Sunday, October 28, 2012


Stranded by Anne Bishop, Anthony Francis, James Alan Gardner
Belle Bridge Books, 8/24/2012
Paperback, 210 pages
ISBN-13: 9781611941661 

Three Great Authors-Three Great Science Fiction Stories
A Strand In the Web
New York Times Bestselling Fantasy Author Anne Bishop makes her U.S. debut in Science Fiction with this engaging futuristic novella. The Restorers travel the universe fulfilling a purpose handed down through the generations. They live and die aboard city-ships, never knowing the worlds they create and save. What begins as a disastrous training exercise in creating and balancing ecosystems becomes an unexpected fight for survival. The only hope may be the secret project of an untried Restorer team.
A Host Of Leeches
Award winning author James Alan Gardner pens a wonderfully imaginative tale in which a young woman wakes to find herself the sole human on an orbiting, mechanical space station. To find a way home, she must navigate the dangerous politics of war between opposing robot leaders.
Popular urban fantasy writer Anthony Francis (Dakota Frost, Skindancer series) explores a clash of ethics and survival when a young, genetically engineered centauress from the ultra-advanced Alliance lays claim to a rare, strategic garden planet, only to find herself captured by a band of rag-tag Frontier refugees who've crashed their vintage ship on her unexpectedly hostile world.

My Thoughts:
Stranded by Anne Bishop, Anthony Francis, James Alan Gardner features three science fiction novellas that share "stranded" as a common theme.
All of the stories feature young protagonists so this collection could easily be classified as YA.

In "A Host Of Leeches" by James Alan Gardner Alyssa is a young woman who wakes up, alone, after suffering from some sort of plague. She discovers she has been left on a space station and that all the other infected humans on the station are frozen. The station was originally set up for human habitation but is now only inhabited by war robots, who have been decommissioned to the space station. Alyssa is unexpectedly thrust into a conflict between two opposing robot leaders. I enjoyed this story the most and would very highly recommend it.
In "A Strand In the Web" by Anne Bishop, Willow is a restorer in training on an aging ship. She is learning to create ecosystems with balance on planets across the solar system. Willow is assigned trees as her specialty in her training team. When two members of her team sabotage the groups efforts on their project, jeopardizing the future for everyone, Willow takes a daring leap of faith and applies to be the sole restorer of a nearby island. Surprisingly, she is granted permission to create a balanced ecosystem for the island and calls upon a classmate, Stev, to assist her. I enjoyed this heartfelt story with a hopeful ending. I also enjoyed this story a lot and would very highly recommend it.
"Stranded" by Anthony Francis involves a genetically engineered Centauress from the advanced Alliance, traveling to a planet she wants to colonize - and to escape her accomplished grandmother's sphere of influence. She arrives only to have a group of feral children, who have broken into bands of boys versus girls, crash their spaceship on "her" planet. A conflict erupts as a struggle for power plays out between all the juveniles. This was the least successful story in the collection for me, but I would still recommend it.
Verdict: highly recommended as a collection
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Belle Bridge Books and Netgalley for review purposes.


"A Host of Leeches" James Alan Gardner Author’s Note:
If you were invited to write a science fiction story about someone getting “stranded,” I’ll bet your first thought would be, “Okay, somebody gets stranded on an alien planet.” Then, if you’re like me, you’d think, “So how do I do the opposite?” What’s the opposite of being stranded on a planet? Being stranded off a planet. I pictured a girl who wakes up all alone in a spaceship. That’s a good place to begin, but she needed characters to interact with. The only problem was that if she met other humans, she wouldn’t be alone anymore. What could she meet instead of humans? Robots. Or aliens. Or both. Mix together The Omega Man, The Wizard of Oz, and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slapstick or Lonesome No More!, and it all makes perfect sense. Location 24-30
She woke and heard silence for the first time in her life. No music. No voices. Not even the hum of machinery or the of distant traffic. When she breathed, she could hear air going in and out of her nose. She could even hear the slow beat of her heart. She was in a bed—she could feel that much—but the room was as black as a blindfold. “Balla?” she whispered. No answer. “Balla?” Her voice cracked as she tried to speak as if she hadn’t talked in a long, long time. Her throat was gummed with mucus. “Balla!” This time she managed a hoarse shout. The name echoed faintly, then the silence returned. It scared her. She’d never before been this alone. She sat up and brushed her left fingers across her right forearm, where Balla should have been. She felt her own bare skin, and the small stent-hole where Balla was supposed to jack into her bloodstream. The hole was plugged with a little plastic cap. Location 31-37; "A Host of Leeches" opening 
"A Strand in the Web" Anne Bishop Author’s Note:
 Many years ago, three things happened around the same time. I read a quote by Chief Seattle about humankind being one strand in the web of life. I was playing a game called Sim Park and not having much luck keeping my ecosystems balanced. And I saw a bumper sticker that said, “One Earth, One Chance.” I wondered what would happen if you could have a second chance. That wondering eventually became “A Strand in the Web.”
“Oh, yuckit,” Zerx said as she looked at the cup in her hand and made squinchy faces. “I asked for it hot, and this is barely even warm!” Location 883-888, opening "A Strand in the Web"  (More at

You couldn’t apply for a Restorer’s team until you proved you could work in real time and maintain Balance in your part of the project. So, we had waited and studied and done the computer simulations and watched our simulated worlds crumble into ecological disaster—much like the worlds the Restorers committed themselves to rebuilding. Now each team had part of a large island. Each part had a strong force field around it to prevent any accidents or disasters from going beyond the team’s designated area. Now we were working in real time. We couldn’t just delete plants and animals to make it more convenient when something got out of hand because we were given an allotment from the huge, honeycombed chambers holding the genetic material for billions of species from all over the galaxy. That allotment determined how many of each species we could deposit at our site. Now, every life counted—not just for our own final scores in the project, but for the well-being of the planet. I was assigned the trees for this project, which pleased me very much because my name is Willow. Location 908-915 

