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Asking most kids to pick up a book during July or August is like asking them to clean their room or eat their Brussels sprouts. Fortunately, there's a simple solution to the quandary of summer reading lists: Stock them with titles that are fun and challenging and encourage kids to look beyond a book's covers.

Making Summer Reading Fun And Exciting

Making Summer Reading Fun And ExcitingAsking most kids to pick up a book during July or August is like asking them to clean their room or eat their Brussels sprouts. Fortunately, there's a simple solution to the quandary of summer reading lists: Stock them with titles that are fun and challenging and encourage kids to look beyond a book's covers."A Treasure's Trove" (Treasure Trove, Inc.) by Michael Stadther is one such book to consider. A beautifully illustrated fairy tale suitable for children of all ages, it became a New York Times best-seller, captured the hearts and imaginations of children and families and, through clues hidden in its pages, inspired a nationwide treasure hunt. At the request of teachers and librarians, the author has read it to children at hundreds of schools throughout North America and at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.The story, which appeals to both boys and girls, takes place in the Great Forest and tells a sweet (and sometimes sad) tale of friendship and greed, good and dark fairies and how love can overcome fear. There is plenty of action and suspense, plus beautiful fairies and romance. The book is all about family values, love and cooperation, loyalty and friendship. It teaches children the importance of saving the forests, about working together to accomplish their goals and that they need not be afraid of the dark."This book's value is truly in the words and excitement on the kids' faces," said Katie Mullins, a 3rd grade teacher at Degan Elementary School in Lewisville, Texas.Now Available: Free Teachers' Guide & BooksBecause children quickly and easily gravitate to the book's characters and themes, teachers asked the author if he could provide additional "Treasure Trove" material for classroom use. In response, "A Treasure's Trove Teachers' Guide," developed in conjunction with a panel of leading educational advisors in the U.S., is now available for download at www.atreasurestrove.com/schools.Intended as an enrichment tool, it is chock-full of puzzles and activities in such subject areas as reading comprehension, poetry, music composition, map reading and drawing, problem solving and critical thinking. The first 1,000 educators to register online for the new guide will receive a free copy of "A Treasure's Trove," "A Puzzle Book Companion" and the "Official Solution Book to A Treasure's Trove."In September 2006, the book's sequel, "Secrets of the Alchemist Dar," will be released-this time accompanied by a worldwide treasure hunt. Once again, Stadther will visit schools to read the book to students in grades 3 and up. Teachers and principals interested in having the author visit their schools should sign up early by visiting www.atreasurestrove.com/schools."A Treasure's Trove" is available in hard- and softcover at major bookstores and Amazon.com.

Her Backyard - Book Review

Her Backyard - Book Review

Her Backyard by Doreen Lewis is an adventure, romance novel that depicts a career woman in the middle of self-discovery. It is about making choices that may not be so easy to make and complex relationships between co-workers, siblings and friends. I am certain that many readers within the age group between 30 and 40 will find a connection with Audrey, the main character.Audrey and her sister Ava have a touching, close sometimes tense, other times humorous relationship. Their mother died when they were young and now they were facing losing their beloved father. Audrey returns home for the funeral and meets up with an old flame that helps her come to terms with what is missing in her life. Office politics were wearing thin and career hungry co-workers were beginning to both irritate and consume her. She begins to question her choices in life and is faced with desirable options that play tug-of-war with her mind. Finally, exhausted and emotionally wrought she is given the opportunity to choose the path of content happiness. Audrey learns to make a decision based upon her needs, rather than trying to live up to the impossible lifestyle society encourages.Her Backyard definitely has a story line that I think many women can relate with. Career women have to make many sacrifices and there are times when one wonders if this lifestyle is truly full filling all their needs. I think Doreen Lewis has written a fine book portraying this conundrum.ISBN#: 0976091941Author: Doreen LewisPublisher: Helm Publishing

Fabulous After 50

Fabulous After 50

For women in this day and age, hitting 50 doesn't automatically call for breaking out the knitting needles. Today's mature woman has the verve and style of a much younger person, yet she emanates the power and wisdom that can only come with those extra years.While life may not exactly begin at 50, it doesn't have to lose speed either. Women wanting to keep their lives glamorous, confident, sexy and successful can find a bonanza of experience and advice in "Fabulous After 50: And Sexy at 60!" (Plume, $13).Co-author Judy Steinberg, an attractive, vibrant woman who is often mistaken for someone decades younger, was utterly shocked when she first experienced age discrimination. At that moment, she vowed to share her frank and funny insights with older women everywhere.With great panache, Steinberg offers tips and tricks on everything from diets and exercise to interpreting what a man is really saying and the importance of female friendships.Whether one is suddenly single or simply looking for some sisterly advice, Steinberg navigates the course by addressing issues specific to women who are old enough to remember "Sex and the Single Girl."The book is a salute to a new generation of vital, successful and gorgeous older women.

