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review 2019-03-15 18:44
Book Review: Mattie Pledge
Mattie's Pledge: A Novel (Journey to Pleasant Prairie) - Jan Drexler

When I read this it about Mattie and her family getting ready to journey west. We follow Mattie and her family. Not all are going West for more land and affordable prices. We learn that another family is going to join them to go west.

Mattie has her dreams of see the Western horizon. Will she go and see the country or will she keep her pledge. Jacob see her and see Mattie after few years. It been a while. Is there love between Jacob and Maddie?

There are some surprises along the way. Will happen with Schrock family and will they be happy. Mattie got her dreams and Jacob has his. What will happen. This is the story of Mattie. Will she be tempted to follow as Englisher or will she keep her pledge?


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review 2019-02-15 13:59
Journey - Aaron Becker

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This is such a beautiful book.A few weeks ago at the library, I stumbled across Aaron Becker's Quest (Journey Trilogy, #2). I checked it out without realizing it was part of a series. But I absolutely loved it. A fun silent adventure story with gorgeous artwork. I decided to find the other two books in the series so I could get the whole story.

This book tells of how the girl and boy first met, which is a nice story and just as entertaining and amazing as the second book. I can't get over how stunning the artwork is in this series.

I have read a few silent picture books and the real hurdle is being able to tell an entertaining story without any dialogue or narration. This series does that perfectly. You can see how the characters are feeling and the unique story leads the read on an epic adventure filled with creativity, bravery, and determination.

Such a wonderful series. I am so excited to read the third book.

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review 2019-02-04 02:31
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane - Bagram Ibatoulline,Kate DiCamillo

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo the story is about a china rabbit that belongs to a ten-year-old girl. One day, the girl loses her rabbit when it falls overboard during vacation. The china rabbit spent many days on the ocean floor until a storm finally frees him. The rabbit soon begins his journey back to his owner but only after a sequence of different events. The story would be great to read to students in 3rd and 4th grade. As a read the story to my class, I would use any opportunity I get to have the students discuss and debate on what will happen next in the story. There are also many opportunities for students to write essays. In the story, Edward the chine rabbit is repeatedly lost by people who love him. I could ask my students to write about a time they lost something important to them and how it made them feel. 


Lexile: 700L 

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review 2019-01-31 16:56
How to Live a More Purposeful Life
It's Time to Start Living with Passion!:... It's Time to Start Living with Passion!: My Journey to Self Discovery - Jean Paul Paulynice

It’s Time to Start Living with Passion! My Journey to Self Discovery uses author Jean Paul Paulynice's own progression to delineate a route to better living. This autobiographical journey offers its readers an admonition about standing still in a dissatisfying life. This book is filled with insightful reflections on pitfalls, progressions, and the kinds of realizations one gains only from hard knocks in life.


This short, accessible read chronicles a hard-working family man's expectation that his efforts would translate to happiness and contentment and, after numerous struggles, the realization that this anticipation of rich rewards would not be seen to fruition without some attitude adjustments and a deep look within.


Why was Jean Paul working so hard at a 9-5 job while staring into an abyss of frustration and depression? He realized he needed "work that didn’t feel like work." Locating that passionate calling became his motivator for many adjustments towards living a more passionate life.


Readers will find a chronicle of a life-affirming journey and real-world examples of the processes of gaining insight, identity, and purpose. Those readers who are “stuck” may have pursued this goal again and again, only to find themselves at the same starting point. Jean Paul has "been there and done that," and his story promises the invaluable rewards of a successful pursuit.


His descriptions make very good points about adjusting one's life to allow the kind of time suitable for reflection and discovery and adjusting one’s perspective so that happiness can be allowed in.  Many of the truths revealed may come as a surprise in that they clearly delineate passion from other (sometimes worthy) pursuits.


Synthesizing autobiographical examples with wider psychological, social, and philosophical observations about finding happiness in daily living is not easy to do, especially in fewer than 100 pages, but Paulynice does it perfectly.

This book provides a very lively, readable, and inspiring account that is accessible to audiences who usually eschew weighty self-help reads. This roadmap to success circumvents the common problems of effecting lasting change and produces real results.

