Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts

Maybe It's a Sign -- New Middle Grades Novel Review


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The lunar new year began last week. In the Chinese zodiac it is the year of the dragon. With the celebration of the lunar new year there are many different superstitions that people of different cultures hold. I shared some fun facts a few years ago about it in particular in the Chinese culture. Today I am sharing a book about a Chinese American girl who is dealing with the loss of her very superstitious father as well as being in middle school. The book is Maybe It's a Sign by E.L. Shen. Lunar new year seems like the perfect time to share this book. It is recommended for ages 10 to 14.

Coretta: The Autobiography of Mrs. Coretta Scott King -- written for kids


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

February is Black History Month. It is a month where everyone focuses on Black history as part of the United States history since our society tends to focus on white male history most of the time. It saddens me that we need these cultural history months as every day we should be focusing on history of different cultures that have helped build our country, but alas that is not the case. Having the cultural months ensures that schools focus on the history that is not always focused on during the entire year. Today I am sharing a new book that is perfect for celebrating Black History Month with lower elementary aged students. It is Coretta: The Autobiography of Mrs. Coretta Scott King by Coretta Scott King and the Reverend Dr. Barbara Reynolds and illustrated by Ekua Holmes. It is recommended for ages 4 to 8.

Coretta's Journey: The Life and Times of Coretta Scott King -- Book Review


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Do you get Martin Luther King, Jr. Day off? I am guessing your kids do. Do you know it is the first national holiday for a person that is not a president or Christopher Columbus? We celebrate it in thanks to the work Coretta Scott King did to make it a holiday to honor her husband. Come learn about the life and times of Coretta in today's book. It is Coretta's Journey: The Life and Times of Coretta Scott King by Alice Faye Duncan and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. This beautiful picture book biography is recommended for ages 7 to 10.

The Body on the Beach -- Book Review & Giveaway


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I am working with The Children's Book Review and Chris Wieland to bring you this post and giveaway.

One of my all-time favorite genres for books is a mystery. I love Mary Higgins Clark novels!! I couldn't wait to get my hands on them. I have explored many different mystery authors and really just love them all. Today I get to share a middle school mystery novel with you, and it is amazing!! The book is The Body on the Beach by Chris Wieland. It is recommended for ages 9 and up. 

Dare to Question -- Book Review & Giveaway


Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and a small stipend. I am working with The Children's Book Review and Jamine Stirling to share this book with you and offer the giveaway.

When you think of the Women's Suffrage Movement in the United States, who do you think of? I am sure names like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton come to mind. Have you heard of Carrie Chapman Catt? It is because of her questions and thinking that we finally got the vote. Today I get to share a new picture book with you about her and her role as a suffragist. The book is Dare to Question: Carrie Chapman Catt's Voice for the Vote by Jasmine A. Stirling and illustrated by Udayana Lugo. It is recommended for ages 5 and up. There is also a giveaway at the end of this post!

Barbie Movie and a Barbie Birthday Cake


Have you seen the Barbie Movie yet? For my birthday this year, Hazel and I went to a matinee. I also decided to try to make a Barbie cake for myself. It is hard to hear some of the criticism of the movie from people who refuse to see it. For example, Rex Huppke's column in USA Today shares many of the things said about the movie. Now being a liberal and having many liberal friends, I have many friends who have different opinions. But I am going to begin by sharing a bit of my own background.

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2024 -- Review & Giveaway

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

When Hazel was young, she always loved flipping through the National Geographic Kids Almanac. When we saw it at the bookstore, she would ask me to get one for her. I was lucky enough to get several to review in years past. Today I get to share with you the newest edition--National Geographic Kids Almanac 2024. It is recommended for ages 8 to 12. I know I shared it with Hazel when she was younger. We would look at it together and I would read it to her. And I also have a link for a giveaway of three copies!! Enter and you may be one of the lucky winners!!

About the New York Times Best-Selling National Geographic Kids Almanac 2024:

The New York Times best-selling Almanac is packed with incredible photos, tons of fun facts, National Geographic exclusives, games, activities, and fascinating features about animals, science, nature, technology, and more.

