Posts tagged ‘bullying’

#GRETAGRACE -VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Emerald Lake Books

ABOUT THE BOOK

Greta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem

Written by Joanna Quinn

Ages 9+ | 190 Pages

Publisher: Emerald Lake Books | ISBN-13: 9781945847448

Publisher’s Synopsis: What’s worse than being invisible? Being noticed by the school bully.

Greta Grace likes her life. She isn’t the most popular girl in school-some days she even feels invisible-but she gets good grades and stays out of trouble.

She has a best friend in Samantha and a grandmotherly neighbor who is never too busy for a chat. Her mom can be a bit overprotective, but Greta Grace doesn’t blame her. Being a single parent probably isn’t the easiest job in the world.

When her longtime crush finally starts noticing her, Greta Grace thinks her life might even be perfect.

But when a merciless bully takes aim at Greta Grace, her carefree existence suddenly ends.

Who ever knew that school could be so hard?

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3A14a0j

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/a/2078/9781945847448

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joanna O’Reilly Quinn can usually be found learning something new to teach teens. As a former middle school teacher, founder of Super Empowered One, and life coach, it is no surprise that her middle-grade fiction book, Greta Grace, weaves some teachable moments into her character’s very relatable experiences. Think, middle school… Ahhh!Through her company, Super Empowered One, Joanna teaches kids how to access their confidence, happiness and power, so they can live their best life. Joanna loves writing, the ocean, a good run, and living in Fairfield, Connecticut, with her husband and two kids. Visit her at superempoweredone.com to learn more about her coaching services and Greta Grace.

If you’re interested in having Joanna conduct a program for your group or come speak to your students, you can contact her at emeraldlakebooks.com/quinn and superempoweredone.com/.

MY REVIEW OF THIS BOOK:

GROWING PAINS

Greta Grace

Written by Joanna Quinn

Greta Grace is a middle-school student who considers her everyday life an ordinary one. She is an excellent student who tries to stay under the radar. Greta is the daughter of a loving, single mom. She has a special relationship with Mrs. McGee, an elderly next-door neighbor. Her best friend is Samantha; she has a crush on Charlie, who doesn’t seem to notice her.

Greta’s world is turned upside down when Mrs. McGee becomes ill, Casey decides to bully her, and Samantha becomes distant. The only bright spot occurs when Charlie strikes up a relationship with her. But emotions and peer relationships are constantly shifting.  Will Greta Grace learn how to handle her feelings and cope with the bullying?

Quinn does an excellent job of creating empathetic, believable characters for her middle-grade readers. I found the discussion question guide particularly useful. Parents, teachers, and guidance counselors will welcome the guide as an excellent way to discuss sensitive issues with middle-grade students.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a copy of Greta Grace, along with a 1-hr coaching session for a parent on how to raise a super-empowered teen.

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

A copy of Greta Grace

A 1-hr parenting coaching session with Joanna Quinn

Four (4) winners receive:

A copy of Greta Grace

The giveaway begins September 20, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends October 20, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

Click on the link below to enter the giveaway:

https://gleam.io/4Pvl7/greta-grace-giveaway

TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, September 20, 2021The Children’s Book ReviewA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Tuesday, September 21, 2021Over Coffee ConversationAn interview withJoanna Quinn
Wednesday, September 22, 2021Life Is What It’s CalledA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Thursday, September 23, 2021A Dream Within a DreamA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Friday, September 24, 2021The Momma SpotA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Sunday, September 26, 2021Barbara Ann Mojica’s BlogA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Monday, September 27, 2021The Fairview ReviewA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Tuesday, September 28, 2021icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Wednesday, September 29, 2021Book Bug CAA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Thursday, September 30, 2021Rajiv’s ReviewsA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Monday, October 4, 2021Lisa’s ReadingA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Tuesday, October 5, 2021Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Wednesday, October 6, 2021Periodical GazetteAn interview and book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem
Thursday, October 7, 2021Glass of Wine, Glass of MilkAn interview and book review ofGreta Grace: A Greta Grace Gibson Story About Bullying and Self-Esteem

