Posts from the ‘adult’ Category

FAMILY TIES

The Family That Went to War

Written by Gordon Smith

 

The author was inspired to write this story because of genealogical family research. It begins in Cootamundra in New South Wales in 1911 when Australia was just six years old. Charles Power was about to marry Iris. The first world war would break out three years later. This memoir traces the stories of six young Australians who would leave their homeland to fight in a war for Great Britain. Only three of them would return.

The memoir follows the family members who served in Gallipoli and Tripoli. It reflects on the military history of their experiences as well as leave time in France and England. Its language is simple and straightforward filled with the gravity of the situation as well as moments of light humor. When the author starts to reflect on personal feelings, the plot seems to veer off course. Perhaps the author takes too much license in writing about how the brothers perceived the situation. Readers need to be aware that while much of the story has been carefully researched, there is an emotional family attachment. The story ends with Charles and Iris reflecting on the losses the family has suffered as well as the joys of raising their children.

The book provides a unique perspective on World War I. Homeschooling parents might want to explore using it to supplement primary sources. Recommended for readers ages ten and older.

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HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL

Mary’s Song (Dream Horse Adventures Book 1)

Written by Susan Count

Mary is a twelve-year-old handicapped young lady. Her mother died when she was three; no one wants to talk about it. Mary lives with her father and a housekeeper. The story is set in 1952. Her father constantly searches for a possible medical breakthrough to cure his daughter. Mary is strong-willed and determined. Her best friend, Laura, rides and cares for horses at her home. The girls become obsessed with saving a horse named Illusion who needs surgery. They find ways of earning money toward that end.

Mary’s overprotective father frequently gets upset with Mary’s obstinate behavior. Laura and Mary disobey their parents and end up in trouble often, but that means lots of interesting adventures along the way. Will the girls be able to save Illusion? Can Mary’s father find a medical cure to help Laura walk again?

Middle-grade and young adult readers will find the antics of these two friends’ fun and endearing. There is lots of humor and a few surprises in store for readers. Two strong female role models and a tender story of animal affection will appeal to a wide audience. Highly recommended. I look forward to reading the sequel.

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NEED A SOLUTION?

6TH GRADE REVENGERS: BOOK 1, CAT CRIMES AND WANNABES

Written by Steven Whibley

Marcus and Jared are two eleven-year-old friends in sixth grade. They would both like to attend spy camp but don’t have the money to attend. Jared is smart and creative; Marcus is a computer genius with the equipment to put his ideas into motion.

Jared comes up with an idea to set up a business with Marcus to raise money by solving people’s problems. After playacting to remove his six-year-old sister’s fears of The Bogeyman, Jared decides his idea might work. He comes up with the name, The Revengers and enlists Marcus to develop the website, advertise and be his partner “in crime.”

The friends take on the task of ridding a neighborhood of an aggressive orange cat that has been terrorizing Oak Street, while at the same time getting rid of Gunner, the ne’er do well, freeloading musician boyfriend of Jared’s older sister, Ronie. A series of comical mishaps follow on both fronts. Things seem to be getting more out of hand.

The adventures include lots of humor and age-appropriate scenarios for preteens and teens. Reminiscent of vintage adventures like The Hardy Boys, the characters also include strong female characters like Janet, the gossip, and Ronie, the somewhat gullible, and follow the crowd pleaser.

I haven’t read the other books in the series, but if the first is any indication, I would certainly recommend the series for readers age eight and older. The characters are likable and the plot lines clever and engaging. Young adults and adults will enjoy them as well.

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HERO OR VILLAIN?

ANDREW THE GREAT: The Heroic Story of Andrew Jackson That “They Don’t Want You to Know”

Written by MS King

 

This book, as the title implies, is not a traditional retelling of the life and times of Andrew Jackson. The author is not a historian. He is an investigative journalist with a penchant for uncovering inaccuracies and misconceptions widely accepted by the public.
King carefully traces the origins of the American Revolution as an important prelude to how the Republic came to be and the influencers behind its foundation. He names the major players in the Federalist Party like Alexander Hamilton and John Adams as well as the opposing, Democratic-Republicans like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who believed in limited government and states’ rights.

Andrew Jackson grew up as a self-educated orphan who would rail about the powerful interests like the Rothschild bank in Europe that would greatly influence the role of the central bank and its early failures in the United States.

The author is a firm believer that a person’s actions and role in history should not be judged by the standards and morals of the present. Consequently, King points out that though Jackson owned slaves and trapped Native Americans, he also recruited blacks and Native Americans to fight alongside him in The Battle of New Orleans and paid them equally.

Jackson also foresaw the importance of eliminating Spain and English control of Florida and the Mississippi River trade. King gives a fascinating account of Jackson’s struggles with the news media, his enemies and his personal struggle to maintain individual rights and avoid global entanglements.

The book contains lots of illustrations of contemporary reports, drawings, and speeches. I would recommend this book as a highly readable and informative account for students and the general public. While it does not qualify as an objective, unbiased resource, it certainly contributes to a healthy discussion of Andrew Jackson and the period in which he lived.

