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review 2017-02-22 03:13
Amazing Grace -Lexile level 680L
Amazing Grace - Mary Hoffman,Caroline Binch

Amazing Grace, written by Mary Hoffman, is about a little girl named Grace who loves stories. She loves to act out stories of all kinds, whether it is being Joan of Arc, a pirate, or Mowgli. This little girl believes that she can do it all, and proves to everyone that she can be/do whatever she sets her mind (and imagination) to. This book would be a great book to not only read to help encourage children that they can be/do anything they set their mind to, but it also could be a great book to incorporate into black history month lessons. This book can show ALL children that they can do anything they want to do no matter their circumstances or backgrounds. I would love to use this book in a black history month lesson, and have them write everything that they can do and want to do just like Grace does. I would say that this could be for grades first through third. 

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review 2016-11-11 05:59
Oh, The Places You'll Go
Oh, the Places You'll Go! - Dr. Seuss

This popular Dr. Seuss book is inspiring for even adults. This book emphasizes the saying "when one door closes, another one opens." There are many opportunities in life, you just have to go out and get them. As with any Dr. Seuss book, there is humor and wit in the wring of this book. I would say the intended audience for this book is 2nd to 3rd grade, but it is fitting for anyone at any age. An activity I would do with this book would to have students share with the class what they want to be when they grow up. The can dress up as this person whether it be a rockstar, a doctor, or to be just like their mom or dad! This gets students thinking about the future and gets them motivated to look beyond school life and set goals to get to the place they want to go! 

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review 2016-09-05 00:55
Review of Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick
Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution - Nathaniel Philbrick

Philbrick has been one of my favorite authors for quite some time now, and this new book does not disappoint.  This book tells the story of George Washington and Benedict Arnold during the Revolutionary War up to the point where Arnold turns traitor and escapes to British New York.  Philbrick's writing is always very well done, and that is the case here again. I love the way he can tell a story.  I don't think there was much new here about Washington, but for me at least, I learned a great deal about Arnold and his actions during the war.  Philbrick is also great at bringing in many side stories and the thoughts of players in and around the central figures.  Highly recommended.

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text 2016-07-11 07:59
HARRY'S TRUTH - A Play in One Act
Harry's Truth: A Play in One Act - Rod Raglin

Harry's Truth is my new one act play currently available FREE at Smashwords during their SummerWinterSale 

 

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/649522

 

and soon to be available on Amazon as an e-book and in paperback.

 

 

 

The truth may not set you free,

but it can make you very unpopular.

 

 

Are there cosmic truths? Harry thinks there are and he's discovered one which will make life easier, simpler and more fulfilling. He wants to share this epiphany with those he loves but not only do they not want to share in his enlightenment, they feel threatened by what he has to tell them. Much is at stake – careers, lifestyles, power – if Harry pursues his truth.

 

For Deidre, his wife - all her life she has worked to overcome the stigma of being the daughter of the neighbourhood drunk. She has struggled for social status, “respectability” and to have “nice things”. Now she has attained it and more is within her grasp. She can’t allow Harry to jeopardize it.

 

For Philip, his partner - his aggressive manner, lack of sophistication, short stature, balding pate, pudgy midriff and loud ties have made him a subject of derision among his colleagues, but landing this multi-million dollar client will change all that. Soon Harry’s condescension and the humiliation of his marriage will be overshadowed by the respect and power corporate success will bring. The “truth” is he only needs Harry to keep it together until the deal closes. After that, he can goddam well wander off into the wilderness if that’s what he wants.

 

For Joan, Phil's wife - the bitterness of her affair with Harry twenty years ago in college has shaped and defined her life, But not Harry’s. No, he just up and left her in search for “the truth” and she had to survive as best she could on her own. Now he’s about to do it again – turn her world upside down with the same selfish, irresponsible behavior. Maybe she can’t stop this middle-age flight of fancy but she isn’t going to let him influence her teenage daughter with all his nonsense about “following your heart”.

 

For Alexus, Joan’s daughter - her parent’s marriage is empty of love but filled with material possessions. How could “Uncle Harry’s” truth make anything worse? Her mom’s pushing her to go to college but that’s just more “preparing for life”. Uncle Harry’s truth sounds far more appealing. Better to fill your life with experiences than just more “stuff”.

 

Harry's Truth is my new one act play currently available FREE at Smashwords during the SummerWinterSale 

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/649522

and soon to be available on Amazon as an e-book and in paperback.

 

 

 

 

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review 2016-07-09 19:50
from FictionZeal.com re: Killer Ambition by Marcia Clark
Killer Ambition (Rachel Knight Book 3) - Marcia Clark

Not all of Hollywood’s celebrity status yields glitter and glam. Haley, sixteen-year-old daughter of famous director Russell Antonovich, has disappeared and it’s very curious that her good friend, Mackenzie Struthers, seems to know much more than she’s willing to say. Russell had received a couple of text messages. The first said, “I’ve got your daughter. She’ll be safe if you do as I tell you. If you call the police she’ll be killed.” Then the second was a ransom demand for him to bring “One million dollars in cash in a duffel bag” to Fryman Canyon. But when Russell pays the $1 million and his daughter is not returned as promised, he calls police. Detective Bailey Keller along with Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight begin to investigate the whereabouts of Haley.

 

One of the first people they talk to is Mackenzie. She does provide them with a picture of Haley’s latest boyfriend, nineteen-year-old Brian Shandling, but who is he? His ID seems to be fake, having belonged to a child who died in infancy many years before. It began to look like Brian and Hayley had cooked up the kidnapping scheme. If that was true, Rachel didn’t think he’d hurt her. Unfortunately, both Hayley and Brian were found murdered, presumably by the same person. The prime suspect turns out to be Russell’s best friend, Ian Powers, a former child star and also Russell’s talent manager. He’s arrested and this very high-profile case goes to trial.

 

The book is basically broken into two parts – the first part was mostly about missing teen, Hayley and the search for her killer. She was not a Hollywood show-off. In fact, she had a very tender heart for those less fortunate, like her friend Mackenzie. But, what Haley really wanted was her dad’s love and attention, and less in being given enough money to buy God. The second portion of the novel was all about a celebrity on trial for murder. This is where Marcia Clark excelled in her writing. After all, she lived the experience as part of the prosecution team in the O.J. Simpson famed murder trial. I did find it more odd than not for our protagonist, a DA, to be part of the initial investigation. The novel is lengthy, somewhere over 450 pages. I think additional editing could have clipped much of the excess out. Each book in the series can be read as a standalone as Clark does very well with recapping past events about our protagonist and supporting characters. But, if you love Legal Thrillers, you may want to go back and read the two before this one. Rating: 4 out of 5.

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