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Sunday, November 12, 2017

#70 -- Your Teenager is Not Crazy - Dr. Jeramy and Jerusha Clark

Title:   Your Teenager is Not Crazy
Author:  Dr. Jeramy and Jerusha Clark
Genre:   Non-Fiction
Read by:  the authors
Publisher/Date:  Baker Publishing Group/2016
Dates listened to:   10/25/17 – 11/12/17
Downloadable Audio Book/Time:  10:30

I like what the library review has to offer about this book – “As God allows us to understand the mystery and marvel of brain science, we have the exciting opportunity to reexamine our assumptions about human behavior.  Perhaps nowhere does this impact our lives more profoundly than when we think about raising children, especially teenagers.  Where parents often see a sweet boy or girl who has morphed into an incomprehensible bundle of hormones and angst, what we really ought to be seeing is an amazing young adult whose brain is under heavy construction.  And changing the way we see our teens will revolutionize our relationships with them.  Organized by what we hear teens say things like I'm bored , You just don't understand , Why are you freaking out?, I hate my life! , or Hold on . . . I just have to send this.  This book helps parents develop compassion for their teens and discernment in parenting them as their brains are progressively remodeled. Rather than seeing the teen years as a time to simply hold on for dear life, Dr. Jeramy and Jerusha Clark show that they can be an amazing season of cultivating creativity, self-awareness, and passion for the things that really matter.”

These two authors take you through many aspects of a teen’s life – from puberty to dating to health issues like sleep, drugs, self-harm.  Each chapter is divided into three subjects – Biology 101, Faith 101 and Psychology 101.  The information the authors provide is based upon their own experiences, studies and other works they cite relative to the chapter.  Faith may include Biblical citations, since these authors are Christian.

While the book is geared to parents of teenagers, I found myself thinking it wouldn’t be a bad idea to begin checking this book out before your kid(s) turn 13.  I’m thinking of recommending it to our daughter and son-in-law who are quite competently parenting our 9 and a half year old granddaughter who is going on 16!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

#69 - Santa Paws - Ellen Emerson White

Title:  Santa Paws
Author:  Ellen Emerson White
Illustrations by:  Robert J. Blake
Genre:   Kid Picture Book
Publisher/Date:   Scholastic, Inc./2003
Dates read:   11/10/17
IBSN:  0-439-324836-6

The inside cover says to get your hankie ready for this story.  I didn’t think much about this as granddaughter and I got ready to take turns reading this book out loud.  In the first a couple paragraphs, sure enough, I was weeping and granddaughter was comforting me.  White grabbed me with her words, as any good author does effectively.  “It was almost Christmas, and the dog was alone.  He lived by himself on the streets, so he had no warm place to sleep, and no food to eat.  But, more than anything, he wanted to have a family of his very own to love.  And, if he was lucky, maybe they would love him, too!”

Granddaughter asked me to read aloud first and, with quavering voice I plunged forward.  Through the dog’s daily efforts he humbly and quite innocently becomes the hero.  It’s a great piece to read during the upcoming Christmas season because the theme is about prevailing love.  I must start encouraging granddaughter’s take on these books so they may be recorded here.

This is volume one of six in the Santa Paws series White has written under the pen name, Nicholas Edwards.

#68 - Juneteenth - Ralph Ellison

Title:   Juneteenth
Author:  Ralph Ellison
Genre:   Fiction
Read by:  Joe Morton
Originally Published:   1999
Publisher/Date:  Random House, Inc./2011
Dates listened to:   10/25/17 – 11/10/17
CDs/Hours: 11/14
IBSN:  978-0-307-93945-6

You hardly know that the name of the senator from New England is Adam Sunraider given that when he was a baby Daddy Hickman named him Bliss, because “that’s what ignorance is”.  When the Senator gets shot and is hospitalized he calls for Daddy Hickman to come.  What follows is a stream of consciousness on Hickman’s part that tells the story of the two men.  At first I wasn’t sure I could continue with the story but held my ground and persevered.  And I found it worthwhile because it told a story about dedication on Hickman’s part in saving Bliss from a life of what might have been, and about the Senator’s confronting how deeply estranged he had become from his true identity.  

What is so amazing is the length of time it took Ellison to write this book.  Forty years is a long while and even before the novel was published (posthumously) the author was looking for even more ways to expand his territory.  With the aid of Fanny, Ellison’s widow, it, therefore, became the objective of editor, John Callahan, to paw through a ton of Ellison’s notes and ideas before completing the story to a satisfactory end.