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The Best Interests Of The Children

Holly Marlow Author Interview

Room in the Nest follows a swan husband and wife who open up their nest and hearts to all the bird children in need for as long as necessary. What was the inspiration for your story?

I adopted my son a few years ago, and we stay in touch with his lovely foster carers. We’ve seen several children come into their care, some of whom have been reunited with their birth families, some of whom have been moved into kinship placements. My son understands that we adopted him, so he started to ask questions about why his foster siblings and other children looked after by his foster carers ended up in different sorts of families.

What were the morals you were trying to capture while creating your characters?

The moral is that children need to be kept safe, and the most important theme throughout the story is that all of the adults pictured have the best interests of the children at heart. The social worker character, Caring Goose, seeks advice from the Wise Owl, who makes suggestions to ensure that lots of options are considered before a child is removed from their family. The Wise Owl also ensures that the children are placed with family members when possible, or that a suitable adoptive family is found, but there are recurrent reminders throughout the book that the foster carers are there to help any children who need to be loved and looked after throughout these periods of uncertainty.

What were some educational aspects that were important for you to include in this children’s book?

I wanted to help normalise all of these different family structures and help children to understand the basics of foster care, in an accessible way.

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

My next story is created to help children to understand that making a few bad choices doesn’t make them a bad person, to try to help children who find themselves labelled as the “bad kid” at school, to see that they are not intrinsically “bad” and they can make kind choices. I am working on the illustrations now, and plan to publish it this Winter.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

From the author of award-winning children’s story book, Delly Duck: Why A Little Chick Couldn’t Stay With His Birth Mother and other adoption and fostering children’s stories, comes a heartwarming story featuring a mixture of familiar and new characters.

Mr and Mrs Swan build a big nest, so that they have plenty of room to help anyone who needs them. Teach children about different kinds of foster care, with this touching tale of fostering placements leading to kinship care, reunification, adoption and long term foster care. This inclusive story can be used as a therapeutic tool to help care-experienced children to process their experiences, or as an effective teaching aid to normalise and explain foster care and other family structures to all children.

Twins Mac & Madi Back to School

Twins Mac & Madi Back to School is a beautifully written picture book about twin sisters who will be separated at school for the first time in their lives. Due to an injury, Madi would have to ride a bus and go to a different school than her twin Mac. Neither was happy about this situation, and both feared having to go to third grade without the other. However, their wonderful mom helped them through this challenging time, and they learned that doing things apart is not always bad.

Twins have a special bond, and it can be a challenge when they have to do different things at a young age. This heartfelt story also addresses the fears of young children when they have to do something different and new. Making new friends is hard, and going someplace new without knowing anyone is also tricky. These topics are addressed in a way that young children can understand and see that their fears are normal. Author Linda Herron gives children relatable situations and solutions that are adaptable to their own lives. I love how Herron validates the girls’ feelings and does not minimize their struggles. Kids in early elementary need to know that their feelings are normal and it is ok to have them.

Twins Mac & Madi Back to School, written by Linda Herron and beautifully illustrated by Marie Delon, is a phenomenal picture book that teaches children about friendship, dealing with new situations, and how to manage their feelings of fear and the unknown. I highly recommend this for children that are starting a new school and dealing with new situations.

Pages: 31 | ASIN : B0BC9RHYSF

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Forbidden Homeland

In the book Forbidden Homeland: Story of a Diasporan, author Katia Tavitian Karageuzian shares her experience in solving mysteries concerning her family history rooted in the Armenian Genocide and the Karabakh Conflict. As an immigrant born in Lebanon, Karageuzian describes her discovery of long-lost relatives that she knew nothing about. This snowballs into almost a decade’s search for the involvement of America in Armenia and the generational trauma that was inherited as a result of this conflict. Furthermore, she exposes injustices still continuing in the ongoing wars in Transcaucasia, including withholding aid for Armenians starving in Artsakh.

This book has a rich history of geopolitics and most ‘superpower’ countries’ political roles outside their country. It shows that foreign policy affects people in traumatic ways worldwide if misused. Furthermore, the book articulates so much resiliency, generational trauma,  and crimes against humanity that occurred, which are not talked about in many forums or books. It is written very vividly, which evokes emotion from the reader to research and familiarize themselves with everyday politics and policies.