PIECES OF OURSELVES #fragments

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Big Ideas Press

ABOUT THE BOOK

Fragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection

Written by Maura Pierlot

Ages 12+ | 126 Pages

Publisher: Big Ideas Press | ISBN-13: 978-0645099805

I feel like I’m a piece, a fragment that’s missing all the good bits, but I don’t know where to find the rest … the parts I need to work properly. I bet they wouldn’t fit anyway. (Lexy, age 17)

Publisher’s Synopsis: Eight young people navigating high school and beyond, each struggling to hold on – to family, to friends, to a piece of themselves. Perhaps you know them. The bubbly girl who keeps telling you she’s okay. The high achiever who’s suddenly so intense. The young teen obsessed with social media. The boy challenged by communication. Every single day they, and others, are working hard to keep it together. So hard, they don’t see their friends are struggling, too. Through eight imagined stories, Fragments moves from a place of disconnection to connectedness.

The action of Fragments takes place in the minds and hearts of an ordinary group of young people. Their stories encompass anxiety, depression, neurodivergence, gender dysphoria, social media, bullying, family dysfunction, cross-cultural diversity, and more, culminating in a sense of hope. Although set in Australia, their stories could take place anywhere.

From the Playwright: Rarely presenting as neat packages, mental health issues often involve feelings and behaviors with jagged edges and blurred origins. Fragments embodies the theme that stress at home, at school, and in life is challenging young people beyond their usual coping abilities, leaving them disenfranchised and vulnerable. So much of adolescent life is spent looking inwards that it’s perhaps not surprising that mental health issues are often internalized. I wrote Fragments to start a conversation. It’s only when we speak openly about mental health issues – without fear or judgment – that we can chip away at the stigma that prevents many people from seeking help. It is my hope that the work will find its way into schools in Australia and overseas. The publication includes a comprehensive Study Guide, detailing activities and curriculum links for English, Drama/Arts, Health & PE, Civics, and more.

A powerful and timely mental health resource for young people and their families. Essential reading for high school.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3gZPBCJ

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/a/2078/9780645099805

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Fragments-Maura-Pierlot/9780645099805

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maura Pierlot is an award-winning author and playwright who hails from New York but has called Canberra, Australia home since the early 1990s. Her writing delves into complex issues including memory, identity, self, and, more recently, mental health. Following its sellout 2019 season in Canberra, Maura’s debut professional theatre production, Fragments is being adapted for the digital space, supported by artsACT. The work is published online by Australian Plays Transforms and in print by Big Ideas Press.

Maura is a past winner of the SOLO Monologue Competition, Hothouse Theatre for her play, Tapping Out. Her plays have been performed in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, and Hollywood. A former medical news reporter and editor of Australian Medicine, Maura also writes for children and young adults. In 2017 she was named winner of the CBCA Aspiring Writers Mentorship Program, and recipient of the Charlotte Waring Barton Award, for her young adult manuscript, Freefalling (now True North). Maura’s debut picture book, The Trouble in Tune Town won the 2018 ACT Writing and Publishing Award (Children’s category) along with international accolades.

Maura’s poetry, short stories, microfiction, and essays appear in various literary journals and anthologies. Maura has a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctorate, each in philosophy, specializing in ethics. When she’s not busy writing, Maura visits schools and libraries as a guest reader and speaker, serves as a Role Model for Books in Homes, and contributes reviews for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s online magazine, Reading Time.

For further information on Maura and her work, Fragments please visit: https: //maurapierlot.com and https: //fragmentstheplay.com.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a copy of Fragments and a $50 Amazon gift card!

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

https://gleam.io/bJGIX/fragments-giveaway

A copy of Fragments

A $50 Amazon gift card

Four (4) winners receive:

A copy of Fragments

The giveaway begins September 6, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends October 6, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

MY REVIEW OF FRAGMENTS:

FRAGMENTS: Journeys from Isolation to Connection

Written by Maura Pierlot

Fragments is a series of monologues that lend a voice to issues of mental health faced by teens all over the world today. In these monologues, readers follow the struggles of eight teens who seek hope as they fight mental health challenges. Each fight to maintain their connections to family, friends, and the community in which they live. The monologues are representative of the issues faced by youth and adults in the challenging times of which we live.

