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    The Lost Book of Adventure: A Love Letter to the Wild from the Notebooks of the Unknown Adventurer

    Published by Quarto Format: Hardcover

    What would do you if you were walking through the park and found a mysterious notebook with no author? You photograph it and share your findings on social media, of course!

    In celebration of National Take a Walk in the Park Day, (celebrated each year on March 30th) we’ve teamed up with publisher Frances Lincoln Children’s Books to share this amazing book The Lost Book of Adventure.  Written by a person who is only known by the pen name “The Unknown Adventurer”, it contains everything you need to know about how to live and thrive in nature, from the principles of treehouse building to wilderness first aid.  How cool is that?

    If you are reading this, it means my notebooks have been found. I am leaving them here at camp for safekeeping along with a few other belongings that I won’t be taking with me. The notebooks are a lifetime’s worth of knowledge, which I’m passing on to you.

    So reads an excerpt from the weatherworn letter discovered by nature enthusiast Teddy Keen on a recent trip to the Amazon, along with sketchbooks filled with details of extraordinary adventures and escapadesexpedition advice, and survival methodsannotated with captivating colored-pencil drawings. It is thought that the sketchbooks were created for two young relatives of the author. Drawing on Teddy’s knowledge of the outdoors, the pages of the sketchbooks have been carefully transcribed for young readers, as they were originally intended.

    Here are just some of the interesting things you’ll find in this book:

    • How to make a fire and various items from the wild you can use to keep your fire going like pine needles and dry animal poop (who knew?)
    • Campfire cooking essentials including cooking with a stick and making campfire bread
    • Natural antiseptic plants to use when out in the wild and you get hurt: think plantain leaves for insect bites & stings or wild garlic leaves for dressing wounds

    Recommended for ages 9 – 12 and up, The Lost Book of Adventure is packed with extensive survival information for nature enthusiasts or budding explorers.  It’s the perfect companion to bring with you when going camping, canoeing, mountain climbing, hiking or taking a walk in the park on National Take a Walk in the Park Day.

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    adult books

    The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose by Oprah Winfrey

    The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life's Direction and Purpose Published by Flatiron Books Format: Hardcover
    Source: Flatiron Books
    Buy on Amazon

    Everyone has a purpose. And, according to Oprah Winfrey, “Your real job in life is to figure out as soon as possible what that is, who you are meant to be, and begin to honor your calling in the best way possible." That journey starts right here. In her latest book, The Path Made Clear, Oprah shares what she sees as a guide for activating your deepest vision of yourself, offering the framework for creating not just a life of success, but one of significance. The book’s ten chapters are organized to help you recognize the important milestones along the road to self-discovery, laying out what you really need in order to achieve personal contentment, and what life’s detours are there to teach us. Oprah opens each chapter by sharing her own key lessons and the personal stories that helped set the course for her best life. She then brings together wisdom and insights from luminaries in a wide array of fields, inspiring readers to consider what they’re meant to do in the world and how to pursue it with passion and focus. Renowned figures such as Eckhart Tolle, Brene Brown, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Elizabeth Gilbert, Jay-Z, and Ellen DeGeneres share the greatest lessons from their own journeys toward a life filled with purpose.
    Paired with over 100 awe-inspiring photographs to help illuminate the wisdom of these messages, The Path Made Clear provides readers with a beautiful resource for achieving a life lived in service of your calling – whatever it may be.

    When Oprah Winfrey releases a new book it’s an automatic MUST have for me. So when I heard about The Path Made Clear last year, I knew I had to add it to my home library collection. I’m looking forward to diving in to this one and soaking up all the wisdom from Queen O and her peers.  Doesn’t the synopsis pull you right in and make you want to crack open the book to start reading?

    The book is divided into ten different sections: The Seeds, The Roots, The Whispers, The Clouds, The Map, The Road, The Climb, The Give, The Reward and Home.


