Ride a Magic Carpet to Help Handicapped Kids

We are very excited to hear that Jill Vanderwood is getting ready to launch Follow that Dog, Book Two of her middle-grade fantasy adventure Through the Rug.

The first book was a hit with our reviewer, who noted “This book provides bizarre and zany adventures that will tickle the funny bones of 99 percent of the fifth and sixth graders who read it.”

Jill is adding a purpose to her launch by hosting a sale on Amazon.com. When you purchase a copy of Through the Rug, Book 1 (for $10.98) on Tuesday, March 11, you will be donating one dollar to the Northwest Kiwanis Camp for handicapped children.

You will also receive a package of 21 free bonus gifts, which will entertain and inspire you, teach you how to keep your kids safe, and help improve your child’s reading level. Visit Jill’s Special Offer page and order your books today.

Same Story New Day? Or New Story, Same Day?

Maybe it’s because it’s March. Maybe it’s because it’s sunny … maybe it’s because I can’t get into my office because of all the YA books that have been pouring in. Whatever the reason, I seem to be spending a lot of my ‘zone’ time thinking about books, but more specifically stories. Where do they come from? So many intriguing ideas.

This morning I was being my ever impatient self, waiting at the bank drive through for the teller to stop being so-o-o friendly and neighborly with the person in front of me.  Then I stopped to listen  …

First the scene: four women (all with grey, teased hair) in a late-model car (what we’d call a tank)! They were clearly dressed to go somewhere, in fine jewelry and big earrings.  The driver is holding an envelope that she wants to share with the teller. It’s not a banking envelope, but it is apparently important.

The driver explains that today is her 83rd birthday. Yes, she is going to celebrate. Her friends are with her and they’re going somewhere nice. Lollipops? Sure! The teller hands out four lollipops … and the ladies gleefully pass them out as though they are five-year-olds picking a treat of their favorite color.

What a story … not only in that moment in time, but for the journey to get here, and for the anticipation of what lies ahead. Then I remember: some of the greatest stories come from chance, everyday events … we just need to “read” what’s going on.

Ready to Read : One Size Doesn’t Fit All

I have alway believed that there is more than one way to get a kid excited about reading. Just like finding a diet that sticks, or really, truly, permanently give up smoking, it may take several attempts to truly find the answer. What motivates one person, won’t work for someone else.

The important thing is to be open to and try different approaches. Somewhere out in the universe is the spark that will light up your child’s world and hook them on reading. The idea is to complement your child’s interest and help them find success for themselves. Don’t compare him to Johnny, who is “already” reading … or rabidly follow the process Susie’s mother used to get her daughter to read.

For some of us, it’s fun to sit down and read with our kids. We feel confident in our ability to guide our child. But that’s not true for all of us, whether it’s time to offer or personal confidence to teach. Well, several months ago we had a chance to play with a product called the One Minute Reader(tm). I recently found it again when I was cleaning up my office.

I sat down, opened it back up, and started to look at it again. We’ve been getting a lot of requests to help high school students who aren’t at-level for reading for their grade. And it’s been hard to find topics sophisticated enough (and at their reading level) that will engage them.

The One-Minute Reader(tm) system has potential for this target audience. It is perfect for school or at home. The story is only one page (with pictures), so it doesn’t require a long attention span. There are games/activities and an audio CD to complement (and reinforce). And last but not least, there are charts for monitoring progress. Teens are generally competitive … and they can compete with themselves AND see progress, too.

What caught my eye is the variety and the fact that the stories are non-fiction. Each of them is non-fiction. Each of the five books has five stories to choose from, and there are all kinds of non-fiction topics, from science to geography, athletes to mythology.

NOTE: This is not an advertisement or endorsement for a specific product. It is information offered solely for the purpose of letting individuals working with at-risk readers know about a reading tool.