The actors represent young people around the world struggling with emotional, social, physical, and mental issues during their teenage years. As they reveal themselves, readers at once laugh, cry, feel their pain, and empathize with one or more of the issues described. The actors may appear to be disconnected, but in truth, they are seeking the possibility of connecting with one another.

The study guide included delineates themes, the background of characters, summaries of each monologue, and curriculum guide. While the monologues are matched to the Australian curriculum for high school studies, it can readily be adapted to standards used around the world.

Pierlot’s play provided her audience an opportunity to witness the problems and challenges facing youth today. Now readers of Fragments are given the opportunity to read and ponder the insights of these teens into the causes of mental issues and the realities they present for those who are suffering. Highly recommended read and discussion opportunity for teens and adults.

TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, September 6, 2021The Children’s Book ReviewTour Kick-OffFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Tuesday, September 7, 2021Over Coffee ConversationA guest article fromMaura Pierlot
Wednesday, September 8, 2021The Fairview ReviewA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Thursday, September 9, 2021Tales of a Wanna-Be SuperHero MomA book giveaway ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Friday, September 10, 2021A Dream Within a DreamA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Monday, September 13, 2021icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Tuesday, September 14, 2021Life Is What It’s CalledA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Wednesday, September 15, 2021Barbara Ann Mojica’s BlogA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Thursday, September 16, 2021Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Friday, September 17, 2021The Momma SpotA book review ofFragments: Journeys from Isolation to Connection
Saturday, September 18, 2021The Momma SpotAn interview withMaura Pierlot

DANCING THE NIGHT AWAY

JULIA JONES – My Worst Day Ever! – Book 1: Diary Book for Girls aged 9 – 12 (Julia Jones’ Diary)

Written by Katrina Kahler

Julia and Millie are best friends in seventh grade. Their very cool teacher, Mrs. Sheldon, is supervising the school musical. Millie and Julia have landed lead roles and Julia’s dancing experience gives her a prominent role in the choreography.

Enter Sara, a brand new classmate. While pretending to be friendly to everyone, including Julia, she is soon bullying her way into control. Whether it’s wearing the best clothes, buying the most expensive gifts, or flirting with Blake, Julia’s secret crush, Sara appears determined to show Julia in a bad light. Things go from bad to worse as a series of “coincidences” lead up to embarrassment and failure for Julia.

This book contains little more than 100 pages and moves quickly. It will appeal to reluctant readers and middle-school students as well as early teens. It’s the first book of the series and ends in a cliff-hanger.

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Check out a zillion learning opportunities for the whole family at http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

#littleallies

Virtual Blog Tour and Giveaway in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Next Pivot Point

ABOUT THE BOOK

Little Allies: A Children’s Story about Inclusion, Diversity, and Becoming an Ally

Written by Julie Kratz

Illustrated by Edwards Maiello

Ages 5-10 | 74 Pages

Publisher: Next Pivot Point | ISBN-13: 978-1736515907

Publisher’s Synopsis: As Ally navigates through her school day, she watches her classmates face bullying and discrimination. Ally realizes that they all want the same thing – to be accepted as they are. Ally learns an important lesson, brought to light by her teacher, that our differences make each of us unique and special, and that we can be an ally to others to help them navigate through life.

Little Allies is a touching tale that reminds us of the importance of accepting each other, celebrating our differences, and working to become an ally. The colorful pictures show Ally’s willingness to stand by her friends, even when she doesn’t know how else to help. Adults in the story are also important allies, helping kids navigate challenges, learn ways to support, and cherish their uniqueness.

The bonus material at the end of the book will spark discussion at home or in the classroom.100% of online book sale proceeds will be donated to a nonprofit or organization focused on children’s diversity and inclusion development or providing equitable access to opportunities for all children.

