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Andrew’s Awesome Adventures with His ADHD Brain 

Children with ADHD fight battles most of us will never understand. Each day finds them experiencing a constant barrage of thoughts, all competing to find their way to the forefront. Parents and teachers alike can benefit from truly listening to a child’s account of an average day living with ADHD, especially Inattentive Subtype. The Inattentive Subtype of ADHD is a prevalent but often not recognized. Andrew is a child living with ADHD, and his journal-style account of his life is the focus of his mother’s book. Kristin M. Wilcox’s book describes both the child’s and the parent’s experience with this incredibly challenging disorder.

Andrew’s Awesome Adventures with His ADHD Brain is a unique account of a family’s understanding of the disorder that is a part of their day-to-day lives. Wilcox artfully divides the book into two main parts–one from her son’s perspective and one from her own. She has handed parents and teachers a thorough look at what a child hears each day as he tries to focus and time and time again loses sight of the last thought he had as easily as he breathes.

I more than appreciated Andrew’s perspective. As a teacher, I have seen many students over the years fighting their own inner battles. Only those who live with ADHD know the inner banter, and Andrew’s very thorough commentary allows readers to gain a true understanding of the chaos that can ensue and the emotional toll ADHD can take on the entire family. This is a must-read for any parent of a child with ADHD.

Wilcox manages to give readers a guide that is not only informative but simple to read. There is nothing worse than actively seeking information on a topic only to find the resources dry, boring, and incredibly difficult to understand. Wilcox bypasses all of those issues and hands readers valuable information on one of the least understood types of ADHD. I found the Wilcox family’s story to be immensely helpful in the elementary classroom. Wilcox’s appendices are a wonderful resource for families and educators. This easy-to-follow list of questions and answers regarding symptoms and signs is especially beneficial to families and educators.

I highly recommend Andrew’s Awesome Adventures with His ADHD Brain to any parent who has a child dealing with the symptoms of ADHD. Schools would benefit greatly by adding this to their teachers’ resource rooms or to their recommended reading lists. This is the book families and teachers have needed for decades.

Pages: 114 | ISBN: 195735402X

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The Ghost of the Torn Underpants

A ghost has the unfortunate luck of getting bestowed the name Ghost of the Torn Underpants. Now the way it works is once another ghost gives a name to an unnamed ghost, it can not be changed; that is just how it works. Upset and frustrated at the constant teasing he endured after receiving this name, Ghost of the Torn Underpants moved to a new mansion alone. He was very lonely, but it was better than being teased nonstop over a name he could not change.

One day the ghost postman brought him an invitation to a party at his old mansion. He decided to give it a try as he was lonely all alone. He found a girl ghost sitting alone when he arrived, looking sad. When he asked her what her name was, she shyly said it was Ghost of the Backwards Dress. She was teased just as much as he was, and they formed a friendship. Together they learned to love their unique names and realize being different does not make you a bad person or less worthy of friendship and respect.

The Ghost of the Torn Underpants, written by Isabel Ricardo and illustrated by Pedro Pires, is a captivating children’s story about differences and accepting those that are not the same as you. With the increase in diversity in schools, there are many names children have never heard before. I think this book is an excellent resource for teachers and parents to show that names are unique and not something to be teased about. Ricardo teaches children about acceptance of themselves and others, standing up for themselves, and the value of friendship.

The bold and beautiful watercolor illustrations bring this meaningful story to life. The Ghost of the Torn Underpants has bright red hair that waves like a flame. This makes him stand out visually as well as his name, drawing attention from the other ghosts that fit a more traditional appearance. All the illustrations are engaging with small details that children can pick up on and look for. This is further enhanced by an exercise at the end of the book. The author asks questions about what children saw in the pictures, like how many letters the postman carries.

The Ghost of the Torn Underpants is a well-crafted children’s book combining important messages about acceptance, diversity, and friendship. The author writes in a manner that young kindergarten children will understand the message but is mature enough that children in older grades will be drawn to the story as well.

