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Book Reviews

Sadie – Courtney Summers

In our last episode, I introduced you to the two girls at the center of this podcast, Mattie Southern and Sadie Hunter. Mattie was murdered, her body left just outside her hometown of Cold Creek, Colorado. Sadie is missing, her car found, abandoned, thousands of miles away, with all her personal belongings still inside it. The girls’ surrogate grandmother, May Beth Foster, has enlisted my help in finding Sadie and bringing her home.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.

Categories
Book Reviews

Lost Boys – Orson Scott Card Book Review

From bestselling storyteller Orson Scott Card comes a gripping story of terror within a small town. Step Fletcher, his pregnant wife DeAnne, and their three children move to Steuben, North Carolina with high hopes. But Step’s new job with a software company turns out to be a snake pit, and eight-year-old Stevies school is worse. As Stevie retreats into himself, focusing more and more on a mysterious computer game and a growing troop of imaginary friends, the Fletchers’ concern turns to terror. Young boys whose names match a list of Stevie’s nonexistent friends have mysteriously vanished from Steuben. And as evil strikes out from the most trusted corners, it’s suddenly clear: Stevie’s next on the list.

Categories
Book Reviews

A pale view of the hills * Kazuo Ishiguro

I’ve only read The Buried Giant and The Remains of the Day and when I looked on my book wish-list, I saw Kazuo Ishiguro’s dazzling debut novel called “A pale view of the hills” and I closed my eyes and made the purchase. When I saw the tiny book (181 pages which to my accounts is TINY!) that came back, I started wondering whether it’s going to have enough time to unfurl into a well-written piece.

It’s only when I hit the 70% mark I realized this was going to be a VERY, VERY well written-book with a good twist. As we’re still on the Mental Disability Awareness Month, I shall add this book to that list at number 11. All the characters are mentally disturbed to a point, we have two suicides and characters on the bridge between autistic and suffering from schizophrenia. Or both. I loved it.

Categories
Book Reviews

Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children – Book 3 – Library of Souls

I have been waiting for this book to be delivered ever since I finished (that is to be translated “devoured”) Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar children and its second volume Hollow city.  Released in September 22nd 2015, the book had the fresh feel of a new print combined with the tantalizing hints of an epic ending to the trilogy that so captured me.

pergrine

The end of Hollow City left the peculiar children in a very precarious spot, and that’s just where Library of Souls begins. Jacob has just discovered he has a powerful new ability, and he and Emma, a hot-tempered peculiar with fire at her fingertips, must rescue their friends from a heavily-guarded fortress. But to get there they’ll have to survive Devil’s Acre, a wretched, Victorian-era slum populated by murderers, thieves, and the peculiar criminals who live there in exile. It’s the thickest of the three books, and is filled with more characters, more world-building, and more action than the other novels combined.  – RANSOM RIGGS

Categories
Book Reviews

Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children book 2 – Hollow city

peregrine2In the second novel entitled “Hollow City” we follow the peculiar children who have now escaped the loop of September 3rd 1940 now exiting into a war zone. Adrift in small boats, clutching small and precious possessions saved from the destroyed orphanage (including a door knob) and the hurt Miss Peregrine (in bird form) – the children are now left to fend on their own.
They need to find another loop and in another loop to find another headmistress that would be able to return Miss Peregrine to her original human form. But they lost the map and all they have left is a set of stories for children of the peculiar.

Categories
Growing Up

Class Party Halloween Games

If you ask children what their favorite holiday is, the most likely response from most children will be Christmas, with Halloween coming in a close second. Some children will choose Halloween as their first favorite. But this holiday, with all its goblins and ghouls, likely makes the top two favorite holidays on most children’s’ lists.

To that end, then, it’s always fun to have a raucous Halloween class party. With lots of fun games and activities, and plenty of candy for prizes, it’s sure to be a hit with kids of all school ages.

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Dean Koontz Excerpts

About Child Abuse – Excerpt from The Door to December – Dean Koontz

 

2f590d1a06e5d88172ba5ce1e9adc4fdWhen I read The Door to December (1985) by Dean Koontz, the following piece struck a chord in me. So many children are abused and the monsters doing it to them rely on the child keeping silent and making them feel like it was their fault.

Categories
Baby Care

Teaching a toddler to walk

Exercise is essentially important to the health of the infant. Its first exercise, of course, will be in the nurse’s arms.

Close up of baby grabbing feet
Close up of baby grabbing feet

After a month or two, when it begins to sleep less during the day, it will delight to roll and kick about on the sofa: it will thus use its limbs freely; and this, with carrying out into the open air, is all the exercise it requires at this period. By and by, however, the child will make its first attempts to walk. Now it is important that none of the many plans which have been devised to teach a child to walk, should be adopted the go-cart, leading-strings, etc.; their tendency is mischievous; and flatness of the chest, confined lungs, distorted spine, and deformed legs, are so many evils which often originate in such practices.

