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review 2018-02-25 16:29
AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America's Upper Classes from Military Service - and How It Hurts Our Country by Kathy Roth-Douquet and Frank Schaeffer
AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America's Upper Classes from Military Service -- and How It Hurts Our Country - Kathy Roth-Douquet,Frank Schaeffer

This short book raises some very serious questions about how sustainable the all-volunteer force that makes up the US military really is in light of today's geopolitical sphere. Originally published in 2006, I think the problem is worse now then it was when the book was first issued. Some of the root causes and issues around the all-volunteer military stems from the Vietnam War and is explained why in detail.


However, a lot of their writing comes from their personal experiences dealing with the military and how others perceive them. Roth-Douquet is married to an Army officer; Schaeffer is the father of a Marine. While they are military-adjacent, they are not military and therefore there is a certain "sit down civilian" feeling I had towards the authors, such as when R-D goes on and on about deployments and the toll it takes on the service member. Both authors are very status-concerned and worry about how others in their admittedly upper class tiers look at them. There is also the Odd Couple sense to the authors; R-D worked in the Clinton administration and Schaeffer is a self-identified Republican that leans Liberitarian. This difference in politics comes up frequently, as if they were in a musical adaption of the book. 


Both authors serve up some solutions to re-balancing the all-volunteer force, and bringing back the draft is such a big item that it gets it's own debate; R-D is all for bringing it back with a few tweaks and Schaeffer is for using a draft as an absolute last option.


Overall, a serious discussion was raised about the state of our military that should be talked about more in our media and homes. I am glad I read this book and thank the authors for bringing this to my attention. It just needed some editing and more voices, especially from those who have worn the uniform. 

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review 2018-02-24 21:33
Always Give a Helping Hand.
The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein

This book opens your heart up and shows the importance of giving relentlessly and with love. The illustrations are simple, yet so powerful. The storyline really touches children of all ages, as it progresses into the future, into scenarios in which we all can relate to. A wonderful activity students could do would be to create their own giving tree and write compliments to other students and then present them. 

Grade level: K-2

Lexile measure: 530L

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review 2018-02-24 21:21
Let Your Imagination Run Free!
Amazing Grace - Mary Hoffman,Caroline Binch

This book can really entice children to love, and get into reading. It encourages students to become part of the books and let their imagination grow freely, no matter the role. I love the illustrations and the message it sends that children can be anyone they want to be if they put their minds to it. One activity would be to complete a character traits chart during a read aloud, or even to work on free writing with a prompt such as, "I Will Be... ."

Grade Level: K-2

Lexile measure: 680L

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review 2018-02-24 20:48
Learning Cents!
The Penny Pot (MathStart 3) - Stuart J. Murphy,Lynne Cravath

Another great counting book for children to learn money skills. This book also has activities in the back to help work on counting change. The setting is great for younger students and is relatable to something that they might actually experience in life. One fun math activity would be this example. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/165155511305014404/ 

Grade Level: 1-5th

Lexile Measure: 480L

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review 2018-02-24 20:29
Family Reunion!
Spaghetti and Meatballs for All! (Marilyn Burns Brainy Day Books) - Marilyn Burns,Debbie Tilley,Gordon Silveria

This book includes a large vocabulary index, and wonderful, bright, illustrations. It brings a real life scenario into teaching mathematics to upper elementary age students. The end of the book also explains the mathematics that go into the book and you can really break it down for the classroom. This book would be great for charting out step-by-step how much food needs to be made, and different ways the seating could be set up. One example of this can be found at the following link. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/46584177368188172/ 

Grade Level: 1-5th

Lexile Measure: 530L

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