Saturday, September 25, 2010

You and Your A.D.D. Child... by Jody Capehart

You and Your A.D.D. Child: How to Understand and Help Kids with Attention Deficit DisorderYou and Your A.D.D. Child: How to Understand and Help Kids with Attention Deficit Disorder by Jody Capehart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My son's specialist highly recommended this to us and I loved it. The tone was authoritative but not pretentious. As an unexpected bonus, it wasn't just based on steril, clinical over-my-head mumbo jumbo, made accessible for the non-PHD. This book included a spiritual approach which really gave me hope that maybe I'm not doing everything wrong after all. And it was so refreshing to hear that spritual nurturing is not only advisable but essnetial for the ADD child. It also addressed issues that I had never considered before, such as learning style and environment. But now that I know these things can have a huge impact on how an ADD child deals with the world, I hope it will be easier for me to change how I deal with him as I learn to help him cope. I would recommend it to any parent with an ADD child and to any educater.

note: since this is edition is a little older, the section on types of medications is outdated.

Still, I thought it was fabulous. Solid 5 stars.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

To Green Angel Tower, Part 1 by Tad Williams

To Green Angel Tower, Part 1 (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #3; Part 1)To Green Angel Tower, Part 1 by Tad Williams

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first book in this series was just okay- just good enough to make me curious about the rest of the story. The second was better- I was actually excited to move on to the next book (which is SO HUGE they had to split it into two parts). Part one of book three has all the throat gripping, can't-put-it-down excitment that the first two installments lack. That speaks highly of this book, but not so highly of the series in general. If a story is around 3000 pages long and it takes all the way until page 1700 to really suck the reader in, you've got too many pages, bub. The segway from part one to part two felt a little weak to me as well. You can almost hear the author saying, "Okay, I'm not sure how to make these essential details interesting. I just want to get on to the next exciting part." But then the next exciting part doesn't happen until the next book.

In spite of that, this is a four star book. I really liked it. I hope part two is at least just as good.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Episodes: My Life as I See It by Blaze Ginsberg

This is book is so unique! It truly is a labor of love. His mother, Debra Ginsberg, wrote an amazing prologue right from the start. In this book, don't expect to read along as any ordinary book for this is an insight into an extraordinary mind. Blaze is a real person who happens to have a creative intelligence that few of us will ever understand in our normal realm. For this is a tale, told in the form of episodes rather, from a life in the realm of a high-functioning autistic teenager going into his twenties.
At first, you must abandon how you think every day and try to place yourself watching an episode through Blaze's eyes and then you'll become enthralled with what he is letting you in to see. A whole new world will come alive, very much like watching TV, and you'll laugh, find a new perspective about teenage/early 20's life, and maybe you'll even get a little teary-eyed.
Don't be afraid to reminisce and relate it to your teenage experience which I feel is the best way to get past feeling of it being disjointed about the plot. Think Napoleon Dynamite. It is not your typical book. It's very execution is originally developed by Blaze and it is his mind that you're entering. Be realistic. Enter his mind on his terms and I think you'll enjoy this book. It's a quick read and can easily be followed through the different styles of episodes which we know everyday from TV already. Such as sydicated, season finale , and on-going as in a soap opera type episodes. Plus, there are, of course, the special features and the once a year specials, like Thanksgiving,to give you something to look forward to. Personally, I enjoyed the great cast of characters from Blaze's family, special guest star appearances and of course, the credits even down to the music. I've always liked to see what music is included whether on TV or in the movies. Most of all I liked the quotes! It was cool how he included books and other information that he was covering in his school studies much like a News segment too. In fact, a lot of these episodes reminded me in some way of human interest stories which have always been one of my favorite News features. [I know that's because my Grandpa Hatch loved them too and was quick to point them out to me and let me in on a few that would uplift me. Ones he had even written, so this book had helped me in remembering him too. Miss you, Grandpa!]
One thing I can guarantee about this book is that it is one of a kind and you won't read anything else like it. For that reason alone, it should be worth reading! Now, if you watch TV then, of course, you'll view it predictably but that's a different episode. ;)

288 pages, Publisher: Roaring Brook Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2009), My rating: 3 stars

View a different episode:

Chicken Spaghetti

VIDEO: Blaze on Blaze on tinypic

Mrs. B's Book Extravaganza!!

flamingnet young adult book blog

“Each passage functions as a minimalist gateway into his passions, dreams, fears and desires.” —Kirkus Reviews

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Queen of Cool by Cecil Castellucci

Remember back in the high school days of what you thought cool was and those who were considered cool did you ever wonder about them or what they did or what problems they may have faced in life? Libby Brin is the cool girl. She has a wild character, panache and even seems courageous. Her life seems free from too much attention from parents or even teachers. She seems as if she could do or have anything in her life without major consequences.
Yet, life isn't always so carefree for her, inside of herself she is looking to be different or to feel something, anything really. She is oblivious to how cool she seems to others yet understands that she is popular. Her view of herself isn't the same as those around her and what they think of her. She has to make choices, although they didn't always seem significant enough in general, they were tough for her. A reality check comes into play a little bit for her when she is highly encouraged by a teacher to sign up for volunteering at the Zoo. This is where life gets a bit interesting for her and she meets teens from her class who are often the brunt of a lot of jokes.
I wasn't always clear what Libby was thinking or feeling even in her connection with them or how valid her loyalty was with any of her friends but there was a moment when I felt hopeful for Libby and that she might actually have a new perspective. I did find while reading the book that my own prejudices and perspectives about the high school world were tested and that's not a bad thing. I don't think this book was so stereotypical with its characters as I've heard others mention as I think it was my own view of them and what I was thinking was skewed.
Anytime, a book brings out such thought-provoking feelings and makes me think of things that are even uncomfortable for me I'd have to say I learned something and whether you think that lesson is good or bad will be up to you as much as it was up to me in this instance.
As far as minor characters go, I feel that Tina, Sheldon and Sid deserve a mention. I wonder if I was like Tina in high school and I think I wish I was but deep down I feel I wasn't as bright and confident as she was. I liked how overwhelming the odds were stacked up against her each day but that didn't stop her from being accomplishing tasks that she set out to do. I even understood her cool factor worship a little bit of Libby and her hope of what could happen for her friend too. In the end, I can still feel the sting of her disappointment. I love how well-developed these characters were and the I found myself wishing that the ending hadn't of come so fast.
Perhaps, I was feeling melancholy as I read this book because I found myself wondering where all these characters would be ten or even twenty years after high school. What would be realistic for them then? I'm sure that was just because this summer was my high school reunion which I was unable to attend (haha). :D A little bit ironic, I thought.
Overall, just a note that for me, although I'm sure it is sadly realistic for teens and what they deal with, I wouldn't recommend this book casually because this book contains use of profanity, drinking, and instances of sexual activity. I know I curiously finished it, although, maybe because I know nothing of being a teen in this type of world since I made different choices and grew up in a highly religious environment. It was interesting but personally I'm glad my life as a teen was different from Libby's.
Maybe this book wasn't my favorite or even the type I would usually read but I do like this author's personality and I like following her on Twitter. I have seen her in interviews (see what I mean in Author Mix) and I think her writing is talented. It may be a guilty pleasure but I'm still curious about reading her other books.

Young Adult, 176 pages, Candlewick; First Edition edition (February 14, 2006)
My rating: 2 stars

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2)The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I just finished reading this to my son. It was a fun follow up to the first one, but I think I liked The Lightning Thief better. This one had more humor in it, anyway. My son laughed more, and there were plenty of jokes that I got, but were just a tad over his head. I'm having a lot of fun with this series. And now on to book three!

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