PURCHASE LINKS

https://amzn.to/3uKvehZ

https://bookshop.org/a/2078/9781736515907

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Julie Kratz is a highly acclaimed TEDx speaker and inclusive leadership trainer who led teams and produced results in corporate America. After experiencing many career “pivot points” of her own, she started her own speaking business, focused on helping leaders be more inclusive. Promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Julie is a frequent keynote speaker, podcast host, and executive coach. She holds an MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, is a Certified Master Coach, and is a certified unconscious bias trainer.

Her books include Pivot Point: How to Build a Winning Career Game Plan, ONE: How Male Allies Support Women for Gender Equality, and Lead Like an Ally: A Journey Through Corporate America with Strategies to Facilitate Inclusion, and Little Allies: A Children’s Story about Inclusion, Diversity, and Becoming an Ally.

MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK

UNITED WE STAND

Little Allies

Written by Julie Kratz

Illustrated by Edward Maiello

Kratz has provided an interesting approach to handling discussions of diversity among elementary age and middle-school students. Through the eyes of the protagonist, Ally, each day of the week at school reveals a different character experiencing a challenge. Readers meet members of Ally’s fourth grade class who face opposition from fellow classmates. They represent different religious, cultures, special needs, gender, racial and family groupings. Ally stands up as a child willing to protect and empathize with these fellow students.

This book allows young readers to visualize and understand these situations. The discussion guide and glossary of terms to know provide valuable reference points. They can be used by adults such as teachers, counselors, and parents to encourage further discussion. It is my hope that the facilitators will not interject politics into the issues but use this framework to promote unity and healing.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a Little Allies ART-Stravaganza prize pack!

One (1) Grand Prize Winner Receives:

  • A copy of Little Allies, autographed by Julie Kratz
  • A $50 Target gift card
  • An ART-stravangza kit for your budding artist including:
    • A Sketchbook
    • Skin Tone Colored Pencils
    • Crayola Multi-Ethnic Skin Tone Washable Tempera Paints
    • Paint Brushes
    • Crayola Skin Tone Multicultural Crayons
    • Crayola Skin Tone Multicultural Markers

Two Winners Receive:

  • A copy of Little Allies, autographed by Julie Kratz
  • A Little Allies Slap Bracelet
  • A Little Allies Sticker

The giveaway begins May 17, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends June 17, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT

Click here for the entry form: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3d5cb282231/?

TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, May 17, 2021The Children’s Book ReviewA book review ofLittle Allies: A Children’s Story about Inclusion, Diversity, and Becoming an Ally
Tuesday, May 18, 2021The Fairview ReviewA book review ofLittle Allies: A Children’s Story about Inclusion, Diversity, and Becoming an Ally
Wednesday, May 19, 2021Shooting Stars MagazineA book review ofLittle Allies: A Children’s Story about Inclusion, Diversity, and Becoming an Ally
Thursday, May 20, 2021Lisa’s ReadingA guest post by authorJulie Kratz
Sunday, May 23, 2021Barbara Ann Mojica’s BlogA book review ofLittle Allies: A Children’s Story about Inclusion, Diversity, and Becoming an Ally
Monday, May 24, 2021Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA book review ofLittle Allies: A Children’s Story about Inclusion, Diversity, and Becoming an Ally
Tuesday, May 25, 2021J.R.s Book ReviewsA book review ofLittle Allies: A Children’s Story about Inclusion, Diversity, and Becoming an Ally
Tuesday, June 1, 2021Mommy RamblingsA book review ofLittle Allies: A Children’s Story about Inclusion, Diversity, and Becoming an Ally
Wednesday, June 2, 2021Life Is What It’s CalledAn interview withJulie Kratz
Thursday, June 3, 2021icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review ofLittle Allies: A Children’s Story about Inclusion, Diversity, and Becoming an Ally
Friday, June 4, 2021Library Lady’s Kid LitAn interview withJulie Kratz

#maybemaybemarisolrainey

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and HarperCollins Publishers

ABOUT THE BOOK

Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey

Written by Erin Entrada Kelly

Ages 7-12 | 160 Pages

Publisher: Greenwillow Books | ISBN-13: 978-0062970428

Publisher’s Synopsis: Introducing eight-year-old Marisol Rainey—an irresistible new character from Newbery Medalist and New York Times–bestselling Erin Entrada Kelly!

