Wednesday, February 15, 2017

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Kari Kampakis

 
 

 
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Title: Liked
Author: Kari Kampakis
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Books
Ages: Tweens & Teens



Synopsis: 

 
For girls growing up in a generation saturated with social media, getting enough "likes," comments, and online friends can become an unhealthy obsession.

With positive and powerful insights, Kari Kampakis encourages girls to apply God's timeless truths in the digital age. Diving deeply into topics like social media, friendship, identity, and faith. LIKED helps girls think through those questions that may stir wildly in their mind and heart.


Why this book might be for you: 

Look all around you. Young girls are being bombarded with social messages to conform to a certain image and that pressure to conform is starting as soon as elementary school. Scantily dressed celebrities entice them to question their identities at an earlier age and the internet with all it's social sites are sometimes pressuring them into questionable behavior.

So where do parents turn when they want to help their young daughters make informed decisions about the choices they make?

That's where author, Kari Kampakis, steps in. Whether Christian or a follower of another religion, there are still nuggets of wisdom to be found inside LIKED. Chapters cover topics such as confidence, kindness, character, humility, courage, and direction.

Fictional stories and real life experiences, as well as guided question prompts at the end of each chapter, help young ladies (and their parents) relate to the material provided while giving guidelines on living a life with no regrets.

The main message running through Ms. Kampakis' book is for readers to pursue more face to face relationships, enabling strong personal growth, and to use caution when engaging in online conversations. While targeting tween and teenage girls, the ideas found in LIKED can readily be applied to any child struggling with self image and how to make the right choices in an ever changing world of expectations.

Definitely worth a concerned parent's time to check it out.


Like-O-Meter Rating: 4 out of 5...think about it.

 


**Rating scale**
 
 5 out of 5...grab it!
 4 out of 5...think about it.
 3 out of 5...take it or leave it.
 2 out of 5...maybe not for you.
 1 out of 5...forget about it!
Image result for book look blogger





(Disclaimer:
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”)

Monday, February 13, 2017

TRYING TO FOCUS ON THE RIGHT THING...








To all my current and future #DCSPeeps (DECIDE, COMMIT, SUCCEED), welcome to my new series in my continuing effort to inspire, amuse, and entertain you! Each Monday I will select a new word to analyze how it might apply to our writing lives and also give you a peek into my childhood growing up in the swamps of southern Louisiana, so kick back, put your feet up, and check out my story about TODAY'S WORD:
 

FOCUS



One of my students started crying last week during class. She’s young and small and pretty much the slowest runner of the group. At the ripe old age of six, she felt like a complete failure, destined to never achieve her lofty goal of winning a race.



In the past I could have been that girl.



Looking in the mirror and seeing only a failure looking back. But if this publishing path has taught me nothing else so far,  it is to focus on the little accomplishments and hard fought battles earned along the way when self-doubt wants to crush your spirit.



We don’t live in a cookie-cutter world. We all began writing for different reasons. Oh, we all may want to write an award winning book, but the deeper reasons just might have something to do with a secret desire to share a private part of ourselves with others. To even change the world in some small way...



I told my young student that my nickname was Turtle because with my bad leg I couldn’t even think about running so that made her MY hero for her focus and willingness to at least stay in the game no matter the outcome.



Remember, my DCSPeeps, to focus on what you would like to accomplish today. Will it be to finish your latest manuscript? Will it possibly be adding to your growing agent list? Or will it simply be to look in the mirror and tell that person looking back at you that you are proud of them for staying on this publishing journey…even if they are a turtle like me.



Have an awesome day ladies because you deserve it!






Children's book author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, middle grade chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books. She is also a book reviewer for Harper Collins, and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, good stories, and an adoptive mom to 20-pound guard kitty in Knoxville, Tennesse

Thursday, February 9, 2017

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Tony DiTerlizzi

Image result for ted bytony diterlizzi



Title: Ted
Author/Illustrator: Tony DiTerlizzi
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Publishers
Ages: 4-8

Synopsis:

This is the story of a father and a son and a big, raspberry-colored, fun-loving, troublemaking best friend who brings them closer together.

Why you should read it:

Most children, at some point in their lives, discover a best friend to hang out with. I know I did. But I don't remember my friend being as creative or as special as one boy's new friend, Ted.

Author/Illustrator Tony Diterlizzi entices readers to join the adventure when a life size bunny/pig like creature stops by one day to play with a lonely little boy. Mr. Diterlizzi has captured the essence of youthful exuberance in Ted's facial expressions and I especially love the look on Ted's face when he is to trying to convince the boy to help him build an indoor swimming pool.


Nothing is impossible in Ted's world, but Dad is less than pleased with the outcome of their various adventures because he doesn't believe Ted is real.  It takes a scary turn of events to make the boy's father finally realize that his son's new friend is as real as he needs to be and can even help a father discover a secret from his own past.

