Need a Unique, budget-friendly gift? Think Journals

The summer I turned eight, my family camped our way across the United States from Baltimore, Maryland, to Monmouth, Oregon. Just before we left, my mom gave me a small, spiral-bound notebook for memorializing our trip. That little notebook (that cute little notebook to the left over there) launched a lifelong love of writing. From the mundane to the sublime its all there in my nearly 20 year collection of little diaries with keys, fancy journals (including Papyrus journal that was a wedding present from Bill), and college-ruled spiral notebooks! They’re not worthy of a memoir, for sure, but they remember moments long ago forgotten, and in the times that I spent writing, they were comfort and refuge, joy and … Read more

Black History Month: Strong Women for Strong Girls

To kick off Black History Month, Google chose Harriet Tubman for its daily Google logo on February 1, 2014. It is so cool on so many levels. It also ties nicely with our theme for Black History Month this year: Strong Women for Strong Girls. When I read Patricia Hruby Powell’s new book Josephine, the Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker, I couldn’t wait to share it with my daughter. It is a beautifully told and illustrated story … and one that I did not know. That was when I decided to share some of our favorite books about incredibly influential women of color – trail blazers, independent thinkers, confident women. Women whose stories are not talked about as often as … Read more

Book Review Milestone: Unspoken by Henry Cole is #2225

Unspoken, a Story from the Underground Railroad written and illustrated by Henry Cole Scholastic Press, 2012 What an apropos book to be our 2,225 book review. A wordless picture book that left us speechless. I was speechless when I saw the review count after I hit “publish,” too. Progress. If all goes well – and the kiddos stop getting snow days – we’ll be hitting 2,500 within the next few months. Stay tuned. My primary project for 2014 is to reduce that To-Be-Reviewed pile over there to almost nothing. Each week, I set a target to get six book reviews written and/or published. Three for books that I’ve read over the last two years, three from our Teen Star Review … Read more