Category: New Authors

Children of War: Lois Lowry’s WWII Children’s Book

Have you heard of Lois Lowry?  It’s hard to imagine not coming across her work at least once during our time in school.  Lois Lowry is a two-time Newbery Medalist winner, getting the awards for “Number the Stars” in 1990 and “The Giver” in 1994.


image via amazon


If you are a fan of Lois Lowry, then keep your eyes and ears peeled for this!  Lowry has a new children’s book, “On the Horizon,” that will be published on April 7.  The book is a collection of reflections on World War II, drawing from her experiences from her own childhood spent in Japan during the war.  Lowry asks readers to empathize with people from both sides of the conflict by offering vignettes of those who lost their lives in the war.


After that, Lowry turns to herself and her guilt for living in Tokyo after the war ended.  She felt isolation when she would watch Japanese kids play together, never receiving an invitation to play with them.  She dared not ask to join them, either.


image via kreg franco on fatherly


The content in her new book is questionable in its suitability for kids, but I don’t think that kids should be shielded from darkness in the world.  It unfortunately accompanies each and every one of us every day.  It is a part of life, something that kids should be made aware of.  However, Lowry’s core message in her book is this: we all benefit from a more peaceful world.


In an interview with Lois Lowry about her new book, Shay Maunz of TIME poses her questions like why she chose to write the book in poems instead of prose, or her experience of World War II as a kid.  Lowry’s answers are really interesting.  For her first question, she answered that her newest book took its form through what is essentially a  process, something any kind of artist goes through with any medium.  Her answer for the second question goes into depth about her worries over her father.  The interview with TIME seems to include the full dialogue, so if you’re interested in reading about all the answers relating to her new book, you can check that out.


featured image via rania mathar on time


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Country Queen Dolly Parton To Read Bedtime Stories to Kids

On Thursday, April 2nd, Dolly Parton will air her first installment of Goodnight With Dolly, a video series that will feature Parton reading children’s stories through Imagination Library’s Youtube Page. Parton wants to read to children to ease them of their worries during the COVID-19 pandemic. On a video posted through her Facebook page, she states that ‘Goodnight with Dolly’ will give children “a welcomed distraction during a time of unrest.”



Parton did not mention a schedule for the days she would be reading stories, but she did provide a list of books selected from Imagination Library. Stories such as; The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper, Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney, and Partons own books I Am a Rainbow and Coat of Many Colors will be read during the ten week series.



For all my parents out there, take this time to snuggle up with your children and enjoy some hot cocoa. I know I’m in my twenty-somethings, but I wouldn’t want to miss a bedtime story, especially from Dolly Parton!

Featured Image Via Deadline

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5 Exciting New YA Releases

The Shadows Between Us, follows Alessandra, and her goal in life is take down the king. Her plan is to marry him and then kill him, so she can take the throne for herself.

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Bookstr’s Three To Read This Week 03/27/20

Hello book lovers! I hope you’re well and, most importantly, home. The world has gone a bit upside-down hasn’t it? Hard to know what to do with everything changing. One thing you can count on, though, is the Three to Read. We’ve got you! I have three amazing reads for you this week – and with everyone self-isolating, your TBR pile might actually stand a chance. With no further ado; the Hot Pick, Coffee Shop Read, and Dark Horse.

Hot pick

Journey: A Novel

by Andrew Zimmerman.

image via amazon


Paul is a top business executive hoping to be the next CEO of Ascendant―a New York-based tech giant. He neglects everything―his family and himself―in the race to the top. His fast-paced life is interrupted when he travels to Glastonbury, England, to visit friends in a village rich in history and mysticism.

Glastonbury represents a complete counterpoint to Paul’s elite corporate day job. It compares to an amusement park, with shops and venues catering to spiritual seekers ranging from would-be witches, goddesses and druids, and burned-out hippies. Like many seekers before him, he is attracted to the energy of a nearby hill―Tor―said to be the mythical Isle of Avalon. Paul meets a beautiful soul reader, Christine, who reads his soul and plants the seeds that turn his life upside down.

When he returns to New York, his wife, Mary, is skeptical. Is Paul having a spiritual awakening or is he falling in love with an attractive charlatan? His journey both scares and intrigues her as she watches him struggle to navigate between the business and spiritual worlds. A series of synchronistic events draws Paul closer to Glastonbury and Christine, compelling him and a reluctant Mary to return, unaware that their lives will never be the same.