This new edition features: 

  • EXCLUSIVE National Geographic Explorer interviews and features
  • EXCLUSIVE Interactive Almanac Challenge 2024, plus the results of the Almanac Challenge 2023
  • BONUS SECTION of sidesplitting jokes and riddles
  • NEW fun-tastic things to see and do in 2024
  • NEW cutest animal superlatives and animal rescue stories
  • NEW science and dinosaur discoveries
  • NEW fun games, quizzes, and activities
  • NEW weird and wacky places around the world
  • NEW experiments to do, places to explore, and ways to change the world
  • UPDATED reference material, including fast facts and maps of every country

Check out for more information and to take the 2024 Almanac Challange, Elephant-Stagram!

Whether you’re looking for homework help, want to learn more about another country, or just need a cute animal fix, the National Geographic Kids Almanac 2024 has you covered!

From Me:

As I mentioned in the introduction, this was one of Hazel's favorites. It is packed full with fun information, riddles, jokes, fun facts, games and more. The topics are all over the place from animals (like the elephants that are part of this year's challenge) and the pages about flamingos and so many others. It also has animals in the news like the ones rescued from the war and more. The book also includes all you ever wanted to know about plastics and the need to reduce our usage of them. There is information about space and Earth as well as wonders of the world, history, geography, culture and science and technology. It is full of photographs galore as well as tidbits that are just fun!

While I was flipping through, I tried to get Hazel to say some of the tongue twisters and then asked her some of the riddles. She claimed I was being annoying (typical teenager mode) until she saw the "Stump Your Parents" section. She took over and quizzed me. Then I found the other quiz and asked her. We had a lovely time laughing and teasing each other over the facts. 

What I love about this book is it is fun and informational. It is perfect for checking out with an adult or to look up something for school. There are so many different topics and lots of ideas and actions to take to make the world a better place. It is such a great book to inspire kids to learn about things they love even if they haven't heard of them yet. I love how it has information about the dinosaurs to the latest technology. There is truly something for everyone and more! I hope you will check it out!


Three (3) winners will receive a copy of this ultimate summertime boredom buster! Good luck!! The rafflecopter will be live from 12:01am ET 7/24 to 11:59pm ET 8/11. US/Canada.

World's Worst Time Machine


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Today I am sharing a new middle grades novel that is perfect for your reluctant readers and anyone who likes a bit of adventure. The book is a mix of sci fi and history and lots of humor. The book is World's Worst Time Machine by Dustin Brady. It is recommended for ages 7 through 11.

We Deserve Monuments -- New YA Novel


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Today I am sharing an amazing new young adult book. Although it is fiction, it is perfect for showing strong women, gay rights as well as civil rights (and the racism that once plagued the South). The book is We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds.

History Comics: Rosa Parks & Claudette Colvin -- Middle Grades Graphic Novel


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

As March draws to a close, I want to continue sharing resources for Women's History Month. Today's book is perfect for Women's History Month or Black History Month and of course for any day as it is a history book! The book is a historical graphic novel for middle grades. It is part of the History Comics Series. It is Rosa Parks & Claudette Colvin by Tracey Baptiste and Shauna J. Grant. It is recommended for ages 8 to 12.

My Selma -- Review of New Middle Grades Book About Growing Up in Selma During the Civil Rights Movement


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Today I am sharing a book I had hoped to finish and share during Black History Month. Unfortunately the last couple of weeks (since I have had the book) have been crazy at school and left me exhausted when I got home so I didn't get it finished until today. But what a great book!! The book is My Selma by Willie Mae Brown. It is suggested for ages 10 to 14. 

Until Someone Listens -- New Picture Book Review


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

It is hard to believe that Hispanic Heritage Month ends this week. I am so behind the ball these days. Getting used to working full time, having older parents and getting sick, are not giving me the time to write as much as I would like. I have two books I want to share for Hispanic Heritage Month and today I will share the picture book. It is Until Someone Listens by Estela Juarez with Lissette Norman and illustrated by Teresa Martinez. It is recommended for ages 4 to 8 and is also available in Spanish

Ultimate Food Atlas -- Explore the World through Food with This Book


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

When Hazel was younger, we loved exploring the world and participated in a blog group celebrating food from around the world. We did the series Around the World in 12 Dishes. I miss it sometimes because it got us exploring different dishes. Some we loved and others not so much. Today I get to share a book that lets you explore the world through food so basically our series in one book sort of. The book is Ultimate Food Atlas: Maps, Games, and Recipes for Hours of Delicious Fun by Nancy Castaldo and Christy Mihaly. It is from National Geographic Kids and is recommended for ages 8 to 12 but could work with younger kids with adult help.