Marisol Rainey’s mother was born in the Philippines. Marisol’s father works and lives part-time on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. And Marisol, who has a big imagination and likes to name inanimate objects, has a tree in her backyard she calls Peppina . . . but she’s way too scared to climb it. This all makes Marisol the only girl in her small Louisiana town with a mother who was born elsewhere and a father who lives elsewhere (most of the time)—the only girl who’s fearful of adventure and fun.

Will Marisol be able to salvage her summer and have fun with Jada, her best friend? Maybe. Will Marisol figure out how to get annoying Evie Smythe to leave her alone? Maybe. Will Marisol ever get to spend enough real time with her father? Maybe. Will Marisol find the courage to climb Peppina? Maybe.  

Told in short chapters with illustrations by the author on nearly every page, Maybe, Maybe Marisol Rainey is a must-have for early elementary grade readers. Erin Entrada Kelly celebrates the small but mighty Marisol, the joys of friendship, and the triumph of overcoming your fears in this stunning new novel for readers of Kevin Henkes, Meg Medina, Andrew Clements, Sara Pennypacker,  and Kate DiCamillo.

PURCHASE LINKS

https://amzn.to/2Pm1MiG

https://bookshop.org/a/2078/9780062970428

MY REVIEW OF THIS BOOK

FINDING HER COURAGE

Newberry Award Winner, Erin Entrada Kelly has created an adorable character in a new series that is sure to win the hearts and minds of beginning and middle-grade readers. This multicultural book features Marisol, a child who says maybe to everything because she is afraid to try anything new. What is Marisol afraid of? Climbing trees, strange noises, speaking in front of the class, to name just a few of them. Luckily, Marisol’s best friend, Jada, has an insatiable curiosity like Marisol. She is kind and empathetic, encouraging and patient. Together they create imaginative scenarios.

Kelly manages to reveal Marisol’s life chapter by chapter. Readers learn her father works on an oil rig and is only home one week a month. Her mother is a teacher, who speaks three languages and was born in the Philippines. Marisol loves silent films, real and stuffed animals, and cannot stop asking questions. Throughout the story, readers uncover bits of knowledge about philosophy, science, bullying, and common sense.

The charming black and white illustrations make this book a wonderful choice for new readers. Character depth and age-appropriate themes will have middle-grade students unwilling to put it down. Looking forward to new stories in this series.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

New York Times–bestselling author Erin Entrada Kelly was awarded the Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe and a Newbery Honor for We Dream of Space. She grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and now lives in Delaware. She is a professor of children’s literature in the graduate fiction and publishing programs at Rosemont College, where she earned her MFA, and is on the faculty at Hamline University. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Philippines Free Press Literary Award for Short Fiction and the Pushcart Prize. Erin Entrada Kelly’s debut novel, Blackbird Fly, was a Kirkus Best Book, a School Library Journal Best Book, an ALSC Notable Book, and an Asian/Pacific American Literature Honor Book. She is also the author of The Land of Forgotten Girls, winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature; You Go First, a Spring 2018 Indie Next Pick; Lalani of the Distant Sea, an Indie Next Pick; and Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey, which she also illustrated. The author’s mother was the first in her family to immigrate to the United States from the Philippines, and she now lives in Cebu.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a hardcover copy of Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey!

