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review 2018-06-25 02:39
Silent Days, Silent Dreams
Silent Days, Silent Dreams - Allen Say

In addition to the well known Caldecott and Newbery Metals, the American Library Association gives a number of other awards, including the Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience.

 

Silent Days, Silent Dreams by Allen Say won the young reader (0-8 years old) category this year. In Silent Days, Silent Dreams, Allen Say provides a capsule biography of folk artist James Castle.  Like most, I had not heard about Jimmy Castle before. Castle is described as deaf, mute, autistic, and probably dyslexic, yet he was a self-taught artist, who left thousands of drawings and other folk-art objects. 

 

All of the art in Silent Days, Silent Dreams was created by Allen Say, either in the style of James Castle or slightly modified copies of drawings Castle did himself.  While I think that Allen Say did a good job, I wish that the book had included Castle’s original art instead of just new drawings and objects created in Castle’s style. 

 

If you want to let James Castle “speak” for himself, some of his art is available at http://jamescastle.com/

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review 2018-06-13 23:13
Spirit Week Showdown - audiobook
Spirit Week Showdown (Magnificent Mya Tibbs) - Eda Kaban,Crystal Allen,Sisi Aisha Johnson

 

I'm only wearing five braids to school today.

 

- First Sentence

 

Mya is excited for Spirit Week and she is counting down the days with her braids. When she gets to one, it will be time for Spirit Week. But the partner picking doesn't go her way and she ends up with Mean Connie Tate (the school bully) for a partner instead of her best friend Naomi.

 

As Mya would say, "good gravy." And she says that often as she tries to navigate friendships, bullies, and Spirit Week challenges. Mya learns a lot about people and about judging others by what you hear about them. She is a perky little girl and easy to like, even though she doesn't always think things through before she acts. Mya is a strong personality, but she desperately wants to repair her friendship with Naomi - even though Mya didn't really do anything wrong. The flavor of Texas really comes through in the writing. In the audiobook, the narrator does a fantastic job of sounding like a Texas girl with attitude. 

 

I think grownups reading this book will easily recognize the characters for who they are, but kids might be a bit surprised by the ending. The story is engaging and certainly humorous at times. You can't help but laugh about some of the phrases that Mya comes out with. Girls will enjoy this one.

 

Recommended to: 3rd-5th graders who like stories about friendship and triumphing over adversity.

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review 2018-06-09 15:03
Hijinks
Surrender to the Marquess (The Herriard Family) - Louise Allen

Lady Sarah Herriand's husband died in a duel and she has retired to a seaside village to run an art and tea shop and to try to decide where to go next with her life.  Into this life comes Lucian Avery, Marquess of Cannock who is going incognito in the villiage to try to get his sister to recover from a disastrous love affair where she has descended into depression.

 

I liked the interactions between the characters and their attitude to each other, though talking a bit more could have sorted some of their problems.  Still Lucian is a good foil for Sarah and the two of them sound like they will be a good couple long-term.

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review 2018-05-13 19:21
WALKING WITH NATURISTS IN THE UK
Naked Britain - Amelia Allen

A year ago, I learned about this book in a radio interview the author, an established fashion photographer, had given BBC Radio London. As someone who once tried the "naturist lifestyle" many years ago in the West Indies, I was curious to read, see, and learn about Amelia Allen's take on the naturist world in the UK. 

For Allen, "[s]hooting 'Naked Britain' was a study in mindfulness for me. I photographed this book fully naked, because I wanted to completely immerse myself in the world of naturism and understand how this way of life feels." Allen met with many of the people - of various ages and backgrounds - who practice naturism at a naturist club about 20 miles from London. The photographs - all in B&W - are of the highest quality. and show people engaged in conversation over cards, cycling, swimming, doing calisthenics, walking in the woods, playing tennis, gardening, playing billiards, sitting poolside, and standing on the shore. There is a pure and simple honesty in this book about living and being at peace with one's nakedness among one's fellow human beings similarly free of clothing. 

Two of the more memorable insights Allen said she got from the time she spent among naturists are the following --- 'Naturism changes how you feel about our body and yourself, it changes your perspective on what the body is.' AND - 'People are just people; it's liberating to just be yourself.'

"NAKED BRITAIN" is a book I would recommend to anyone who is interested in learning more about naturism and values quality photography

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text 2018-05-07 08:10
Sale Blitz - Play Me
  
Title: Play Me
Series: Rock Chamber Boys
Author: Daisy Allen
Genre: Contemporary Rockstar Romance
Release Date: July 9, 2017 
 
 
 
 
 
 
She once said that the only thing that mattered was the band.
She was right.
Was.
Now the only thing that matters is her.
 
They say he’s a rock star with a difference.
But he’s still a rock star all the same.
So, when Cadence, a music teacher with a heart of gold catches Sebastian’s eye, it doesn’t matter that he has the world at his fingertips, all she wants is her safe, quiet life.
But it's too late, she's gotten under his skin, buried there with her sweet, sexy eyes and a body that keeps him awake at night. And he'll do anything to have her.
 
So, when he makes her an offer she absolutely can’t refuse, she has to decide whether she can take the risk that her past won’t come back to haunt her.
Because then, there’s nothing that even the world’s biggest rock star can do to save her.
 
So what happens when Sebastian’s burning desire for Cadence clashes with her crippling fear of scrutiny?
Find out in this hot and steamy Rock star romance - Book One in the Rock Chamber Boys series. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
"The Rock Chamber Boys’ world is one you won’t want to miss, so grab your copy of “Play Me” now. It’s one of the most brilliant, intoxicating, heartwarming books I’ve ever read!"- Book Addict
 
"The author's writing style paints such a vivid picture that you feel like you are there listening to the slide of the bow across the cello. " - Maria Hunt
 
" A love story, a rockstar romance with a twist. Brilliant, I want more. " - TJensen
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dear Reader,
 
Welcome to this “Choose your own author biography” adventure.
 
Door 1.
 
Daisy Allen is a ravishing beautiful temptress with a Mensa qualifying IQ and saves puppies and kittens and sloths from evil overlords in her spare time away from her job as the director of a secret NASA department that communicates with friendly aliens. She also definitely does not ever touch wine, ever, never ever.
 
Door 2.
 
Daisy Allen is a fiction writer.
 
*insert memes of writers sitting in Cheetos stained sweats at 4am watching Scandal on Netflix and wondering “why is life?”*
 
In the moments she does put finger to keyboard though, she writes the kind where men and women meet, men and women fight like dogs, interspersed with men and women rolling around naked on numerous surfaces like puppies.
 
There’s a lot of good music, great food, expensive wine and incredible locations along the way, but in the end, the most important thing is that love will win out.
 
Daisy Allen is a romantic.
 
P.S. Oh, and she’s Australian. So, please excuse the random “Australianisms” that she sneaks past her editor.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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