Writing Challenges

There is another writing challenge on the horizon, this time a rhyming challenge.  I am already in a chapter book challenge.  I do these challenges to write more and get it together.


Wish me luck!


Lessons Learned through Culture

Lessons Learned through Culture

Lesson Learned: Leadership Lessons from the Cherokee Chief who transformed his Nation


Chad “Corntassel” Smith

Mr. Smith utilized a traditional Cherokee prayer and based his leadership model on this prayer.  He utilized learning as way to improve life for the Cherokee nation. As a teacher in a turnaround school, I wonder if this format would help bring out the best of the school. If this format would improved test scores and improve the culture within the school.  This sure seemed to help the Cherokee nation.

I understand there is difference between a school and an entire nation.  However, the basics are there prayer that Chad “Corntassel” Smith used is sound.  In order to get the return educators need to know their students and understand where they come from, but not use it as an excuse to keep them for growing. The principals are sound and can help rebuild Nation, could help rebuild a school. 

Book Reviews


The art of reviewing a book is very interesting.  Recently, on Linkend I proposed the idea that book reviewers should be paid for their services. WOW!!!! I did not realise how much people, rather how little people thought about reviewing books.  This is interesting to me because almost every author I know, electronic, website, app, etc., want someone to review their book honestly.  What they don’t want to do is pay that person for that review.  Some want you to pay for the book at a reduced price.  Most of the books I review are galley or unfinished copies of the book.  Publishing companies not only want you to provide a review, but post it your blog,  link it to one or two social networks and post it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble type websites. 
Before I go any further, I should point out that any book reviews that you may have read on this site have not be paid for, in other words no money exchanged hands.  I have received most of the books gratis with the understanding that I will review the book honestly and provide a well written book review on that book.  In addition, I try to play fair and write a nice review to books that I do not like.
Now that my disclaimer is out of the way, the first and foremost reason that I review books is because I like to read, LOVE TO READ!  In elementary school I would put my book inside the text book and read during class.  Yes, I did get busted, but it did not stop me from continuing the practice.  When Amazon first marketed the Kindle eReader, it was on my Christmas list that year.  While I went through Chemo, I brought the Kindle with me to almost every treatment, doctor’s appointment and procedure. I actually wore out my Kindle from use.  The technical people at Amazon were astonished and I like to think that the survey I filled out for them helped them to improve the next generation of a Kindle.  Currently, I have two Kindle eReaders ( a Kindle keyboard 3G and a Kindle Paper lite) and a iPad.  They are always in my purse, which I bought based on the fact that I could put all of them plus my writing notebooks and organiser.  Apparently I like to read and I like to write about what I read.
The other reason that I like to review books is because I often get a book that I would not normally read for whatever reason.  More often than not I get a book from a new author and I am pleasantly surprised how well the book is written.  Not only that, but a new concept in writing or twist on an old idea.  Sometimes I get a book and it is very difficult get through that book and believe me those are the hardest. Regardless, I try to find something good about the book. 
Reviewing book takes time, energy (physical and electrical), software, etc.  Personally, I think that I should be monetarily compensated for reviewing the books.  I do know some reviewers who do receive up to $200.00 for a review.  I am not there yet.  I require the book, galley, pdf, something.  I will not pay for the book.  I used to do that, just because I wanted to have book reviews on my site and publishers weren’t sending me anything. 
IN addition, the profession of reviewing books (yes, you read that correctly) reminds me of the profession of teaching.  Both of very low paying, if at all.  Both are treated with some contempt.  Finally, people want other people to do these services because “anyone can teach” or “anyone can review a book”.   Not true, and a very insulting viewpoint.  I have a hard time with someone who views any profession or service in this manner.  Just because you don’t want to do it, doesn’t mean someone else should do it for free.Image

Odd Duck

A Book Review

Cecil Castellucci
First Second
Pub Date: May 14 2013      |  Archive Date:      Apr 1 2013

The initial introduction of Theodora did not give me a good feeling about her.  I didn’t like her. I did like Chad and thought of him as the duck who was trying to be a good neighbor.  The more I read the book, the more the story charmed me because of their friendship.  It is a great book to teach children about friendship and why differences are good.

Mimi’s Village

A Book Review

Mimi’s Village

And How Basic Health Care Transformed It

Katie Smith Milway

Kids Can Press

Pub Date: Aug 1 2012 | Archive Date: Not set

What a great book for to introduce student to the importance of good health practices! This story provides an interesting way to explain and describe good health practices.  The story is written in such a method that explains why prevention is so important and how a little knowledge can help with prevention.  This book could also be used as a part of a social studies unit and provide older students with information as part of research.

Brewing Made Easy

A Book Review

Joe and Dennis Fisher
Storey Publishing
Pub Date: Jan 9 2013      |  Archive Date:      Jan 29 2013

I read with book because the subject matter interested me.  I was not disappointed by the content as it provided a great deal of information about the process of making beer.  In addition, one of my favorite authors always referenced home brewed bear in her stories so I was interested in determining how hard it was to make beer.

The book did provide a great deal of information, however, the sequence of events did not flow well for me.  I know a little something about the process of making beer. I grew up in Germany, lived in Minnesota and attended the Oktoberfest in both places.  I like the book as a whole. The authors provided great information and the instructions were written in a readable fashion.  However, I thought the arrangement of the materials could be a little different.  The chapters did not really flow and I think that putting the recipes of the beer next to the various degrees of the difficulty in making beer.   Despite those formatting issues, I did like the book.

Luca Lashes Visits Mommy in the Hospital

A Book Review

Nicole and Damir Fonovich
PR by the Book
Pub Date: Jan 15 2013  |  Archive Date: Not set

Great Story!  Great story in so many ways!  The authors wrote and illustrated a wonderful story that is not about Mommy having a baby in the hospital.  This story provides a original outlook on visiting a sick person in the hospital.  The end of the book provides great suggestions on how to bring a child to the hospital for a visit.  I highly recommend the book both as an instructional piece and as a story.