Monday, March 28, 2011
Lily Hates Goodbyes by Jerilyn Marler
(Summary taken from the back book cover) "Lily's Daddy is in the military. Sometimes she has to say goodbye to him for about a billion days. She feels a swirl of unhappy emotions that can be scary. And she aches to feel connected to her Daddy. Join Lily as she learns how to cope with her emotions and to be happy in her daily life while she looks forward to joyfully saying hello when Daddy gets home. See the last page for the author's suggestions to help your child get the most value from this book!"
The story of this book is so sweet. Ms. Marler's granddaughter was having a very hard time dealing with her emotions while her Daddy was away with the Navy. Her mom and grandmother tried everything to help her cope, but nothing worked, until this story. This story gave Lily a "third person" with which to talk about feelings. Ms. Marler says, "Book Lily was mad. Book Lily was sad. Suddenly it wasn't so scary for Real Lily to talk about those feelings."
What a wonderful reason to create a story! And think how many military children will benefit from reading this book, and talking about it, as Ms. Marler did with her granddaughter. I think it is a beautiful story that will help children all over the world. It is useful to help children who have daddies that travel a lot, even if they travel for work. It could also be used to help children whose mommies are in the military or travel a lot. The characters are believable and there are many feelings discussed and ways to deal with those feelings. Thank you, Ms. Marler, for giving hope and help to famililes across the country. I have a neighbor whose husband is away with the military right now, so I am taking this book over to her this afternoon. I definitely recommend this book for any family who deals with parents being gone for long peiods of time.
Rating: G (Clean!)
Recommendation: Great for all ages!! And very helpful for those kids who need a way to cope with difficult feelings.
Monday, March 14, 2011
The 5 Laws That Determine All of Life's Outcomes by Brett Harward
(Summary taken from the back book cover) "Success is predictable. This book is about the laws that govern successful outcomes--including making more money, finding fulfillment and increasing self esteem, improving health and connections with others. The 5 Laws control our outcomes in life, whether we know what they are or not. These laws control our speed and trajectory in life and most importantly how we deal with others. This book outlines in practical terms how those who are extraordinarily successful apply these laws differently than those who are merely average or above average."
When I heard about this book I knew I needed to read it because I'm all for doing things more efficiently and seeing better results. I know I have issues with this. I am the one always saying how busy I am. I feel like I run myself ragged and then have nothing to show for it. Needless to say, I will take all the help I can get in this area. This book is easy to read and follow, and has lots of good examples of how to implement Mr. Harward's recommendations. The 5 Laws seem to be common-sense solutions and just take a shift in how you think in order to implement. A lot of it seems to be attitude related. I like how the 5 Laws cover every aspect of your life, not just business issues. There are a lot of examples in the book, and they range from running a business to strengthening your marriage, so it should be something everyone could relate to. I didn't have much time to spend working on each "Law" as I read, so I will need to go back and take more time with each principle in order to feel more comfortable implementing them, but I think it will actually help me (hooray!). As I stated earlier, I am the one always feeling busy yet having nothing to show for it. I am constantly asking my friends how to find that perfect balance in life. Mr. Harward discusses this specifically in the book, and that was good, but I wanted more. He states that "the perfect balance so many of us long for is an illusion." What??? He goes on to explain, but because this is "MY" issue, I wanted more of an explanation of how to do this. How do we go deeper and into greater depth? How do we measure things NOT according to time? I will definitely need to explore this topic more because if I could figure this out it would be a great day! If I heard of one of Mr. Harward's seminars being held near me I would go for sure. I think this book has the power to help people in every walk of life, and I thank Mr. Harward for taking the time to put his ideas on paper and for using his talents to help others realize their potential.
Rating: G (Very clean)
Recommendation: High School and up, just because I don't think Jr. High kids would care about it. I do think though, as a mom, that I could teach some of the principles to my children, and as a family we could use these "Laws" to help our family and strengthen our relationships.
Monday, March 7, 2011
T-Rex Virus by Tom Forest
(Summary taken from the back book cover) "A small hunk of ferrous rock from an ancient asteroid which has roamed the cosmos for eons falls to earth. Discovered by a university paleontologist, a long dormant enzyme impregnated within the galactic stone is revitalized by accident in a university laboratory. A deadly virus erupts from the small boulder, taking the lives of the laboratory team within days. Members of the U.S. Army biological warfare operations staff from Fort Detrick, Maryland seize the extra-terrestrial ore. During transportation to a U.S. Government weapons research facility, the rock and its escorts disappear. Now, an off shore megalomanic pharmaceutical giant possess[es] the deadly diseased rock, and the only known antidote. Driven by greed of billions in profit, he won't give up the cure until the virus becomes widespread. FBI agent Dale Fox hits the ground running in pursuit to recover the geode, and the medicinal remedy for the viral infection that now affects hundreds of thousands of people. Battling an elite team of killers within the pharmaceutical company, he has very little time to succeed, since he too has contracted the terminal virus!"
I didn't know what to expect with this book. It has been awhile since I've read this genre, but I do enjoy a good action thriller. My boys love dinosaurs so I thought I'd give it a shot. I liked it. It was definitely action-packed. There was some language, which I expected for this genre. It's not over-used, though, so that is good. I liked the characters, especially Dale, Sean, and Sullivan. I also liked the paleontologists. I happened to talk to a real paleontologist a couple of weeks ago and he said they had actually discovered a full T-Rex skeleton and would be displaying it by the end of the year in a new nearby museum. Consequently, it did feel kind of real when she discovered the T-Rex skeleton. It provides an interesting take on what happened to the dinosaurs millions of years ago. The writing is good: I did find a few typos, and at times it was predictable, but overall I thought it was good. There were some good twists and some humor. Mr. Forest definitely knows a lot about the subject. There is a glossary at the beginning and I needed it. A lot. I got confused with all the different acronyms and military/FBI terminology. There are also some confusing transitions. It was full of action and would make a good screenplay for a movie. I was disappointed that I figured out the cure less than mid-way through the book, and it was a bit corny for me. Every time I read the foreshadowing I would laugh, thinking "No way, he wouldn't really do that, right?" But he did. Even with this disappointment, I did find it very entertaining and will read more by this author. Mr. Forest brought it all together in the end and his creativity and knowledge made for a fun, action-packed adventure.
Rating: PG-13 (Language, death, fighting)
Recommendation: High School and up. There is a lot of death in this book between the virus and the fighting, and it is probably too much for children younger than high school. I think high school boys will really enjoy this book. It's a great example of doing research for your book, and knowing a lot about the subject matter.