Zimmerman’s novel is as spiritual as it is intriguing. The reader is faithfully brought along on Paul’s journey to spiritual realization after his trip to Glastonbury. Many will relate to Paul’s struggle with balancing his career with everything else in his life. This is particularly poignant and thought-provoking these days, with most of the world working from home and reevaluating what is important to them. This novel provides the reader with the inspiration and hope that it is never to late to change the course of your own life, and proves the importance of looking inward, and trusting your gut.


coffee shop read

Wicked as you wish

by Rin Chupeco

Wicked As You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic Book 1) by [Chupeco, Rin]

image via amazon


Many years ago, the magical Kingdom of Avalon was left encased in ice when the Snow Queen waged war. Its former citizens are now refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. Which is why the crown prince and his protectors are stuck in…Arizona.

Prince Alexei, the sole survivor of the Avalon royal family, is hiding in a town so boring, magic doesn’t even work there. Few know his secret identity, but his friend Tala is one of them.

A new hope for their abandoned homeland reignites when a famous creature of legend, the Firebird, appears for the first time in decades. Alex and Tala must unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.


Who doesn’t love a bit of escapism? Wicked As You Wish is a magical novel with endearing characters and an exciting premise, which Publisher’s Weekly have dubbed “A nail-biting quest that introduces a gripping new series.” Chupeco breathes new life in to many beloved fairytales, and takes some of their best aspects, building them into the totally unique universe that she has created.

Bonus points for Chupeco, too, in the seamless introduction of the novel’s non-binary character, who is correctly gendered and presented throughout. Non-binary readers will undoubtedly enjoy the fair and honest representation that Rin has managed to make natural and low-key.

“Rin Chupeco’s marvelously magical WICKED AS YOU WISH is a great read for fans of fairy tales, myths and legends. In fact, avid fans will want to read it two, three, or four times just to catch all the twists, updates and Easter eggs, as nearly every chapter is loaded with delights. Come for the adventure, stay for the sassy jerkwad firebird.” – Kendare Blake #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Three Dark Crowns series


dark horse

The Middle Finger Project

By Ash Ambirge

The Middle Finger Project by Ash Ambirge: 9780525540328 ...

image via amazon


“Don’t worry, this isn’t a book about God, nor is it a book about Ryan Gosling (second in command). But it is a book about authority and becoming your own.” –Ash Ambirge

After a string of dead-end jobs and a death in the family, Ash Ambirge was down to her last $26 and sleeping in a Kmart parking lot when she faced the truth: No one was coming to her rescue. It was up to her to appoint herself. That night led to what eventually became a six-figure freelance career as a sought-after marketing and copywriting consultant, all while sipping coffee from her front porch in Costa Rica.

She then launched The Middle Finger Project, a blog and online course hub, which has provided tens of thousands of young “women who disobey” with the tools and mindset to give everyone else’s expectations the finger and get on your own path to happiness, wealth, independence, and adventure.

In her first book, Ash draws on her unconventional personal story to offer a fun, bracing, and occasionally potty-mouthed manifesto for the transformative power of radical self-reliance. Employing the signature wit and wordsmithing she’s used to build an avid following, she offers paradigm-shifting advice along the lines of:

  The best feeling in the world is knowing who you are and what you’re capable of doing.
  Life circumstances are not life sentences. If a Scranton girl who grew up in a trailer park can make it, so can you.
  What you believe about yourself will either murder your chances or save your life. So why not believe something good?
  You don’t need a high-ranking job title to be authorized to contribute. You just need to contribute.
  Be your own authority. Authority only works as long as you trust that someone smarter than you is making the rules.
  The way you become a force is by being the most radically real version of yourself that you can be.
 You only have 12 f*cks a day to give, so use them wisely.



Who wouldn’t want to master the art of being their own authority? This novel is fun, fresh and on-the-nose. We all struggle with imposter syndrome, women in particular, and Ambirge will help you overcome this with The Middle Finger Project. Pulling from her own experiences, she inspires and instills hope in any woman (or person, for that matter) that is ready to break free of the shackles of the own worry that they aren’t good enough. Ambirge is inspiring both in matters of business, and life in general, with a down-to-earth and to-the-point read that will have you disobeying, making your own rules, and setting up your own business. The f-bombs are far from off-putting and instead come across as honest, because who hasn’t dropped a few of late? Ambirge doesn’t pretend that getting what you deserve is easy, either, and highlights the dangers and fears rather than hiding them. But this, too, is refreshingly honest and transparent. You’ll trust Ash, and most importantly, you’ll trust yourself. Go get this book and then go get your life!

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Inspirational Doctor and Author Has Six Tips For Productive Quarantine

Judy Ho, Ph. D., ABPP, ABPdN is a licensed and triple board-certified Clinical Neuropsychologist based in Los Angeles, a tenured Associate Professor at Pepperdine University, podcast host, and published author. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, she’s also a regular on the set of The Doctors. Inspirational both in her achievements, and her extensive resumé, she’s here with six amazing tips to help you adjust to the new normal!