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review 2019-01-14 15:54
Book Review of Born in the Bed You Were Made: One Family's Journey from Cesarean to Home Birth by Brooklyn James
Born in the Bed You Were Made: One Family's Journey from Cesarean to Home Birth - Brooklyn James

What the hell happened?


Not exactly the question one might expect from a postpartum nurse, it echoed in my mind incessantly after birth. Induction, intervention, ultimately cesarean were nothing new to me…until I was the one atop an operating room table birthing my firstborn through an incision in my uterus.


Brooklyn James grapples with her medicalized birth as she undergoes several unexpected health issues—fallout from a medically unnecessary cesarean, secondary infertility, miscarriage. While navigating the work and pleasure of new motherhood, there is also much shock, anger, and disenchantment over birth’s betrayal for her to work through. James finally identifies the root of her struggle: she was not prepared for the birth she might have envisioned. So then begins her exploration of all that is and all that can be in birth. The process leads her to a long overdue conversation with her instinct and her body in an attempt to surrender to, trust in, and accept the inherent wisdom within.


Born in the Bed You Were Made is intimate and penetrating, candid and reflective. It reveals a deeper truth about how disconnected many modern women are from birth. Most of all, it is a celebration of self-discovery found in the most obscure yet obvious, most challenging yet gratifying, role as child bearer and mother.


Review 5*


This book is fantastic! I am not one who usually reads non-fiction or even memoirs, but having read previous fictional books written by this author, I knew that this book, being more personal, would be an emotional roller coaster ride. It didn't disappoint.


The author explores her emotions and thoughts over several events that shaped her ultimate decision of having a home birth. As I am not American, I don't know how the medical insurance companies work as such, but I believe that women have the right to decide how and where they would like to birth their babies. Unfortunately, most insurance companies are run by men. I don't mean to be sexist, but its the truth.


I am not a mother myself (and due to my advanced age, I may never have children of my own), but what struck me is how much this author's words touched something inside me that resounded within my inner being. She speaks of the instinctual, primitive brain (the part that handles breathing, and old emotional responses like fear, anger, love and knowing things, perhaps at a genetic level like birthing babies) and how she struggled through going against her instincts for a home birth in her first pregnancy because her insurance company didn't allow it. How this led to her having a Cesaerian that may or may not have been necessary, and later a miscarriage that taught her to trust her body and the genetic knowledge within.


The author also explores the role and history of a midwife. I found this aspect of the book interesting and full of words of wisdom, from the author herself, as well as those used by her midwife and the research books the author has used. I highlighted over 70 passages throughout this book that struck a chord within me. I don't usually highlight that many things in books, so that shows how much this book has affected me. Midwives have an important role for women. They act as a library of knowledge for expectant mothers. They also guide women through the hard work of labour and birthing children. They have a unique insight into the primitive brain through observation, and medical training to handle most problems that may arise. Unfortunately, these women have not had an easy ride throughout history. They were highly respected once, but they have lost their place due to vilification (being called witches, flakes and fakes in the not so distant past) and their knowledge depleted.


Hospitals and modern medicine have grown, time is short in today's society. Large pharmaceutical companies push for the use of drugs, hospitals don't have enough staff to give adequate one-on-one care for every expectant mother, and there are not enough beds for a natural birth. Hospitals have become factories - get them in and send them out as quickly as possible - and induced births, Cesareans (some necessary, but most unnecessary) have become the norm. This saddens not only me but the author too.


It has been an honour and a pleasure going on this author's journey. I wouldn't wish what happened to her happen to anyone else, but her journey is inspirational. I believe that women have the right to a support system like midwives along with obstetrics at a hospital, and the freedom to choose between a more economical home birth or an expensive hospital one. Modern medicine should work in concert with the more traditional methods to ensure a healthy birth experience for both the mother and child.


Brooklyn James has written a story that has touched me deeply. I love her writing style, and the flow was excellent. I am now looking forward to reading more of her other books as soon as I can.


I highly recommend this book, whether you are planning on having children, already have children and are considering having more, or have had children and they are starting their own families. The author references a few books that she used while pregnant, and these may help other expectant mothers too. - Lynn Worton

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