"Stranded" Anthony Francis Author’s Note:
Almost a decade ago, I was working on a space opera starring a genetically engineered centauress from a supercivilization with all the toys. Wondering what her grandchildren would be like, I sketched a young centauress crossing a field of wheat towards impossible mountains, then drew her brother, a pudgier centaur with a straw hat reading a map of the universe … and carrying a staff that could take him anywhere. Almost a decade later, my editor Debra asked me for a science fiction story about young adults finding their way. I gave that young girl her brother’s staff and her grandmother’s morals, imagined what would happen if she met a bunch of refugee children who were every bit as good as her in their hearts but who didn’t quite have it all together, and made them all collide on that field of wheat before those impossible mountains. The result is “Stranded.”
—Dr. Anthony G. Francis, Jr. Stranded Sirius flinched as sizzling grey bullets tumbled around him in zero-gee. The grey dented veligen pellets rattled through the cramped innards of Independence’s life support plant, stinging his nose with the scent of bitter almonds. His hands strained at the yellow-striped master fuse. The girls shouted. They fired their guns again. More bullets twanged around him, ricocheting off the ancient, battered equipment, striking closer with every shot—but Sirius just gripped the hot, humming tube harder, braced both booted feet, and pulled. Location 1663-1674, opening  "Stranded"
“No. Don’t waste a second of your life hurting yourself just because someone else ‘should’ do something. Accept the situation and make the best of it—”  Location 2861-2862

Friday, October 26, 2012


Plague by H.W. "Buzz" Bernard
Bell Bridge Books, 9/4/2012
Trade Paperback, 250 pages
ISBN-13: 9781611941760

In only a matter of days, 9/11 and the destruction of the Twin Towers will be rivaled by a lone-wolf terrorist attack on America. Atlanta is targeted as Ground Zero for the most horrifying plague in modern times.
Deep in the secret recesses of a Cold War lab, the Russians created tons of deadly bio-weapons. Now, decades later, a protégé of that Russian research is about to release weaponized Ebola into the heart of the South's most iconic city: Atlanta, where the symbols of American "decadence" range from a happily diverse population to the Coca-Cola museum and CNN building.
A preliminary test of the horrifying virus demonstrates the unspeakable suffering of its victims-and alerts the Centers for Disease Control that a terrible pandemic is in the making. CDC Virologist Dr. Dwight Butler begins a frantic effort to track down the source before it's too late.
For new BioDawn CEO Richard Wainwright, it quickly becomes clear that the "accidental" plane crash that killed the pharmaceutical company's entire executive hierarchy may have some connection to the evolving threat. Suddenly Richard is being stalked by a hit woman. He and Butler join forces to find the lone terrorist at the center of a plan that could unleash a modern Black Plague on the western world.

My Thoughts:
In Plague by H.W. "Buzz" Bernard many people's worst fears may become a reality: a terrorist with weaponized Ebola virus is planning an attack on the USA. Before he instigates his attack, he has to test his developed strain of Ebola to see if it will work, meaning if it will kill. While Dr. Dwight Butler at the CDC is investigating a mysterious Ebola outbreak that began with two golfing buddies, Richard Wainwright, a pro tempore CEO at BioDawn, begins inspecting the books of his new company and finds no information on a suspicious research unit. As Richard's inquiry into the mysterious unit begins, he is threatened by an assassin to just let it go and simply collect his large paycheck. That is not something Richard can do and soon he is running from the police while trying to uncover the truth.
Long time readers of She Treads Softly know how much I love a good plague book, fiction or nonfiction. In fact I noticed that I had read most of the same books for pleasure that "Buzz" Bernard read while researching this novel. The idea of an Ebola out break is seriously terrible and weaponized Ebola would be everyone's worst nightmare. Some people might be repulsed by the descriptions of what Ebola actually does to a person. It is gruesome, which is what makes the idea of a terrorist attack using Ebola so frightening. Ebola is lethal and if released in the USA today it would certainly spread across the globe becoming a global pandemic of apocalyptic proportions.
Plague isn't a complicated novel with many plot lines. There is essentially one story but many details that need to be discovered if there is a hope of stopping the terrorist attack. I found Plague to be a well written novel  as well as extremely readable and entertaining. For me the main characters were well developed, especially for a action novel of this length.
In the end, for me, Plague is a great action/adventure thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed. I now need to get a copy of "Buzz" Bernard's first novel, Eyewall, because I love novels based on meteorological events too.
Very Highly Recommended for sheer escapism.
H.W. "Buzz" Bernard is an Air Force veteran and retired Weather Channel meteorologist. His 2010 hurricane thriller, Eyewall, became a number one bestseller in ebook.  
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Bell Bridge Books and Netgalley for review purposes.


In only a matter of days, 9/11 and the destruction of the Twin Towers will be rivaled by a lone-wolf terrorist attack on America. Atlanta is targeted as Ground Zero for the most horrifying plague in modern times. Alnour Barashi stared down from the window of the Sun Dial Restaurant, 73 floors up in the Westin Peachtree Plaza, at the weekend throngs below. At the crowds strolling through Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park, people perhaps headed for the CNN Center, the massive Georgia Aquarium or the World of Coca-Cola. Americans, a nation of infidels. He imagined all of them—men, women, children—writhing in agony. Dying. His determination and patience had been rewarded. The prize: a recombinant Ebola virus as easily transmittable as the common cold. It was something known in the field of microbiology as a chimera virus, named after the mythological fire-breathing creature with the head of a lion, body of a goat and tail of a snake. Location 2-8
David Gullison stared into the bathroom mirror, terrified by what he saw. Someone he didn’t know, someone he’d never known. There was something almost demonic about his image. His eyes swam in crimson. Dead rubies. His face, flushed and splotched with tiny scarlet blooms, gave the appearance of Edelweiss gone bad. He looked the caricature of an aged, hard-drinking Irishman. But he knew it wasn’t age or booze. It was much worse than that. The pain came again, squeezing his gut, wrapping around his chest. It had started suddenly a couple of days ago. At first it was just his back. “Too much golf,” his wife said. Location 51-56

He smiled, or at least imagined he did. His face, he knew, rarely betrayed emotion. Perhaps the world would never be aware of his genius, his accomplishment, his lethal bioengineered virus, but Allah would, and Allah would be pleased. Location 134-136