Roe vs. Wade Overturned--why it matters to all Americans


Normally I try to stay away from politics here and in my life. I am a liberal married to a conservative and I have to say since 2016 our marriage has been tough. I only have a few things I truly care about when it comes to politics. I truly believe and will fight for equal rights for all. Having been a woman in a male dominated subject I have experienced discrimination firsthand. Being a woman in America is tough. I truly believe we all have a #metoo story. But when a white man who talks derogatory about women and people of other races was elected President, the country was torn, and the truth is I am not sure it can recover. The man did not want only to be President, he wanted to be ruler of the world and he is still pushing his agenda. If you don't know what I'm talking about I highly suggest you watch the January 6th Hearings and go back and watch all of them. The election of 2020 was tough and made worse by many things, but the truth is on October 27, 2020, as a liberal woman I told my conservative husband, congratulations your side has won. Of course, my husband does not agree with me. He truly believed for quite a while that the election was stolen. He no longer believes that. But on that day, I knew what our future held. I knew yesterday would happen. I was told by many that there was no way they would touch Roe vs. Wade. They were very wrong, and I truly believe they will regret ever voting for the man who wants to rule the world. 

The unthinkable happened. Yesterday the stacked Supreme Court overturned a law. Not any law but a law the Supreme Court put in place in 1972. A law women fought for and a law women will fight for once again. Now no matter where you stand on abortion it does not matter. No one has won by this overturned law. Personally, I realize that by outlawing any medical procedure that can save a life (yes, abortions can save a mother's life), the Supreme Court has now made it so private decisions between a person and their doctor may no longer remain private. Yes, the privacy of every American can now be brought to the government to decide. You can no longer expect the right to privacy with your health matters. Because if someone does not agree with your decision, they can now use the precedence of this overturning of a LAW to make your decision one that should be decided by the government. 

Now I have read many things about pro-life people being about the babies. However, let us be honest here--the abortion issue is NOT about the babies for the government. If it was about the babies then pre- and post-natal care would be free, delivering a baby would be free, meeting with a lactation specialist would be free, there would be at least a year of paid parental leave for both parents, there would be free preschool. The list can go on. There also would not be the misses by overworked social workers for the foster care program because each foster child would have their own social worker, or each social worker would only be in charge of a very small number of kids. No, by overturning Roe vs. Wade the Supreme Court has put it back to the states to determine whether a woman can have an abortion. Now let's just remember gun control is also controlled by the state governments. The states have not been doing a great job keeping kids alive when it comes to guns. We have decades of mass shootings happening at schools to show us this. The states that are making abortion illegal are taking back control over women. Honestly if you are female and live in one of these states, I hope you vote out the awful, sexist politicians and if you can't move!! The white man is afraid. They are afraid of the people of color asking for more rights. They are afraid of the women asking for rights. They are afraid they are going to lose their power as white men. And the truth is they are and should. White men should not be treated any differently than any other person. Most white men do NOT realize they are, but they are. 

When Texas passed its new abortion law, doctors had to turn women away from care. These women were losing their babies, but the doctors could not (and still cannot) help the women get through the difficulties until the women's bodies are already miscarrying the babies. Now let's be honest women can travel to another state for the abortion. However, the woman needs money to travel and has to be healthy enough to travel!! Everyone has heard the horrible stories about late term abortions. But let's be honest, most late term abortions are not because the woman has decided she doesn't want the baby. Most are due to a health issue for either the mother or the baby. Now the states that are making abortions illegal are making it illegal to help these mothers live and survive a bad pregnancy. Many of these women already have their nurseries set up and are picking out names for the baby. They do NOT want their babies to die. They are morning their children and their bodies are suffering in ways that doctors can help ease, but they are not allowed to in some states.  This is what making abortions illegal. 

Making abortions illegal will not stop abortions. They will still happen whether the woman travels or has an illegal one. Have you heard the stories of the illegal abortions? Perhaps you have read about Margaret Sanger? If not you should. Years ago I shared the book, She Takes a Standby Michael Elsohn Ross. It shares the story of Margaret Sanger and her fight to educate women about contraception and abortion. The illegal abortions kill more because not only the baby dies but often the mother does or she loses her ability to have future children. This is what overturning Roe vs. Wade will do. 