    I haven’t finished reading the entire book yet, but here are a few quotes from Oprah that really resonated with me:

    Your life isn’t about a big break.  It’s about taking one significant life-transforming step at a time.

    What I know for sure is you become what you believe.

    Wealth is a tool that gives you choices, but it’s can’t compensate for a file not fully lived.

    On a side note, when I turned forty, I took a long hard look at my life and analyzed some of the previous obstacles I used to let stand in my way of achieving my goals. Maybe some of these obstacles have been holding you back too and cluttering your life path to destiny.

    The first obstacle was ME. Yes, I was always stepping in and getting in my own way. Do you do that too sometimes? I’ve come to realize if you don’t believe in yourself. . .no one else will. Period.

    The second obstacle was my past.  This included failed plans, broken dreams, aborted goals. . .what others have said to me. . .or anything else in my past that was weighing me down. I know now you must not let your past determine your future. If you’re struggling with this right now, you might want to write this down.

    I’m forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.

    The third obstacle was resources. Many people never clear the hurdles to success because they don’t think they have the resources to accomplish their goals. Trust and believe you have access to all the educational, spiritual, and, yes, financial resources you need. If you really want to do something you can. No excuses.

    The fourth obstacle was self-imposed limitations. If this is something you’re dealing with ask yourself how many books have you read thus far this year? If you don’t like to read. . .you need to change. . .or your life will remain the same.

    The last obstacle is the opinions of others. Stop caring what other people think and live your life. You are destined for greatness.

    I’m sure some of these obstacles and many more are covered in The Path Made Clear which releases on March 26th.

    Your turn: Do any of these obstacles resonate with you in clearing the path in your life? Feel free to share in the comments.

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    book reviews, children's books, diverse books

    Women’s History Month: Our Legendary Ladies Presents Anandi Gopal Joshi (A Book Review)

    I received this book for free from MCP Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    Anandi Gopal Joshi Published by MCP Books Format: Hardcover
    Source: MCP Books
    Buy on Indie Bound
    four-stars

    A baby book highlighting the life of Anandi Gopal Joshi, the first Indian woman to receive a western medical degree and a trailblazer for women's rights and education.

    The second board book in the Our Legendary Ladies series, this board book introduces tiny readers (ages birth – 4 and up) to Anandi Gopal Joshi.  Born on March 31, 1865, Anandi Gopal Joshi was one of the first Indian female physicians.

    Joshi was married at the age of just nine, which was common in 19th century India, to a man 20 years older than her.  She gave birth to their first child when she was 14, but her baby son died 10 days later due to a lack of medical care for women.  The death of her son served as her motivation to study medicine.

    During a time when it was unthinkable for a woman to get an education, Anandi defied the odds and came to America to study medicine at the Women’s College of Philadelphia.  She later returned to India and received special recognition and congratulations from Queen Victoria.  Anandi dreamed of opening a medical college for women, but due to an early death from tuberculosis on 26 February, 1887, her dream was never realized.  She died at the age of 21.

    In 1997, a crater on the planet Venus was named after Anandi by the International Astronomical Union.  She is one of the few notable to receive this honor.

    Although Anandi’s life was short lived and she is lesser-known, she was a true inspiration and pioneer of her time.

    About the Our Legendary Ladies Book Series
    The books are written by Megan Callea and illustrated by Jennifer Howard.  For each featured lady in this book series, a leading historian signs off on the final version of the book.  Each book is well researched and fact checked for accuracy.  In addition, for each book purchased, a portion of the proceeds, and books, will be donated to these non-profits: Bright by ThreeJumpstart and Operation Showers of Appreciation.  Following Anandi Gopal Joshi, future Our Legendary Ladies books will include Sacagawea, Amelia Earhart and Anne Frank.