Categories
Growing Up

Christmas Games For Elementary Age Children

ColdChristmasDelightsIf you’re planning a Christmas party for a group of elementary-age children, there are a myriad of really fun games you can include. Be sure to have lots of prizes and take lots of pictures because some of the games can be silly!
To get the kids moving around, start with the “fill the stocking” game. In this game, create teams so there are at least 3 people and no more than perhaps 6 people on each team. Have a stocking for each team. Place the stockings on the wall and have also a bowl of candy and spoons. The first person on each team will put the spoon in their mouth (backwards, so the bowl of the spoon is sticking out) and get some candy out of the bowl. Still holding their spoon in their mouth, they must walk or run to the stocking on the wall and get the candy in the stocking. They run back to the line and the next child has a turn (each child should have his or her on spoon). The game continues until the candy bowl is empty.
The obvious prize for the stocking game is a big bowl of candy!
Another active game is an “unwrap the game” relay. Provide two piles presents at one end of the room (these can be presents with real teats inside, or “dummy” wrapped presents). The children are divided into two teams and a relay is created. One person runs to the stack of gifts, unwraps it, throws away the paper and runs back. Then the next child in line runs up, unwraps a gift, throws away the paper and runs back. If the paper lands outside the trash can, the child must run back and put it back in the trashcan before returning to the line and allowing another person to take a turn.
If these to games are played first the kids might want a little rest. Now’s the time to play a sit-down Christmas party game, like “remember this”. Get a large cookie sheet or baking tray and fill it with Christmas-themed items. You might include an ornament, a candy cane, a Santa hat, garland, ribbon, etc. There should be at least 20 items on the tray. Give each child about 20 seconds to look at the items, then cover the tray and remove it from sight. Give the children another 20-30 seconds to remember everything they saw on the tray. Have them quickly write don their guesses. The prize is for whoever remembers the most items!
Another good sit down game and one that’s also a learning game is a word find game. Provide children with a list of Christmas words and have them find other words within those words. For example, if one word is “reindeer” they might find in, deer, red, den, and so on. Longer words are best, so think of words like Christmas, snowballs, poinsettia, holly berry and the like).
Children love games that involve sitting in a circle and having fun that way. Here’s a “circle” game children are sure to love. This tests their ability to remember little details about other people, like their voice. Have handy a sleigh, either one cut out of cardboard or a small one purchased a gift or dollar store. Blindfold one child and have another child hold the sleigh. The child with the sleigh calls out to the blindfolded child something like this:

Santa, where’s your sleigh?
Someone’s come and taken it away.
Who has it? Who?

The blindfolded child has to guess who has the sleigh. Give the child 3 chances to get it right before giving the sleigh and blindfold to other children.
Frosty the Snowman - 1600x1200 -For another sit down game, give each child a piece of paper and a pencil. Tell them to close their eyes and then tell them what to draw. Give them the shapes, but don’t tell them exactly what they are trying to draw (though most children will figure it out). So, first tell them to draw three circles, with the largest being on the bottom and the smallest on the top. Then tell them to draw dots for eyes, and buttons for a coat. Keep going until you have described a snowman. Then have the children open their eyes to see what they have actually drawn. Award a prize for the drawing that most closely resembles a snowman.
 

Categories
Growing Up

How to Bring Up Your Children Properly

Childhood years are the best times to learn. Somehow, a person’s comprehension is at its peak during childhood. Parents should take advantage of these learning years to ingrain the values of life in their children.
If you’re a parent, teach them positive habits so that they will know and see the beauty that life has to offer. Make them enthusiastic about life. Instill into their hearts and minds all the wonders and magnificence of being alive by living life to its fullest in a positive way.
 

Teaching your children how to be independent
Teaching your children how to be independent

There’s a startling difference between children learning through self-discovery, and children learning through self-discovery with proper guidance. The first things that children learn are usually the things that stay with them and mold formative years until they reach adulthood.
Let us suppose you let your children learn through self-discovery. To a certain extent, self-discovery is good since it develops full independence and self-reliance. However, the learning process might be slow. In a sense, it is like a trial and error experience for children. They have to segregate the good from the bad, the right from the wrong, what they like and what they don’t. It is most likely that what they will like are the ones that come easy to them or the ones that they enjoy the most. And the ones that they enjoy the most might not necessarily be the good ones. Without proper guidance, what they like and enjoy the most might actually be hurting them although they are not aware of it. Perhaps later, if they find out that they picked the wrong choices, it may be too late.
With self-discovery through proper guidance, you will be able to leave room for them to develop independence and self-reliance. At the same time, show them what is right and what is wrong. Explain to them why. If possible, cite instances or examples based on true-to-life events to make them more convincing and realistic. The more realistic they are, the more easily the children are convinced. Likewise, try teaching them in a friendly and humorous atmosphere. Children are more attentive and eager to learn when all (both teachers and students) are in an easy mood. You will know and feel their eagerness to learn through the sparkle in their eyes and by the way they answer your questions. You can be sure that what they learn from you is acceptable to them and will stay with them. That is why, as a parent, you must show enthusiasm in life to your children.
There’s a third method of making children learn. That is through proper guidance leaving negligible room for self-discovery. But there are drawbacks. You take away from them the benefits of self-reliance and independence. The guidance you devote to them may be good and well intended, but they must not rely on you on almost everything they do. They become decision-dependent on you. There are instances wherein this type of guidance might be worse than giving no guidance at all.
There are parents who underwent hardships during their childhood, strived, and became successful financially. Although they are financially in the position to guide and assist their children to a better life, they prefer that their children undergo the same difficult experience they underwent during their younger years. Their reason: so that their children will value and experience the same things they went through. This may be applicable to stubborn and rebellious youngsters, but not to disciplined ones. Why must their sons and daughters repeat the same difficulties? There’s no reason to. This is like punishing the innocent. Instead of repeating the experience, they should learn from it. Life is too short to repeat unsavory experiences.
One of the best ways to broaden your children’s knowledge about life is by traveling. The world – its varied people, places, and cultures – has a lot of information to offer. It is perhaps as important as the conventional classroom. If you are financially able, traveling is one of the best educational experiences you can give your children. Look for exhibits or world fairs, and take your children there. Books are the next best things. It’s traveling by reading.
 
Fill your children with thoughts of self-importance, confidence, and positive attitude so that there will be no room for negative thinking. More importantly, fill their world with laughter, love, and understanding. You‘ll never go wrong.