Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression by Carole Boston Weatherford & illustrated by Sarah Green

About the book: Before she raised her lens to take her most iconic photo, Dorothea Lange took photos of the downtrodden from bankers in once-fine suits waiting in breadlines, to former slaves, to the homeless sleeping on sidewalks. A case of polio had left her with a limp and sympathetic to those less fortunate. Traveling across the United States, documenting with her camera and her fieldbook those most affected by the stock market crash, she found the face of the Great Depression. In this picture book biography, Carole Boston Weatherford with her lyrical prose captures the spirit of the influential photographer.

My thoughts: I have long admired the photograph of the woman with her children revealing the impact of the Great Depression on the poor. This image invokes such emotion and sympathy. Never knowing who snapped the image recording it for thousands to see, it was a privilege to learn a bit about the individual responsible.

Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange
In this children's book the unusual life of Dorothea Lange is briefly told from her history of crippling polio to her traveling across the United States capturing images of the people and their hardships and emotions. As the author states... "she was a storyteller with a camera."

The uncorrected proof I received, showed the illustrations in basic neutrals with only touches of color. The figures are basic and look somewhat abstract in form. This is in keeping with the bleak, bare story Dorothea Lange captured in her photography.

A children's book, this is a good introduction to how capturing the faces and emotions with a camera can benefit generations to come and tell the story.

DISCLOSURE: I received an uncorrected proof to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own, alone.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Maybe It's You (Crisis Team Series #3) by Candace Calvert [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts:  Calvert lifts villainous "Sloan" from the pages of Crisis Team #2 - Step by Step - and fleshes her out as the survivor of a terrible over-the-cliff car accident who is back at work in the ER of another hospital in a different city. Her life has changed for the better, but it is still flawed and she has multiple secrets which she strives to keep safely tucked away.

The story explodes into action with a near kidnapping in front of the hospital and Sloan runs to the rescue of the teen. While in the ER because she is slightly injured, the rescued teen has a disturbing tattoo "property of...." in a hidden area. As the story progresses, the frightening reality of girls held as sex trafficking merchandise and similarly tattooed comes to light along with brutal criminal activity toward these young girls and those who come into the cross hairs of the criminals.

Woven throughout is the thread of forgiving those who have harmed you and also in finding a way to forgive yourself. This forgiveness is found in the deep seated forgiveness of Christ and it is called Grace. Calvert nicely weaves this into the story.

The romantic interaction between Sloan and Micah, a Crisis Team Volunteer and ad man or PR man for the hospital, gets off to a slow start but they do discover their attraction to each other. This book seems to have a bit more romance than Calvert's previous books.

This is a good, clean read though some parents may want to screen it prior to giving it to a young teen given the subject of sex trafficking and sweet romance scenes (though definitely clean) are part of the story. Again, this is a clean read and definitely not offensive.

About the book: ER nurse Sloane Ferrell escaped her risky past--new name, zip code, job, and a fresh start. She's finally safe, if she avoids a paper trail and doesn't let people get too close. Like the hospital's too-smooth marketing man with his relentless campaign to plaster one "lucky" employee's face on freeway billboards.

Micah Prescott's goal is to improve the Hope hospital image, but his role as a volunteer crisis responder is closer to his heart. The selfless work helps fill a void in his life left by family tragedy. So does a tentative new relationship with the compassionate, beautiful, and elusive Sloane Ferrell.Then a string of brutal crimes makes headlines, summons responders . . . and exposes disturbing details of Sloane's past.Can hope spring from crisis?
Begins February 20
ENDS March 13  @ 12:01 a.m. ET. 
 Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the author to facilitate a review. These are my own opinions and I was not compensated to review the book.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Same Kind of Different As Me for Kids Everybody Can Help Somebody By Ron Hall & Denver Moore

My thoughts:  This shortened, children's version of  previous bestseller "Same Kind of Different As Me" brings to children the concept that helping others is a good thing to do.

Denver Moore was a black child born into the poverty of tenant farming in the South and grew up with no education and virtually no toys. He escaped the farm in a train boxcar which he rode to Texas. Life in Texas was as hard or harder than the life he had left on the farm and he lived for years as a homeless person.

He found his way to a Mission where he was discovered by a couple who took him under their wing and helped him. This evolved into a speaking tour and a book which generated a large sum of money which was used to build a new Mission for the homeless.