Violet the Pilot in France - Review

Violet the Pilot in France  - Review

Violet the Pilot in France is the second book in childrens series written by author Bettina Bathe. This adventure involves a hot air balloon trip in Provence, France. Proud Canadian author and commercial pilot, Bettina Bathe was certain to include a Canadian flag patch on her main characters shoulder. However, Violet the pilot also embraces the country she is working in by placing that countrys flag patch on her other shoulder.Two young French passengers who want to take a balloon ride to a desirable location for their bike tour adventure, hire Violets aviation services. The ride is interrupted with weather problems, but Violet saves them all with her confident and quick-thinking maneuvers. Violets animal and insect friends are the ground crew who has their own adventure just trying to keep up to the balloon. After a lovely picnic feast, Violet serenades her departing passengers with a song on her violin. Illustrations by Barbara Fortin depict rural France, including interesting French architecture, agriculture and fashion. These bright, bold pictures are full of subtle information.The book uses a few French words and the reader is encouraged to bring interest in the globe and navigation methods in children through useful maps and illustrations. Readers will learn how a hot air balloon is flown - from the pre-flight set-up, testing the wind and flying techniques to landing a hot air balloon. However, Violet the Pilot in France offers more than entertainment and education - the author has also dedicated a portion of the sales of this book to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Additionally, Bettinas website (www.violetthepilot.com) offers contests and awards for young readers.ISBN#: 0-9738290-0-1Author: Bettina BatheIllustrator: Barbara FortinPublisher: Violet the Pilot Enterprises, Inc.Published: July 2005

Fact or Fiction --- Terrorist attack our nation using smallpox as a weapon against us?

It very well could be real, but for now its the latest heart-pounding fiction book, Sledgehammer, about a terrorist who arrives in the ER with smallpox symptoms. An ER physician suspects it but has just six days to convince hospital executives and the U.S. Government before an epidemic breaks out.The story is brought vividly to life by Dr. Paulo J. Reyes who obtained his MD at the UCSF School of Medicine, has 25 years in medicine and internal medicine and is a First Responder for the busiest cities in California specifically in terrorists training. In Sledgehammer, the lead character, Max Kroose, an intuitive emergency room physician, believes terrorists are to blame for the attack and fears the more lethal form of smallpox, called Sledgehammer, will kill within days. As time progresses, the terrorists planned attacks at a sports arena, mall and airport must be stopped. The question becomes can this ER doctor convince the hospital administration and the public health care system about the presence of this deadly disease and the need to vaccinate the American public. You wont be able to stop reading as you seek to find out the truth in this non-stop thriller. How big a threat is smallpox? The Federal Government should allow voluntary smallpox vaccinations to protect us from smallpox bioterrorist attacks, says Dr. Reyes. At the very least the Federal Government should allow voluntary vaccinations of the first responders which should include all hospital medical staff. The President and the military have been vaccinated. Why shouldnt the American public?Dr. Reyes also authored Health-Care Reform or Redistribution of Cost? and in his research of the health care system, he has seen its shortcomings. Realizing there is clear and present danger of a terrorist attack in the health care system has prompted him to support voluntary smallpox vaccinations.The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) considers smallpox as a possible danger and includes it as one of the possible agents of a bioterrorist attack, in its website under the subheading Emergency Preparedness and Response along with anthrax, plague, and tularemia.Reyes believes the Federal Government should consider a trial program to detect the presence of the virus similar to a pregnancy test so if the disease presents itself, it will be detected before it becomes an epidemic or pandemic.The American public is immuno-nave to smallpox, which means it could spread very rapidly, Reyes says. And containment could be even more difficult or impossible if the virus was aerosolized, which the CDC believes may be the case, he says.With new terrorist attacks continually happening in the United States and the fear of a global pandemic, Sledgehammer is a gripping book to get a real insight into what could possibly lie ahead unless immediate action is taken. Buy your book today at http://www.pauloreyes.com, Amazon or any major online bookstore.

Author of "Teen Talk with Dr. Gilda: A Girl's Guide to Dating"

Dear Dr. Gilda,My teenage daughter suffers from acne. As a result, she has a poor self-image. With the summer upon us, I've noticed she is becoming less social than she's ever been. While other teens are having fun in the sun, my daughter is hiding in the house. It breaks my heart to see her missing her friends because of her insecurity. Please help!-Very Worried Mom Dear Very Worried Mom,For most teens, summertime means freedom from school, more socializing, and fun. But for those who suffer from acne, the summer months can be dreadful. The beach, outdoor activities and excessive sun can cause heavy perspiration-which worsens acne and a teen's self-esteem. You are right to worry about your daughter. If she gives in to low self-esteem, she will let her acne rule. But there is hope. As my Gilda-Gram says, "Sometimes it takes a breakout to get a breakthrough."Millions of teens suffer from breakouts of acne. But they have breakthroughs when they choose not to live with it. Help your daughter Take Charge of her skin and her summer. A clear complexion will renew her confidence to be a happy teen again. Show her that she is ready to come out of hiding NOW. Visit a doctor and ask if Differin (adapalene) Gel or Cream, 0.1% can help her beat her battle with acne. Differin is the number-one-prescribed acne treatment among the top 50 topical d-class products.

Summary

Asking most kids to pick up a book during July or August is like asking them to clean their room or eat their Brussels sprouts. Fortunately, there's a simple solution to the quandary of summer reading lists: Stock them with titles that are fun and challenging and encourage kids to look beyond a book's covers.