Overturning Roe vs. Wade is not about the babies. It is about white men trying to hold onto power. They realize in our melting pot of a country the white men are losing control. They are not willing to give it up, but they seem to forget that women are the backbone of the country. We are the mothers, teachers and more. Women need to stand up and take back our power. This is far from over. The war has begun again.

Oh, and for those celebrating the overturn please note that this Supreme Court has set precedent for laws to be overturned whenever the court sways in one way. Today our court is conservative, but this conservative court just came in and overturned a 50-year-old law. This means no law is safe. It is now precedent for the change of court to get rid of laws they don't like. Since three of the six justices that overturned this law were put there by a president who wants to rule the world, I truly hope everyone in the country realizes what a scary place America is now. 

Please make sure you vote! Vote in every election and primary. Make sure you know where the person you are voting for truly stands. Do NOT let these white men maintain the power. If we cannot vote them out we will have to get more drastic and I'm not ready to stop taking care of my family but if we cannot vote them out women will have to take a stand and show these backwards men who really has power.

Louisa June and the Nazis in the Waves -- middle grades novel that shares a story about the homefront during World War II


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

What have you learned about World War II? I know we all have heard about Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima. We all know about the concentration camps and the evil that happened in them. You may have heard about the Japanese internment camps here in America. Over the years I have shared many books for different ages about World War II as well as posts about heroes of the time. However, I personally had not heard about the U-boats that threatened the East coast during the war. Today I am sharing a middle grades novel that shares a story based on some of the events on the East coast during World War II. The book is Louisa Jane and the Nazis in the Waves by L.M. Elliott. It goes beyond just sharing about the war. This book also includes mental health issues, family, and grief.

The Juneteenth Story and Fun Facts about Juneteenth


Disclosure: I was given a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Do you know what Juneteenth is? Do you know why it is a holiday? Do you know how it is celebrated or when? Today I am sharing a new book that answers these questions and more. And I'm going to share some fun facts about Juneteenth too. We will start with the fun facts! On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger announced in Galveston, Texas that the slaves were free by order of the President of the United States. The next year the first Juneteenth was celebrated.

Awashonks -- Chief Leader of Sakonnet Tribe


It is hard to believe that March is almost over so today will be our last edition of our Women's History Month series for this year. Today I am going to feature a Native American leader that goes back to colonial time. Her name is Awashonks. This was her name when she became leader, but we do not know what her name was before that. Awashonks means "she who is queen." We do not know much about her life prior to 1671. It is estimated that she was born in 1640 and other records say she was born in 1620 after the Mayflower landed in Plymouth. She was the daughter of Corbitant, the sachem in 1620. Her name however appears in the records more than any other indigenous female. 

New Picture Books about Amazing Women


Disclosure: I was sent copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I love Women's History Month because it gives me time to focus on some amazing women and learn more about them. However, I also know there people out there that do not have the time to research these women, and sometimes you just want a book to read that will help celebrate the month. Today I get to share three picture books about three amazing women that will be instant role models for children. The women are Kip Tiernan, Betrice Shilling and Daphne Caruana Galizia. Come learn about these books and a bit about the women. I will share some ideas of ways to expand these on these books as well. We will start with Kip Tiernan. The book is called Sanctuary: Kip Tiernan and Rosie's Place, the Nation's First Shelter for Women by Christine McDonnell and illustrated by Victoria Tentler-Krylov. It is recommended for ages 7 to 10. 

Susanna Madora "Dora" Salter -- the World's First Female Mayor


Today we continue our celebration of Women's History Month with a look at the world's first female mayor or mayoress. Her name is Susanna Madora Salter. Her name was put on the ballot by some men trying to shut down the women's suffrage movement, but it backfired. Come learn about this amazing woman!

Mary Edmonia (Wildfire) Lewis -- the First Person of Color to Be a Famous Sculptor


Today we continue our celebration of Women's History Month by learning about the first person of color who became famous as a sculptor. Besides being a famous artist, she also had a very interesting life story and background. Throughout her life she dealt with racism and sexism. She was orphaned at a young age. She was biracial--Black and Native American. Her name is Edmonia Lewis or Mary Edmonia Lewis or Wildfire.