Friday, April 21, 2017

North Star Academy

I had another great school visit today, when I went to North Star Academy for a school visit. North Star Academy does this awesome thing when they have professionals come and talk to their older kids about different careers, and I thought it was a really good idea. Before I gave my presentation to the younger grades, I got to meet a couple of very smart, very polite, and very curious young ladies from the older grades during lunch and talk to them about what it takes to become an author. It was fun and casual, and we ate lunch together in the library while I told them about some of my experiences in becoming an author. It was so fun!
After my visit with them, I got the chance to give my presentation to the younger grades. It was great, and their participation was fantastic! 
I absolutely enjoyed my visit to North Star Academy, and I hope they learned something about writing their own stories!

My Father's Kingdom by James W. George

I read an extremely well-written and well-researched book recently about life in the Massachusetts Bay colony some years after the historical dinner that drew both natives and European immigrants together. At least for a little while. My Father's Kingdom: A Novel of Puritan New England by James W. George looks from the perspective of several different people involved in the difficulties of the time, from the perspective of natives, to the perspective of white settlers. I personally thought the author did a good job looking at what motivated different people to act the way they did.
My Father's Kingdom (c)2017 James W. George

Here is my review which I put on Amazon, Amazon UK, and Goodreads: 
This story was a brilliantly written historical novel. The story of Massachusetts Bay and the conflicts between the European immigrants and the Wampanoag people and others has always been a sad part of American history. I think the author did a fantastic job bringing historical figures and fictional characters to life, interacting with each other, giving personality and humanity to what would otherwise be just a dry history lesson. These were real people, and their conflicts were real and often devastating. I hope that I will have the chance to read further books in this series. This book was very well written and researched, and I highly recommend it! 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Cleveland Elementary School

Cleveland Elementary School
Today, I went down to Cleveland Elementary in Emery County, and had a great visit with the students and faculty. I enjoyed it a lot, and I hope they did, too! The students had some great things to say about both reading and writing.  And many have even written stories already, with others who have some great ideas for future stories! I hope the assembly helped them think of even more ideas, and that they'll write lots of fantastic stories.

It was really fun to eat lunch with several of the kids and talk with them. The Cleveland Elementary Mustangs are some pretty great young people!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Bean's Dragons by Mikey Brooks

Bean's Dragons (2014) by Mikey Brooks
Children's stories always help to cheer me up when I'm feeling down. And this sweet book, Bean's Dragons by Mikey Brooks is no exception! It's a quick little read, meant to be read by a child, or a parent and child together. Bean is a little girl with a houseful of dragons that are completely invisible to her parents, and the dragons create messes for which poor Bean gets blamed! She has big and small dragons her parents can't see, (but she and the baby can) and they have all sorts of personalities, likes, and dislikes, but the one thing they have in common, is they like to create messes. How is Bean going to get out of this fix? If you'd like to find out, you should read the book yourself and see! 

Candace E. Salima's Life Celebration

Yesterday, I had the great privilege of going to Candace E. Salima's funeral today. Or more appropriately, her Life CelebrationThe speakers gave wonderful tributes, each focusing on an aspect of her life, Nathan Osmond, Sean Reyes, and Linda Scanlan all gave beautiful tributes to her, and to her husband. As Attorney General Reyes mentioned, it's hard to speak of Candace and Alvin separately. Because they were always involved in things together. 
The musical numbers were wonderful and uplifting. The whole room was just filled with a wonderful feeling that words can't describe. 

Her sister, Heather Sluyter Hunt and Niece Stormy Hunt gave a beautiful life sketch. I am so glad I went. I am sad that Candace is gone, but knowing that she is back with Alvin gives me a bittersweet feeling of comfort. She is where she wants to be, and she is happy. So I'm okay.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Great and the Grand

The Great and the Grand (c)2015, Benjamin Fox
Today, while at my local library, I read a short, delightful book called The Great and the Grand by Benjamin Fox, illustrated by Elizabeth Robbins. It is copyrighted 2015, and is published by Familius.

In this short, beautifully illustrated children's book, a little baby is getting ready to meet Great Grandpa for the first time. It compares and contrasts great grandchild with great grandpa in wonderful ways as they go through the day, the baby and mom getting closer to Great Grandpa on a train, until finally they meet.

The book uses simple language and wonderful pictures to tell the story, and the effect is very moving. I strongly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys children's books, especially ones that celebrate the relationships between grandparents (in this case, great grandparents) and little children.