Reach And Teach is excited to launch a new section of our store, both in our San Mateo shop and online, called Heard on NPR. So many of our friends and partners in peacemaking will stop by the shop or send us a note saying "Did you hear that story on NPR this morning? Oh, and do you have that book?" So, with a little help from Baker & Taylor, one of the distributors with whom we work, we can now answer a little more often than not, "Yes!"
Here are the books from this month's batch of Heard on NPR:
We could use your help too! Have you heard about a book on the radio, or read about one in the newspaper or a magazine, and think that it would be a good fit for our shop? If so, please click here to send us a message to let us know. We thrive on recommendations from people who understand what it is we are trying to achieve at Reach And Teach. We are also your friendly neighborhood (and web) independent bookstore. If there's any book out there that you'd like us to get for you, please fill out the form below and let us know. We'll order it and either hold it at our shop in San Mateo or send it directly to you. We'll let you know pricing before we complete the order. This is one of the BEST ways you can support a shop like ours, shop with us instead of the web site that shall not be named.
Dr. Warren J. Blumenfeld shared a post that struck a very loud chord, loud enough that with his permission we're sharing it here. Dr. Blumenfeld is one of a group of wonderful people who have reviewed the pre-release version of Speaking Out: Queer Youth in Focus, a powerful photo-essay book by Rachelle Lee Smith which we are publishing this Fall. Dr. Blumenfeld's experience, as described in this post, is all too familiar, not just to those of us who lived back in the day, but today.
Despite incredible progress for GLBTQ rights and increasing levels of understanding and acceptance, taunting, bullying, name-calling, and other hurtful behaviors are still epedemic in our culture. Dr. Blumenfeld alerts us to an article in the Feb 17 2014 issue of Pediatrics, in which a Boston Children's Hospital study clearly and compellingly shows the long-term impact on quality of life bullying can have, especially bullying that occurs over long periods of time.
We're sharing Dr. Blumenfeld's post in the hopes that it will spark a desire in anyone reading it to make a difference. After his post we share a YouTube video of a song called "Don't Laugh At Me" which we hope people will use to start a conversation with children AND adults in their lives. Talk about the pain that our words, laughing AT someone, teasing, bullying can cause. If each one of us takes the time to find a way to talk about this with someone, we may be able to start to make a real difference. Boys and girls shouldn't come home from school crying, or be afraid to go to school, or go to school with stomach aches because they know how bad it is going to be. We can make a difference.
Thanks Dr. Blumenfeld for sharing your story, and thank you Mosaic Project, for providing a song and an entire curriculum that can be used to truly make a difference.
I dedicate this commentary to my life-long friend and comrade,
Lawrence (Larry) J. Magid, who has been there himself,
and who always has been there for me.
“Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can never hurt me.” This stands as one of the great lies our culture teaches us growing up. Another myth states that bullying is simply a sign of a youthful rite of passage, that “boys will be boys” and “girls will be girls,” and that it will toughen them to better meet the demands of life.
In a new longitudinal study conducted by Boston Children’s Hospital and published in the February 17, 2014 online issue of Pediatrics, while the results might appear rather intuitive, researchers confirmed that the longer the period of time peers bully a young person, the more severe and lasting the impact on that person’s health.
I did not have to wait for the recent study to understand full well the long term consequences of bullying. For most of my years in school, I was continually attacked and beaten by my peers who perceived me as someone who was “different.” Names like “queer,” “little girl,” and “fag” rained down upon me like the big red dodge ball my classmates furiously hurled at one another on the schoolyard. I would not – or rather, could not – conform to the gender roles that my family and peers so clearly expected me to follow, and I regularly paid the price.
This kind of bullying and policing of my gender started the very first day I entered kindergarten. In 1952 I attended public school in Bronxville, NY. As my mother dropped me off and kissed me good-bye on the cheek, I felt completely alone and began to cry. My new teacher walked up to me and said, in a somewhat detached tone of voice, “Don’t cry. Only sissies and little girls cry.” Some of the other boys overheard her, and quickly began mocking me. “The little girl wants his mommy,” one said. “What a sissy,” said another. Without a word, the teacher simply walked away. I went into the coatroom and cried, huddling in a corner by myself, until she found me.
Not knowing what else to do at this time with what they considered as my gender non-conformity, my parents sent me to a child psychologist at the age of four until my 13th birthday because they feared that I might be gay (or to use the terminology of the day, “homosexual”), and because they were afraid for my safety.
There was a basic routine in the “therapy” sessions. My mother took me out of school every Monday and Thursday at 11:00 to the psychologist’s office. I walked in, took off my coat, and put it on the hook behind the door. The psychologist then asked me if there was anything in particular I wanted to discuss. I invariably said “no.” Since I did not understand why I was there in the first place, I surely did not trust him enough to talk candidly.
When I was less than forthcoming in our conversations (which was on most occasions), he took down from the shelf a model airplane, or a boat, or a truck, and we spent the remainder of the hour assembling the pieces with glue. In private sessions with my parents, he told them that he wanted me to concentrate on behaviors and activities associated with males, while of course avoiding those associated with females. He instructed my parents to assign me the household tasks of taking out the garbage, mowing the lawn (even though we lived in an apartment building and we did not have a lawn), and not washing or drying the dishes. Also, he also told my parents to prevent my playing with dolls or to cook. And – as if this all was not enough – he advised my parents to sign me up for a little league baseball league, which despite my hatred of the sport, my father basically forced me to join for two summers.
“When you wave,” my father sternly warned one afternoon on the front steps of our apartment building when I was eight years old, “you MUST move your whole hand at the same time. Don’t just move the fingers up and down like you’re doing.” He grabbed my arm, and despite my free-flowing tears and cheeks red with shame, he vigorously demonstrated the “proper” hand wave for a “man.” Then, as if anticipating the scene in the film La Cage Aux Folles (and the U.S. remake The Birdcage), my father took me into the backyard and forced me to walk and run “like men are supposed to move their bodies.” Obviously, I had previously been doing something wrong. “Of course the other children pick on you,” he blamed. “You do act like a girl.” I was humiliated.
Despite this, I developed what would become a lifelong appreciation of music and art. In the fifth grade, I auditioned for the school chorus and the music teacher accepted me along with only a handful of boys and about 50 girls. The scarcity of boys in the cast was not due to any gendered imbalance in the quality of boys’ singing voices. The determining factor was one of social pressure. I and the other few boys in the chorus were generally disliked by our peers. In fact, most of the other boys in our class picked on us, and labeled us “the chorus girls,” “the fags,” “the sissies,” and “the fairies.” The girls, on the other hand, who “made it” into the chorus were well respected and even envied by the other girls.