Now, Barashi mused, it would be America’s turn. Payment had come due. For its arrogance, for its imperialism, for its brutality. For its dismissal and humiliation of us. For its crusade to project its values onto our culture and our religion. But no more. Of that he was certain. He held the power: the Black Death of the 21st century.  Location 146-148
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Gullison, I’m truly sorry. We did everything we could, but he was just too far gone. We tried to defibrillate him, but there was zero response, absolutely nothing. It was as if his heart had disintegrated. All his other organs had failed, too, kidneys, liver, lungs, everything.” Dr. Willand shook his head, partly in sympathy, partly in disbelief. Location 191-193
Dwight Butler, a virologist in the Viral Special Pathogens Branch of the CDC sat sequestered in his office. He’d been called in on an emergency. Now he remained there late in the day because he was—he could think of no other way of putting it—scared sh*tless. Location 214-216
“I gather you’re about to lay some serious sh*t on me.”
“Think of it as an elephant dump.”
“You’d never pass up an opportunity like that, would you?”
“We’ve got Ebola in Atlanta.” Location 250-252
“The samples that came in from North Georgia Regional Hospital earlier today, they tested positive for Ebola.” Again silence.
Then, “Are you sh*tting me, Dwight? This isn’t one of your ‘let’s yank the boss’s chain’ little antics, is it?”
“I wish it were. I ran an ELISA on the blood sample. It came back positive for Ebola antigens—”
“It’s a nonspecific test, you know that. Ebola antibodies have shown up in the blood sera of Native Americans in Alaska, for Christ’s sake, people who’ve never been anywhere near Ebola or vice versa.”
“I did a PCR, too.”
“That’s what scared the crap out of me. The genetic structure looks a lot like Ebola-Zaire and a lot like Ebola-Reston. Zaire, as lethal as hell to humans; Reston, lethal only to monkeys.” Location 253-259

“It’s okay if you’re a little scared.” “It wasn’t for myself . . . what happened in there,” Dwight said, annoyed Zambit had brought it up. “I know. It’s for what it might mean for everyone. Let me say it again, it’s okay if you’re a little scared, because I’m petrified.” Dwight nodded, then in a whisper said, “And there before me was a pale horse.” Location 305-308
But he sensed something contradictory about her, something both alluring and forbidden. Maybe even dangerous. One of his strengths as a CEO was in evaluating people, and he instantly judged he should tread carefully around this woman. Location 342-344 
After several moments, she expelled a long breath and said, “I’m not sure the plane crash was an accident. Tony said there were some things going on at BioDawn . . .” Her words trailed off abruptly, but just as quickly she resumed speaking, moving the conversation in a different direction. “Could we meet for lunch, Mr. Wainwright? I’m uncomfortable talking about this on the phone. Maybe a little frightened, too. Look, when I tell you what I know, which may not be much, but probably enough to raise some eyebrows, I want you to see me, look me in the eye. So you’ll know you’re not dealing with some grief-stricken, whacko conspiracy theorist. Would that be okay?” Location 416-420

Remember the kind of death we’re talking about here. Not a gentle passing in the night. A descent into the Ninth Circle of Hell. ‘Abandon all hope, you who enter here.’” Location 1046-1047

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Blood Line

Blood Line by Lynda La Plante
HarperCollins, 10/23/2012
Trade Paperback, 480 pages
ISBN-13: 9780062134325
Anna Travis Series #7

Still reeling from the death of her fiancé, Detective Anna Travis has thrown herself into her new role as the chief inspector for London's murder squad. When Scotland Yard's missing persons bureau is unable to locate the son of a court employee, the superintendent—James Langton, Anna's former lover turned sometimes friend—urges her to take on the suspicious assignment.
But is this new investigation purely a missing persons case—or a full-blown murder inquiry? An ominous pool of blood with no locatable victim leads Anna on a desperate hunt for a man who has disappeared without a trace. With no body, and increasing pressure to make an arrest, Anna becomes obsessed with the smallest details of the case. Now, one man has vanished, a killer may be loose on the streets, and, as Langton looks on, Anna Travis may be losing control of the investigation—and of herself.

My Thoughts:
Blood Line by Lynda La Plante is the seventh novel in the Anna Travis series. In this case a missing person's report turns into a complicated murder investigation. DCI (Detective Chief Inspector ) Anna Travis heads the investigation.  Alan Rawlins, a mechanic, is missing. After reporting his son as a missing person, his father, an employee of the court system, prods Scotland Yard into looking at it as a murder investigation - but there is no body and little obvious evidence to support this supposition. Alan's fiancé, Tina Brooks, seems unconcerned that he is missing and may believe he ran off with a girlfriend. 
What began as a few inquiries into a missing persons case soon turns into a ever-expanding murder investigation as everything and everyone may not be exactly what they claim. Evidence pointing to foul play and Alan's secret life begin to add up. At the same time Anna is struggling with her personal emotions and trying to not allow them to get in the way of the investigation.
Obviously, Lynda La Plante is an accomplished writer of mysteries and especially police procedurals. Among her accomplishments, she writes the "Prime Suspect" series which stars Helen Mirren as DCI Jane Tennison and airs on the PBS program Mystery! in the U.S.A.) Blood Line follows suit as a methodical, step-by-step procedural, so at times it felt as if new evidence and information were slow to emerge. Even though you know right from the opening prologue that someone has died, you don't know for sure who it was, until the end.

This procedural novel published under the new HarperCollins Bourbon Street Books label, which is exciting. (Look for more upcoming mystery titles under this new imprint!)
 I enjoyed the slow-pace working through the investigation step by step, but I can see where some people might want a quicker pace. 
Highly Recommended - especially if you enjoy police procedurals

Lynda La Plante’s fourteen novels, including the Prime Suspect series, have all been international bestsellers. She is an honorary fellow of the British Film Institute and a member of the UK Crime Writers Awards Hall of Fame. She runs her own television production company and lives in London and East Hampton, New York.
Disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher and TLC for review purposes. 
The first blow to his head made his body lurch sideways, striking his face against the bedside cabinet. opening
The small dapper man in the navy pin-striped suit had been waiting in the Hounslow police station reception for over an hour. He had not complained, but sat patiently reading his newspaper. when Anna Travis eventually walked into the room he folded the paper. pg. 3
Anna found it strange that Tina was so unemotional - helpful, yes, but she showed no signs of distress. Everything was very mater-of-fact. She had left the room to return with Alan's address book and passed it to Anna.
"He didn't have that many close friends, and we didn't really socialise that much as we were saving up..." pg. 15
"It's all too neat," she mumbled to herself. She closed her eyes, picturing the flat. It was as if there was deliberately nothing out of place. If there had been some kind of altercation or an argument, something that had forced Alan Rawlins to take off, maybe all evidence of it had been tidied away. According to Tina nothing unusual had happened apart from Alan returning home from work that Monday morning with a migraine. pg. 22
"He has been missing for almost two months, isn't that conclusive proof that he is dead?" pg. 33
"He’s dead, isn’t he?" Paul said, staring straight ahead as Anna drank from her bottle before screwing the cap back on.
"We don’t know that. What we need to do is find someone who saw the other side of Alan Rawlins, because so far I think it’s all too good to be true. No one is that perfect. He will have secrets – maybe dark ones." pg. 54