Pages: 37 | ASIN : B08QG9NGK8

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Marco Pablo & Olivia Story One Fútbol Tryouts

It’s not easy moving to a new neighborhood, especially at a young age. It can cause a lot of stress and worry. Although, it’s a lot easier when you have your siblings by your side. Marco Pablo & Olivia Fútbol Tryouts, by Ana Cortes follows an Ecuadorian family, moving into a new city. When the three siblings, Marco Olivia and Pablo, see the inside of their new house, they begin to grow excited at the idea of decorating their own rooms. As they look around, their mom brings them the news that there is a fútbol field nearby! Marco immediately wants to take his siblings to go see it, and when they go they discover that there are soccer tryouts coming up. But, when they talk to the team, they find that one member doesn’t want Marco on the team. He insults him and tries to convince him not to come to tryouts, but Marco is determined. Now, the siblings are left with the task of helping Marco complete the tryouts and making it onto the team!

Not only does this story show readers Ecuadorian culture, but it also covers multiple other important lessons for children to learn. The author writes about moving into a new city, which everyone knows can be difficult and worrying. The author brings to light that moving can also bring positivity and new opportunities.

The story also covers the topic of bullying very well as it shows how to stop a bully, and how to continue to follow your dreams, despite what they may say. It’s important to stay true to yourself and continue to do what makes you happy.

The comic book style of this story really brings it to life as it is full of color and all the characters are emotive. The scenery is drawn with a lot of detail, helping the reader to immerse themselves in the scenes. Overall, the story delivers an incredible message while still entertaining the audience with wonderful writing and drawings.

Marco Pablo & Olivia Fútbol Tryouts, by Ana Cortes is entertaining while also being educational. It teaches children how to balance a new life, and get through any barriers they may run into. The illustrations are drawn with an amazing amount of skill and detail, making the book captivating. This charming children’s book is useful for any child to have, so they can understand that these challenges are only temporary, and there’s always a way to get through.

ASIN: B09QQ2QC9M

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How Do We Live With Our Mortality?

Author Interview William Loizeaux

Into the Wind follows a young boy who, while fixing up a sailboat, befriends his elderly neighbor. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

When I was a boy, I had a feisty, independent, widowed and elderly aunt who was an artist and loved sailing.  As she aged, she didn’t seem to mellow or retire or relax, but seemed to come even more alive, to throw herself with increasing energy at what she loved, even as that became more difficult.  She painted with a trembling, arthritic hand.  Some weeks before she died, she managed—in a wheelchair!—to get herself into a small boat and, with the help of someone who held the rudder, sail through some rough weather.  That was the germ of Into the Wind

Was there anything from your own life that you incorporated into Rusty’s and Hazel’s relationship?

Yes.  There is a certain amount of my relationship with my aunt in Rusty’s relationship with Hazel.  Like Hazel, my aunt was odd and demanding—you might even say cantankerous.  We rubbed each other the wrong way.  But she took an interest in me, and slowly I took an interest in her and came to appreciate her quirky sense of humor, the challenges she faced and the wisdom she had as an aging woman who mostly got around in a wheelchair.  We became unlikely friends.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The main theme was intergeneration friendship.  How could that happen between a boy with his life ahead of him and a woman near the end of hers?   What might connect them?  What might each of them gain from that connection?  

Our mortality is another theme, something that children from eight to twelve are beginning to grapple with.  By then they may have lost a loved pet or, worse, a relative.  How do we think about that?  How do we live with our mortality?  Maybe Hazel shows Rusty a way.  Sadly, life comes to an end, but it can be filled, like Hazel’s, with curiosity, fun, humor, generosity, growth, energy, friendship, love, wonder, and meaning—all of which might be passed from one generation to another.  I hope that’s what readers feel and understand when they finish Into the Wind.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I write books for children and adults, and I’m usually working one or the other, or sometimes both.  At the moment, I have an adult nonfiction draft on my screen and parts of a children’s story in a folder on the side of my desk.  When might they be available?  I don’t know, as I haven’t finished them yet.  Sometime soon.  Fingers crossed.  Information about my previous books is available on my website.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

A character-driven novel about the unlikely friendship between a 10-year-old boy and an elderly woman. The old woman badgers the boy into taking her sailing, but when the weather turns bad, it becomes a wild sail. It becomes the last trip before she goes into the hospital where she dies: but not before the two of them share memories of their last sail together. Hazel helps build the boy’s confidence during a tough time in his home life. Both moving and joyful, Into the Wind is a poignant story about loss and love in a boy’s life, and the surprising and sustaining bonds that can grow between the old and young.