A good story, but somehow it seems to miss the mark. Would I purchase it? Probably not. Would it be a good book for a library and why? Yes, and because it tells the story of helping others.

About the book: This remarkable story shows what can happen when we choose to help. Kids will discover that we can all make a difference—no matter how big or small we are and no matter how big or small the task.

Based on the New York Times bestseller Same Kind of Different As Me, which sold more than a million copies worldwide and inspired the major motion picture, this book tells the true story of Denver Moore and Ron Hall, who also created the delightful illustrations in this book.

Share the power of friendship and faith with your children.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the BookLook Review Program on behalf of the Thomas Nelson Publishing Company to facilitate this review of my honest opinions. I was not compensated.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Love is Patient and Kind.... Is not irritable..... Love endures....

Compliments of Tyndale Publishing

Deep Water By Christine Poulson

ISBN13: 9781782642145
My thoughts: The world of pharmaceutical cures for disease is populated with brilliant people driven to successfully create Nobel Prize winning cures yet amid their world of glass beakers is the conscience shattering lure of the prize. We find that these driven people are still individuals with the hopes, loves, and desires of ordinary men and women.

In a story that takes the reader into the meticulous research lab and the daily detailed work of trial and error that is involved in research, the author shows the loving family side of characters. Little Chloe with her genetic code that requires daily treatments just to stay alive is a charmer that Katie can't help but fall in love with. Chloe's parents are successful in their own professional endeavors - Rachel a wood working artist and David a patent lawyer. But as David's past pushes open the door to involvement in a case in which his recently deceased ex-wife was lead counsel, a complication of emotions inserts itself into his life and that of his second wife, Rachel.

The moral and ethical issues as well as the criminal activities of life and death show the potential that big pharmacy could potentially drown themselves in as they pursue the high goal of  being first to develop a cure. A prize of recognition but mostly a prize of the mighty financial lure.

Breadcrumbs of evidence are sprinkled throughout but only the most astute can actually predict the ending in this whodunit.

About the book: An obesity treatment has been discovered, but before anyone can benefit, a dispute breaks out about who owns the discovery. David Marchmont, a patent lawyer, is asked to handle the case. There's one big problem, though: crucial evidence is missing--evidence that might have a bearing on the clinical trial two years before.

David's personal life has its own challenges. His daughter, Chloe, has a rare and serious genetic condition. His wife, Rachel, becomes friendly with a young researcher, Kate Flanagan, who is seeking a cure for Chloe's disorder; Kate, in turn, becomes concerned that her lab colleagues may be cutting corners on the obesity drug.

As evidence of mishandling mounts--then disappears--Kate, Rachel, and David find themselves caught up in acute ethical challenges and personal danger. Is biotechnology outstripping our capacity to make ethical decisions?

DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by Kregel Publishing on behalf of Lion Hudson to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own. I was not compensated.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Shackles from the Deep: Tracing the Path of a Sunken Slave Ship, a Bitter Past, and a Rich Legacy by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Cottman [Review & Giveaway]

ISBN13: 9781426326639
This month, National Geographic Children’s Books debuts two thought-provoking titles that expertly explore two largely unknown —  but vitally important  — true stories that spotlight the complex issues of slavery, injustice, fear and the challenges of change. Both works address tough subjects in a compelling and astute manner that provide historical context to understanding and discussing today’s racial issues. I have chosen to review one of these titles: Shackles from the Deep: Tracing the Path of a Sunken Slave Ship.

My thoughts: Growing up during pre-integration period of American history, I knew some but not a lot about our past history as it relates to the treatment of slaves and how they came to be here in America or in other areas of the world. I have since learned more about this dark period in mankind's history. But this is not the only people to have been enslaved throughout history. Enslavement has been rife throughout history. It is a rich heritage, indeed, that the abolition of slavery was sought and fought for. In Shackles from the Deep the transport of an enslaved people - those of African nationality, is shown for it's brutal reality.

As the author, a black man who loves deep sea diving, unites his love of diving, his love of history, and his own unique history to research and bring forth this story evidential layers of brutality come to the forefront. Originally written for an older audience and in more detail, "Shackles" is shorter and directed to the age 10 to 16 audience. The story is still intack with the author's realization that his own forebearers might have been wearing shackles just such as those found at the bottom of the sea, encased in rust, and within the bowles of the Henritta Marie.