One of the most chilling accounts she described was the feeling that her sister and she were being watched while waiting in front of Hotel Al Bustan in the middle of a sandstorm, and the statement, “Practically every Armenian family has a Genocide story because practically every Armenian is the descendant of a Genocide survivor.” The book is truly a five-star read. Its title is befitting because, as an immigrant, Karageuzian is extremely emotional and factual about the homeland that was always forbidden and forgotten. She also includes pictures of her homeland and her relatives to show life before and after the war.

Forbidden Homeland: Story of a Diasporan is an emotionally charged memoir examining the author’s family’s history and heritage. With heartbreaking and thought-provoking stories, this biography will give readers much to think about and reflect on.

Pages: 386 | ASIN : B0BPMV4TNX

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Jonty and the Giant Pike

Jonty loves fishing more than any other activity. One winter, he and his dad spent the whole season planning a brand-new fishpond for their backyard. They were going to raise rainbow trout! Once spring arrived, they got to work building their pond. They stocked it with baby fish that Jonty made sure to feed every day. Then, one summer day, he heads to the lake to fish and catches a giant king pike! While taking the fish home to cook it for dinner, it escapes and flops into the fish pond. Despite their best efforts, they could not recatch the pike, which was now stuck in the pond.

Jonty and the Giant Pike is a touching story about a boy’s love for fishing. While he would have loved to have had the king pike for dinner, he respected the fish’s will to live and cunning ability to escape the bucket and hide. It was touching that even when the fish pond failed to provide rainbow trout, and the king pike escaped, Jonty never lost his good attitude and spirit of wonder. He was amazed by the pike’s fortitude and admired its survival skills. Rather than be upset, Jonty decided that the pike was in a better place and where it belonged, in the open water.

Author Tuule Pere and illustrator Milena Radeva have created a heartwarming children’s book about adapting to situations and making the best when things are unplanned. The lessons that children can learn from Jonty and the Giant Pike about having a positive attitude will stay with them long after they have finished reading this remarkable story.

Pages: 38 | ISBN : 952357793X

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No Cyberbullies

No Cyberbullies is a tremendously informative book for parents, educators, and adults who care about children’s well-being. The author, at length, writes about child bullying, discussing issues like the types of bullying, conditions that lead to bullying, and aspects like culture, religion, social conditioning, and appearance, among other central topics. In his book, author Brian Parkin brings to light the menace of bullying and gives a practical guide on handling bullied kids and their bullies.

One key point in this book is that we need more awareness about bullying to not just children but adults responsible for their care. Not every child that bullies others does it because they enjoy it; instead, it is a way of dealing with past or current traumas. The author does not in any way condone bullying, nor does he side with the vice. Instead, Brian Parkin educates and encourages parents, teachers, and guardians to investigate the root source of the problem.

How does bullying start? Even before writing about what makes bullies get into that behavior, the author started the book by writing about the history of bullying. He writes about how bullying has existed for centuries and how bullied children have endured the issue. The author mentioned the book Tom Brown’s Schooldays by Thomas Hughes as a good reference material with examples of school bullying, a book everyone should read.

This book is short, but the knowledge is immense. One of my favorite chapters is chapter 15. Parkin has notes to help you with what to do about cyberbullying in school. The author has well-written notes for victims of cyberbullying, the parents, school teachers, headmasters or principals, and cyber bullies themselves. Every message is well-packaged, and the text is concise and easy to follow. Chapter 16 was another great chapter, as the author brought a legal angle. There is plenty of advice on one’s legal rights if they are being bullied, and the author used simple language to cater to readers of all levels. Chapter 16 will be helpful to victims and their families as not many people are aware that one can take a legal approach when it comes to bullying.

No Cyberbullies is an eye-opening book that I recommend to all readers. Everyone needs to lend a hand to put a stop to this behavior. The anonymous effect of bullies online is a problem that needs to be dealt with, and this is why lawmakers should be among the first to stop cyberbullying witnessed in various parts of the world. This book can be a great starting point for policymakers and enforcers.