I can see now that this all amounted to an insidious and dehumanizing fear and hatred of anything even hinting at femininity in males. This is, of course basically thinly veiled misogyny, and it nearly succeeded in taking my life.
Looking into the bathroom mirror, my 14-year-old self stared back at me, tears rolling down into the sink below. All I could envision was the continual and relentless attacks: boys flicking my ears from behind aboard the school bus, girls loudly giggling as I walked by, peers isolating me on the school yard keeping me from playing games or joining them for lunch, students flinging food at me from multiple corners of the lunchroom, boys waiting for me with constant blows to my stomach and face when teachers weren’t looking.
I don’t remember where, but I learned that if I took more than the recommended dosage of aspirin tablets, I could develop serious internal bleeding. Seeing no way out, I opened the bathroom medicine cabinet turning my 14-year-old reflection away. Reaching inside, I grabbed the 1000-count aspirin bottle, and with hands shaking, soundlessly twisted off the cap as not to arouse suspicion from my family just beyond the door. Then with seeming effortlessness, I poured a handful of pills as if I were pouring salt into a shaker. With little hesitation, I lifted my clenched hand toward my mouth and tossed the white disks into my mouth, choking and gagging as they hit my throat, then heaving back toward my tongue, then teeth, then into the sink.
Though I was angry at myself for not having the “stomach” to kill myself, I was also relieved because I suppose at least a part of me still wished to live.
All things considered, my life turned out fairly well. I entered college in 1965 during a time our society underwent dynamic changes. I joined with others to demonstrate our opposition to the war in Vietnam; I worked with students of color in our common struggle against housing discrimination around our campus, and I helped plan ecology workshops to highlight the state of our increasingly polluted planet. I chose to join a therapy group in my college counseling center, which gave me the support to “come out” as gay. I later went on to become a teacher for blind children, a journalist, and a tenured university professor.
As I am writing this today at age 66, I consider myself not as a victim, but rather as a survivor of the bullying and abuse from those earlier times. When my therapist diagnosed me having Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, along with Social anxiety disorder, moderate agoraphobia, and clinical depression nearly 25 years ago, I was actually relieved, for then I could begin to let go of the self-blame I had carried for so long.
Today, I often hear Steven Sondheim’s song, “Anyone Can Whistle,” in my minds ear, a Broadway show tune about a person who has accomplished many difficult tasks – like speaking Greek, dancing the tango, even slaying a dragon – but who seems incapable of managing simple things like whistling.
Anyone can whistle, that's what they say -- easy. Anyone can whistle, any old day -- easy. It's all so simple. Relax, let go, let fly. So someone tell me, why can't I?
In my life, I earned numerous degrees including a doctorate, and I published quite a number of books and peer reviewed journal articles. I have been asked to speak throughout the United States and around the world on varied topics, and I have been given a wonderful opportunity to travel to places I only dreamt about when I was younger.
I have come to understand full well, though, and I have come to accept my severe limitations due to the damage I endured from those earlier times. Sondheim’s “whistling” stands as an analogy for relationships.
Though I have attempted to develop long-term romantic relationships along my way, I have come to endure the harm to my emotional self. I have lived alone since 1977 following a series of tries at sharing residences with trusted roommates, though none of these living arrangements worked for me.
In truth, sticks, stone, and names can damage the body as well as the spirit, and they all can kill. Fortunately, schools have at least begun to leave the myths and lies behind, and to take actions. Most notably, we are witnessing more schools conducting programs to empower the so-called “bystanders” – those who know of the bullying, but often feel powerless to step in – transforming them into active “upstanders” intervening to stop the abuse.
With knowledge, understanding, and interventions, young people are now leading the way to a better future. So…
Maybe you could show me how to let go, Lower my guard, Learn to be free. Maybe if you whistle, Whistle for me.
Dr. Warren J. Blumenfeld is author of Warren’s Words: Smart Commentary on Social Justice (Purple Press); editor of Homophobia: How We All Pay the Price (Beacon Press), and co-editor of Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (Routledge) and Investigating Christian Privilege and Religious Oppression in the United States (Sense).
It is with certainty that we know people reading Dr. Blumenfeld's story will feel the pain and will wish that the world were different. It is with equal certainty that many will then ask themselves, "But what can I do?"
You CAN make a difference!
Watch this YouTube of the song "Don't Laugh At Me" and then find someone in your life with whom you can share it. Too many people of ALL ages get pleasure from other people's pain. We all need to talk about it and work together to change that.
At a gathering of over 200 middle school children, during an exercise where the kids were asked to walk to one side of the room or the other, depending on their answers to certain questions, every single child in the room walked to the "yes" side when asked if they had ever laughed at someone because of a particular trait in that other child. 90% walked to the "yes" side when asked if they had ever been laughed at that way. If we can impact that, we can make a huge difference in everyone's lives. This little song can be the launching point for conversations about that.
Here are the words to the refrain:
Don’t laugh at me. Don’t call me names. Don’t get your pleasure from my pain. Deep inside we’re all the same. We all need hope and care and love. Don’t laugh at me.
This song is one of many included in the Mosaic Project Curriculum, a comprehensive curriculum that has made a huge difference in creating more peaceful and accepting schools around the world.
Watching this video, singing or listening to this song can be a great start to an important process of talking about and planning how to handle situations where someone is being teased, bullied, laughed at... Just feeling bad for the people who are picked on isn't enough. We all have an opportunity to at a minimim NOT participate in such behavior, but we can also step up and make it stop whenever we see it.
Find someone in your life with whom you can share this video, watch it together, and then discuss it. Discussion items can include questions like these:
Were you ever teased, bullied, laughed at? If so, how did it feel and what did you do about it?
Have you ever participated in bullying, teasing, laughing at someone else?
Why do people treat other people that way?
Did you ever see anyone standing up for someone who was being bullied, teased, or laughed at? If so, what happened?
Did you ever stand up for someone? If so, what happened? If not, why not?
What are some of the things people are afraid of having happen if they stand up against this kind of behavior?
A great way to prepare for being an upstander instead of a bystander is to rehearse what you will do the next time you see someone being teased, laughed at, or bullied. Rehearse with one or two other people who can play roles like the one doing the bullying and the one being bullied. We ALL have the ability to stand up!
Reach And Teach offers a wide variety of resources for helping children, teens, and adults understand bullying and take action. Here are just a few of those resources.