A Big Part Of My Own Story

Kendall T. Newell Author Interview

A Star Upon a Dream follows a discouraged young girl who tries to discover what her dream job is and finds renewed confidence from her father. What was the inspiration for your story?

The inspiration behind the story is connected with my own personal story. Children are like sponges; they soak up everything. The people they are surrounded with can make or break that child. Having strong adult figures in a child’s life really is powerful. I have a supportive family along with great teachers and coaches. Without them, I would have given up for sure.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

There were several themes I wanted to incorporate into this book. The most critical themes included school life and bullying because I know there are many other people out there that could probably relate to this story. I wanted to make wrestling present in this story because it was a big part of my own story. Wrestling is a great sport to correlate with real life situations. In wrestling, we can get taken down but you can always fight and get back up. This is the same concept we can apply to our own life. Sometimes, we get taken down in life but we have to fight and stand back up. 

What is one piece of advice someone gave you that changed your life?

Failure is something we all face in life. Failure does not define you. It’s how you deal with failure that makes you successful.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have another book in the development stage. My current focus is this book because it is my first book and the message is very important to me. If things work out then I hope to have it completed by 2024.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

Do you have dreams? Like the stars, we are very similar but unique at the same time. We all twinkle with a light that shines in our own special way. That shine is the power that fuels our dreams and aspirations in life. Doubting and telling others that they are not good enough only diminish a person’s light. Eventually, that light will lose its shine, blacking out into the void, like the star never existed. We should be uplifting to one another and making one another shine brighter than ever before. We all may have different dreams, but we all share the same sky!
Follow Meleah Rowland, a third grade student whose dream is to become a zoologist someday. She quickly learns how it feels to be doubted, thus diminishing the light of this young girl. She learns a very important lesson from her father, Charles Rowland, through the story of his own past to becoming the shining star he is today.

I Wrote A Book I Needed

Kim Adams Author Interview

Billy Be Kind: Making A New Friend is an amazing children’s book on how to make friends that preschoolers can understand. Why did you feel this was important to write about?

I wrote a book I needed growing up as a shy little girl. Now that I am the mother of a shy daughter, I know the importance and impact friendships have on a child’s self-esteem and emotional health. I hope to simplify important life lessons with my short stories while teaching social and emotional skills to children at a young age.

The art in this book is fantastic it really jumps off the page. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Ayesha W.?

Since I have collaborated with my illustrator, Ayesha W. on several projects, she has a clearer understanding of my vision. I begin by sending her my storyboard and stick-figure drawings. She then sends me her interpretation of my ideas. We often go back and forth until we are both satisfied that the artwork matches my vision. Our personalities work in a manner that allows us to create and collaborate effectively.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I thought it was important to explore the theme of friendship. I used a shy protagonist in my story to show children that you can be shy and still be brave. Additionally, exploring the theme of friendship allowed me the opportunity to incorporate inclusion, diversity, and of course, kindness, a theme repeated throughout the entire series.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am currently working on 3 books that should be released by the end of 2022.

Billy Be Kind: My Big Feelings

Billy Be Kind: I Can Do Anything

Billy Be Kind: Sharing

Author Links: Website | Instagram | Facebook

Lucy-Lou is a shy little girl that has a hard time making new friends. Will Lucy -Lou overcome her fear? How will Billy Be Kind help her?

Making a new friend when you’re shy isn’t always easy. It often requires putting in a little effort. Billy Be Kind the kind little mouse is there to help!
This wonderful, short, rhyming story is part of the Billy Be Kind Children’s series. Billy Be Kind is a kind, little magical mouse created to teach and encourage young children to be honest, brave, kind, to listen and so much more.
Parents, teachers and caregivers understand how challenging it is to grab and retain the attention of children. These engaging, short, rhyming stories will grab and keep their attention from the beginning to the very end.
Come join the Billy Be Kind family and make this series a part of your child’s library.

