Posts tagged ‘America’

B.D. BEFORE THE DIGITAL AGE

Stories of Elders: What the Greatest Generation Knows About Technology That You Don’t

Written by Veronica Kirin

This book is a fascinating study conducted by a trained anthropologist who became an entrepreneur. Kirin traveled across America to interview members of what she calls The Greatest Generation, Americans who were born before 1945. She wanted to discover what it was like to live before the advent of technology from the mouths of those who grew up living without it.

Kirin developed a list of fifteen interview questions which covered basic demographic information as well as the type of childhood, their occupations, and how technology has changed their lives and those who are growing up in a world dominated by technology. Her questions touched on poverty, economic issues, family, religion, safety, and community. Her conclusions discuss the advantages and disadvantages of growing up with or without technology. Kirin provides a list of participants in an index.

I believe that millennials will find this study interesting and enlightening. As a person who grew up between these two groups, I found the information fascinating.

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A BALANCED VIEW

Illuminati Facts and Fiction Revealed: The Hidden Truth About the Illuminati Exposed

Written by Stephen Sanderson

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The author’s purpose is to present a clear and concise portrait of the ancient and modern Illuminati. He outlines the modern myths associated with them, their alleged rituals, and the symbols that people attach to them today. The author attempts to present an objective picture and presents evidence that may or not be true.

The Bavarian Illuminati was a secret society formed on May 1, 1776, an era that involved turmoil in Europe and North America. This group was against prejudice, superstition and abuse of state power. In addition, they opposed the influence of religion on public affairs. The Illuminati supported gender equality and education for women, radical ideas for that time. The Bavarian leader, Charles Theodore banned this group founded by Adam Weishaupt, along with many other secret societies. He was enthusiastically supported by the Roman Catholic Church. Slowly the Illuminati recruited Masonic leaders and spread outside of Germany. Ciphers and secret names played a big part in their system.

There are stories associated with the group. One says that they spread the French Enlightenment ideals and caused the French Revolution. Others include plots of secret societies to attack Christianity and monarchies in Europe. Modern conspiracy theories encompass theories that they control the Hollywood movie industry, practice Satanic rituals, or that they are run by extraterrestrials from other dimensions.

Conspiracy theorists cite several symbols currently in existence and connect them to the Illuminati. Sanderson lists The All-Seeing Eye, The Owl, and The Pyramid. He explores the pros and cons of these connections and lets the reader be the judge. There are certainly links, but is there proof?

I enjoyed exploring the topic. The author gives the reader a lot to think about and a basis to form your own opinion. Recommended for teens and adults as an informative and enjoyable read.

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THREE’S COMPANY

A Silent Yes: A Novella (A Quiet Life Book 1)

Written by Charlotte Thorpe

Asilentyes,picShort novella of approximately fifty pages that portrays the gentle tale of two orphaned brothers living in Kansas circa 1884. Matthias and his younger brother Justus live a quiet life on their farm. One day Silas Mitchell and his wife drive up in a wagon with a strange request. They have a sick cattle drive cook that they want to drop on their doorstep. They can’t keep her on the drive and have no one to care for her. These two brothers go in the house to discuss the situation when Silas takes off in a hurry. After a few days, the woman named Grace recovers. The brothers stay in the barn to avoid impropriety and treat her with respect. She asks to stay and volunteers her services as a cook, seamstress and housekeeper.

Matthias and Justus quickly acclimate to the new situation enjoying a lifestyle lost to them since their mother died twelve years before. Soon both the boys are attracted to Grace. They learn that Grace has no real family and no one to rely on for help. Will Grace find the courage to marry one of them or will she resign herself to disappear and go back to a life of poverty? Can the two brothers sort out their individual feelings toward their new resident? When the preacher arrives for a visit, they both know the time has come for a decision.

This is a sweet tale with no profanity or sex that alludes back to a simpler time. Kind of a cross between a piece of historical fiction and romance. The book is appropriate for readers age twelve and up. Characters are amazingly well-developed in the simple plot line. Nice well-written feel good kind of book for a lazy afternoon read.