Origami, QPlay, Writers Club, Do the Math, Cool Cities, Green Party
Hang around the table with Derrick and Esmerelda as they teach young and old to do old and new Origami. We provide all the materials and you get to take home your creations! Whether you are an Origami master or brand new to paper folding you'll have a great and relaxing time.
A social, support, and advocacy group for LGBTQ parents and caregivers within the Peninsula area. This is a great opportunity for parents and children to meet and build lasting friendships with other parents and children growing up in LGBTQ families. In addition, this is a chance for parents to explore concerns, offer and receive support, and exchange parenting tips. Most of all, a place to HAVE FUN! Allies and supportive extended family and friends are welcome!
California Writers Club Open Mic - Wednesday March 19 7:30pm
Come and listen to local writers sharing their latest work at the California Writers Club open mic starting at 7:30pm. Enjoy poetry, fiction, non-fiction and more. If you'd like to read some of your work, sign up at the CWC Peninsula web site (click here).
It's simple math: we can emit 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide and stay below 2°C of warming - anything more than that risks catastrophe for life on earth. The only problem? Burning the fossil fuel that corporations now have in their reserves would result in emitting 2,795 gigatons of carbon dioxide - five times the safe amount.
Fossil fuel companies are planning to burn it all - unless we rise up to stop them. In November 2012, Bill McKibben and 350.org hit the road to build a movement strong enough to change the terrifying math of the climate crisis.
Join the Green Party to watch films and have discussions on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 7pm and for the monthly meetings on the 4th Thursday of each month. Visit their web site for specifics about the films and topics for discussion. On the 4th Thursday, guests are invited to join us for our administrative meeting which starts at 6pm or arrive at 7:15 for our public Green Talk time. Green Talks can include films, invited speakers, or discussions.
Your Event HERE At Our Shop in San Mateo - And Where Is Here Anyway? (Shop Address and Hours)
We make our space available to non-profits and others who want to host a speaker, workshop, fundraiser, film showing... all kinds of things, and we do it all for free! We just ask that your program include time for your guests to browse around the shop! Click here to contact us if you'd like to have an event in our shop.
We're located at 144 West 25th Avenue. (near El Camino Real) in San Mateo. There's plenty of free street parking and we're less than a mile from the Hillsdale Caltrain station. We're open Tuesday through Saturday 11am to 6:30pm (later on some evenings for events).
Meet Some of the People Behind Reach And Teach Products
One of the greatest joys we have is getting to know the people behind the products that transform the world through teachable moments. For our holiday newsletter we wanted to share a bit about some of the local folks with whom we work. These are people we've gotten to know, who treat us as though we're their biggest customer, and treat their employees and the planet with the deepest respect, and give back to their communities and the world.
EM-Labs and Skallops
Wandering through the Maker Faire we were overwhelmed by all of the gadgets and gizmos but nothing stopped us in our tracks the way a giant Skallops contraption did. We soon learned that this creature been built out of playing cards and these little wooden thingies called "Skallops" invented by the team at E&M Labs.
The young man in the booth told us about the company he and some friends had founded. Using these little wooden pieces with slots into which you can slide cards, you can build just about anything... including a lovely company that manufactures Skallops in Mountain View California, using sustainably sourced wood, with assembly/packaging done by physically and developmentally disabled folks.
We got to know the team at Blue Orange Games having booths near each other at the Green Festival. There are four things we love about them. 1. These are people who truly cared about the planet and are incredibly committed to making sure that anyone making their products is paid a living wage and would work in a safe and healthy environment. 2. The games are REALLY fun and engaged kids and adults in a way that actually took them away from their "devices." (That's our friend Shane from the Spot on 25th playing his favorite game.) 3. The games are beautifully made and a joy to play with. 4. Blue Orange gives back to the community.
And... their warehouse and office are just a short distance from our house! We visit the folks there all the time and in doing so we've gotten to know them even better. They are wonderful LOCAL people who treat us like friends, not just customers.
Every morning Toby gets to visit a dog park on the way to work. One morning as he was scampering we started chatting with one of the other dog's pets. We told her about our store and she said "Well in a shop like that you've got to have ZOOB!"
A few days later she stopped by our shop with some ZOOB and we had to agree. ZOOB is a building kit that covers two very important types of people: those who like very clear instructions on how to build something, and those who like to be given a challenge and then use their creativity and imagination. We invited one of our young friends over to the shop and after his eyes lit up just looking at the box, he went wild building things.
ZOOB kits are really well made, incredibly fun, and the founder of the company and his team are fanatic about making sure the folks who manufacture the kits are paid a living wage, treated well, work in safe conditions, and that their work enhances the community in which they live.
Not only that, they treat us as though we are their biggest customer rather than joining the race to the bottom in which so many other toy-makers are running.
If you're curious, ZOOB is an acronym for Zoology,Ontology (the branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being), Ontogeny (the development of an individual organism, usually from a simple form to a more complex form), and Botany. ZOOB is all about creating a love of math, science, engineering, and art in boys and girls of all ages. Our young toy tester LOVES ZOOB.
Each of the companies above has incredibly wonderful people working near us and they've made it clear that they not only value our business but treasure our mission of transforming the world through teachable moments. They are committed to making the world a better place and we're proud to consider them partners in peacemaking.
Thank You Everyone AND Wishing You a Wonderful Holiday Season
We feel very blessed to be working with wonderful people locally and across the planet and we are especially grateful to all of you, who take Reach And Teach out into your world.
We only do a newsletter around once a month but if you want to keep up with us a little more please like our Facebook page.
And.. please DO consider sharing this newsletter with someone who might not already know about Reach And Teach (see forward to a friend link on the bottom of this message)... AND... if you're struggling to figure out just the right gift for someone, please consider giving them a Reach And Teach gift certificate. Click here to buy one online and we can email it to them!
We wish all of our partners in peacemaking, friends, and fans around the world a very happy holiday season and look forward to a great new year.
Wishing you peace, Craig and Derrick and Toby
Thanks to Susan Munroe, a local photographer, for this wonderful photograph.
In this newsletter we'll share some special gift stories which we hope will make you smile, inspire you, and perhaps prompt you to do the very best thing you can do with any story... gift it to someone else! We invite you to join us this holiday season in making a difference one gift at a time.
This Friday November 22nd at 4pm you're invited to join us in a decorating party as we get the shop ready for the holidays. We'll use some of the beautiful fair-trade ornaments that are helping to improve the lives of people in Central America, Asia, and Africa.
On November 30th you can come by our shop and create a few hand-made gifts for people you love, meet a few wonderful local authors, hear some great stories that you can pass along, and yes... do a little holiday shopping.
