who has a pet knows what an adventure Christmas decorations and trees can be for pets and their owners. Zelda, like most pets, does not relish a trip to the vet, but she learns an important lesson about herself and her owners from her visit.

This book is a perfect choice for animal lovers. Thirteen tales present a first person fictional mix of humor, adventure, family fun, and seasonal cheer. They can be broken up into short chapters for a bedtime story, class read aloud or used as a beginning reader. Recommended for ages seven and up; great choice for a family read aloud share on a weekend afternoon.

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RECIPE FOR SUCCESS

Above & Beyond: How To Help Your Child Get Good Grades In School, and Position Them For Success in College, Career And Life

Written by Dr. Nicoline Ambe

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Quite a mouthful for a title! Most any parent would say they want all these things for a child, yet delivering them is by no means an easy task. The author of this book is not revealing new information, but organizing and structuring it in an easy to read, practical guide.

The book is divided into fourteen chapters starting with the big picture and working toward specific steps for implementation. At the outset parents must believe in their children, ensuring that they don’t feel inadequate, celebrating their successes and avoiding nagging. Parents need to understand why school is important by building up a child’s dreams, discussing the future and helping them to discover their own passions and talents. Then parents can follow through by setting realistic but high expectations and helping children move toward them.

In the later sections of the book, the author explains the importance for the child to listen to the teacher and how parents can encourage that. Ambe insists that achievement is tied to a love of reading, which spills over into all subjects of the curriculum. She explains the importance of completing homework, maintaining a good structure at home by establishing routines, doing extra credit work and practicing for tests. I found the section on math interesting. Ambe stresses the importance of mastering math skills in the early elementary grades and urges parents to visit the school to ensure those supports are in place. Other important areas for parents are teaching character and integrity through personal example, demanding accountability, and communicating empathy. Parents will help a child find balance and provide discipline by seeking the right extracurricular activities to instill motivation and leadership qualities. Above all, the parents themselves must put their best foot forward as mentally and physically stable role models who pursue their own passions and goals.

At the end of each of the fifteen short chapters, parents are give a short exercise by answering pertinent questions about their own child to help reinforce the content of that section. These can serve as a kind of notebook or reference guide. This book of approximately one hundred pages belongs on every parent and guidance counselor’s bookshelf. I found the common sense and practical guide valuable and easy to follow. Wish I had this when my children were still in school.

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