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review 2018-09-07 22:26
WONDER
Wonder - R.J. Palacio

BULLYING IS NEVER OKAY! This story is about a 5th grade boy with a facial deformity who is going to a new school. It is heart breaking and beautiful. It teaches children to think before they speak. In my observations last semester, ALLLLL the 5th grade students were obsessed with this book because they had read it the year before. According to Fountas & Pinnell's leveling system I believe it would fall under R because it does require background knowledge and the ability to decode figurative language. It includes mature themes such as bullying and family problems. 

As a classroom activity, I would use this to build community. I think each student would need to write a nice note to a classmate (draw names from a hat). Or each student could write a positive compliment for every other student in the class. Our classroom will be a family and we will build eachother up , never put eachother down.

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text 2018-07-26 07:46
Custom WordPress Themes- A Way to Stick Out a Mile in the Web World

They say a killer web design is the easiest way to win customer in the first place. Well, we believe, they’ve got a point, as a dull online presence is no different from having a zero online presence.

 

Your website’s look and feel convey the first impression of your business, so it is imperative to make it an impactful one.

 

Today, we are shouting to all those who own a WordPress-powered website that looks somewhat off-putting. If your website looks much like several others floating on the web due to a commonplace theme, we would recommend you to get custom WordPress theme design services and transform its face, all for better.

 

Why a Custom WordPress Theme? 

 

Just like a tailored-suit fits far better than an off-the-rack clothing, custom WordPress themes befits your brand’s image and offerings.

 

A stunning custom theme can help you stand out from the crowd, giving you an edge over your competitors. For instance, if you are a landscape architect, rather than choosing popular themes like Oshine, Revolution, or Kalium, you can get a fresh template developed to effectively target your customers.

 

You can get a theme tailored as per your preferences to show your love for perfection, alongside luring your segment by hiring experts from a leading WordPress company. These companies are backed up by a team of WordPress geniuses who know the art of crafting highly-compelling templates. No matter what’s your industry or how complex your business plan is, they can transform your ideas and bring them to life in a little time span. Moreover, do note that you can get a theme developed from scratch or choose to get a popular theme tweaked as per your requirements- both ideas are good in one way or other. Just consider what appeals you more and move ahead to own a stellar online identity!

 

If you are seeking ways to dominate the web world with a spiffy website, do consider theme development services offered by WP OPPO. WP OPPO is one of the fastest growing custom WordPress development company that offers a full-spectrum of high-performing WP solutions. From theme customization to WordPress plugin development, experts of WP OPPO can cater to each need of yours. They offer the best pricing plans and dependable support solutions to help you rise and shine in your domain. To get further details, check the website Wpoppo.com

 

 

Original Source: https://bit.ly/2LPfy6o

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review 2018-04-04 17:57
George by Alex Gino
George - Alex Gino

I picked this title to fill a Pop Sugar prompt. What a lovely story about a trans kid coming to terms with her identity and beginning to out herself. Due to the great writing by Alex Gino, I really connected to George/Melissa from the beginning and saw her as a girl from the first page. I loved Scott's reaction to Melissa's coming out to him; not only does it make sense for Melissa to identify as a girl, it also made sense to Scott, as it finally clicked into place how he sees Melissa and feels about her. And I loved Melissa's BFF Kelly, although at times she seemed aggressively positive at Melissa's coming out; it seemed the school principal had a much more subtle approach to Melissa's gender expression that conveyed support but not so loud as to draw unwanted attention to Melissa as she navigates this stage of her life.

 

Overall, a great MG read with humor and heart.

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review 2018-03-06 11:26
Circus Galacticus by Deva Fagan
Circus Galacticus - Deva Fagan

Trix can deal with being an orphan charity case at a snotty boarding school. She can hold her own when everyone else tells her not to dream big dreams. She can even fight back against the mysterious stranger in a silver mask who tries to steal the meteorite her parents trusted her to protect. But her life is about to change forever. The Circus Galacticus has come to town, bringing acts to amaze, delight, and terrify. And now the dazzling but enigmatic young Ringmaster has offered Trix the chance to be a part of it. Soon Trix discovers an entire universe full of deadly enemies and potential friends, not to mention space leeches, ancient alien artifacts, and exploding chocolate desserts. And she just might unravel the secrets of her own past if she can survive long enough.

Amazon.com

 

 

 

Taiwanese-American teen Beatrix "Trix" Ling is an orphan who is sent to Bleeker Academy, a boarding school, as a charity case. Trix is struggling to find her place not only at Bleeker but just in the world at large. Conflicts with school bullies (as in, her trying to defend herself) lead her into a heap of disciplinary action scenarios with the school admin. 

 

When the Circus Galacticus comes to town and the ringmaster (conveniently known just as Ringmaster) offers her the chance to join the crew, it seems like a nice little escape from her social hell. That is, until she comes to find out that she's just signed onto an intergalactic circus. That's right, this roadshow hits up the whole galaxy and then some! 

 

"Please, let me go. I won't cause any trouble."

 

"I find that hard to believe," says the Ringmaster, casting aside his lighthearted humor with such absolute saddness it catches the breath in my chest. "You've been causing trouble all your life, haven't you? Asking questions that weren't in the textbooks. Saying things other people were afraid to say. There was always something off about you, something different, something that made other people stare and whisper and maybe even laugh.. Isn't that right?" His eyes pull on mine, demanding an answer.

 

Trix comes to find that her new gig surprisingly holds answers to the mysteries of her own origin story. What's the deal with the meteorite her parents left her, this hunk of rock that came with enigmatic instructions to guard it with her life?