Image result for dr judy ho

image via DR JUDY HO

The COVID-19 pandemic has a lot of us grappling with fear, stress, anxiety, grief, and feelings of being overwhelmed. With the new directives to practice social distancing (maintaining > 6 feet of physical distance from other people, or avoiding direct contact with people or objects—no hugs or handshakes—in public places during the current coronavirus outbreak to minimize exposure and reduce the transition of infection), we are urged to work from home, avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, and do so to protect ourselves and the larger community.

These directives, while imperative and clearly necessary, have direct tolls on our mental and physical health in addition to our growing fears of the unknown and the fact that news updates seem to present an everchanging picture each day. With no specific end in sight, the unknowns of how long this new normal will last and what it will look like as the situation unfolds is bound to cause heightened anxiety. Unknowns are very stressful for the human mind. We want to feel in control of our lives, as the more we feel is in our control, the more our chances for survival increases. The social distancing directives isolate from others, and we know that loneliness and perceived dissatisfaction with social interactions can wreak havoc on our well-being. Being in one place most or all of the time will also lead us to experience symptoms of cabin fever, lethargy, sadness, problems concentrating, irritability, feelings of being stuck, claustrophobia, and difficulty dealing with minor stressors.

To help us cope, here are some evidence-based tips on how we can make the most of these times, attend to our mental and physical wellness, and stay productive and motivated.

1. Take deep breaths and combat defeatist thinking

In these unprecedented times, it is easy to lose hope or feel absolutely inefficacious about how you can improve the circumstances. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the challenges, take deep breaths. This resets your brain and body and tells it to chill out and veer away from a state of emergency or fight or flight. Then, manage any negative, catastrophic thinking. Thoughts are just mental events and not necessarily reflective of the truth, even when it feels that way! Try this evidence-based technique from the ACT literature called defusion. Whatever negative or catastrophic thought you are having, put the clause, “I am having the thought that …” in front of it. This takes the wind out of the sails of that negative thought just enough for you to feel more proactive and in charge of your life. So “I won’t be able to survive this” becomes “I am having the thought that I won’t be able to survive this.” This simple exercise of distancing from harmful thoughts without trying to change them is extremely helpful in helping to curb subsequent negative emotional or behavioral reactions.


2. Accept negative feelings and thoughts, and let them be

You are bound to have negative emotions right now, and one of them may be grief. Grief can be conjured not only be fears of death and dying (and this pandemic certainly has aroused that existential fear in many of us), but it can be about saying goodbye to a former type of lifestyle, the end of a job or career, the fracturing of relationships; all of which are possible outcomes many are dealing with during this uncertain time. Rather than grief processing occurring in stages, I actually think it’s a circle of grief. People don’t move linearly. When we grieve, we bounce back and forth between depression, denial, anger, acceptance, and bargaining. One day you might feel accepting of the situation, the next day when a news story hits, you are back to experiencing anger. And that emotional swing can be tough to manage, so we have to be kind to ourselves and allow these feelings to happen. Know that they are normal and that they won’t last forever. The more you struggle with feelings the longer they linger, but if you accept them as normal and fact, they tend to dissipate easier.

3. Find creative ways to socially engage

We are social animals and we need meaningful social engagement. We can do this by making sure we touch base with loved ones in real life by calls or video chat. This can be additionally bolstered by having a shared experience. For example, eat lunch or dinner with a loved one over video chat. Watch a movie together while on video chat and share commentary and opinions about the film during or after. Make sure you do this a few times a week.

4. Open the shades (and get outside)

Whenever possible, try to get outside, even for a few minutes a day, to take in the fresh air and the outdoors. Research shows this is especially effective in the morning hours to align with human beings’ circadian rhythm which can also help promote better quality sleep. If you are unable to get outside, open the shades. This can help ward off claustrophobia and boost your mood.


5. Avoid binge-watching anything (or binge video game-playing)

It would be so easy to pass the time with hours of Netflix or Call of Duty. But doing this can actually lead to feelings of depression and hopelessness, according to research. Limit yourself to two hours per day for video and media consumption. This would include leisure shows, the news, and social media.

6. Keep a routine

Routines are comforting to the human mind. Make sure you devise a daily routine that mimics what you did prior to social distancing directives. This means getting up at the same hour every day (set an alarm clock if you need to), showering and getting dressed as if you were going to work outside the home (and direct your children to do the same), and having “work hours” when you focus on industrious activities and “home hours” where you focus on family togetherness and relaxation.

feature image via usatoday

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