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Not Famous Anymore

Not Famous Anymore by Michael Loyd Gray
HenschelHAUS Publishing, 2011
Trade Paperback, 236 pages
ISBN-13: 9781595981578

Elliott Adrian, a famous actor of questionable skill, drinks too much and works himself to the bottom in Hollywood and emerges from rehab wanting to put the American Dream into reverse: he embarks on a journey to not be famous anymore and works his way back to his hometown of tiny Argus, Illinois. After a short exile in Loreto, Mexico, Elliott’s road trip takes him from Arizona to Arkansas and finally Argus, where he discovers the girl he was briefly married to in high school has a daughter he has never met.

Along the way, Fox News offers a reward for anyone who can find Elliott and once in Argus he discovers he can’t quite escape fame and must learn to straddle both worlds – Hollywood as well as Argus. A story about the value of fame and also discovering true self.
My Thoughts:

In Not Famous Anymore by Michael Loyd Gray, we are introduced to famous actor Elliott Adrian, a handsome small town boy who has made it big as an action star. However, in the opening scene, we learn that as a child he accidentally cut off his brother’s arm with an old sword, and later that his parents also died when he was young.Currently, Elliot is a drunk and an obnoxious human being who has grown tired of his fame. He decides to go to rehab and then plans to live as a regular guy - well, a regular guy with enough money to travel. On his travels he ends up meeting old friends and making new friends.
Not Famous Anymore  asks "What is the price of fame and is it better to avoid it altogether?" The people Elliot meets in his travels help to show him where to find the true value in life. This is a short, easy to read novel.
Gray is a good writer. The novel is dialogue driven, and that is nicely handled, and he also had some pleasing descriptions in the narrative.  Elliot's character was very well developed. There were also a few flaws in the novel. For example first names were used a bit excessively in the dialogue. Also I get weary of harsh political statements being made in novels - in this case putting down Republicans. Goodness knows there are problems across the board with all political parties.
Michael Loyd Gray was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas,but grew up in Champaign, Illinois. He earned a MFA in English from Western Michigan University and taught at colleges and universities in upstate New York, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Texas. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a Journalism degree and was a newspaper staff writer in Arizona and Illinois for ten years, conducting the last interview with novelist Erskine Caldwell.

He is the winner of the 2005 Alligator Juniper Fiction Prize and the 2005 The Writers Place Award for Fiction. Gray’s novel Well Deserved won the 2008 Sol Books Prose Series Prize. His novel Not Famous Anymore was awarded a grant by the Elizabeth George Foundation and was published by HenschelHaus (2012). His novel December’s Children was a finalist for the 2006 Sol Books Prose Series Prize and was published by Tempest Books( 2012) as the young adult novel King Biscuit. He has written a sequel to Well Deserved called The Last Stop, and another novel called Blue Sparta. Recently he finished a novel titled Fast Eddie. A lifelong Chicago Bears and Rolling Stones fan, he lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and teaches as full-time online English faculty for South University, where he is one of the founding editors of the student literary journal Asynchronous and sponsor of an online readings series featuring fiction and poetry.

Micheal’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, August 27th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews - spotlight
Wednesday, August 28th: WV Sticher – spotlight
Thursday, August 29th: Never Too Fond of Books - spotlight
Friday, August 30th:  Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World - spotlight
Saturday, August 31st: The Book Bag – spotlight
Sunday, September 1st: Seaside Book Nook – spotlight
Monday, October 8th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Tuesday, October 9th: Man of La Book
Thursday, October 18th: she treads softly
Monday, October 22nd: Never Too Fond of Books
Tuesday, October 30th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

Friday, October 12, 2012


Frozen by Mary Casanova
University of Minnesota Press, 9/7/2012
Hardcover,  264 pages
ISBN-13: 9780816680566
Age range: 13 - 17 Years

Sixteen-year-old Sadie Rose hasn't said a word in eleven years-ever since the day she was found lying in a snowbank during a howling storm. Like her voice, her memories of her mother and what happened that night were frozen.

Set during the roaring 1920s in the beautiful, wild area on Rainy Lake where Minnesota meets Canada, Frozen tells the remarkable story of Sadie Rose, whose mother died under strange circumstances the same night that Sadie Rose was found, unable to speak, in a snowbank. Sadie Rose doesn't know her last name and has only fleeting memories of her mother-and the conflicting knowledge that her mother had worked in a brothel. Taken in as a foster child by a corrupt senator, Sadie Rose spends every summer along the shores of Rainy Lake, where her silence is both a prison and a sanctuary.
One day, Sadie Rose stumbles on a half dozen faded, scandalous photographs-pictures, she realizes, of her mother. They release a flood of puzzling memories, and these wisps of the past send her at last into the heart of her own life's great mystery: who was her mother, and how did she die? Why did her mother work in a brothel-did she have a choice? What really happened that night when a five-year-old girl was found shivering in a snowbank, her voice and identity abruptly shattered?
My Thoughts:

Frozen by Mary Casanova is set in northern Minnesota during the 1920's. Sixteen year old Sadie Rose has been unable to speak since her mother's death over 11 years ago. At that time, she was taken in and has been raised by the Worthington's. Mr. Worthington is now a senator and Sadie Rose feels the pressure placed on her to behave and act like a well-mannered daughter, although they never have adopted her. When Sadie Rose finds pictures of her mother it unlocks memories she didn't realize she had and helps Sadie find her voice again.
Frozen is a historical fiction YA novel. Casanova does a nice job with the setting and the incorporation of historical and social details of that time. Interestingly, the author, Mary Casanova, wrote the McKenna stories for the American Girls series. Obviously, this helps explain part of the care she has taken with  establishing the historical time and place.