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IDENTITY CRISIS

I am Lubo

Written by Lou Pechi

I Am Lubo, picamazon

This story is not simply another holocaust survival tale, but rather a journey of one child’s struggle to discover his true identity. The story begins in June, 1938 in Zagreb with a young boy named Lubo who sketches a happy, carefree life including imitating a traffic policeman and going to the barber shop with his father, Kolega. His mother Mutika adores him; the only thorn in his side is his mean governess, “Fraulein.” Lubo’s carefree life of playing with tin soldiers, trains and cars is shattered on April 6, 1941, when he is trapped in the air raid on Belgrade while visiting his grandmother. His mother takes him on a desperate journey by rail, boat and foot in an attempt to return home, only to find Nazi soldiers in their living room upon their arrival. With a child’s simplicity, Lubo is delighted to see real soldiers carrying real guns visiting his home. Soon Lubo’s parents are required to wear badges indicating that they are Jews, and Kolega joins the army. Conditions rapidly deteriorate; Lubo’s parents decide to convert to Catholicism and flee to Italy.

Lubo embarks on a lifelong quest to find his identity. His journey will include living with aunts, uncles and cousins,staying with his mother in Italy, narrowly avoiding being sent to a concentration camp in Germany, and getting back to Yugoslavia with his father for a short time. Lubo just wants to be back living a normal child’s life with his parents, but their lives keep taking separate turns. Lubo will even find himself on a kibbutz in Israel living with other children of foreigners who also see themselves as outcasts. When Lubo is finally nearing his eighteenth birthday, he decides to join the Israeli Air Force so he can use the technical knowledge he enjoys. Again he is frustrated because he does not have a high school diploma; so he pleads with his mother, who is now living in America to send for him. Lubo finds another roadblock when he arrives in America. He will encounter new forms of discrimination and frustration in America as well. Despite all obstacles, Lubo eventually succeeds in discovering his path to success and happiness.

I am truly impressed with the honestly and sincerity of this memoir which took the author much of his life to write. He writes from the perspective of a frightened child who through no fault of his own has been placed in the path of overwhelming roadblocks to his success. The events of the holocaust are cast in historical perspective seen through the eyes of a young child who had to constantly rearrange his life to suit them. Adding to the uniqueness of the story are the personal photographs of people, places, and events that the author has managed to acquire. It is a powerful read that I think tweens and teens as well as adults will find compelling. Pechi includes an epilogue revealing what happened to each of the major characters. Another bonus feature is a list of questions that the reader should be able to answer after reading the book that will guide classroom or seminar discussion groups on the holocaust. A highly recommended read!

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PINT SIZED PEACEMAKERS

Peace in My World

By: Syeda Mleeha Shah

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This book is dedicated to all displaced children in refugee and survival camps waiting for peace. The author pays tribute to every child for making our world beautiful by being a part of it.

Multicultural children are dressed in native costumes and placed in different scenarios. They are seen in farm scenes with barns, roosters and sunflowers, playing on the ice with penguins and singing in the rain while the wind chimes blow. The images coincide with symbols of peace like the dove and moods of tranquility like a little girl sitting on the grass while fish swim in the pond beside her. In the valleys and mountains trees stand tall, the sun shines brightly, and birds fly over the rainbow.

The text is written in simple verse. The same two lines are repeated on the pages. “This is a place where I want to go. I am in peace from head to toe.” A simple message that adults find  so difficult to accept. In the second part of the book Shah spells out the word  PEACE  assigning special significance to each letter.

 

P stands for people of the world

E stands for empathy they feel for one another

A stands for accepting others differences

C stands for cooperating and working in harmony

E  stands for the extra mile needed to reach out to those in need

 

In the final part of the book, the author selects five countries from various parts of the world: Pakistan, Egypt, America, China and Ethiopia. For each of these she presents the flag, names the capitol, its language and the word for peace. There is a rather abrupt shift from the ideal world to the real world. My only criticism is that no reason is given for choosing these five countries and there is no tie in to the rest of the story. Nevertheless, this book is truly worthwhile for teaching even very young children the value of using diversity as a unifying force and letting our strengths bind us together rather than tear us apart.

 

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