We'll have fun things happening Saturday November 30th (AKA Small Business Saturday) starting at 10am. We'll have fun, hot cocoa, snacks, craft activities, and Bay Area authors who are gifting us with their time, manning our cash register, reading stories, and signing their books (more details below).
Any time is play timeat Reach And Teach! We have open samples of every game, toy and puzzle ready for you to play with any time you come by!
At the end of this newsletter we'll let you know about our holiday hours. But now... how about some wonderful stories?
Yes We Are... BE OPEN
We had gifted a basket of Reach And Teach products and a gift certificate to Our Family Coalition, an organization that supports GLBTQ families, for their annual gala. Shannon Weber, who had won the basket, came to visit our shop a few months later and after learning more about our mission she realized she had the perfect gift to share with us. Beyond her day job doing AIDS education and support work, and her full-time job raising a family, she also creates love notes that she leaves in places where folks she knows, and many she'll never meet, can find them. She's changing the world one love note at a time and gave us a beautiful gift that now graces our front door.
You can check out Shannon's story by clicking here and if you'd like to spread a few love notes yourself we've got some of her love note packages in our shop.
The Pan Flute
One of the greatest joys of moving to West 25th Avenue in San Mateo has been meeting some wonderful families. A few days ago someone walked into our shop and said "I know someone who really loves this shop and I was wondering if I could give him a gift certificate." He wanted to gift it anonymously as a surprise and was wondering if I would call the family and just say "Someone has given you a gift!" Of course!
The gift was for the youngest child in the family (7 years old), and that evening he came in, wide-eyed, hunting through the shop. Eventually, he told me that he had spied something special, that he wanted... to give to his big sister. Wait, what?
Rather than getting something for himself he found something he thought his sister would love? Yep. Seeing joy on a child's face because he was able to give his sister something special, a Pan Flute from Peru, (from our friends at JamTown) made our eyes light up too, and...
The Gift Is in the Giving
That seven year old reminded me of someone with a similar name... A while back Charley Fontenot walked into our shop and said "I've written a book, would you like to see it?" Of course I wanted to see it.
Charley had won a wonderful marble, a "Taw" that made kids ooohhh and ahhhhhh. He told his mother the story about how he'd won it, and that set her to thinking a bit... Then Charley said he wanted to give a gift to his best friend, but it wasn't the prized marble, it was another. Why not give him your very best marble... and that set Charley to thinking.
We fell in love with Charley, his wife Lucy, and this wonderful book. Charley and Lucy had suffered one of the most difficult tragedies any family can endure, the loss of a child. After grieving a long time, one of the ways Charley channeled that grief was by writing this book and he has gifted many children with this important lesson...... The best books in the world don't tell you what to think, they simply make you think. And this book does a marvelous job at that! We've got copies of that book in our shop and if you'd ever like Charley to come into your school and do a reading... just ask!
Small Business Saturday - Crafts, Authors and A Gift from American Express
With big-box stores trying to grab as much business as possible during what has now become "Black Thursday" and giant Internet retailers trying to compete with price-slashing and instant delivery, there are a lot of folks out there who want to support local small businesses like ours. A few years ago American Express invented the idea of Small Business Saturday. This year, in our shop, we're graced by the gifts of parents, authors, and American Express, who want to help make Reach And Teach a great place to be on Thanksgiving weekend.
At 10am on Saturday November 30th Shannon Casey and friends from Our Family Coalition will host a gift-making gathering at our shop. Think of a few people with whom you'd like to share a little love and join us to make hand-crafted cards and other gifts. We'll provide everything you need, including treats!
Authors from around the country, who believe in and want to see small independently-owned shops like ours stay in business, are planning new ways to support us in the coming year. On Saturday November 30thauthors have volunteered to spend time at shops like ours, doing readings, running the registers, signing books and we are looking forward to having two in our shop that day.
At 11am, Cynthia Chin-Lee, author of Operation Marriage, Amelia to Zora, and Akira to Zoltan (among other great books) will do a reading and sign books.
At 11:45m, Barbara Quick, author of Vivaldi's Virgins and A Golden Web, will do a book reading and sign books.
At 5:30pm, Pamela Mayer, author of Don't Sneeze at the Wedding, will do a book reading and sign books.
And... all day on November 30th if you use your American Express card in our shop and spend $10 or more, American Express will give you $10 back! That's their way of encouraging people to shop at small local businesses like ours. You have to register your card first (click here).
Fair-Trade Gifts, Books, and Products Made in a Socially Responsible / Ethical Way
If you do shop for gifts this season, we hope you'll consider checking out some of our fair-trade gifts (what is fair trade???). Beyond being something you can share with someone you love, your gift also makes a difference in the lives of people locally and around the world.
Thank You Everyone AND Wishing You a Wonderful Holiday Season
We are so grateful to have moved to our new location at 144 West 25th Avenue in San Mateo and to all the people who have helped make that happen and who are helping us even still. If you're nearby please come by the shop and share a cup of cheer (cocoa or tea) and let us thank you in person!
Our holiday hours, starting November 30th are Monday through Saturday, 11am to 8pm. We'll have lots of other fun things happening in the shop during the holidays. To keep up to date, visit our events page and/orlike our Facebook page.
Please DO consider sharing this newsletter with someone who might not already know about Reach And Teach and... if you're struggling to figure out just the right gift for someone, please consider doing what that anonymous gift-giver did for the youngster in our pan flute story, give them a Reach And Teach gift certificate. You can get one in the shop orclick here to buy one online!
We wish all of our partners in peacemaking, friends, and fans around the world a very happy holiday season and look forward to a great new year.
If you came to this page because you are being bullied and need help, there is help available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit the Trevor Project which has a hotline and online text-chat avaialble 24/7. You are not alone. You deserve to be protected. Click here or call 866-488-7386
Bullied - Life in Middle School
Hiding... praying that they won't see you... waiting until a half hour after school lets out to go home before making a hasty escape, hoping everyone else will have already gone home... never going to the bathroom... Avoiding the lunchroom, eating in an empty classroom instead... But no matter what you do, almost every day, they'll get you. Words turn into shoves, slaps, punches, kicks, it escalates. You beg for help but the teachers and administrators turn a blind eye. Worse yet, they blame you. "Toughen up!" "Stop acting like a sissie." You come home with a bloody nose, a black eye, bruises. Maybe your parents call the school. Maybe they come to school and meet with the principal. Nothing happens. It only gets worse.
"Faggot!" "Queer!" "Homo!"