    For more information about Our Legendary Ladiesclick here to visit the official website.

    four-stars
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    book reviews, children's books, diverse books

    Go on a BabyMoon and Bring This Picture Book With You: BabyMoon by Hayley Barrett, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

    I received this book for free from Candlewick in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    Go on a BabyMoon and Bring This Picture Book With You: BabyMoon by Hayley Barrett, illustrated by Juana Martinez-NealBabymoon by Hayley Barrett
    Published by Candlewick Pages: 32
    Format: Hardcover
    Source: Candlewick
    Buy on AmazonBuy on Indie Bound
    five-stars

    Inside the cozy house, a baby has arrived! The world is eager to meet the newcomer, but there will be time enough for that later. Right now, the family is on its babymoon: cocooning, connecting, learning, and muddling through each new concern. While the term “babymoon” is often used to refer to a parents’ getaway before the birth of a child, it was originally coined by midwives to describe days like these: at home with a newborn, with the world held at bay and the wonder of a new family constellation unfolding. Paired with warm and winsome illustrations by Juana Martinez-Neal, Hayley Barrett’s lyrical ode to these tender first days will resonate with new families everywhere.

    Have you ever been on a babymoon?  Do you even know what a babymoon is?

    ba·by·moon
    /ˈbābēˌmo͞on
    noun
    a relaxing or romantic vacation taken by parents-to-be before (or after) their baby is born.

    The term Babymoon was first coined in a 1996 book, The Year After Childbirth, by childbirth educator Sheila Kitzinger.

    Essentially, a babymoon is sort of like a honeymoon, only it happens after you confirm that you are pregnant and expecting a baby, and before (or after) the baby arrives.

    My husband and I didn’t go on a babymoon before or after having either of our children.  Why?  Because I had no idea this was even a THING!  Now that I know the definition of what a babymoon is and especially after reading this beautiful book, it ALMOST makes me want to go and make another baby!  Seriously though, as far as I’m concerned, my baby making days are over, but thanks to Babymoon I can live vicariously through these gorgeous illustrations and imagine what a babymoon might be like.

    In this rhyming book, readers meet a sweet family (a biracial family of color) who decide to go on a secluded babymoon with their newborn baby.  The baby is gender neutral which was a purposeful decision.  I love that the family chose to take their babymoon AFTER baby arrived along with their pet cat and dog in tow as a way for them all to bond as a family.

    As first-time parents, they have so much to learn about caring for a new baby.  From changing diapers to nursing to building trust.  If you are a parent then you know having a child changes the family dynamic dramatically.  The baby becomes the center of attention from the moment he/she arrives.

    I like how the parents in this book are investing time and space to be together as a family unit away from home.  It gives me hope these parents will walk into parenthood more connected than ever.

    Newborns should be spending the vast majority of their time in the arms of their mothers and fathers and that’s exactly what this book shows.  And since they were away from their home, they won’t have to worry about being their baby bombarded with the smells of other family members, friends or neighbors.  All of that can be confusing to a new baby, especially when they are still learning to nurse. Babies are primal little creatures and rely on their nose to guide them.

    Although this babymoon getaway is blissful, it is peppered with a bit of anxiety as the parents look like they’re trying to decipher baby’s cries.  This shows the reality of parenthood and how tough it can be at times having a newborn.

    Here together.  So much to learn.  We muddle through each new concern.

    The illustrations in Babymoon will take your breath away and make you feel the love these parents have for their baby.  I think this is some of Juana Martinez-Neal’s best work to date.  Each illustration is so tranquil infused with gentle and loving tenderness.  A definite must-have for newborn parents or parents-to-be.  Add this one to your baby shower gift giving list!

    Your turn: Seasoned parents, what tips or advice would you offer a new family to help them get through the first couple of weeks? Please share your wisdom in the comments below!

    About the Author
    Hayley Barrett wrote BABYMOON to encourage growing families to take time together to rest and fall in love. Once an aspiring nurse-midwife, she honors the arrival of any child, whether newborn or older, by birth or by adoption, as a momentous event.  Hayley lives in eastern Massachusetts.

