I Am Malala by Malala Yousafsai

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafsai (Little, Brown and Company, 2013) is a powerful story of a girl’s courage to stand up against wrong and demand an education in the Taliban-controlled regions of Pakistan. The work done by Malala, who still is a teenager, is so remarkable that she became the youngest receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. Her first-person account of her life is an engaging and inspiring read for all who desire courage to stand for what they know to be right.Continue Reading

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli, the Newbery Award Winner for 1991, is celebrating its 25th anniversary since publication. It’s hard for me to imagine this book being an “old” one, but since I knew I read it as a child, I should not be so surprised.

Maniac Magee is the story of a legend, a homeless boy called “Maniac” who stumbles in to a racially divided town and manages to break barriers and build new bonds of friendship among the town residents. This legendary story takes place in a timeless yet obviously historical era, a decade maybe in the 1960s or 1970s. It seems contradictory to say it’s timeless and yet in the past; yet, that is how it feels as I read it. Continue Reading

The Giant Book of Creativity for Kids by Bobbi Conner

The Giant Book of Creativity for Kids by Bobbi Conner (Roost Books, March 2015) is just packed full of creative ideas for engaging our kids of all ages in fun and educational activities. In more than 400 pages, Ms Connor shares insights for incorporating crafts, music, movement, drawing, pretending, building, and more into the daily routines and special days for kids from infancy to 12. Continue Reading

Stuffocation by James Wallman

Stuffocation by James Wallman (Spiegel and Wrau, March 2015) is an interesting analysis of the problem with materialism and a discussion of how seeking out experiences is more rewarding and fulfilling than buying things. I certainly appreciated the analysis of the problems of materialism (many of which I feel on a daily basis!) and I found the argument for experiences to be intriguing. But I also found the book as a whole seemed to drag through the points it made. I felt it could have held it’s own as a chapter in another book, without having to give all the examples that were so abundant.

That is not to say I cannot recommend it. I can! For those even more overwhelmed with things in their lives than I am, I suggest reading through the examples of how to simply and minimize the clutter of our homes. It is provides ample examples that can help those struggling to find balance.

Further, I certainly hope my loved ones don’t mind if I switch my gift giving to more “experiential” gifts versus the materialistic gifts as I’ve done in the past! I dislike the thought of things sitting around or cluttering already crowded homes, but I love the idea of giving a  memorable time to those I love!

Note: I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.