Showing posts from October, 2014

Does Bullying Actually Fit the Definition

Bullying is defined as "repeated, unwanted, and aggressive behavior" to gain power or control of another person, but does that definition really encompass what our kids face in school. You decide. Seven year old, Kymber, was an outgoing first grader who loved her friends, her family, and most of all, her school. She was known by her teachers as a kind student who loved to learn, and who came to school everyday with a smile.

However, when Kymber's family moved to a new town, a new State, and a new school, things changed. The first few days went by without incident, but soon things started to change. She lost her enthusiasm for learning, and her teacher complained that Kymber lacked the ability to participate in class. At home, Kymber retreated more often to her room. She became withdrawn, quiet, and shy. Half-way through the year, she began complaining of stomach aches, and begged to stay home from school. Her parents talked to her, to her teachers, to the school counsel…

Curse of the Granville Fortune, by Kelly Hashway, Book Release!

I am so excited to share the release of Kelly Hashway's latest book for kids--Curse of the Granville Fortune. Released just yesterday by Tantrum Books, I have been waiting to add this to my best kids book list since I heard about it.
Find the fortune, and break the curse:

The hunt is on for an ancient treasure tied to nine-year-old J.B.’s family history. He’s been having visions that make him sweaty, lightheaded, and certain he’s turning into some kind of freak—or worse, going insane. But things are worse than he imagined. The visions stem from a family curse. An ancient ancestor was accused of stealing the massive Granville fortune, and now J.B.’s entirely family will suffer.
To break the curse, J.B. must find and return the Granville’s stolen property. But he’s not the only one searching for the treasure. As he sets out on his journey through a dark and foreboding forest, he’ll battle his worst fears and fight terrifying creatures along the way. And when he meets two others who sh…

The Dirty Business of Child Trafficking: What happens to kids if they find their way home?

The Nigerian government announced this week that they reached a ceasefire agreement with Boko Haram, and that part of the agreement is to return 200 school girls kidnapped six months ago. While nothing official has come from the group itself, and the ceasefire has already been broken, one has to wonder what will happen to these children when they actually do find their way home.
None of us can even imagine the horror these children went through when their teachers were slaughtered in front of them. Then, to add to the terror that surrounded them, they were herded at gun point through the jungle and forced to denounce their parents and their religion. 
While not all children who are trafficked throughout the world are victims of such initial violence, make no mistake, every single one of them were terrorized, threatened, and forced to comply with their captors. But how does this change them?  
For years, we have heard of the Stockholm syndrome which is a psychological bonding with a h…

Wednesday's Rave: Milo and the Green Wagon

Milo, pictured as a polar bear, wakes up one morning and tells God "today, I want to make a difference." He sets out to ask his friends to help, and on the way he discovers a beat up old green wagon in the trash. With the help of his friends and the green wagon, Milo discovers making a difference can begin with one A.C.T.

Written by Lisa Umina and published in 2008 by Halo Publishing International, Milo and the Green Wagon, is a book that touches the heart through Milo's relationship with God, and his desire to make a difference. 
I believe that all of us hope that someday or somehow, our presence on earth will make a difference for someone or something. For Milo the desire was there, and when he found the wagon, he and his friends knew it could be used to make something great happen. Together, they reached out to their neighbors and friends. They opened their hearts in kindness, and through that kindness, Milo made a difference. 
No, I won't tell you the story'…

The Dirty Business of Child Trafficking: Selling Kids as Slaves

The trafficking of children is in a word--disgusting! Last week, I talked about one of China's adoption rings and how it impacted adoption--kids taken from their parents and sold as orphans--but I didn't tell you the other side--kids taken from their parents and sold into slavery. Merriam Webster defines slavery as "submission to a dominating influence; or, the state of a person who is chattel of another." Simply put, that means one person OWNS another, heart, body, and soul. Slavery, no matter how you look at it, is wrong! No one should ever have the right to own another person, to dominate him/her, to have control over whether he/she lives or dies. However, when we are talking about kids, the act is even more disgusting.
A report from the Labor Department released earlier this week stated that 168 million children, ranging in ages between 5 years and 17 years old, were used as child laborers last year. 168 Million!
There is no way to determine how many of those ch…

Oliver's Hunger Dragon Review

British author and fellow children's writer, Jane Finch, reviewed Oliver's Hunger Dragon, and has given me permission to reprint her review in it's entirety. You can find her website at Thank you Jane.A REVIEW by Jane Finch

Oliver’s Hunger Dragon by Sherry Alexander and illustrated by Amy Rottinger
When I first saw a snippet of this story, I thought what a clever idea to call a rumbling tummy a hunger dragon.  Some children laugh when their tummy rumbles, and others are embarrassed. But if it’s a hunger dragon, it becomes something that children can understand and relate to.
Initially, this beautifully illustrated book is about the hunger dragon inside a little boy named Oliver. The hunger dragon is always making his presence known, grumbling and rumbling away to make sure everyone can hear that it wants food. Oliver finds he can’t run away from his hunger dragon, because it is inside him and follows him everywhere he goes.
When Hunger first hi…

Child Trafficking Series Continues: Is inter country adoption another form of child trafficking?

According to the US State Department's Bureau of Consulate Affairs, Americans have adopted approximately 250,000 children from other countries from 1999 to 2013. The growing number of adoptions is seen as a good thing for both the children and their new parents. But in light of the growing numbers of children who are being taken from their parents, picked out of the streets, or coerced into the slavery of child trafficking, it makes one wonder whether inter-country child adoptions are just another form of child trafficking. While it appears there is no official documentation or report on how many of these children were actually stolen from their parents, a quick internet search is enough to convince even the most skeptical parent that this is truly a possibility. 
This summer, news of a Chilean Priest who told mothers that their newborn babies died only to illegally adopt them out to other families sparked a huge investigations. The argument given for this cruel act was that sing…