That was my daily diet in middle school in the 1970's. No one deserves to be treated that way yet thousands, perhaps millions of children go through it every single day. It goes way beyond "being picked on" or even harassment, it is torture. Not only are you afraid it will never end, but you become convinced that sooner or later, these kids might kill you. Drinking and doing drugs, skipping school, running away from home, attempting suicide, or committing violence against the bullies seemed like the only way to escape.
Over thirty years later it may seem like nothing has changed BUT much has changed. Across the country there are programs to prevent bullying and help children who are being or have been bullied. In many communities, in many schools, people are starting to act. Some do so because they don't want children to suffer. Others are doing something out of fear of lawsuits. I'm thankful for any reason it takes to get schools, teachers, parents, local and national leaders to stand up and say enough is enough, and do something about this national sickness. Even the President of the United States has weighed in on the bullying problem.
Time to STOP Ignoring Bullying and DO Something About It!
Could I ever have imagined back in 1974 that another student, years later, would sue his schools over the same kind of treatment I'd lived with every day... and win? With the help of Lambda Legal Defense, Jamie Nabozny did. And now, because of that landmark case and decision, teachers, parents, administrators, and students can learn from his story, his struggle, and his victory to help create safe schools for everyone. Perhaps if his story were more well-known, if more schools took advantage of the resources available today to stop bullying, children like Brandon will have some hope that their lives can get better.
Bullied - A Teaching Tolerance Documentary
I've just watched Bullied - A Teaching Tolerance Documentary and I urge every school, every faith community childrens/youth ministry leader, every social service organization that works with children, to get a FREE copy of the DVD and viewer's guide and use it as one of the tools to make your community, your school, your classroom, your center, your home a safe place for every child. Teaching Tolerance is a project of The Southern Poverty Law Center and has done incredible work to foster acceptance, inclusion, compassion, and community-building in schools across the country. Now they have created a powerful documentary and teaching guide that is available for free to every school in America.
Bullied is a documentary film that chronicles one student’s ordeal at the hands of anti-gay bullies and offers an inspiring message of hope to those fighting harassment today. It can become a cornerstone of anti-bullying efforts in middle and high schools.
A 40-minute documentary film (DVD), with closed captioning and with Spanish subtitles
A two-part viewer’s guide with standards-aligned lesson plans and activities for use in staff development
Additional materials online
Bullied is designed to help administrators, teachers and counselors create a safer school environment for all students, not just those who are gay and lesbian. It is also intended to help all students understand the terrible toll bullying can take on its victims, and to encourage students to stand up for their classmates who are being harassed.
It Gets Better
There's a national campaign happening to help kids realize that they can get help if they are being bullied, and that bullying isn't cool. Here's Justin Bieber letting kids know that "It Gets Better."
In September 2010, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry to inspire hope for young people facing harassment. In response to a number of students taking their own lives after being bullied in school, they wanted to create a personal way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT youth that, yes, it does indeed get better.
Two months later, the It Gets Better Project (TM) has turned into a worldwide movement, inspiring over 5000 user-created videos and over 15 million views. To date, the project has received submissions from celebrities, organizations, activists, politicians and media personalities, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Lambert, Anne Hathaway, Colin Farrell, Matthew Morrison of "Glee", Joe Jonas, Joel Madden, Ke$ha, Sarah Silverman, Tim Gunn, Ellen DeGeneres, Suze Orman, the staffs of The Gap, Google and Facebook, the Broadway community, and many more. For us, every video changes a life. It doesn’t matter who makes it.
The website www.itgetsbetterproject.com is a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bi, or trans can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future. It’s a place where our straight allies can visit and support their friends and family members. It’s a place where people can share their stories, take the It Gets Better Project pledge, watch videos of love and support, and seek help through the Trevor Project and GLSEN.
Bully - A Powerful Film and Teacher Guide
Across the country school districts and other organizations are working to help 1 million children get to see Bully. San Mateo County, Reach And Teach's hometown, sent over 4,000 children to see the film. We got to meet Alex Libby, one of the young people shown in the film and the film's director Lee Hirsch and urge parents, teachers, faith groups, and others who work with children to get as many children as possible to see this film. The shift in attitudes of those who see the film, moving them from bystanders to upstanders, is one of the keys to putting a dent in the pandemic of bullying.
Click here to order the DVD and Teacher Guide from The Bully Project.
Click here to check out our story about meeting Alex Libby along with our review of the fantastic book, Wonder.
About the Film:
Over 13 million American kids will be bullied this year, making it the most common form of violence experienced by young people in the nation. The new documentary film BULLY, directed by Sundance and Emmy-award winning filmmaker, Lee Hirsch, brings human scale to this startling statistic, offering an intimate, unflinching look at how bullying has touched five kids and their families.
BULLY is a beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary. At its heart are those with huge stakes in this issue whose stories each represent a different facet of America's bullying crisis. Filmed over the course of the 2009/2010 school year, BULLY opens a window onto the pained and often endangered lives of bullied kids, revealing a problem that transcends geographic, racial, ethnic and economic borders. It documents the responses of teachers and administrators to aggressive behaviors that defy "kids will be kids" clichés, and it captures a growing movement among parents and youths to change how bullying is handled in schools, in communities and in society as a whole.
I Think of A Dragon - Becoming an Upstander Instead of a Bystander
Reach And Teach friends Nancy Schimmel and Judy Fjell have written and recorded a wonderful song which they are graciously making available here. You can play the song for kids or use the sheet music to teach the song and have a singalong. In the song a child (or it could even be an adult) wishes to have a dragon to stand by her side when bullies are being mean, not only because a dragon could scare the bullies but because when a situation gets tense, two heads... are better than one. What I love about the song (spoiler alert - don't read any more if you want to listen to the song first), is that the key message is that we have to stand up for each other, even when we are scared. If it takes thinking of a dragon next to you to give you the strength to stand up, that's fine. But stand up we must! Because when it comes to someone being bullied... two heads, or three, or four, or a dozen, are better than one!
In the last few years the issue of CyberBullying has become to gain recognition as being as serious as, if not more serious than "in person" bullying. OnlineColleges.org recently created this InfoGraphic about it.
We believe that the seeds of violence are planted and take root at a very young age. That's why we're committed to providing our partners in peacemaking with as many resources as possible to reduce and perhaps some day eliminate bullying. Below are just some of the products we have evaluated and chosen to recommend. If you know of other resources we should feature (free or for purchase), please click here to let us know about them! Together, we can work to create a world where no child has to go home in tears because of bullying, AND, the children who are bullies can also be helped to overcome their problems.