Ten (10) winners receive:

  • A hardcover copy of Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey

The giveaway begins April 26, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends May 26, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3d5cb282225/

TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, April 26, 2021The Children’s Book ReviewA book review ofMaybe Maybe Marisol Rainey
Monday, April 26, 2021The Children’s Book ReviewA book list of5 Chapter Books Perfect for Summer Reading
Tuesday, April 27, 2021Glass of Wine, Glass of MilkA book review ofMaybe Maybe Marisol Rainey
Tuesday, April 27, 2021Some the WiserA book review ofMaybe Maybe Marisol Rainey
Wednesday, April 28, 2021Lisa’s ReadingA book review ofMaybe Maybe Marisol Rainey
Thursday, April 29, 2021Library Lady’s Kid LitA book review ofMaybe Maybe Marisol Rainey
Friday, April 30, 2021Life Is What It’s CalledA book review ofMaybe Maybe Marisol Rainey
Saturday, May 1, 2021Feminist Books for KidsA book review ofMaybe Maybe Marisol Rainey
Sunday, May 2, 2021Barbara Ann Mojica’s BlogA book review ofMaybe Maybe Marisol Rainey
Monday, May 3, 2021Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA book review ofMaybe Maybe Marisol Rainey
Tuesday, May 4, 2021Crafty Moms ShareA book review ofMaybe Maybe Marisol Rainey
Wednesday, May 5, 2021The Fairview ReviewA book review ofMaybe Maybe Marisol Rainey
Thursday, May 6, 2021icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review ofMaybe Maybe Marisol Rainey
Friday, May 7, 2021J.R.s Book ReviewsA book review ofMaybe Maybe Marisol Rainey
Saturday, May 8, 2021Heart to HeartA book giveaway ofMaybe Maybe Marisol Rainey

SOMEDAY…

A Farm Called Someday: A Novel of 1950s Montana

Written by Penelope Merrell

This middle-grade novel provides a fascinating glimpse into one family’s growth and evolution. The narrator is one of four sisters who describes her coming of age within a family that matures along with her.

Valene loves to write. The reader is treated to her reminiscences through her journal. It describes the struggles of a family who are fiercely devoted to each other yet defined by distinct differences. Valene loves horses and dreams of owning one Her family needs to make many sacrifices before they can buy their own farm. The word someday always seems far off. That is why Valene thinks it is the perfect name for their farm.

Readers learn what life is like growing up on a farm. How does one feed and care for animals, and live without conveniences like central heat and running water? Merrell’s drawings help readers visualize what a 50s washing machine and iron look like. She describes the stringing of lines for telephones, and the Sears Wish Book Catalog.

Many of the trials and tribulations of growing up have not changed. Teasing, bullying, and jockeying for power among siblings are still present. Merrell brings her characters to life. Today’s youth learn a lot about the past and how to appreciate modern conveniences, while getting a good flavor of living on a 1950s Montana farm.

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Check out learning opportunities for the whole family at http://www.LittleMIssHISTORY.com

THE TIMES ARE CHANGING

A Letter to My Fifth Grade Self (The Diary of Janie Ray Book 2)

Written by Lila Segal

Janie Ray gets a diary from her mom as a gift. She has the same problems most fifth graders experience. Janie spends most of her time with her best friend, Sheila. But fifth grade is full of social anxiety. There are snobs, bullies, teacher problems and family adjustments.

One thing about Janie is very different. When she was seven, she found a medallion. Together with Sheila. she has developed a secret language. Soon they would find a connection to the medallion that would allow them to travel back in time. Janie would learn about the perils of interfering with events and the responsibility of being the keeper of the medallion.

The book is a coming of age novel, mixed with fantasy and preteen relationships. It moves along fairly quickly and ends with a cliffhanger that will lead to the next book in the series. I did not read the series books prior to this one and did not find that a problem.

Recommended for readers ages eight through twelve.

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A HARROWING HOMECOMING

Welcome to Doom Farms (Bonegarden Book 1)

Written by Karsten Knight

Kayla Dunn had just begun fifth grade in Boston when her parents inform her that they were achieving a lifelong dream to buy a farm in her father’s hometown of rural Orchard Falls.

Trouble begins almost immediately. Kayla is determined to outsmart Charlie Slade, whose family has always won the local pumpkin growing festival. After Kayla plants her pumpkin seeds, it rapidly becomes clear these are no ordinary pumpkins.