A great addition to any home library!

Like-O-Meter Rating: 5 out of 5...grab it!

***Rating Scale***

5 out of 5...grab it!
4 out of 5...think about it.
3 out of 5...take or leave it.
2 out of 5...maybe not for you.
1 out of 5...forget about it!




Children's book author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, middle grade chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books. She is also a book reviewer for Harper Collins, and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, good stories, and an adoptive mom to 20-pound guard kitty in Knoxville, Tennesse

Monday, February 6, 2017

ENTERTAINING THE "TROOPS"...







To all my current and future #DCSPeeps (DECIDE, COMMIT, SUCCEED), welcome to my new series in my continuing effort to inspire, amuse, and entertain you! Each Monday I will select a new word to analyze how it might apply to our writing lives and also give you a peek into my childhood growing up in the swamps of southern Louisiana, so kick back, put your feet up, and check out my story about TODAY'S WORD:

ENTERTAINING

One of the houses I lived in before moving away from my hometown had a long sidewalk running from the front porch and splitting the front yard in two before reaching the street in front of our house. 

The front porch allowed my sister and I to imagine ourselves anywhere from living in a fancy mansion to crossing a vast desert on horseback to even entertaining the "troops" during some distant war.

We would crank up the transistor radio, grab our pretend mikes (mine would usually be an old hairbrush), and sashay down the steps to sing our hearts out for all those imaginary soldiers cheering for us as they sat on the green grass of our front yard. Sometimes, we would even put on a fashion show, gliding down that sidewalk like it was a Milan runway and I was the star of the show.

Even then I was making up stories to ENTERTAIN others.

Writers are the dreamers of dreams and teller of tales. We imagine those far off worlds and the people who inhabit them. Dancing with fairies and riding the stars, we will weave amazing stories for those who look to us to inspire, motivate, or ENTERTAIN them. And if we are lucky, something in our stories will touch them in some way that the gift of words we gave them will live in their hearts long after we have written them.
 
 


Children's book author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, middle grade chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books. She is also a book reviewer for Harper Collins, and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, good stories, and an adoptive mom to 20-pound guard kitty in Knoxville, Tennesse

Monday, January 30, 2017

EXCUSING MY WAY OUT OF WRITING...



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To all my current and future #DCSPeeps (DECIDE, COMMIT, SUCCEED), welcome to my new series in my continuing effort to inspire, amuse, and entertain you! Each Monday I will select a new word to analyze how it might apply to our writing lives and also give you a peek into my childhood growing up in the swamps of southern Louisiana, so kick back, put your feet up, and check out my story about TODAY'S WORD:


EXCUSES


We all make excuses from time to time in our lives...good reasons to hit the snooze button, a little white lie to get out of a social engagement, maybe even stories to tell the boss why you were late for work.


Most of the time it's harmless in the grand scheme of things and not a line drawn in the sand where stepping over to the dark side would actually lead to permanent damage.


My EXCUSE aha moment came when I was about 9 years old.


If you've read any of my DCSPeeps posts, you will already know I came from a dirt poor family where my mother struggled daily to put food on the table. This left no ability to splurge on those little luxuries other kids seemed to have free access to...like everyday candy.


Besides the holidays when I was fairly sure the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus would see to my sweet tooth,  I was haunted by images of my classmates who seemed to tease me with their daily indulgence in confectionary delights while I could only watch and drool.


But one Saturday I had an opportunity to change all that. I was sent to the grocery store to purchase cigarettes for my mother when I saw it.


Row after row of candies. Hershey's Kisses rubbed elbows with Mars bars and Zeros nudged out M & M's as they all tried to get my attention. I stood there for a moment, wishing with all my 9 year old heart that, for once, I had a nickel so I could buy some candy of my very own. That is when an EXCUSE floated by to land on my shoulder.


"There's so much candy that if I only take one piece, the store won't really miss it."


That EXCUSE kept playing over and over in my mind until it became a reality. That one piece of candy ended up in my coat pocket and I walked around the aisles of that store wondering if I was brave enough to walk out the door with it.


I was lucky that day.


The mind is a wonderful thing and mine decided the candy I tried to take with no intention of buying was not worth the guilty conscience of knowing I had stolen something (and the beating I would get if my mother ever found out), so I returned the candy to the shelf and left the store.


My mother never found out and for that my behind is eternally grateful!


The life of a writer can be full of EXCUSES:


"My writing will never get published so why not quit?"


"It's so hard to find an agent to represent me!"


"I have to catch up on some emails so I'll work on my story later."


Those EXCUSES hang out with us all the time, pretending to know what's good for us and sometimes even convincing us to give up on our heart's desires.


I say why not turn those EXCUSES into PROMISES?


"One day my stories WILL get published so I'm not going to quit now!"