The plot itself wobbles a bit. Amid a myriad of social issues, Sadie Rose finds her voice with surprising quickness and ease before she  asserts her individuality and sets off in a surprisingly bold, self-assured manner. Beyond Sadie Rose, all the other characters in the novel are not fully realized figures and they end up being reduced to caricatures.  
It is written to target 13-17 year old girls, although I would say it hits the mark closer to the younger 13 or 14 year old reader. This age group may accept and appreciate Sadie Rose's sudden transformation to a talkative, adventurous young woman more easily than a more sophisticated teen. Older teens and adults are surely going to feel as I did - Sadie Rose's abrupt transformation and the rapid recovery of her ability to speak, after not speaking for 11 years, was too sudden and came too easily to be believable.
This is a quick read and basically enjoyable. Recommended
 Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley for review purposes.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Married at Fourteen

Married at Fourteen by Lucille Lang Day
Heyday Books, 10/1/2012
Trade Paperback, 352
ISBN-13: 9781597141987

Lucille Lang Day got married at age 14, gave birth to her first child at 15, divorced her husband at 16, married him again at 17, and left him at 18 to go back to school. Today she is an award-winning poet and holds an M.A. in English and M.F.A. in creative writing from San Francisco State University, an M.A. in zoology and a Ph.D. in science and mathematics education from the University of California at Berkeley.
Her memoir, Married at Fourteen, is a story full of hope and encouragement for those who find themselves in challenging circumstances. Her successful quest for fulfillment in romance, marriage, motherhood, education, and career shows that we need not give up, no matter how far we have veered from our goals.

My Thoughts:
Married at Fourteen is an autobiography by Lucille Lang Day. It begins in her adolescent years. She writes: "Part I tells the story of my teen years, 1960 to 1967, from my adolescent point of view: I have tried to recapture what I was thinking and feeling then and reveal how, bit by bit, I matured. Part II consists of nine self-contained stories that focus mainly on events in my adult life (pg xi, Preface)."
Lucille seemed determined to be a "bad" girl. She set her path on this course even to the extent of being declared a juvenile delinquent by the state of California for being a runaway. Also, even at age 12, she was purposefully trying to find someone to marry when she was still a child herself. After she was a divorced mother at 16 she finally realized the importance of an education. Day earned a scholarship to Berkeley. I was looking forward to reading this autobiography because Day did go on to get a great education and overcame all her early adolescent trouble, but very little focus was given on that part of the story, on her determination to get a great education. (She now has an "M.A. in English and M.F.A. in creative writing from San Francisco State University, an M.A. in zoology and a Ph.D. in science and mathematics education".)
This is a brutally honest memoir. Day doesn't pull any punches and shows herself as an unlikable, insolent teen. Actually, everyone she describes was unlikable - which can be problematic for a reader who is hoping to stay engaged with the autobiography. I also became a bit tired of reading the minute details about every outfit she was wearing. I'll have to admit that while reading her account, I was becoming increasingly annoyed at her and her parents. My children are adults now, but I can assure you that they would not have been allowed to do the things Lucille was allowed to do, especially at the ages she was allowed to do them combined with the irresponsibility she was exhibiting. Her parents could have said no to her demands and could have limited her activities. (Off my soap box now.) 
Reading through her adolescent years became a struggle. Then, once I made it to Part II, I also wish she had shared some affirmation of personal growth away from her predisposition to define herself through men. Even though her current life is happy, I think sharing more about her continued education and accomplishments could have provided added inspiration to teenage mothers who feel they are in a hopeless situation.
For me this was a So-So memoir.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book for review purposes.

I started seriously looking for a husband when I was twelve. I’d had enough of being a child, enough of being told what to do. I was unhappy at school; I resented homework; I didn’t get along with my mother. Having seen movies like South Pacific, Sayonara, and A Summer Place, I believed in true love. More than anything, I wanted Rossano Brazzi, Marlon Brando, or Troy Donahue to come rescue me from my childhood. I wanted to be an adult, to be free, and to be loved.

The grown-ups always warned that getting pregnant as a teenager would ruin your life, but I didn’t believe them. I felt that in truth my life would be ruined if I had to live with my mother much longer: her nagging would drive me crazy. And my sanity would benefit even more if I could be freed from boring math drills and stuck-up classmates. A high school diploma? I didn’t need one. I already knew everything I’d ever need to know.

My thoughts on all these things began to crystallize in the summer of 1960, after my sixth-grade graduation from Egbert W. Beach School in Piedmont, California. That summer I went to Camp Augusta, where Piedmont Blue Birds and Campfire Girls rode horses, swam, wove key chains from long strips of colored plastic, and painted daisies on salt and pepper shakers for their mothers. On the bus, which took us from the Piedmont Community Center to the Sierra foothills, we sang “Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall” and “A Hot Time in the Old Town.” But my fun was to be short-lived. Singing on the bus, I had no inkling that once at Camp Augusta, I would spend my time figuring out how to avoid the broom treatment, and that having accomplished that, I would dive headlong into a turbulent adolescence. pg. 5
On September 8, three months before my fifteenth birthday and the week before I should have started ninth grade, the sky was a luminous blue as Mark and I entered the First Methodist Church in Reno. Our mothers asked the organist to play “I Love You Truly.”  I’d have picked “Love Me Tender,” but I wanted our mothers to be happy. Standing at the altar, I found it hard not to giggle. Mark looked so skinny in his rented navy blue suit! When I knelt, I thought my tight-fitting dress would rip, but it held. I stood again, and Mark put the ring on my finger. I knew that many people would call me a fool, but I was incredibly happy. I thought ours was a unique and wondrous passion. Antony and Cleopatra, Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda, step aside!  Mark was the prince and I was his princess, and our wedding would fulfill the promise of our extraordinary love.

