Friday, August 9, 2013

Day of Tears by Julius Lester

Day of Tears by Julius Lester

I contemplated reading this book for some time, and I'm so glad I finally did. A Day of Tears is a historical fiction based on the largest slave auction ever held in the history of the United States of America. During the two days of the auction, a torrential rainstorm took place, and the skies did not clear until the auction came to an end. This historical event became known as "the weeping time."

This is the story of Pierce Butler, a large plantation owner in Georgia, and his two daughters Frances and Sarah and their house slave named Emma. Emma is the caretaker of Butler's two children and the children love Emma deeply, especially little Sarah.  The two sisters have opposing viewpoints of slavery, Sarah abhors slavery while Frances, like her father, revels in Southern pride. In an attempt to pay off his massive gambling debts, Mr. Butler must sell the only property he has left, which consists of over 400 slaves. Although Butler promises not to sell Emma, she is a young strong girl who will surely turn a mighty profit on the auction block. You will have to read the book to find out what happens; but this heart wrenching story of our country's history is one that should never be forgotten.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Bicycling to Fitness

Two weeks ago, we bought new bikes for the family, because we thought it would be the perfect family activity. The plan is to get outdoors as often as possible, and perhaps take an adventure to some of our beautiful state parks.

My personal plans are more elaborate and include riding at least 5 days a week for 20-30 minutes. I used to be extremely active and fit in my youth, and I am more than a little disappointed in my current fitness level. To help me keep track of my progress, I purchased an el-cheapo bicycle computer for $12. It keeps track of my speed, distance, and time when I ride. Since July 10, I have ridden 20 miles. I have not seen any weight loss yet, but I have noticed an increase my energy level and my blood pressure is slightly lower than before. So far so good! Happy Bike Riding!

Blog Revamp and New Purpose

Wow! I cannot believe it has been 10 months since I posted on this blog. Haha, believe me I have been extremely busy and I have to redirect my focus on life. First of all, last fall I started taking online college courses. So, now not only am I a Mommy and a wife, but also a full-time student! :) Previously, this blog was a place for me to post about books my daughter and I were reading. However, I have decided that I need this blog to cover a broader range of topics. From today and onward I will be posting about multiple subjects that will include books, my new fitness goals, food, and whatever else comes to my mind. lol With my hectic schedule, I cannot make any promises on how often I will post, but I'm excited about this new journey.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Mysterious Benedict Society

The  Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart was chosen as our summer read aloud. Eleven year old, Reynie Muldoon, responds to an advertisement to recruit gifted children for special opportunities. After a series of test, he and three other children Kate, Constance, and Sticky are chosen to become part of a special team called The Mysterious Benedict Society. They are trained by Mr. Benedict and their mission is to become spies inside of The Learning Institute of the Very Enlightened, run by Mr. Curtain. Mr. Curtain is developing technology to brainwash society so he may take over the world. The Mysterious Benedict Society must find a way to divert Mr. Curtains plans.

We give this book a big thumbs up, however at 485 pages it took us all summer to complete. There are 4 books in this series each similar in length. The author has a great imagination, and this series reminds me somewhat of The Harry Potter books.  I was reading this aloud to my 7 year old but the book is more geared to 5th - 8th graders.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Second Grade Book Favorite: Ivy and Bean Series

Ivy & Bean What's The Big Idea by Annie Barrows
As a science project, second graders, Ivy & Bean, attempt to find a way to stop global warming. This is the 7th book in the Ivy & Bean series, now my daughters favorite after Junie B. Jones. Ivy & Bean are mischievous, witty, and charming. Alexis has read 4 books in the series and has loved every one.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Review: Kizzy Ann Stamps

Kizzy Ann Stamps by Jeri Watts
Publisher: Candlewick (August 14, 2012)

I am a big fan of any book pertaining to the Civil Rights era, so I jumped at the chance to review Kizzy Ann Stamps by Jeri Watts. Watts is a school teacher and a published children's author. This is her first middle grade novel which will be released on August 14, 2012, by Candlewick Press.

It's 1963, Kizzy Ann Stamps, is a girl growing up during the integration period of the South. Until now, she has only attended a one room black school, where Mrs. Warren is the only teacher she has ever kown. In letters to her new teacher, Kizzy Ann gives an honest account of her feelings about sharing a classroom with the white kids. As she struggles with the insecurities of her scarred face, and not knowing how she will fit in at a new school, she clings to her loyaly border Collie, Shag. As Kizzy enters Shag into the local dog trials competition, the reader learns just how deep the roots of racial tension have grown, as well as how just a small change can impact the masses.

The author wrote a profounding story in Kizzy Ann Stamps. When I'm reading a story and I can feel real emotions through the characters, I know the story is going to be great.  In one of Kizzy's letters to her teacher she writes, "Sometimes, Miss Anderson, it feels like a part of me has given up on being treated equal-on seeing the world get better for me than it was for my parents or grandparents. And yet I've had glimpses, from you and from Doc Fleck, of what it is like to be treated equal, and I've liked it, and that is part of what makes things not easy anymore. Seeing what life could be like is hard. What if I'll always be coming in the back door, always be separate, always take a backseat? I don't think that will be okay with me." In this statement, I could deeply feel Kizzy Ann's hurt and frustrations.

When Kizzy Ann enters Shag in the dog trials competition, she realizes that even her dog is discriminated against, because of its master's skin color. Mr. McKenna, the dog trainer, encourages Kizzy with these words, "The world can't change unless we start making it change." I think this quote sums up the authors purpose for this story. Someone has to make the firsts steps toward change. Overall, I loved the story of Kizzy Ann Stamps and believe it will be highly revered for years to come.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Flotsam by David Wiesner
Flotsam: Something that floats.

 It floats in the ocean,
 it may wash up on the beach,

where someone may find it
and be astonished,

and share the discovery with someone else-
as David Wiesner shares it with you.

Flotsam is the 2007 winner of the Caldecott Medal. This unique wordless picture book tells the story of a camera that gets washed from shore to shore. Wiesner's vivid illustrations tells the story of things that may lie deep within the ocean. 

It was fun introducing a wordless book to my daughter, at first she didn't know what to make of it. After going through the book a few times, she had an aha moment and explained to me how to tell which illustrations are photos from the camera by the black outline. I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

My Swagbucks

  © Blogger templates 'Neuronic' by 2008

Back to TOP