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WINTER’S TALE

Snowdrops: Adventure Three (Book # 3 in the Adventures of Katie and Alex series)

Written by Julia Gousseva

Ten-year-old Alex and his nine-year-old sister are staying with their Aunt Karina while their parents are working in Russia. Karina frequently reads the children Russian folktales. But she does more than read those tales, the children have discovered a fireplace that leads to a magic portal through which they become a part of that story.

One day the children are on the porch when the summer weather suddenly turns stormy. Within a matter of minutes, snowdrops are swirling. Alex, Katie and their Aunt Karina retreat to the warmth of the house. Karina reads them a folktale about a girl named Masha who lives with her wicked stepmother, Darya.  This stepmother ordered Masha to go into the forest and pick snowdrops even though it was still winter. Alex, Katie, and Karina rush into the forest to save Masha and they proceed to have an adventure in which they meet Father Frost and move through all the seasons of the year. The children learn about the seasons and meet the Twelve Months of the Year.

Will the children and their aunt be able to rescue Masha and prevent Darya from abusing her further?

This is a chapter book that combines elements of fantasy with a Russian folktale and a travel adventure. There are no illustrations. I would recommend this book as a good choice for readers in third through fifth grade, but readers of any age who enjoy multicultural folktales will probably enjoy it.

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#Featured Author #MiamiBookFair #history #children’s nonfiction

Want to help your child learn about history? Then follow Little Miss History on her explorations.

 

Little Miss HISTORY Travels to MOUNT RUSHMORE is her first stop. In her second journey, she sails to The STATUE of LIBERTY. Little Miss HISTORY’S third adventure to SEQUOIA National Park finds her skydiving into the park to explore its history. This book recently received honorable mention in the Children’s Literature Independently Published Principal’s Awards (CLIPPA), and runner-up in nature/wildlife category of the 2015 Great Northwest Book Festival. In her fourth adventure, Little Miss HISTORY arrives at FORD’S THEATER in her horse and buggy just in time for the 150th Anniversary to witness an event that changed history. This book won the 2015 IAN Award for Outstanding Children’s Nonfiction Book.

Awards for books in this series include seven B.R.A.G. MEDALLIONS, Eric Hoffer Award, Book Excellence Awards, International Reader’s Favorite Awards, Independent Author Network Awards, Global E-Book Award, and CLIPPA Principal’s Award.

https://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Ann-Mojica/e/B00B9DOVKC

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Barbara+Ann+Mojica?_requestid=786603

About the Author

 

Barbara Ann Mojica is a historian and retired educator living in New York State. She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in History. Barbara spent more than 40 years teaching in NYC and holds New York State teacher certifications in Elementary, Special Education, and Administration. She also spent several years as a Special Education Administrator and principal of a special education preschool for developmentally delayed children. Barbara, although retired from teaching, is staying busy: along with her series of Little Miss History travel books she writes historical pieces for The Columbia Insider, Pat Fisher, and Ed Pollack Editors, under the banner “Passages”. Marrying her love of history and teaching, Barbara hopes her Little Miss History character will inspire children to learn about historical people, and visit landmarks such as the one covered in this book.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Ann-Mojica/e/B00B9DOVKC

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Barbara+Ann+Mojica?_requestid=786603

Barbara@littlemisshistory.com

http://www.littlemisshistory.com

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https://www.facebook.com/Littlemisshistory.com

https://twitter.com/bamauthor

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6851359.Barbara_Ann_Mojica

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Review excerpts

 

“The use of photographs and colorful illustrations by the illustrator enhances the book with visual appeal. Highly recommended.”

 

“Charming and informative, Little Miss History doesn’t disappoint, informing young readers about the many great places the United States has to offer for entertainment and learning.”

 

“I love Barbara’s Little Miss HISTORY books! They visit historical sites and explain the significance of that location in terms kids understand. These books can be used in the classroom as well as for reading at home. Kids love to learn!”

 

“Because ALL books produced by Barbara Ann Mojica are just wonderful to read, I can’t tell you my favorite. Each time I read one, I believe they all become my favorite.”

 

RIGHT OR WRONG?

E is for Ethics: How to Talk to Kids About What Matters Most

Written by Ian James Corlett

Illustrated by R.A. Holt

 

The author is a Children’s TV writer and animator by trade. Distressed by the fact that schools no longer include ethics and civics teaching in their curriculum, he decided that he and his wife must assume that responsibility. Many years ago when his children were young, he and his wife decided to set one night a week as a family discussion time. Corlett developed a series of twenty-six stories that exemplified different aspects of moral behavior. Following each story, the children engaged in interactive questions for discussion as well as suggested activities.

The following is a list of the topics discussed in these stories: honesty, understanding, forgiveness, courage, perseverance, tact, politeness, loyalty, gratitude, truthfulness, sincerity, integrity, citizenship, responsibility, kindness, generosity, helpfulness, empathy, charity, trust, willingness, respect, fairness, acceptance, patience, and effort. There are simple colorful illustrations of a young child like the character of Lucy or Eliot featured in each story. A few famous quotations are sprinkled throughout.

This book provides a wonderful opportunity for parents to spend time getting to know what their children are thinking as well as fulfilling a necessary parental responsibility to guide and form a child’s character and values. Recommended for all ages in the family to enjoy and share.

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