About the Author
2021 Black Caucus American Library Association Best of the Best book list -Honorable Mention
Kim Adams is a wife, mother, and the author of the Billy Be Kind children’s series. She fell in love with the art of storytelling at a very young age and has been inspired ever since. Kim hopes to simplify some of life’s important lessons as well as strengthen social and emotional skills through her short, rhyming stories. She has always taught her children to lead with kindness and hopes to help spread her message to every little boy and girl.

Into the Wind

Into the Wind by William Loizeaux is a children’s story about how an unlikely friendship develops between a young boy and an older woman in a wheelchair. It takes place during a difficult summer for both on the island where they live. After Rusty’s mother is admitted to an inpatient treatment facility on the mainland for depression, Rusty’s neighbor gives him an old sailboat that he works on repairing and learning how to sail. Hazel is a widow whose family lives far away on the west coast, and she hires Rusty to do odd jobs around the house for her to earn a bit of money. As they spend time together, the two find that they share an unexpected connection. 

The author has an engaging writing style that will draw readers into the story. The main character is relatable and believable, with a sometimes humorous point of view. This heartwarming story takes place on an island, and the author’s descriptions of the boats and water paint a vivid picture of the quaint tourist town where Rusty and his family lived. I could easily imagine the smell of the sea and the sound of the seagulls as they flew over the boats tied to the dock as though I was experiencing what Rusty did in the story.

I learned a lot of interesting things about sailing while reading this book, and I liked that various sailing terms were explained organically throughout the story for readers who are not familiar with sailboats. The author also includes a glossary of nautical terms at the end of the book. Watching the friendship between Rusty and Hazel is magical. Two people so different, in different stages of life, can find common ground and connect on a deep emotional level. They are both going through some challenging moments in their lives, and spending time with each other helped them cope.

This memorable book includes illustrations by Laura Jacobsen. They are done in shades of gray, like pencil drawings. They really add to the story as they are sparsely used and added to key moments in the story. My favorite was the image of Rusty pushing Hazel through the park with cards clipped to her wheelchair wheels. The innocence and simplicity of the scene remind readers to hold onto the small moments in life.

Into the Wind is a middle grades level chapter book. This emotional story deals with friendship, compassion, death, and grief. It is a wonderful story to help kids learn about love and loss and about the importance of treasuring the moments you have with people.

Pages: 138 | ASIN : B08PDGZRXS

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Lifelong Friends, No Matter Where You Go

Lori Croy Author Interview

The Whole Dollar follows two brothers that love each other and share everything as they grow up. What was the inspiration for your story?

This is a true story about my two oldest sons. When something is an event from a real-life situation, the story literally writes itself. As a parent, I tried to capture and take note of those precious everyday moments that are fleeting. When you’re raising children, you feel you’ll never forget something and yet, you do. This is one of those events that was burned into my memory and was the hallmark of what a sibling relationship could and should be.

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

The obvious idea is the lifelong joy of a loving sibling relationship. The other major idea focuses on the act of sharing. I wanted to emphasize that sharing isn’t only about “giving something away.” It’s the act itself that brings the giver something precious in return. I also wanted to give the children reading this a hint of how sibling relationships change, and in some ways never change, as they get older. It was important to me that this book be a reminder that your brothers or sisters aren’t just a childhood relationship. They can be your closest and best friends for life, no matter where you go.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given about writing?

I think it was to write about what you know and to write the stories the way I tell the stories. Humor, excitement, nostalgia, and sweetness among other things – especially when writing for children.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The Whole Dollar is releasing on March 4th. I am currently working on 2 additional books and one of those will likely be available early in 2023. The next book will focus on how children experience feelings of anger, anxiety, fear, being tired, being hungry, and how those feelings can make them act in ways that get them in trouble. This book will be a means of helping parents, teachers, and caregivers start meaningful conversations and teach children how to talk about and manage their feelings.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Two brothers, who are very close, share absolutely everything. They share a room, a bunkbed, toys, cookies – everything! One day, they discover how a dollar becomes something that will forever remind them of what it means to have a brother, no matter where in the world they may go. The Whole Dollar is a story about sharing, sibling relationships and the concepts of whole and half. A heartwarming message that is perfect for early readers and an asset for teachers.
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