Friday, November 27, 2015

The Write Journal

The Stubby Pencil's Library
The Write Journal

Writing your goals and tracking your progress
can make the difference between a hobby writer
and one who has his or her eye on the prize.

You can significantly increase your word count if you know
what you want to write before you sit down.
Tracking your progress can increase your writing confidence by allowing you to see what you can accomplish.

This journal:
* 5.5 inch by 8.5 inch with 1 inch wire bound journal
* 3 month blank calendar planner can be used any time of year

* Over 90 days worth of journal pages to track goals,
word counts, and obstacles.

*Each journal is individually made by hand and customizable.
*Makes a great gift for the writer in your life.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Amy reviews Julie Andrews - Home, a Memoir of my Early Years

Julie Andrews - Home, a memoir of my early years

I really love Julie Andrews! I was excited to read this book and learn more about her. She sets up the story with her ancestors to show where her parents came from. There were a lot of details about her family life and their struggles. Some of it is sad, some funny.  It was neat to learn about how she got started in the entertainment industry and to get an inside look at what that life is like. I was a little disappointed that the book ends when she is about to start her role as Mary Poppins. I guess since there are biographies that cover her later years this one didn't want to duplicate. But the others aren't written by her - and it is her perspective that I think made it so enjoyable. I would love to have her write the sequel. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Review of Sliding in the Snow by Melissa Dymock

Grab your gloves and snow boots, it’s time for an adventure in a frozen wonderland—right in your own backyard! Here are fun twists on classic winter pastimes, like sledding and making snowmen. Learn how to design your own backyard winter Olympics.

Things to make and do include: • Saving a Snowflake Forever • Wacky Snow Creations • Making Your Own Snowshoes • Making a Snowball Launcher • Sidewalk Curling • Skijoring • And more!
Sliding in the Snow
by Melissa Dymock
illustrated by Fran Lee
What I liked about this book:
First, it gives kids fun, outdoor alternatives to being stuck inside playing videos games when you can do so many fun things in the snow.
Second, this paperback is made from high quality paper, with really neat illustrations.
Third, the author put together a wide range of activities, play, experiments, building tunnels and forts, crafts, etc. I really enjoyed the mix of old-time activities that people my age and older did long years ago.
Fourth, the first chapter is "Safety in the Snow." Having the right gear makes all the difference between having fun and being miserable. The one exception I would make is using plastic bags if you don't have water-proof boots. This only lasts about an hour. Plastic keeps your feet dry but it doesn't breathe. Feet start to sweat and they can become just as cold as if the plastic wasn't there. We found that if you wear a pair of cotton socks under the wool socks they will absorb a lot of the sweat, but if you're going to be outside for more than an hour or two it would be better to invest in good boots.
Most of all, I liked the bits of history the author threw in about the origins of skiing, and snowshoes; and tidbits about the coldest city in the world. Brrrrr, no thank you.
All in all, you really get your money's worth out of this book. For best results, play with your kids. A lot of these activities take prior preparation and adult skill.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Amy reviews ELLA by Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee

Reserved yet resilient, Ella Blakeley lives with her cruel stepmother and stepsisters, without hope of escape until the day Prince Kenton announces a ball that changes everything. Even without mice, magic, or fairy godmothers, Ella might discover a life that's better than she ever dreamed. This intricately woven twist on Cinderella is an enchanting book you won't be able to put down.

by Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee

I started this book assuming it was yet ANOTHER typical Cinderella story.  After a couple of chapters I started to gain more interest and connect with Ella.  She has so many real reactions and emotions that I related to.  She goes on such an emotional journey on her way to self discovery that I felt renewed afterward.  The story takes twists and unexpected turns that I really enjoyed.  It had me reading late into the night because I had to know what happened next.  I really appreciated the clean nature of it as well, great for older kids as well as teens, young adults and adults. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

More Book Favs from Granddaughter 3.1

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Granddaughter 3.1
More Favorites
by Ally Condie

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and
a path that no one else has dared to follow.
What 3.1 thought:
A lot like Hunger Games. She liked it and gave it

She also enjoyed


Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky--taken by Society to his certain death--only to find that he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous, canyons.  On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life . . . and the enthralling promise of rebellion. But even as Cassia sacrifices everything to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game.  On the edge of Society, nothing is as expected, and crosses and double crosses make Cassia's path more twisted than ever.


Cassia’s journey began with an error, a momentary glitch in the otherwise perfect fa├žade of the Society. After crossing canyons to break free, she waits, silk and paper smuggled against her skin, ready for the final chapter.

The wait is over.

One young woman has raged against those who threaten to keep away what matters most—family, love, choice. Her quiet revolution is about to explode into full-scale rebellion. With exquisite prose, the emotionally gripping conclusion to the international–bestselling Matched trilogy returns Cassia, Ky, and Xander to the Society to save the one thing they have been denied for so long, the power to choose.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

2 Fun Five-Star First Grade Book Series

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The A to Z Mysteries
by Ron Roy
illustrated by John Steven Guerney
Includes all 26 books in the series from A to Z: The Absent Author, The Bald Bandit, The Canary Caper, The Deadly Dungeon, The Empty Envelope, The Falcon's Feathers, The Goose's Gold, The Haunted Hotel, The Invisible Island, The Jaguar's Jewel, The Kidnapped King, The Lucky Lottery, The Missing Mummy, The Ninth Nugget, The Orange Outlaw, The Panda Puzzle, The Quicksand Question, The Runaway Racehorse, The School Skeleton, The Talking T. Rex, The Unwilling Umpire, The Vampire's Vacation, The White Wolf, The X'ed-Out X-Ray, The Yellow Yacht, and The Zombie Zone.
Edition #6

This is granddaughter 3.1's favorite of the series because she got to meet the Queen.
3.1 liked the entire series. It appears there are 6 editions of the A to Z Mysteries.

Also by the same author:
Calendar Mysteries

There's a tricky new mystery every month for these intrepid kid detectives.