Friday, May 8, 2015

For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai's Story

"One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world." 
- Malala Yousafzai

For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai's Story
by Rebecca Langston-George and Janna Bock

For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai's Story written by Rebecca Langston-George and illustrated by Janna Bock is a fantastic account of the heroic stance Malala Yousafzai made for her right to an education. 

Malala Yousafzai bravely volunteered to blog about the closing of her school. "They can stop us going to school, but they can't stop us learning!" She was not deterred by the threat of bombs, beatings, or even jail. In October 2012, Malala and her friends were riding a bus to school when it was suddenly stopped. She was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban who was against her and the fight she had launched for the opportunity to go to school. Langston-George conveys a wonderful telling of Malala's story. The tragic shooting is handled very well in this picture book for children (publisher recommends ages 9-12). The text, "Three shots shattered the silence" and illustration, an opened book with drops of blood on the cover are not overly graphic, while providing a strong sense of the terrifying and dangerous situation faced by the girls on the bus.

On December 10, 2014, Malala Yousafzai became the youngest person to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize. This young peace activist raised her voice for the right to equal education. "This award is not just for me. It is for those forgotten children who want education. It is for those frightened children who want peace. It is for those voiceless children who want change."

I highly recommend For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai's Story for any children's library collection, public and school. I think it is not only the story of a strong female character, but also a story about the importance of education. So many people take education for granted. They feel they are forced to go to school, sit in class, and learn. This is not the case around the world. I wonder how many children in the United States would be willing to stand up to and defy terrorists for their right to go to school?

**To comply with guidelines set forth by the Federal Trade Commission, Capstone has provided an electronic copy of For the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai's Story for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the author or publishing company and is solely my opinion. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Goodnight Hockey

Goodnight Hockey
by Michael Dahl  Christina Forshay

Following in the footsteps of their previous sports related bedtime story, Goodnight Baseball and Goodnight Football (which I reviewed here almost a year ago), Michael Dahl and Christina Forshay bring hockey fans their very own goodnight story, Goodnight Hockey. The season for these young fans will not begin until October 7th, but they can fall asleep to and dream about their favorite team starting August 1st when this title will become available. You can pre-order now from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

I have to admit, I have never been to a hockey game. I live in Texas. Our sport is football. However we do have some very dedicated hockey fans here. The Dallas Stars have won seven division championships, won the Presidents' Trophy and the Conference Championship on two occasions, and dare we forget they won the Stanley Cup in the 1998-99 season! They are in the top ten when it comes to arena size (19,200 capacity at the American Airlines Center), so we MUST have a decent number of fans.

I believe Goodnight Hockey will become the favorite bedtime story of young goaltenders, wingers, centers, and defencemen. The colorful illustrations and rhyming text will inspire wonderful dreams of pucks sliding across the ice, slapshots, hattricks, and last second winning scores.

**To comply with guidelines set forth by the Federal Trade Commission, Capstone Books, has provided a complimentary electronic copy of Goodnight Hockey for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the author or publishing company and is solely my opinion.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Far End of Happy

The Far End of Happy, written by Kathryn Craft, is one of the great reads that grabs you and refuses to let you go until the conclusion of the book. Craft's ability to pull you into the story and make you feel a part of the action is amazing.

The Far End of Happy
written by Kathryn Craft
The novel, in its entirety takes place over the course of one day and is told in three voices: Ronnie (the wife), Beverly (the mother-in-law), and Janet (the mother). Each of the narrators provides their version of the background story of Ronnie and her husband Jeff, as well as their point of view for the events of the day. The book is broken into sections of time, beginning at 7:00 in the morning and ending eleven hours later. At the conclusion of the book you will need to take time to sit back and reflect on what you have read. It is most important to understand that although this is a work of fiction it is based on the author's personal experiences of a 1997 event that forever changed her life and those of her children and extended family.

Here is a book trailer for The Far End of Happy.

You can purchase The Far End of Happy at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The official publication date is May 5, 2015.

Kathryn Craft is a former dance critic who wrote for The Morning Call daily newspaper in Allentown, Pennsylvania, for nineteen years. Craft wrote exclusively nonfiction until she was plunged into the kind of real-life drama that demands attention. In 1997, after fifteen years of marriage, her husband committed suicide in a police standoff, leaving her and their two young sons.

The Far End of Happy was born from Craft's need to make sense of what her husband had done. Kathryn has been a leader in the southeastern Pennsylvania writing scene for more than a decade and is also the author of The Art of Falling. She lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. You can learn more about Kathryn Craft and her books at her website

I do not believe a better title could have been chose for this book. I have to applaud the author for her ability to bring this most intimate story to print. Thank you to the two Kathryns who brought this book to my attention - Kathryn Craft, author and Kathryn Lynch, publicist.

**To comply with guidelines set forth by the Federal Trade Commission, Sourcebooks has provided a complimentary coy of The Far End of Happy in electronic format and in an uncorrected advance copy reader for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the author or publishing company and is solely my opinion. The bibliographic information and book trailer were provided by the author's publicist, Kathryn Lynch of Sourcebooks.