    About the Illustrator
    Juana Martinez-Neal is the author-illustrator of Alma and How She Got Her Name and the Pura Belpré Award–winning illustrator of La Princesa and the Pea and of La Madre Goose: Nursery Rhymes for los Niños, both by Susan Middleton Elya. Juana Martinez-Neal was born in Lima, Peru, but currently resides in Arizona.

    five-stars
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    So Here I Am: Speeches by Great Women to Empower and Inspire by Anna Russell

    So Here I Am: Speeches by Great Women to Empower and Inspire by Anna RussellSo Here I Am: Speeches by Great Women to Empower and Inspire by Anna Russell
    Published by White Lion Publishing on February 5, 2019
    Pages: 176
    Format: Hardcover
    Source: White Lion Publishing
    Buy on AmazonBuy on Indie Bound
    five-stars

    The first dedicated collection of seminal speeches by women from around the world, So Here I Am is about women at the forefront of change – within politics, science, human rights and media; discussing everything from free love, anti-war, scientific discoveries, race, gender and women's rights. From Emmeline Pankhurst's 'Freedom or Death' speech and Marie Curie's trailblazing Nobel lecture, to Michelle Obama speaking on parenthood in politics and Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza's stirring ode to black women, the words collected here are empowering, engaging and inspiring. With powerful illustrations from Camila Pinheiro, this anthology of outspoken women throughout history is essential reading for anyone who believes that change is not only possible, it is necessary.

    Published just in time for Women’s History Month, So Here I Am is an inspiring, and beautifully illustrated book of empowering speeches about women who have broken boundaries and achieved their dreams.

    As the book introduction states,

    These are speeches that started revolutions, both the kind that take place in the public square – in mass demonstrations and violent clashes – and the quieter kind, which take place in the mind.  These are speeches that should be remembered.

    I can honestly say prior to reading this book, I wasn’t familiar with many of the speeches featured in this book.  Throughout the book you’ll find speeches given by famous scientists, activists, novelists, politicians, suffragists, prime ministers, First Ladies and modern day CEOs.  It was refreshing to see the anthology’s exploration of women in fields like science and business that are sometimes not represented in other books of its kind.


    For each woman featured, there is a brief summary of her personal story, struggles, and successes, including how they got to where they are now if they are still living.  In essence, So Here I Am shares, explores, and celebrates the strong women out there who have worked or are currently working to pave the way for women.  This book gave me the confidence and encouragement to go out and do the same.

    Here are a few snippets of some of my favorite quotes from the book:

    Servern Cullis-Suzuki
    Environmental Activist

    In my anger, I am not blind, and in my fear, I am not afraid of telling the world how I feel.

    Toni Morrison
    Novelist

    Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence…

    Cheryl Sandberg
    Chief Operating Officer at Facebook since 2008

    But if all young women start to lean in, we can close the ambition gap right here, right now.  Leadership belongs to those who take it.  Leadership starts with you.

    Sylvia Rivera
    LGBTQ Activist

    I believe in us getting our rights, or else I would not be out there fighting for our rights.

    Maria Stewart
    Journalist and Abolitionist

    …it is not the color of the skin that makes the man or the woman, but the principle formed in the soul.

    J.K. Rowling
    Novelist

    And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

    Your turn: Have you read this book yet?  Feel free to share in the comments.

    five-stars
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    children's books

    Exclusive Book Trailer Reveal – Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge

    Exclusive Book Trailer Reveal – Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn BridgeSecret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge Published by MacMillian on February 19, 2019
    Format: Hardcover
    Source: Roaring Brook Press
    Buy on Amazon

    On a warm spring day in 1883, a woman rode across the Brooklyn Bridge with a rooster on her lap. It was the first trip across an engineering marvel that had taken nearly fourteen years to construct. The woman's husband was the chief engineer, and he knew all about the dangerous new technique involved. The woman insisted she learn as well. When he fell ill mid-construction, her knowledge came in handy. She supervised every aspect of the project while he was bedridden, and she continued to learn about things only men were supposed to know: math, science, engineering.