Pages: 90 | ASIN : B00I9FKOZE

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The Dog in the Hollow

The Dog in the Hollow by Will Lowery is the captivating story of a dog named Goose, who has a big heart but is in a bad situation. Goose’s circumstances place him in disarray when his only option is to betray his instincts. While he’s never been aggressive, he’s part of a team of other dogs who live with a man, their owner, who’s cruel. After Goose loses a dog fight, his owner forgets to lock him in his cage in anger. Injured and traumatized from this event, Goose escapes the hollow and retreats to the woods, where he must learn to survive.

After making unlikely acquaintances in the woods, Goose is introduced to a man with a heart as gold, who decides to take care of him and give Goose a good home. Although Goose loves the man and his new life, he can’t help but think of the dogs he left in the hollow, and together he and the man face their past to fight for a better future.

Will Lowrey provides readers with an attention-grabbing read that is hard to put down. I couldn’t help but love Goose and his eagerness to risk his safe new surroundings to help his friends. Lowery did an amazing job creating Goose’s character, immersing the reader into his world, and helping us see life through his eyes. This book takes readers on an emotional rollercoaster as Goose discovers the difference between cruel owners and true companions. It’s a unique story that gives the reader a new perspective on finding love and kindness in the least likely places and finding the strength to confront those who cause harm.

The Dog in the Hollow by Will Lowery is a heartwarming and inspiring story highlighting the importance of animal rights and the unbreakable bond between dogs and their loving owners. This must-read book will leave you with a satisfying and fulfilling ending.

Pages: 198 | ASIN : B0BRH9LB95

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For My Sister

For My Sister by Puja Shah is a novel that follows two sisters, Asya and Amla, and how a sequence of events impacted their lives, shaping who they become. The first major life event they remember was when their mother became ill, how the suddenness of this tragic situation cements a bond between the sisters and during later events in their lives.

This coming-of-age story shares the lives of two individuals who, despite their close relationship, are vastly different in many ways. The author narrates from a profoundly personal but unique perspective that captures the reader’s attention, so they want to learn more. The significance of the girls’ early years quickly sets the foundation for many other changes and events later in life, which is well emphasized and woven into the story.

For My Sister by Puja Shah is a beautifully written and intriguing tale that delves deep into the struggles of women from around the world. For this reason, I really enjoyed the appreciation of the theme of this book, which is enhanced by exceptional storytelling. I would highly recommend reading this book, and sharing it, as it provides an important message of resilience, with rich characters and their experiences.

Pages: 284 | ASIN : 1646637968

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The Experience Of Love

Geraldine Moran Author Interview

The Moon Child tells the story of one adopted girl’s connection to her birth parents through the Moon and Sun. Why was this an important book for to you publish?

My daughter is adopted and this story was something that I used to tell her when she was little.

I think the personification of the moon and sun allows a child or parent that may have had the experience of separation from a parent to understand that they are never forgotten and always loved. The sun and the moon provide that tangible link as we all look at them from time to time.

The art in the book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Daniella Banco?

Dani is such a legend and beautiful person. She nailed the concept of the book in her first draft drawing which happens to be the cover.

She asked wonderful questions, got some photos of our family and made the book such a personal joy for my daughter, Bella. She captured the words and gave them life through her illustrations.

What scene in the book did you have the most fun creating?

I think capturing The Moon Child with her favorite things was the most fun. Morphing Bella’s favorite things into the image with the sand and her dog and her tutu. The joy of a child in their experience of love.

Dani and Bella met after the book had been published and they were like kindred spirits. It was beautiful.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your story?

My hope for readers is that they can share in the love that exists for children in adopted or foster families.

Most importantly allow a child to understand that no matter where in the world or what happens in their life, their birth parents never forget them or stop loving them. Just as their adoptive or foster parents provide love to them.

Author Links: Website | Amazon

This is the story of Bella, who was born in China and is growing up into a beautiful young woman in Australia with her adoptive parents, Geraldine and Geoff.

Author Geraldine Moran first wrote this story when Bella was a baby, and has continued to tell it to her over the years. Bella has always loved hearing her story. It has also been told to Bella’s friends, classmates and teachers, and resonated with them as the story of Bella’s special life.

Both Geraldine and Bella are delighted to now share her story with a wider audience.
The Moon Child celebrates the importance of adoption but never forgets the parents who still love their child, but cannot be an active part of their life.

It is also a story of belonging.
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