Christakis begins with a very simple premise: that, for preschoolers, schooling and learning are often two different things. That young children are much more powerful and capable than we often give them credit for, that they primarily learn through relationships and play, and that the educational push to make their school experience more focused on "academic readiness" runs counter to their natural inclinations for learning.
Slow and steady wins the race, right? Then what’s the deal with all the timed tests our kids have to suffer though in school? Last to Finish is a great book to help kids who experience anxiety over timed math tests understand that they are not alone, and, in fact, they just might be kinda special. As the mom of a kid who freaks out when the teacher whips out the timer, I recommend this book for kids and caregivers to read together to foster discussion about math anxiety.
As a children’s librarian, it’s uncommon that I recommend a book about a teenage runaway to parents looking for a book about relationship-building. But author Jennifer Mathieu has written an uncommon book. I just can’t recommend it highly enough.
The Choices We Make is a beautifully written, powerful, heart-shattering story about friendship and motherhood. Hannah and Kate have been as close as sisters since they met in fifth grade. Hannah cannot help but feel envious of Kate's family, complete with two little girls. Meanwhile, after six years of trying every method she and her husband can endure, Hannah has just found out that she is unable to get pregnant. Kate chooses to be Hannah’s surrogate, and this is where the journey begins.
Leanne and Nichole are unlikely friends and confidants. When Leanne learns that her son Jake is cheating on his wife Nichole, she is sorely disappointed to find her son following in his father's footsteps. Sean, Leanne's husband has been cheating on her for years and up to this point she has just accepted and ignored his infidelity. After telling Nichole of Jake's indiscretion she admires the way Nichole instantly refuses to accept Jake's behavior and immediately moves to dissolve their marriage. Leanne draws courage from Nichole and leaves her cheating husband of thirty years.
At sixteen, Letty Espinosa has everything going for her – she’s young, pretty and smart with a handsome boyfriend who loves her. Only the sky is the limit. When she discovers she is pregnant, all her hopes and dreams are suddenly dashed. Now a 33-year old single mother of two, working several menial jobs to bring in money for her family, she has been living somewhat irresponsibly while her mother has been raising her two children.
I listened to this audio book and knew I could relate to it when I found myself laughing out loud less than a minute into it. If you have a child who challenges your authority and thinks the world should revolve around them, this book will help save your sanity. It will show you how to reteach your child and yourself. I have skimmed through several books on this subject but never bothered to finish them. I would get annoyed when the book described situations (ones that were not as frustrating as the ones I was dealing with) and then give one simple answer on how to handle it.
I'll cut to the chase: Listen to this book. Narrator Dion Graham turns an already great memoir by Dave Eggers into an absolutely entertaining bundle of ah-mazing. The words burst with personality and energy thanks to his narration, perfectly capturing the author's tone.
I'm not a writer but Anne Lamott makes me believe that I could be a great one. Bird by Bird is a writing manual that reads like a memoir, a very funny, life affirming, let's get real memoir. She reminds me a bit of Cheryl Strayed in her clarity and insight not only about writing but about relationships and priorities. Lamott says, "if you want to know your characters, you have to hang out with them for awhile." I highly recommend hanging out with Lamott.
I recently missed a carpool, and instead, drove alone. But I never felt alone. Plan B included listening to Anne Lamott's Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith. And she is an excellent traveling companion. Lamott, full of faith and humor hooked me in with her crazy, grace-filled life and I couldn't stop listening. It's a bummer that I missed socializing with my group. But, driving with Anne Lamott narrating Plan B made the trip worthwhile.