Afterward we all went to Lake Tahoe for steak dinners at Harvey’s Wagon Wheel. Other than me, the women at the table came in matched pairs: Ellen and Judy, Mark’s mother and stepmother, were redheads with sarcastic senses of humor and the worldliness of women who worked outside the home; my mom and Aunt Ethel, badgering the waiter with endless complaints, were identical twins, just over five feet tall, who wore shortened size 14 dresses over their corsets and told and retold the joke about the woman who pulled a sugar cube from her brassiere, then asked her guests if they’d also like cream. Mark’s stepfather, Pete, a large man with a square jaw, ordered drink after drink and stood up to toast Mark and me each time a new one arrived. Mark’s dad and mine, masticating their steaks, said they felt lucky. At first I thought they were referring to Mark’s and my marriage, but as the conversation continued, I realized they were talking about blackjack.

We had a four-day honeymoon at Mark’s dad and Judy’s house in El Cerrito, just north of Berkeley, while the adults stayed at Tahoe to play keno, blackjack, and the slot machines.  pg. 79

Monday, October 8, 2012

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 10/9/2012
Hardcover, 384 pages
ISBN-13: 9780618969029

How a lone man’s epic obsession led to one of America’s greatest cultural treasures: Prizewinning writer Timothy Egan tells the riveting, cinematic story behind the most famous photographs in Native American history — and the driven, brilliant man who made them.
Edward Curtis was charismatic, handsome, a passionate mountaineer, and a famous photographer, the Annie Leibovitz of his time. He moved in rarefied circles, a friend to presidents, vaudeville stars, leading thinkers. And he was thirty-two years old in 1900 when he gave it all up to pursue his Great Idea: to capture on film the continent’s original inhabitants before the old ways disappeared.
An Indiana Jones with a camera, Curtis spent the next three decades traveling from the Havasupai at the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the Acoma on a high mesa in New Mexico to the Salish in the rugged Northwest rain forest, documenting the stories and rituals of more than eighty tribes. It took tremendous perseverance — ten years alone to persuade the Hopi to allow him into their Snake Dance ceremony. And the undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate. Eventually Curtis took more than 40,000 photographs, preserved 10,000 audio recordings, and is credited with making the first narrative documentary film. In the process, the charming rogue with the grade school education created the most definitive archive of the American Indian.
His most powerful backer was Theodore Roosevelt, and his patron was J. P. Morgan. Despite the friends in high places, he was always broke and often disparaged as an upstart in pursuit of an impossible dream. He completed his masterwork in 1930, when he published the last of the twenty volumes. A nation in the grips of the Depression ignored it. But today rare Curtis photogravures bring high prices at auction, and he is hailed as a visionary. In the end he fulfilled his promise: He made the Indians live forever.

My Thoughts:

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan is a biography of photographer Edward Curtis (1868–1952), who, after 1896, began to devote his life to photographing all of the Native American tribes, much to the detriment of his portrait photography studio and his marriage. Curtis felt that the Native American's way of life and perhaps the people themselves were heading toward extinction and he wanted to capture images of them in native garb and showcasing their way of life before that happened.

Backed by President Theodore Roosevelt, Curtis proposed a monumental project to  J.P. Morgan: financing the fieldwork needed to publish a 20 volume set of photographs of Native American tribes. He received Morgan's backing and financial support of the project, but in the negotiations he did not take any compensation for his time.

Curtis spent the next 30 years living with the tribes he was studying and photographing, mostly during the summer months. Then he would spend months trying to drum up support of his endeavor from other sources and trying to find supporters who would commit to buying volumes of his project before publication.

Curtis not only took over 40,000 photographs, but also made over 10,000 audio recording of languages and songs. While the final 20-volume set of The North American Indian  was published to critical acclaim, it left Curtis destitute. Eventually the estate of J.P. Morgan obtained all the rights to his photographs and plates and sold them for only $1000 during the depression. Today, Curtis's photographs of Native Americans are extremely valuable.

I really enjoyed Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher. It is a fascinating look at a man who had a vision and risked everything for it. While chronicling Curtis's life as of a man with a passionate vision, Egan also gives credit to others who helped Curtis fulfill his dream, often under dangerous conditions. Additionally, Egan includes numerous copies of Curtis's photographs in the text, as well as a list of sources, photo credits, and an index. All in all, Egan did a commendable job setting this biography in the historical time and place while detailing the events in Curtis's life. 

Very Highly Recommended - especially for those interested in Western history during the early 1900's and those interested in the history of photographers. 

TIMOTHY EGAN is a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and the author of six books, most recently The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America, a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the Washington State Book Award. His previous books include The Worst Hard Time, which won a National Book Award and was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice. He is an online op-ed columnist for the New York Times, writing his "Opinionator" feature once a week.He is a third-generation Westerner and lives in Seattle.

Disclosure: My advanced reading copy Kindle edition was courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley for review purposes.