Any time the word "neighbor" comes up, many people across America think of Mr. Rogers, an iconic children's TV show host who sang a cute little song at the start of each episode... "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor, would you be mine..." It harkened to the idea of being part of a neighborhood where everyone knew each other, kids could go out and play safely, and folks took care of each other in times of need.
Click here to order your own copy of the poster (or send some to friends and family). It costs $10 and that price includes shipping! Another iconic image many have become all too used to is the "Neighborhood Watch" sign, a warning to would-be ne'er do wells to stay out of the neighborhood because folks are watching.
Today, a young black male wearing a hoodie has become an iconic image representing our struggles with race in this country. Trayvon Martin, a young black teen, wearing a hoodie and walking home after buying some candy and an iced tea, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, who had followed him, and even continued following him after police had told Zimmerman to stop.
This poster was designed by Micah Bazant in July 2013. It was originally commissioned by the Oakland organization Justice for Families, for the Night Out for Safety & Democracy. This event is an alternative to National Night Out, which is sponsored by police and neighborhood watch organizations across the country. In the course of creating the poster, George Zimmerman was found innocent for the murder of Trayvon Martin, and the poster’s message took on a new level of meaning and urgency.
GETTING TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS, seeing them, being in community with them, is not only a way to make our neighborhoods safe, it is a way to make our communities more loving, caring, compassionate, and to help them thrive.
When the first image of this poster was shared on Facebook people loved it. "When can I get one?" "Who is going to produce it?" "I want ten of these!!!" There was no funding to produce the poster for national distribution so Reach And Teach, our friends at Design Action, and the artist decided to launch an IndieGoGo campaign. In one month we raised enough money to produce the poster and today we are proud to offer it to the world.
Thank You to Those Who Supported the Campaign!
We give great thanks to all the people who helped make producing this poster for distribution possible, including the following folks who granted us permission to share their names as supporters of the campaign:
Inno Nagara, The Story of Stuff Project, Naomi Ishisak, Wendy Amengual Wark. Abby Reyes, Caitlin Sislin, Pat Plant, Brooke Anderson, Doyle Canning, Kasha Ho, Jerri Jensen, Rudolpho San Miguel, Mia Henry, Elisabeth Santellana, Pam Marino, Diana P. Wu, Annie Koh, George White, Abby Mophaut, Janet Sells, Margaret Okuzumi, Paul George, Svea Boyda-Vikander, Aren Aizura, Sadie Sabot, Maya Amichai, Noam Szoke, Jennifer Giffen, Eleanor Cooney, Peter Van Wesep.
AND, we thank those who donated towards the campaign who chose to be anonymous. Thank you neighbors!!!
Reach And Teach Contact: Craig Wiesner 650-759-3784 www.reachandteach.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
25th Avenue New Home to Reach And Teach, the Peace and Social Justice Learning Store
SAN MATEO, California (June 4, 2013)- The signs taped to the windows at 144 West 25th Avenue ask the question: "What's in there?" Soon, when the craft paper covering those windows comes down the answer will be clear: "There's a story in there!" Not just one story, however, but hundreds of them, all focused on transforming the world through teachable moments.
Owner Derrick Kikuchi said "We've learned so much and have become so wonderfully connected to the people of San Mateo that we were thrilled to be able to find a jewel of a spot on 25th Avenue where more people will get to know us and where we'll be able to expand our offerings of books, fair-trade gifts, toys and games." Nominated for the 2012 Sustainable San Mateo Award, Reach And Teach is San Mateo's only shop dedicated to peacemaking, gender equality, and sustainable living. "As an independent bookstore, we offer customers a more personalized experience than the big box stores or online retailers. While we have a particular niche focused on making the world a better place, we can also get virtually any book a customer might want, usually within 48 hours." Kikuchi added.
The shop offers books, games, music, curriculum, fair-trade gifts, toys, and puzzles for all ages as well as hand-made jewelry, crafts and art from around the world. The new location also provided an opportunity to expand and diversify Reach And Teach's partnerships with organizations working to change the world. "We're excited to add a travel section to our shop, recognizing that one of the keys to understanding people of different cultures is to step out of our comfort zones and experience life in other places." Craig Wiesner, Reach And Teach co-founder said. "Our new travel section is curated by Sandy Dhuyvetter, host of the nationally syndicated programs Travel Talk Radio and Business Travel Radio, and a portion of all sales will benefit Airline Ambassadors, which provides humanitarian aid to children and families in need as well as relief and development to under-privileged communities worldwide." He added. Through their 10/10 Program, other organizations who benefit from sales of products through Reach And Teach include Building for Generations - building schools for disabled children in Peru and Africa, Oakland's Mosaic Project - creating a peaceful future by working with children today, Limitless Horizons IXIL - which creates opportunities for the indigenous youth, women, and families of Chajul, Guatemala to develop the academic and professional skills needed to effect change in their lives and community, and Youth Community Service - developing leadership opportunities for youth in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.
Another shop partner is Green11, with a "bring your own container" (BYOC) organic hand, dish, laundry soap, and shampoo refill station. "Recycling plastic containers is nice, but reusing them over and over and over again is even better for the planet and your pocketbook." Kikuchi said. The entire shop is a study in reuse, according to co-founder Craig Wiesner. "Our carpeting comes from Habitat for Humanity's ReStore (recycled carpet squares) and most of our furniture and fixtures are recycled or upcycled. Just about everything in our shop, from furnishings to products, has a story behind it and we love to share those stories. One of our most precious mentors taught us a long time ago that the difference between an enemy and a friend, and the shortest distance between two people, is a story, so our shop is all about stories!"
The shop also serves as a community resource with organizations including Cool Cities (San Mateo Sierra Club), the California Writers Club, the Green Party, and Our Family Coalition (GLBTQ Families) meeting and hosting events there.
Grand Re-Opening: Reach And Teach will host a grand re-opening for the new shop located at 144 West 25th Avenue on Saturday June 22nd 2013 at 11am with live music, poetry, games, door prizes, and snacks from 25th Avenue and around the world. And of course, there will be storytelling!
For more information, contact Craig Wiesner (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Derrick Kikuchi (email@example.com) or visit www.reachandteach.com
Book Award for The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale
Reach And Teach is pleased to share the news that, The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale, has been honored with a Nautilus Silver Award in the Childrens Picture Book category. When we first read this book last year we knew it belonged among our "Books That Transform the World" series.
We're so pleased that it has received this recognition and hope that because of greater visibility more people will discover this book, learn about the importance of standing up and saying "NO," and also become aware of one of the lesser talked about attempts at genocide in the world's history. (Yes - I know that putting Childrens Picture Book and genocide in the same paragraph can seem somewhat shocking, but books that transform the world often do that.)
