Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ordinary People Change the World

I have been a fan of Brad Meltzer for quite awhile. I have read a number of his adult bestsellers and love watching his television series Lost History and Brad Meltzer's Decoded.  His love for history is always clear in his delivery, whether through television or the written word. 

I am Abraham Lincoln
by Brad Meltzer
I am Jackie Robinson
by Brad Meltzer
I am Rosa Parks
by Brad Meltzer

I am Amelia Earhart
by Brad Meltzer

When I heard he was going to be writing a series of books for young children on historical figures I knew it was going to be great. I would expect nothing less. I have to say though, he far surpassed my expectations with his series of book geared to children from kindergarten to third grade. The series Ordinary People Change the World includes books about many famous historical figures including Amelia Earhart, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, & Jackie Robinson. Books about Lucille Ball and Helen Keller will be released later in 2015. They are perfect introductory biographies for this age group. The research and language used allows young children to understand the hardships overcome by each of the famous individuals, while encouraging the reader to follow their own dreams and aspirations. There is a clear sense of positivity in each of the books, even those whose life was cut short. Amelia Earhart’s story ends with a parade following one of her historical flights. Abraham Lincoln’s story ends following the historic Gettysburg Address. Each book ends with a two page spread of photographs of the historic figure and Jackie Robinson’s also includes a timeline with significant dates highlighted including: 1942 when he was drafted into the U.S. Army, April 15, 1947 – his first game with the major-league team the Brooklyn Dodgers, and other history making events. I highly recommend all of the titles in this wonderful series of biographies for young children. I can't wait to see the next set of historical characters he will present in this series.

Meltzer's website provides a few printable activities to go along with the book series. Activities include a page for children to draw a picture of their hero - "Who's Your Hero?", a chart with brave deeds where you must decide if the heroic deed was performed by Abraham Lincoln or Amelia Earhart - "Guess the Hero",  and "What Makes a Great Hero?" where the heroic traits of Abraham Lincoln and Amelia Earhart are listed and the child can list the traits of their personal hero. There is also a word search and a connect the dots activity.

**To comply with guidelines set forth by the Federal Trade Commission, Dial Publishing Company has provided a complimentary copy of the following titles for review purposes: I am Amelia Earhart, I am Abraham LincolnI Am Rosa Parks, and I am Jackie Robinson.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Kathryn Pincus Blog Tour

A few weeks ago I received an email asking if I would be interested in participating in the blog tour of a new author. I was a bit taken aback because I have never been contacted to participate in this something like this. I have always been the one to make contact. I am so glad I agreed to this wonderful opportunity. Not only did I get to read a fabulous new book, but I was introduced to a great new author.
Kathryn Pincus

Kathryn Pincus was raised in the New York metropolitan area, received her undergraduate degree (B.A., Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Delaware, and her law degree (J.D.) from the Georgetown University Law Center. Pincus honed her writing skills in her law practice, presenting complex factual and legal matters in clear, compelling, and persuasive writings. Since her “early retirement” from the practice of law, she has filled her days taking care of a busy household and family, supporting numerous charitable and community causes, and writing fiction.

Long Hill Home
by Kathryn Pincus
As soon as I received Kathryn's book I do what I always do with a new book. I immediately went to Shelfari and started entering information about the book. As I was listing the chapter headings I discovered the book is written in different voices.  Each chapter is headed with the person from who's viewpoint the chapter is written and the date the events are taking place. This was by no means a spoiler for the book, but great incite as I knew the key players before the action began.

I was immediately drawn into the story line and the characters. Pincus develops all of her characters in such a way that you know them without being bombarded with too much background information. You are provided with just the right amount of background knowledge about each of the characters in order for the story to progress. Her foreshadowing of events was subtle and did not ruin the anticipation of the action.

Long Hill Home could fall into a number of genres: legal thriller, thriller, women's fiction, etc. Labeling it in a specific genre may prevent some readers from picking up this fabulous book, but I hope this would not be the case. In just 244 pages Pincus takes us through the days leading up to and following the brutal abduction and rape of Kelly, a young mother and lawyer. Intertwined in Kelly's story are those of her family, eyewitnesses, and others involved. Although the book deals with a horrific circumstance the details are not graphic. Pincus handles the rape and the eventual reconnection between husband and wife in a very delicate manner. She shows how a victim can be pulled back to a normal life with the help of a professional counselor and family members. I highly recommend this book which is now available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

More information about Kathryn's debut thriller, Long Hill Home, can be found at http://kathrynpincus.com/long-hill-home. There, you can also see wonderful images allowing you to explore the places of her book which include: Brandywine River and Breck's Mill, Downtown Wilmington; Kelly's law office building, the Courthouse & Maria's apartment; Kelly's Highlands neighborhood; Chad's house in the woods; Rockford Park; and the Running Trails. These photographs allow you to walk or "run" in Kelly's shoes and to see her world.

**To comply with guidelines set forth by the Federal Trade Commission, Smith Publicity Inc., has provided a complimentary copy of this title for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the author, publisher, or publicity company and is solely my opinion.