"If I do my research and keep submitting the best work I know how to create, one day I WILL find the right agent for me!"


"I won't let ANYTHING get in the way of my writing each and every day!"


I grew up a little that day in the grocery store, and hopefully I will continue to grow as a writer...forging straight ahead on my publishing path...with no EXCUSES to stop me!


How about you? What EXCUSES do YOU use to slow you down on your own publishing path?










Children's book author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, middle grade chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books. She is also a book reviewer for Harper Collins, and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, good stories, and an adoptive mom to 20-pound guard kitty in Knoxville, Tennesse
 










Wednesday, January 25, 2017

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: AMY HEST




Image result for when jessie came across the sea



Title: When Jessie Came Across the Sea
Author: Amy Hest
Illustrator: P.J. Lynch
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Ages: 6-9

Synopsis: 

Jessie and her grandmother live in a poor village in the valleys of eastern Europe. When, to everyone's surprise, young Jessie is chosen by the rabbi to travel to America, and must leave her beloved grandmother behind, they both feel their hearts will break.


Why you should read it: 


I am just starting my own discovery of who my ancestors were and this story by author Amy Hest caught my attention one day while I was browsing the shelves of my favorite book store. Illustrator P.J. Lynch has portrayed so well on the book's cover the emotional turmoil Jessie must be feeling as she has her first glimpse of Lady Liberty and the shores of her new home.


Readers get to know Jessie and her grandmother as they struggle to keep body and soul together in the old country while working their land during hard times. Grandmother insists Jessie goes to the rabbi for daily lessons, even while Jessie scoffs at the idea that learning to read and write and sew fine lace will ever help her later in life.

Beautiful artwork helps tell the story of heartbreak when the two discover Jessie will soon travel alone for a new life across the sea. We are drawn into Jessie's temporary world of life aboard ship and Jessie learns to put aside her sadness at leaving her grandmother behind as she reaches out to help others on board.

The final part of this story comes when Jessie reaches America and is met by her cousin Kay who lives in the bustling, turn of the century, New York City. There is much to do and learn in her new life and Jessie discovers money can be made from her newly learned sewing skills. Jessie is content in her new home, but only one thing will make her truly happy and she has a plan to make that wish come true!

A great addition to any home library!




Like-O-Meter Rating: 5 out of 5...grab it!

**Rating scale**
 
 5 out of 5...grab it! nook
 4 out of 5...think about it.
 3 out of 5...take or leave it.
 2 out of 5...maybe not for you.
 1 out of 5...forget about it!





Children's book author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, middle grade chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books. She is also a book reviewer for Harper Collins, and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, good stories, and an adoptive mom to 20-pound guard kitty in Knoxville, Tennesse


Monday, January 23, 2017

INCHING OUR WAY ALONG...




Free coiled tape measure healthy living stock photo Creative Commons (3209939998).jpg


To all my current and future #DCSPeeps (DECIDE, COMMIT, SUCCEED), welcome to my new series in my continuing effort to inspire, amuse, and entertain you! Each Monday I will select a new word to analyze how it might apply to our writing lives and also give you a peek into my childhood growing up in the swamps of southern Louisiana, so kick back, put your feet up, and check out my story about TODAY'S WORD:

INCHES

An incremental way of judging our successes, INCHES can also be a way to measure the thin line between life and death…

When I was 17, I moved out of my parent’s home and started a new life 50 miles away from my hometown. I was still dealing with my social anxiety issues, but managed to become friends with the assistant manager of the Taco Bell where I was working.

It was the holidays and I was riding in her little Pinto Hatchback to her apartment to set up for a Christmas party. Time has blurred some of the details, but I remember we were waiting to turn left off a very busy road that had no protected turn lane. Cars were racing by just INCHES from our stopped car.

Then it happened.

I heard her yell out just seconds before the impact.

A truck in our lane going 50 miles an hour slammed into a car behind us, shoving that car into the back of ours.

The police later told us we were lucky to be alive. If the car behind us wouldn’t have turned its wheel  INCHES to the left before the impact, the Pinto’s gas tank would have exploded with us trapped inside.

INCHES between life and death.

INCHES also helps us measure our publishing journey. Sometimes it’s one step forward and two steps back on the road to seeing our name on the cover of our book. Other times it’s a giant leap forward in signing book contracts and launching book birthday parties. And sometimes it’s the INCHES we fight for every day as we tighten and shine our stories into being the very best version of themselves they can be…

Never give up the fight for those precious INCHES my #DCSPeeps, for it can be the difference between a dream of one day becoming a published author and actually being one!

I hope you have an AWESOME day today cuz you deserve it! 



Children's book author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, middle grade chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books. She is also a book reviewer for Harper Collins, and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, good stories, and an adoptive mom to 20-pound guard kitty in Knoxville, Tennesse