Here's how we reviewed the book:
Is there any point in discussion when dealing with a bully? Or should you just give in to whatever the bully wants?
Just the other evening we were blessed to see To Kill a Mockingbird in Ashland and one of the most profoundly moving scenes was when Scout, a young girl, is trying to stop a lynching and also keep her own family from being beaten or killed, and she calmly but forcefully talks to one man in the mob whom she knows. She reminds him of their connection, their humanity, speaking to him as a friend and neighbor, and asking how he can think of hurting her family given their relationship. She says to him, "You make sure you say hey to your son for me, you know I go to school with him every day" as a way of saying you can go ahead and do this terrible thing, but what are you going to say to your son about killing one of his schoolmates? Scout saves the day through one of the most powerful examples of nonviolent resistence ever seen.
The Greedy Sparrow reminds me of Scout's encounter, although none of the characters in this Armenian folk tale stand up to the bully as they should. The tale is rich in imagery and makes a great launching point for discussions about being nice, doing what we are asked or told, what happens when you are selfish and greedy, and when it is appropriate to say "heck no" and stand up to bullies. It also provides an incredible opportunity to learn about the Armenian people and the attempt that was made to erase them and their culture from the earth.
"THE GREEDY SPARROW: AN ARMENIAN TALE" WINS 2013 NAUTILUS SILVER BOOK AWARD
Belmont, MA and Teaneck, NJ, USA; April 19, 2013 -- "The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale" has won the 2013 Nautilus Silver Book Award in the Children's Picture Book category (readers 3 to 6 yrs.). The tale is retold by Lucine Kasbarian, illustrated by Maria Zaikina, and published by Marshall Cavendish (now Amazon Children's Books).
"The Greedy Sparrow" is an English-language retelling of a traditional Armenian folk tale about a bird who travels the countryside, encounters natives practicing traditional folkways, and gets a comeuppance for his trickery. Author Kasbarian and illustrator Zaikina convey ethnic authenticity in their adaptation of this tale from the Armenian oral tradition. The NJ and MA-based Kasbarian is a children's author known for her book, "Armenia: A Rugged Land, an Enduring People. Moscow-based Zaikina is an illustrator beloved for her companion animation to singer Hasmik Harutyunyan's folk lullaby, Agna Oror.
"Witnessing near-annihilation and exile as a result of the Armenian Genocide," said Kasbarian, "my surviving grandparents felt that our people might one day become extinct. From that grew a profound desire to preserve as much of our culture as possible, such as our language, songs, dances, cuisine and stories. While her infant children perished in the death marches, my paternal grandmother managed to smuggle out the deeds belonging to our family's confiscated property. Those were the only material possessions that made it to America. Thus, non-material possessions, such as what was carried in memories, become precious links to our identity and past. "The Greedy Sparrow" tale was one such heirloom, and UNESCO calls such treasures part of a people's "intangible cultural heritage."
"The Greedy Sparrow" was also named a 2012 Honor Book in the Storytelling World Awards. It was in School Library Journal's "Fuse #8 Production" blog's "100 Magnificent Children's Books of 2011" and in the Children's Literature Network's "Snipp Snapp Snute" blog's "Favorite Folktales published in 2011." Further information is available at the author's website: http://www.lucinekasbarian.com .
The Nautilus Awards recognize books that promote positive social change, spiritual development and conscious living as they stimulate the imagination and inspire the reader to new possibilities for a better world. Usually, one Gold and one or more Silver awards are given annually in each of 24 Adult and 4 Children's/Young Adult categories. Formal announcements about all Nautilus Award winners will be made in at BookExpo America (May 30-June 1) in New York City: http://www.bookexpoamerica.com/ .
The Nautilus Award is named for the pearl-lined mollusk that contains spiral chambers of increasing size, built by this sea inhabitant to accommodate its growth. According to the organization, the nautilus symbolizes ancient wisdom and expanding horizons, as well as the elegance of nature and a continual growth of understanding and awareness. Past Nautilus Award winners have included the Dalai Lama, Barbara Kingsolver, Dr. Andrew Weil and Deepak Chopra, among others. For further information, please visit: http://www.nautilusbookawards.com .
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Other Award Winners Curated by Reach And Teach
One of the best things that happens at least once a week is having someone say "You've got to see this (fill in the blank). It fits perfectly with your mission of transforming the world. More often than not, they are absolutely right. Such ws the case with The Greedy Sparrow. In that case, it was the author who told us about the book. The very next best thing is having someone buy a copy and come back some time later and tell us that either he or she loved it and that it rocked her world, OR, that the person to whom it was gifted loved it (and it rocked his world). One of the next best things is finding out months or even years later that a book like this has received the accolades it so richly deserves.
Speaking of buying... We LOVE curating, writing about, and promoting great products that transform the world through teachable moments, BUT, we need your help to keep doing that. If you're inspired by our description of a product, please SHARE on Facebook, Tweet on Twitter, call your mother-in-law (this has nothing to do with our products but it might make her happy), and BUY THE BOOK. Here are just a few of the award-winning and world-changing products we've gathered at Reach And Teach.
Welcome to Books That Transform the World - Book Reviews. Our team will select special books and tell you why we love them and give you a lot of extra resources you'll find valuable to go along with them. We'll also feature reviews by Reach And Teach friends from around the world.
Remember those good old days, leafing through Archie Comics and trying to spot one kid in Riverdale who was just a little bit more like you than Archie or Jughead. Well, there's a fairly new kid in town named Kevin, the first openly gay kid in Riverdale, and now you get to learn a bit more about how he came out in a memoir from Junior High (AKA Middle School). Check out our review of Kevin!
Rev. Jim Burklo reviews What We Talk About When We Talk About God, NY Times bestselling author Rob Bell's latest book. Having just spent time studying Bishop John Shelby Spong's book, Eternal Life, I'm now very anxious to read about how a more evangelical Christian leader like Bell approaches the topics that Spong covered in his book. AND...... speaking of Jim Burklo....... Check out our review (and buy a copy) of his newest book, Hitch-Hiking to Alaska: The Way to Soulful Service.
We share a review by Patricia Tilton from her Children's Books Heal blog. She reviews the Little Yellow Bottle, a story that is all too familiar to us. Click here to read our introduction to and find a link to her review.
Hot off the presses and delivered by the author, we have a new parenting book to share that is unlike any other. A "Kid Whisperer," Heather Criswell, with tiny tot in tow came into our shop on Wednesday, told me about her book while managing her incredibly happy and totally on the move son, and after she left I grabbed the book and started reading. By Thursday afternoon, I had this review (click here) ready for you! How to Raise a Happy Child (and be happy too) is a great book.