    Women weren't supposed to be engineers. But this woman insisted she could do it all, and her hard work helped to create one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. This is the story of Emily Roebling, the secret engineer behind the Brooklyn Bridge.

    We’re thrilled to reveal the exclusive book trailer for Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge!  Look for this one to publish from MacMillian Children’s Books on February 19, 2019.  Press play below to watch the trailer!

    Emily Warren Roebling was born on September 23, 1843 in Cold Spring, Putnam County, New York.  Though most commonly known for being the wife of Washington Roebling and for her role in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, Emily accomplished much more throughout her life, such as obtaining her law degree from New York University’s Women’s Law class which she had enrolled in 1899.

    Today, you can visit the Roebling Museum in Roebling, New Jersey.  Check out their website here: http://roeblingmuseum.org/.

    Your turn: Did you know a woman engineered and designed the Brooklyn Bridge?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    black history, book reviews, children's books, diverse books, giveaways

    Black History Month: Waiting for Pumpsie + A Giveaway!

    waitingforpumpsie

    I received this book for free from Charlesbridge in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    Waiting for Pumpsie by Barry Wittenstein
    Published by Charlesbridge Format: Hardcover
    Source: Charlesbridge
    Buy on AmazonBuy on Indie Bound
    five-stars

    In 1959 the Boston Red Sox was the last team in the Major Leagues to integrate. But when they call Elijah “Pumpsie” Green up from the minors, Bernard is overjoyed to see a black player on his beloved home team. And, when Pumpsie’s first home game is scheduled, Bernard and his family head to Fenway Park. Bernard is proud of Pumpsie and hopeful that this historic event is the start of great change in America.

    This fictionalized account captures the true story of baseball player Pumpsie Green’s rise to the major leagues. The story is a snapshot of the Civil Rights Movement and a great discussion starter about the state of race relations in the United States today.

    Waiting for Pumpsie is based on a fictional character named Bernard and his family, but based on true events from Pumpsie Green’s life.

    All Pumpsie Green wanted to do was play baseball. He didn’t aspire to play for the major leagues initially, but he eventually went on to become the first Black baseball player to integrate the Boston Red Sox. Although Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball in 1947, it took the Red Sox another twelve years to integrate their team. They were the last team in Major League Baseball to have a Black player.

    This is an inspiring and feel good story about equality and change. Pumpsie Green is currently still alive today and is sometimes invited back to Fenway Park to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at Red Sox games.

    Click here to see a list of the first Black players for each Major League Baseball team.

    About the Author
    Barry has been a bartender, taxi driver, song writer, substitute teacher and writer for the Major League Baseball.  He grew up as a Mets fan and was eight years old when he first heard the name Pumpsie Green.  He lives in Manhattan with his wife and son.  Visit his website: onedogwoof.com.

    About the Illustrator
    London Ladd currently lives in Syracuse, New York.  He’s a graduate of Syracuse University with a BFA in Illustration. He has illustrated numerous critically acclaimed children’s books including March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World (Scholastic), written by Christine King Farris, the older sister of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; Frederick’s Journey: The Life of Frederick Douglass (Disney/Jump at the Sun), written by Doreen Rappaport, and Midnight Teacher: Lilly Ann Granderson and her Secret School (Lee & Low Books), written by Janet Halfmann.  His goal is to open an art center in Syracuse so that young people and families can create their own art.  Visit his website: londonladd.com.

    The Giveaway!
    One (1) winner will receive a copy of Waiting for Pumpsie courtesy of Charlesbridge Publishing.  Open to all US based residents age 18 and over.  Good Luck!

    Waiting for Pumpsie Book Giveaway

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