 

I was six years old the first time I really saw the stars. They hung sharp as broken glass in the desert sky. I jumped, trying to reach them -- they looked so close. I begged my dad to hoist me up on his shoulders, but even he wasn't tall enough. God, I can still feel that ache. I'd never wanted anything that bad. 

 

Dad smiled and tried to make me laugh away my tears. But Mom understood. She held me so tight I can almost feel her arms, even now, nine years later. I think she was crying too. You'll reach them someday, Beatrix, she said. I promise. Then she spun me around until my head swam with stars. That's all I have left of my folks now. 

 

The stars... and the rock. 

 

 

 

Trix also gets caught up in intergalactic politics --  the battle between the MANDATE and the TINKERS, the Mandate being those in power who determines rules and regulations for the whole universe. They want to keep status quo through strict order and conformity. Meanwhile, Tinkers are those on the outskirts, the social outcasts who advocate for diversity, culture full of color and variety of all kinds, artistic expression, all that is beautiful and wild in life. Nyl, one of the main characters from Team Mandate, likes to argue his stance that there are dire consequences that come with allowing people to have differences within society: wars, religious persecution, crime, etc. 

 

The battle between these two groups began generations ago. In what is now a post-war era, though the intensity of the battle has lessened some, the descendants from both sides of the original war still quietly fume. The reign of the Mandate has been replaced with the Core Governance. Different name, same desire for conformity. But Core Governance maintains that they don't support either faction (Mandate or Tinkers), their main goal is just to establish and maintain laws for the betterment of society in general. Very PC of them! 

 

A note for teachers or homeschooling parents: the whole plot conflict regarding the divisive beliefs of the Mandate vs. the Tinkers serves as nice social commentary for today's world problems. The way author Deva Fagan handles these hot button ideas is admirable, not overly in the reader's face or preachy, just simply entertaining examples to get discussions going among middle-grade readers. Something else for educators to note, there are a few instances of very mild cursing within this story. 

"Another fabulous word: BRUNCH. Not quite one thing or the other, but sometimes it's exactly what you need..."

 

I watch in alarm and fascination as he piles a mountain of avocado and beans onto a chip, all while balancing the book atop his baton, defying both gravity and common sense. Maybe that's his superpower. That and the ability to wear a bazillion sequins without looking like an ass.

 

Attentive readers may also notice the subtle ways Fagan recreates Trix's Earth problems throughout various points of her space travels. Just one example: the school bully Della and the prickly Headmistress Primwell vs the ship bully Sirra and the prickly ship instructor Miss 3. This gives readers some food for thought -- not only can you not escape your problems by running away, but also, think on the importance of learning to adapt to life's obstacles. You have to work on your own personal growth, not wait for others to change.

 

This is a perfect read for lovers of middle grade fiction, Star Trek adventures, Dr. Who humor, and Firefly, as there are elements of all of that in here! In fact, Nola, the mechanic on the Big Top ship very much reminded me of Kaylee, the mechanic from Firefly.

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review 2018-01-21 20:06
Love is Love by Various Authors
Love is Love - Phil Jimenez,Various

This anthology was created to raise money for Equality Orlando and the organization's support of victims' families and the survivors of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in June 2016. I think that because the anthology was the comic book industry's way of helping and coping with the incident, I was a bit more giving in the ratings area.

 

IDW publishing, with support from DC Entertainment, gave free rein to their artists and writers, so there are pages with familiar characters on some pages. Most of the artwork is amazing, and conveys the deep emotional impact as well as the broad spectrum of emotions this incident wrung out of people. My favorites, even after a week of thinking and giving the work another look, was the Wonder Woman page, the Muslim man meeting a gay couple on the street and hugging them after the incident made the news (from G. Willow Wilson of course!), the Supergirl page, and the page with older LGBTQIAA members giving solace to the young members of the community (those older community members who lived through the gay rights movement and the HIV/AIDS crisis).

 

With that being said, it was an okay effort in terms of quality of writing and introspection. I had a few problems with some of the work showcased, not for what it tried to convey but it's placement in this anthology in the first place.

 

Issues:

1. For an incident that affected a big part of the Latinx part of the LGBTQIAA community, this anthology had a lot of white cishets working out their disbelief and grief over what happened, and many didn't know anyone in the area, let alone was affected by the incident. There wasn't very much Latinx voices in this anthology. Too much "how will I explain this to my kids" hand wringing as well - uh, the same thing you tell them about Las Vegas and Newtown - and just try to answer their questions as honestly as you can. Sometimes that honesty comes in "I don't know why".

 

2. Ace/Aros, pansexuals, and bisexuals got the short end of the stick here. Aces/Aros were mentioned once and used as kind of a punch line so that the writer could shake his/her finger at judgmental people. It distort the message and made it sound hypocritical. Bisexuals got Wonder Woman and that is it (and she doesn't even self-identify as one in the page). Pansexuals didn't get mentioned once. The predominance was white, gay, somewhat affluent in terms of character type.

 

3. Too much Batman. Seriously, the Gotham universe is not exactly a well of diversity, and having the rich white guy savior show up every 15 pages was not needed. Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy's relationship gets a page, but it was more like "lesbians - aren't they cute" sort of way.

 

4. The beginning of the book was too heavy on the dark and disturbing, especially when artists showed dead bodies lying everywhere. Or the use of multiple cell phones going off and nobody answering. There was a lot artistic renderings of the crime scene that did not add any value to a book that is supposed to celebrating love and life. Not much humor found in the rest of the book - maybe a line here or there, some unintentionally.

 

5. Some of the transgender characters were used to explore others' feelings about transgenderism rather than about the transgender characters' feelings or storyline.

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