Posts from the ‘reference book’ Category

A CORNUCOPIA OF BASEBALL

Legends of Baseball: from Ozzie to Aaron

Written by Mike Suarez

This book summarizes baseball facts. It features some of the greatest names in baseball from past to present day. Different types of illustrations feature each of the players. The entire book is written in rhyme. The author presents batting and pitching statistics, baseball acronyms, and team abbreviations

This book would make a great gift for a baseball aficionado. When I looked at the cover and the alphabet approach, I assumed it to be a picture book for children. It is chock full of information that an adult baseball enthusiast would enjoy. I don’t think it has that appeal for a young child who will find it hard to sort through so much information on each page.

My rating would be five stars for adults and three stars for younger children. I am averaging the rating at four stars.


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A GLIMPSE INTO THE LIFE…

Grigori Rasputin: A Life from Beginning to End

Written by Hourly History

This short read of approximately fifty pages can be read in an hour or less. As such, it cannot be considered a comprehensive review of “The Mad Monk’s” life. It is one of the better books in this history series.

The book begins with Rasputin’s life as a troubled child born in a small village in Siberia. He had many clandestine meetings with his followers, many of whom were women. Rasputin soon developed a reputation as a womanizer. On the other hand, his banishment to a monastery led to the development of a mystical streak. Rasputin had a habit of carrying out everything in his life to extreme limits.

When the monk cured the Tsar and Tsarina’s son, his history of miracles emerged to become a factor. Rasputin would divide the Greek Orthodox church into factions. He soon found himself surrounded by enemies. During his life, he found himself in and out of favor with the Russian monarchy as well as the common populace.

His ability to work miracles protected him from harm many times. He reportedly survived an assassination attempt by poison, only to be shot while making his escape. The combination of factors including World War I and its effect on the Russian populace would eventually doom the Russian government.

This book will give readers a decent overview of Rasputin’s colorful life and role in twentieth-century Russian history. It whets the appetite and interested readers can move on to more comprehensive studies.

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#Building Bridges

Aspergers Books for Kids: Joey the Weather Boy – A Story About Asperger Syndrome

Written by Dr. Sam Caron, PhD

Illustrated by Jeremy Caron

The author of this boy is a psychologist/ventriloquist who has been working with children and their families for thirty years. As a special educator, I applaud his approach. Dr. Caron has used this fictional short story to address the child and parents and then provided an interactive guide to implementing its lessons.

Joey is an eight-year-old boy who does not look at people and is obsessed with the weather. He has an uncanny talent to predict all aspects of the weather. Joey could talk about nothing else. His parents, teachers, and classmates could not understand him. That was okay with Joey because he preferred to be alone.

Joey’s parents took him to Dr. Caron who introduced Joey to Elwood, his puppet. Joey was able to relate to Elwood. With Dr. Caron’s help, Joey introduced a kids’ weather program and began speech therapy. Joey became more comfortable communicating with others. Children and adults recognized his talents.

This book goes a long way in helping parents, teachers, and children to understand Asperger Syndrome. Children who are bored easily, hyperactive or impulsive are not behavior problems. Books like these go a long way to eliminate preconceived notions. I highly recommend this series of books as a good start to building bridges with families who deal with the problem and members of the general population who misunderstand its symptoms.

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PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER…

Kids Meal Ideas: 50 Kid-Friendly Recipes

Written by Debbie Madsen

The author places emphasis on ways to produce kid-pleasing meals that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Madsen doesn’t take the approach of cooking separate meals for finicky eaters. Rather, she uses ingredients that kids will recognize as pleasing choices and combines them with healthy options.

The book is divided into sections: chicken, rice and pasta, soups, pork, seafood, eggs, beef, vegetarian, salads, and gluten-free. Within each area, Madsen chooses combinations like meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy turned into volcano meatloaf. Pasta becomes much healthier when combined with spinach and bacon. For the child who loves only peanut butter sandwiches, try peanut chicken with rice. Salad recipes include a variety of textures and extras like pumpkin and chia seeds. French fries are elevated to new heights in a skillet dish in which beef and French fries are baked with ketchup, mustard, and pickles.

The recipes are different and just might attract your picky eater as well as introduce the adults in the family to unique combinations.

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ACHIEVING SUCCESS AS AN #AUTHOR

10 Step Plan to Promote Your Book Online: Online Book Marketing on Any Budget

Written by Scott Hughes

Before I begin this review, readers should be aware that the author is the webmaster for Online Book Club, and he does promote and encourage readers to utilize his business. That certainly does not mean that the book is a shameless promotion of his business. The advice he gives is sound and helpful for the self-published authors. I have used the strategies he presents and can verify they do work. The amount of time to achieve success largely depends on your budget and how much work you are willing to put into writing and marketing.

Steps 1 and 2 are the most difficult. Writers need to produce a really good product to compete in today’s market and they must take the time to proofread, correct typos, spelling and content many, many times. Only after then, can the writer send the book out for professional editing.

The rest of the steps involve becoming involved with all platforms on social media, blogging, reading other authors in your genre, interviewing, starting and participating in book clubs. All these things take time to create and build. Writers need to reach out and develop a network of trusted colleagues and friends. I agree with Hughes that twitter is very effective, and that Facebook has steadily become less reliable for marketing. Of course, the value of social media is largely determined by other factors such as personality and genre.

To sum up, the author has presented a concise program of steps to guide a writer through the competitive world of self-publishing if the reader commits the time, dedication and resources to his project.

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STEPPING OUT OF THE RUT

THE POWER OF CREATIVITY: Book 1

Written by BRYAN COLLINS

This is a self-help book that focuses on enabling readers to face the fears that prevent them from pursuing their creativity and achieving a self-fulfilling career. The author takes a realistic approach. He realizes that life goals need balance. One needs to support himself and make a living. While does not necessarily mean being trapped in a profession or job that does not bring a measure of happiness and self-fulfillment.

The book opens on the author’s thirtieth birthday when he realizes he is trapped in a career that he hates. He realizes that he must force himself to move forward. He cites artists like Salvatore Dali and Paul McCartney as examples of artists who were able to support themselves with a day job while they gradually disciplined themselves to achieve a successful artistic career.

He urges his readers to begin by searching for their true passion in life. Next, remove the distractions that eat up wasted time you could spend pursuing them. Then use your job as a safety net and pursue that passion in the remaining time available. Push past your fears and practice the craft

you want to develop each day.

At the end of the book, Collins provides a list of links that offer tools that might accelerate reader success. I enjoyed the author’s positive philosophy and would recommend this book to those who feel stuck in a rut. There is nothing new in the book, just a straightforward common-sense approach. Recommended for young adult and adult readers.

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Mind over Matter

Hello Brain: A Book about Talking to Your Brain

Written by Clarissa Johnson

This book discusses mindfulness for children. It contains six stories about students in a classroom who experience different troubling situations. It begins with Sam, who is terribly shy and afraid to talk with anyone at school. Eve is frustrated because she views herself not smart enough to learn. Jane talks too much in class and can’t concentrate. Nick is grumpy, unhappy and cannot focus. Kate excels in school and sports, but cannot see the worth of other students. Will is a shy boy, who is often the victim of others who take advantage of him with unkind words and acts. In each situation, one of the other students approaches the child with a problem and reminds him that he can talk to his brain and take control of the situation to remedy the problem.

This book can be used by parents or teachers to guide discussions with individual children or a classroom group. It could be an effective resource for elementary and middle school students who are struggling with individual emotions and peer relationships. It is particularly recommended for students in the six to twelve age range.

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