On the morning after we spoke at Palo Alto University about "Spirituality in the Gay Community," I'm thrilled to share a review of The Search for Truth About Islam, a soon-to-be-released book by our friend and colleague the Rev. Ben Daniel. How are the two connected? Last evening we looked at the last 50 years of anti-gay bullying in secular and religious society and celebrated how much progress has been made for GLBTQ rights. At the same time, as we watched a film which included people bashing gays (verbally and physically) we recognized that today there is another group of people bearing the burdens of discrimination and violence because of who they are, Muslims (and people perceived to be Muslims). Upstanding and education are critical tools to overcome prejudice and discrimination and Rev. Ben Daniel has done an outstanding job on a book that breaks the stereotypes, overcomes the myths, and puts real faces on our brothers and sisters who are Muslim. Click here to read the review.
AND Join us for a book talk by Rev. Daniel in San Mateo on April 6th!
February 14 Review:
I won't try to keep this anonymous, like someone else I know, because you already know who I am since this is my web site and all. OK, I guess you might think it could be Derrick or even Toby, although any time Toby says anything here it really is me pretending to be Toby since Toby can't type. But anyway, yeah, it is me, Craig, getting started on writing a review of the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
February 7 Reviews:
We always look forward to Perfect Picture Book Fridays to see what our friend Patricia Tilton (Children's Books Heal) might have in store for us. This week she shared what looks like a real winner of a book, Making Friends Is An Art! Reminiscent of Kathryn Otoshi's Zero and One which focuses more on dealing with bullies, Making Friends Is An Art is all about self-esteem and recognizing how each one of us has something very special to offer the world. Click here to read Patricia's review. (And watch the Reach And Teach shop in the coming weeks when we'll get copies of Making Friends for you to buy!)
We're fans of one of the Top 100 Mom Blogs, Ben & Birdy, and were pretty honored when the blog featured a review of our Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon coloring book. In keeping up with Ben & Birdy we spotted a review of the book Show Me A Story, and found it so compelling that we got ourselves a copy of the book to check out. Every wonderful thing in the review is quite quite true and now we're big fans of this book. We believe SO strongly that storytelling is one of the keys to peacemaking, and empowering storytelling through arts and crafts helps bring those who are more comfortable with those ways of communicating into the storytelling famil. Yay. Click here to check out the Ben & Birdy blog review of Show Me A Story and then click here to buy a copy! You'll love it.
January 12 Review:
Craig Wiesner reviews the NY Times bestseller Wonder. Author R.J. Palacio says that this is one of her favorite reviews ever, especially my sharing that (spoiler alert) I was so glad it had a happy ending... "Why do some people think that someone isn't allowed to have a happy ending simply by virtue of the fact that they face some extraordinary challenges?" Click here to read the review.
We once again turn to wonderful friend Patricia Tilton for a review of a book about a feisty girl with Cochlear implants, Let's Hear it for Almigal. We've seen first-hand the difference that these implants can make in the lives of those who would otherwise be completely or near-deaf. But with the miracle of suddenly being able to hear the smallest birds chirp, come emotional and psychological challenges that can be unexpected, unless you have something to help prepare you for those challenges (thank you Patricia for letting us know about this book).
CraigWiesner switches from books to kits this week to review an amazing new product called Kids Own Wisdom. Teaching children how to navigate social interactions can be a real challenge, and without good guidance, children can have a very difficult time getting through social situations. This kit helps parents, teachers, and anyone working with children guide them through the many situations children face with a positive approach to learning the social ropes. Click here to read the review.
Craig also shared an amazing TEDx Talk about Educating for Freedom by Institute for Humane Education founder Zoe Weil. If you want to teach your children media literacy, check out this video and the five questions you can ask every time an ad appears. Click here for the story.
October 12 Reviews
Craig Wiesner reviews Growing Up Muslim, a wonderful book for teens/tweens and adults, which provides a comprehensive yet approachable look at Islam from the perspective of a child growing up in America (with the adult knowledge of an Islamic expert who truly knows how to write engaging books for all ages).
This week we're also passing the baton to someone who does amazing reviews called "Childrens Books Heal." Patricia Tilton has reviewed a wonderful book called The Goodbye Cancer Garden. Click here to visit her site to read this review.
September 25 Reviews
This week Craig reviews The Girl With Hair Like the Sun. It is the story of Ruth Mix, a 15 year-old girl who, along with her mother, did volunteer work at a Japanese internment camp during WWII. This is one of the most compelling books we've ever had in our shop!
Craig also reviews a book that is available from (he who should not be named and isn't Voldermort) as an e-Book and will be out as a print book (and absolutely positively without a doubt in our shop) in Spring 2013. Tim Myers has written a wonderful, witty, practical, scary, and perhaps indespensible book on parenting called Glad to Be Dad: A Call to Fatherhood.
September 17 Reviews
This week Craig reviews Muskrat Will Be Swimming, written by Cheryl Savegeu and illustrated by Robert Hynes. How do you learn to treasure the aspects of your life that other people look down upon? Is there any joy to be found in being a "lake rat?" Can you embrace a name people call you in teasing? Click here to read on! (NOTE: This one is personal from the buck-toothed kid they used to call "weasel.")
September 1 Reviews
This week Craig reviews Safari As A Way of Life, written by Jennifer New, telling the story of photojournalist Dan Eldon's short but amazing life, through a journal/scrapbook style of story-telling, in words, pictures and ephemera. Click here to read that review.
Drew Durham reviews The God Box, written by Alex Sanchez. Paul, a religious teen living in a small conservative town, finds his world turned upside down when he meets Manuel—a young man who says he’s both Christian and gay, two things that Paul didn’t think could coexist in one person. Doesn’t the Bible forbid homosexuality? As Paul struggles with Manuel’s interpretation of the Bible, thoughts that Paul has long tried to bury begin to surface, and he finds himself re-examining his whole life. Click here to read Drew's review of this book.
August 25 2012 Reviews
This week Craig reviews Amy's Light, written and illustrated by Robert Nutt, from our friends at Dawn Publications. Click here to read that review.
Drew Durham reviews The Breadwinner Trilogy, by Reach And Teach fav Deborah Ellis and published by the fine people at Groundwood Books. Click here to read his review.
August 18 2012 Reviews
This week Craig reviews The Lunch Thief written by Anne C. Bromley and Illustrated by Robert Casilla, from our friends at Tilbury House. Click here to read that review.