Monsters, giant pumpkins, aliens, and family feuds pepper the plot of this middle-grade adventure. This book is an exciting page turner. I would recommend it as Halloween party story or a classroom read-aloud as well.

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LET YOUR IMAGINATION SOAR

Where Dragons Fly: Land of Stars Book 1

Written by Hannah Sparks

Illustrated by Katherine Newton

Eight-year-old Ethan lives with his hard-working dad. Ethan is not looking forward to summer when he will be alone six days a week. Ethan does not make friends easily; the neighborhood kids make fun of him because his last name is Broom.

Life changes when Ethan’s dad comes home with a box that he found. It contains two glass dragons. Ethan’s dad hopes they will entertain his son. Ethan does not think much of this gift until he picks one of the dragons up and is transported to a magical land called Steorra. He gets the opportunity to ride on a dragon, meet a talking penguin, and envision a sky filled with stars.

When Ethan’s neighbor, Amelia, comes to visit, she picks up the orange dragon. They are both transported to Steorra where more adventures and new characters await them. Amelia encourages Ethan to be more outgoing. The book ends with the promise of many more adventures.

I would classify this book as a beginning chapter book. It contains just over one hundred pages filled with black and white illustrations. It is also a good choice for reluctant readers or adults seeking a fun read-aloud that can be utilized as a serial bedtime story for younger children.

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#HOW TO FOSTER LEADERSHIP SKILLS IN CHILDREN – #2 – SET AN EXAMPLE

Parents and teachers want children to be independent thinkers. They encourage children to develop their own opinions and have the courage to stand up for them. Whether you are working with children who are yours or you’re a caretaker for someone else’s children, learning how to lead them effectively is important. You may want to lead your kids to practice a healthy lifestyle, develop better communication skills, or something else. In any case, good leadership is a way to reach your goals with the children in your care.

How do you become a good leader for kids? It can be hard to know if you’re not used to it, or if you didn’t have strong leaders when you were a child. Here are some tips.

Set an Example

You’ve probably heard “lead by example,” but that means more than just doing something and hoping your kids will notice and imitate your behavior. It also means being purposeful in setting an example, and you’ll need to stop practicing certain behaviors and pay attention to what you say.

For instance, if you want your children to be patient with others – an important leadership attribute – then take care that you’re patient with them. If you want your children to be able to make decisions like a leader, then make sure you’re not making all of their decisions for them. Don’t be a helicopter parent. Permit your children to make mistakes and learn from them. To lead by example, you need to think about more than just living out healthy, positive lifestyle choices (although that’s important, too). It’s also important to set an example of how to treat others.

Include Them

Whether you are a teacher or a parent, including the children in your care is important to instill leadership. How do you include them? First, let them help. In the classroom, this might be a simple task like collecting papers and passing out papers. Students might be allowed to write an assignment on the board for the teacher. At home, let your children be a part of your daily routines, helping you wash the car and clean the house. After all, these are life skills, and those are the building blocks for good leadership.

Delegate

Good leaders know how to delegate responsibilities and tasks. In your home or classroom, give kids many different responsibilities. You can set things up so that the children in your care have a job to complete, and they have to delegate tasks to others to finish it. A different approach could be to simply explain the task, and give a job to each child to get it done. They will see the value of delegating. Perhaps, you might may explain that many jobs cannot be completed by one person without help from others. Each child participating will still have the satisfaction of helping to get something done.

Allow Them to Help Others

Wherever you can, let your kids help each other without being bossy or bullying. In fact, being bossy is not a good leadership skill. This is important to emphasize when you are working with children in different age groups. Teach them how to help others in an appropriate way, and then set up a scenario where that help can happen. When older siblings learn how to mentor rather than supervise a younger sibling, they learn how to transfer this skill from the family to the outside world. This method works in the classroom or at home with friends and/or siblings.

To Sum Up

Children are like sponges. They soak up what they see and hear in the world around them. Adults are their first role models. Parents, teachers, and caretakers set the example for the youth who will become tomorrow’s future. We will reap what we sow.

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