First Picture: 1896
The last Indian of Seattle lived in a shack down among the greased piers and coal bunkers of the new city, on what was then called West Street, her hovel in the grip of Puget Sound, off plumb in a rise above the tidal flats. The cabin was two rooms, cloaked in a chipped jacket of clapboards, damp inside. Shantytown was the unofficial name for this part of the city, and if you wanted to dump a bucket of cooking oil or a rusted stove or a body, this was the place to do it. It smelled of viscera, sewage and raw industry, and only when a strong breeze huffed in from the Pacific did people onshore get a brief, briny reprieve from the residual odors of their labor.
   The city was named for the old woman’s father, though the founders had trouble pronouncing See-ahlsh, a kind of guttural grunt to the ears of the midwesterners freshly settled at the far edge of the continent. Nor could they fathom how to properly say Kick-is-om-lo, his daughter. So the seaport became Seattle, much more melodic, and the eccentric Indian woman was renamed Princess Angeline, the oldest and last surviving child of the chief of the Duwamish and Suquamish. Seattle died in 1866; had the residents of the village on Elliott Bay followed the custom of his people, they would have been forbidden to speak his name for at least a year after his death. As it was, his spirit was insulted hourly, at the least, on every day of that first year. “Princess” was used in condescension, mostly. How could this dirty, toothless wretch living amid the garbage be royalty? How could this tiny beggar in calico, bent by time, this clam digger who sold bivalves door to door, this laundress who scrubbed clothes on the rocks, be a princess?
   “The old crone” was a common term for Angeline.
   “Ragged remnant of royalty” was a more fanciful description. She was famous for her ugliness. Nearly blind, her eyes a quarter-rise slit without noticeable lashes. Said to have a single tooth, which she used to clamp a pipe. A face often compared to a washrag. The living mummy of Princess Angeline was a tourist draw, lured out for the amusement of visiting dignitaries. When she met Benjamin Harrison, the shaggy-bearded twenty-third president of the United States, during his 1891 trip to Puget Sound, the native extended a withered hand and shouted “Kla-how-ya,” a traditional greeting. Though she clearly knew many English phrases, she refused to speak the language of the new residents.
   “Nika halo cumtuv,” her contemporaries quoted her as saying. “I cannot understand.”
   Angeline was nearly alone in using words that had clung like angel hair to the forested hills above the bay for centuries. Lushootseed, the Coast Salish dialect, was her native tongue, once spoken by about eight thousand people who lived all around the inland sea, their hamlets holding to the higher ground near streams that delivered the tyee, also called the Chinook or king salmon, to the doorsteps of their big-boned timber lodges. “Angeline came to our house shortly before her death,” a granddaughter of one of the city’s founders remembered. “She sat on a stool and spoke in native tongue. We forgot her ugliness and her grumpiness and realized as never before the tragedy of her life and that of all Indians.”
   They could appreciate the tragedy, of course, in an abstract, vaguely sympathetic way, because they had no doubt that Indians would soon disappear from what would become the largest city on the continent named for a Native American. Well before the twentieth century dawned, there was a rush to the past tense in a country with plenty of real, live indigenous people in its midst. Angeline, by the terms of the Point Elliott Treaty of 1855, was not even allowed to reside in town; the pact said the Duwamish and Suquamish had to leave, get out of sight, move across the bay to a sliver of rocky ground set aside for the aborigines. The bands who had lived by the rivers that drained the Cascade Mountains gave up two million acres for a small cash settlement, one blanket and four and a half yards of cloth per person. Eleven years later, Seattle passed a law making it a crime for anyone to harbor an Indian within the city limits.
   Angeline ignored the treaty and the ordinance. She refused to move; she had no desire to live among the family clans and their feuds on the speck of reservation land that looked back at the rising sun. The Boston Men, as older Indians called the wave of Anglos from that distant port, allowed tiny Angeline to stay put — a free-to-roam sovereign outcast in the land of her ancestors. She was harmless, after all: a quaint, colorful connection to a vanquished past. Poor broken Angeline. Is she still here, in that dreadful shack? God, what a piteous sight.  opening

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear by Carrie Goldman
HarperCollins, 8/14/2012
Hardcover, 368 pages
ISBN-13: 9780062105073

Carrie Goldman became an unexpected voice for the antibullying movement after her blog post about her daughter Katie's bullying experience went viral and an online community of support generated international attention. In Bullied, Goldman brings together the expertise of leading authorities with the candid accounts of families dealing firsthand with peer victimization to present proven strategies and concrete tools for teaching children how to speak up and carry themselves with confidence; call each other out on cruelty; resolve conflict; cope with teasing, taunting, physical abuse, and cyberbullying; and be smart consumers of technology and media. As a mother, she calls on us all—families, schools, communities, retailers, celebrities, and media—to fiercely examine our own stereotypes and embrace our joint responsibility for creating a culture of acceptance and respect.
For parents, educators, and anyone still wrestling with past experiences of victimization and fear, Bullied is an eye-opening, prescriptive, and ultimately uplifting guide to raising diverse, empathetic, tolerant kids in a caring and safe world.
At least 25 percent of kids have been bullied online. One in five teens has been bullied at school. More than half of bullying behaviors will stop in less than ten seconds when another student intervenes.

My Thoughts:
I'm thrilled to be reviewing Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear by Carrie Goldman during anti-bullying week at the public schools, and specifically at my school to "my" kids.

In Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher, and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear author Carrie Goldman explains the impetus for her writing a book on bullying: "In November 2010, I wrote a [blog] post called 'Anti-Bullying Starts in the First Grade' for my blog, Portrait of an Adoption. I was concerned because my daughter, Katie, was upset about being teased for carrying a Star Wars water bottle. Apparently, Star Wars was only "for boys. (pg. xi) " Goldman's six year-old daughter Katie was being bullied for, among other things, her Star Wars backpack and water bottle.
In response to her post, the cyberspace community rose to Katie's defense in an overwhelming show of support for young girls who love Star Wars... and all other people who have been bullied for being different in one way or another. The outpouring of encouragement, as well as the numerous stories shared, spurred Goldman on to researching bullying. What she found is humbling and shows that, although some progress has been made, more work needs to be done. 
"We are closely tracking bullying and taking steps to reduce aggressive acts. We are counting the victims. A 2010 study by the National Center for Education Statistics found that 32 percent of students between the ages of twelve and eighteen reported being bullied within six months prior to being surveyed. Of the students surveyed, 62 percent reported having been bullied once or twice a year, 21 percent once or twice a month, 10 percent once or twice a week, and 7 percent reported being bullied every day. (pg. xi-xii)"
"Michael Thompson... reminded me that....'only about 15 percent of kids suffer trauma as a result of being bullied.' Yes, 15 percent is clearly the minority.... but in terms of sheer numbers, it still represents millions of traumatized children. For those children who do encounter significant, severe bullying, the damage is lasting and the implications for a normal social life are devastating. (pg. xii)"

"In analyzing Katie's story and that of other children and young adults like her, this book examines the roles that schools, families, communities, retailers, celebrities, and the media play in raising diverse, empathetic, tolerant kids. It draws on the expertise of kids, parents, anti-bullying consultants, authors, social workers, psychologists, teachers, and attorneys to evaluate which actions actually help prevent bullying and which are ineffective. (pg. xiv)"
Goldman identifies the high risk kids but she also goes beyond that to discuss how several specific societal attitudes and actions influence culture and can encourage bullying (such as social media, gender-specific marketing of toys, and the sexualization of children). While there is a lot of research into bullying, Goldman does a great job bringing many true stories and the documented facts from research together and presenting them in a factual accessible way and in a well organized format. She also discusses intervention and reconciliation, recognizing the warning signs of emotional distress, and techniques for dealing with bullies 
Goldman did a fantastic job. Bullied is accessible, interesting, and provides a wealth of information about bullying and prevention. The information is separated into three sections: Part One: Katie’s Story; Part Two: Kids at High Risk for Victimization; Part Three: Where Do We Go From Here? Prevention, Intervention, and Reconciliation. The chapter titles help highlight the scope of Goldman's research (see quotes below).  Additionally, it was thrilling for me to see a vast bibliography, numerous online resources, reading recommendations for children by age level, audiovisual resources by subject matter, and appendices on specific programs, and surveys, notes by chapter, and an index.