The photographs and illustrations bring the reality of the ship's history and that of the human cargo it contained. This book would be a superb addition to libraries.

About the book: Tracing the Path of a Sunken Slave Ship, a Bitter Past, and a Rich Legacy

Press Release: WASHINGTON (Jan. 2017) Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Cottman delivers a tale that is “part mystery, part history, part self-discovery” (Booklist starred review) in this unique and mostly unknown true story of the Henrietta Marie, a slave ship that was wrecked off the coast of Florida at the turn of the 18th century, in his new book Shackles from the Deep (January 3, 2017; ISBN: 978-142-632663-9; Hardcover $17.99; Ages 10 and up).

Cottman retraces the ship’s route around the world: from England to West Africa, from the Henrietta Marie’s departing port in Senegal to the Jamaican plantation where the slaves it carried were sent to work. Cottman draws from his own experience as a diver and an African American, sharing his emotional journey of walking the steps of his ancestors and reliving the traumatic, treacherous and heartbreaking ordeal of these enslaved men, women – and children – who died on its final journey.

“Cottman weaves his personal story of discovery with history of the slave trade, helping readers understand why a sunken slave ship from the 1700s still matters,” reviewed Kirkus. “His emotional attachment to the artifacts, including child-sized shackles, deepens the storytelling in this highly readable narrative.”

Color photographs, a timeline, map, and further reading resources make this an enlightening historical study, while raising timely social questions. Cottman previously told the ship’s story for adults in The Wreck of the Henrietta Marie, and now makes this significant aspect of history accessible to young readers, who are the ones assigned the task of ensuring our future does not repeat the terrible mistakes of our past.

About the Author: Michael H. Cottman, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author, is a former political reporter for the Washington Post. Cottman has appeared on National Public Radio's (NPR) "Tell Me More" with Michel Martin and also the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2000 to discuss his (adult) book The Wreck of the Henrietta Marie. Cottman also serves as a special consultant to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for a national multimedia project, "Voyage to Discovery," an education initiative that focuses on the African-American contribution to the maritime industry spanning 300 years and efforts to teach students of color about careers in marine biology and oceanography.

About National Geographic Kids:  National Geographic Kids teaches kids about the world and how it works, empowering them to succeed and make it a better place.  National Geographic Kids inspires young adventurers through award-winning magazines, books, apps, games, toys, videos, events and a website, and is the only kids brand with a world-class scientific organization at its core.  You can follow National Geographic Kids on Twitter and Facebook.
Begins February 13
ENDS March 1 at 12:01 a.m. EST
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of Shackles from the Deep to facilitate a review of my honest opinion. I was not compensated for this review.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Our Very Own Dog: Taking Care of Your Very First Pet by Amanda McCardie illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino [Review & Giveaway US/CANADA - 2 winners]

ISBN: 9780763689483
Ages 3 - 7 Hardcover
My thoughts: This is a cute book with lively illustrations that convey the joy and excitement that comes from bringing a dog into the home and life of a child. When the little girl is four, her family brings a dog into the home. The fictional story is actually a "this is what you do" type of story where the young girl and her family go through important things to know and do in regard to having a dog in your home.

Along with the actual story (centered on the pages) there are tidbits of factual instruction in smaller print along the top, bottom and sides of the pages.

At the back of the book there is a short indexed list of key words and a short list of additional reading that might be helpful. This is probably a good book for families with young children to read through if they are interested in adopting, buying, or being given a dog of their very own. It will help in understanding the temperment and care of a dog.

I recommend for homes and libraries everywhere.

About the book: 
There’s nothing more exciting than getting a dog! Join Sophie’s new human family as they prepare their home for her and introduce her to life as a beloved pet. Follow along as they learn about bedding and bowls, treats and training, walks and washing—and even an unexpected dog show! Factual notes run alongside the simple story, offering tips that will help turn tentative dog adopters into doting experts.
2 winners each receive a copy
Begins February 10
ENDS March 3 at 12:01 a.m. EST
Open to USA & CANADA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Candlewick Press to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own. I was not compensated. Giveaway copy is provided by Candlewick and sent by them directly to the winner.