Now there were two minor examples that I wasn't completely onboard with Goldman's conclusions, but, as a whole, Bullied is an admirable, invaluable resource that will be beneficial to parents, educators, and everyone who has any contact with children.
This is truly Very Highly Recommended - one of the best nonfiction books I've read this year
Carrie Goldman writes about issues related to adoption and parenting on her blog for, the online community of the Chicago Tribune. Her posts are regularly featured by, and in 2010 her blog was voted to the number 6 spot in's Top 50 Mom Blogs. Goldman received her B.S. from Northwestern University and her M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management. She lives in Illinois with her husband and three young daughters, of whom Katie is the oldest.

Disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher and TLC for review purposes. 

Table of Contents
Foreword ix
Introduction xi
Part 1 Katie's Story
1 Anti-Bullying Starts in the First Grade 3
2 The Littlest Jedi 10
3 Our Local Community Response 19
Part 2 Kids at High Risk for Peer Victimization
4 From Geek Girls to Sluts: What Does It Mean to Be a Girl? 27
5 Princess Boys and Nonconforming Guys 40
6 Quirky Kids and Kids with Hidden Disabilities 51
7 Kids with Different Appearances or Physical Disabilities 61
8 Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, and Bisexual Students 72
9 Victims of Cyberbullying, Sexting, and Sexual Harassment 86
10 The Harmful Effects of Bullying on the Brain 103
Part 3 Where Do We Go from Here? Prevention, Intervention, and Reconciliation
11 Create a Home Environment That Produces Neither Bullies nor Victims 115
12 Set Out Family Guidelines for Responsible Uses of Technology, Media, and Music 131
13 Changing Our Cultural Attitudes Toward Aggression and Cruelty 157
14 Calling on Toy Retailers to Eliminate Gender-Based Marketing 168
15 Stop Marketing Makeup and Sexy Clothes to Children 179
16 Reassess the Role of Schools in Character Education 193
17 Social and Emotional Learning 205
18 Responding to the Bully 214
19 Responding to the Victim 222
20 Restorative Justice 233
21 Strategies That Ease the Negative Effects of Taunting 242
22 Creating Witnesses and Allies out of Bystanders 251
23 Cybersupporting Instead of Cyberbullying: A Real-Life Happy Ending 261
Conclusion 269
Acknowledgments 273
Bibliography 275
Online Resources 285
Reading Recommendations for Children 287
Audiovisual Resources 291
Appendix A Overview of Several Promising Research-Based Bullying-Prevention and Character-Education Programs 293
Appendix B Two Examples of Bullying Surveys 300
Appendix C Examples of Sexual Harassment Surveys 303
Notes 311
Index 327

Unsurprisingly, adding Respect to the core expectations for behavior at school is probably one of the reasons that bullying is uncommon there. pg. 23

But while it is true that any child can be singled out, there are certain groups of children who are at higher risk for peer victimization.
Who is at increased risk? The kids who are different - children who are heterosexual but challenge gender norms; children who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender; children who have different physical appearances; children who receive special education; children who qualify for free or reduced-cost lunch; children who practice a minority religion; children who have atypical family structures - these kids are more likely to draw unwanted negative attention. pg. 25

Children who have behavioral disorders and anger-management problems are particularly at risk for becoming bully victims, and they need multiple interventions. To compound the difficulties faced by these kids, teachers tens to discipline them for their bullying behaviors while blaming them when they are victimized. The children often have trouble advocating clearly for themselves, and life at school becomes fraught with anxiety and tension. pg. 60

Sometimes, teachers and coaches are even complicit in known bullying, because they don't want to get their start athlete suspended before a big game. pg. 90

[Anne Collier] pointed out to me that the context for cyberbullying is school - not Facebook, not the Internet. The drama starts at school, and the kids bring it to the computer. Cyberbullying adds another layer of intensity because of the instant mass distribution and the unknown audiences. pg. 91

[H]ow is bullying at all related to makeup? The connection goes through sexualization....
When mass retailers are marketing makeup to eight to twelve year-old girls, unhealthy sexualization is occurring. pg. 179-180

[T]he American Psychological Association's Sexualization of Girls... found that three of the most common mental health problems among girls - eating disorders, depression or depressed mood, and low self esteem - are linked to the sexualization of girls and women in media. pg. 186

Stan Davis cautioned, "The key for all of these is that they will not work as curricula unless they reflect the actual day-to-day behavior of teachers in taking incidents seriously, modeling positive behaviors, building positive norms and expectations, and reinforcing the need for positive action in the moment. Without those day-to-day interventions on a consistent basis, a once-weekly curriculum lesson will have no meaningful effect. pg. 201

In order to teach empathy, we need to allow children to learn how it feels to be different. pg. 211

Getting through life requires children and adults to manage social dynamics. Children with autism, ADD, ADHD, and other disorders need extensive assistance building their social skills. Some children do not have any diagnosed disorders, yet they still cannot gauge social situations well. In an ideal classroom, children who have trouble with social situations will be encouraged to develop their skills, and children who are socially adept will be encouraged to support and include others in a nonjudgmental way. pg. 223

A sympathetic ear seems to be the greatest source of comfort, and it is something we can teach or educators to provide in lieu of judgment. Sometimes, simply listening can be harder than it sounds. pg. 228

Carrie’s Tour Stops

Friday, September 7th: Moments of Exhilaration
Tuesday, September 18th: Voracious For Books
Wednesday, September 19th: The Girl Revolution
Thursday, September 20th: Surviving the Madness
Saturday, September 22nd: A Life Sustained
Monday, September 24th: Between the Covers
Tuesday, September 25th: Here’s To Not Catching Our Hair On Fire
Wednesday, September 26th: Library of Clean Reads
Thursday, September 27th: Misbehavin Librarian
Monday, October 1st: Total Fan Girl
Thursday, October 4th: she treads softly
Friday, October 12th: GeekMom (podcast)