19 Love Songs, by David Levithan

Author:
David Levithan

Genre:
Emotions

Topics:
Friendship, Highschool, Great Boy Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs

Book
type: Fiction

Publisher:
Knopf Books for Young Readers

Publication
date: January 10, 2020

Publisher’s
recommended age(s): 12 – 18

19 Love Songs of David Levithan incudes short stories and poems, most of which have appeared in previous anthologies or as a part of his earlier books. Many of the pieces portray LGBTQ characters navigating strong feelings of attraction, love, and desire. Like many of Levithan’s novels like a day, Two Boys Kissing, his collection sends teen readers a strong message that they’re not alone in their feelings and experiences. The characters’ sexual and/or gender identifies are important but not unique; love is love, in other words. In some stories, teens use profanity (“f–k,” “s–t,” “ass,” and their variations), and a few drink beer in one story. Sexual intercourse between teens and young adults is described sensuously and passionately – teens disrobe, kiss, and touch during a sexual way, but nothing is described graphically. There’s deep intimacy during this book, but it’s more emotional than physical.

In 19 Love Songs, young-adult author David Levithan collects short stories and poetry that portray the relatable feelings and experiences of teens crazy. For instance, the primary story relates the frustration and confusion of a Quiz Bowl team alternate handling unrequited love and feelings of not belonging. In another piece, a transgender footballer connects powerfully with a cheerleader. Levithan also looks at the first days of his parents’ romance, and therefore the exuberant love between a mother and son on Valentine Day. Throughout the book, he explores the universality and vulnerability of affection from all angles.

As in his beautiful novels, David Levithan offfers wonderfully relatable, sensitive characters during this emotional story and poety collection. At an equivalent time, 19 Love Songs is more generally like Levithan’s valentine to the language of affection. Through every plot twist and each nuance of feeling, the author shares his appreciation for all the tenderness between people, and therefore the ways we use language to attach.

Best books for teens to find their hobby gene (part 2)

Stitch People 2nd Edition, by Elizabeth
Dabczynski-Bean

Skills needed: Cross-Stitch, Basic Design

Kids who have already picked up the basics of cross-stitch can be the hero of the holidays creating a “family portrait” for grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors or friends. Stitch People 2nd Edition gives descriptions of how to develop the people based on age and distinguish each by adding hobbies and hair color. The biggest task will be designing the pattern before starting the stitching. This is a great book for teens who have already mastered stitching and want to take the next step.

American Girl Cupcakes

Skills needed: Baking, Cooking

Kids ready to
advance their baking skills outside of the proverbial store-bought box will
enjoy the tastes they can create from this book. Written and published through
American Girl, the colors and flavor profiles are beautiful. The step-by-step
instructions will help tweens and teens create cupcakes for all occasions, and
take their skills up a notch with glazes, creams and custards to top on a yummy
cupcake. There are symbols all over the book to remind kids when an adult needs
to step in and help.

Yummy Yoga, by Joy Bauer

Skills needed: Yoga, Cooking (for more advanced yogis)

If your toddler
loved copying you as you worked out with a yoga program in the living room, he
or she will adore the foods that are posed in this book (and you’ll love the
recipes). For newbie yogis, the poses are formed for kids to try everything
from the Triangle Pose to the Cat Pose and the Forward Bend. The photos of the
food following form will tickle the imagination for the recipe that follows
(imagine broccoli in a tree pose then a recipe that uses broccoli and asparagus
with pasta). Older kids can help make the super nutritious post-workout snack.

Sew With Me, by Brandy Nelson

Skills needed: Sewing, Cutting

The 60 projects in Sew With Me will be attractive to kids in late elementary and middle school. The activities range from Frankenstein door hangers to Tooth Fairy pillows and many fun standouts in between. Kids can learn to sew gifts for their friends (like zipper pulls) and their relatives (like throw blankets). The projects are each rated on a scale of 1 (easy hand stitching) to 3 (use of a sewing machine is necessary).

The most awesome books for gaming fans (part 2)

Skylanders Universe: Cynder Confronts the Weather
Wizard, written by Onk Beakman

This book follows
Cynder doing his mission on the Isle of the Undead and discovering why storm
clouds are all gathering in the Cloudless Desert. The fifth novel in the series
written by Onk Beakman will hook you from the beginning and when the secrets of
the Mask of Power are revealed, you won’t be able to put it down! This is the
perfect book for the Skylanders video games fans and a great read for those loving
stories filled with adventure.

Ctrl-Z by Andrew Norriss

What if your computer took you back to an earlier part of your day when you hit Ctrl-Z? Alex’s new comp – one of the very unique birthday gifts his godfather John gives him every year – offers him the best opportunity to fix his mistakes. Together with his friend Callum, Alex puts his computer to good use but faces the consequences of going back in time – which can be fun, but sometimes disastrous. Watch this space…

Terraria Official Sticker Book

Become the hero and help in saving Terraria from The Corruption. A dangerous threat is spreading fast and you’re the only one who can stop it from bringing Terraria to its doom! Complete activities, stick stickers, create character profiles and get game tips to bring your beloved world back to its original state. Don’t let The Corruption win! This is the great book for Terraria fans and the ideal read for those loving action-packed books.

Monstroso by Charlie Higson

Fans of tactical games will really love the immersive Monstroso, which is a real-life warrior Oscar creates after finding out a mysterious file on his father’s computer. This warrior is programmed to do anything Oscar asks him to – but soon he realises that his new friend will only ever get him in trouble! Get ready to find yourself in the middle of crazy fights, adventures, and monsters!

Best books for teens to find their hobby gene (part 1)

Teens looking for a new hobby (or trying to put to good use some of the skills they learned this summer at camp) can look no further. With a few easy patterns, kids can turn skills like cooking, sewing or their love of pets into hobbies – or even a good side hustle. Some of these projects are perfect to start now for crafters who want to surprise family with a handmade gift at the holidays.

Handmade Animal
Dolls,
written by Melissa Lowry

Skills needed: Sewing,
Cutting

If you aren’t already attracted by the adorable pictures of animal dolls on the cover of the book Handmade Animal Dolls, the ease of instructions will make these projects perfect for middle schoolers and older. Templates are provided and the instructions don’t assume a high degree of sewing talent. Kids will love picking the fabrics and giving the animals their own personalities.

Awesome Edible Kids
Crafts,
written by Arena Blake

Skills needed: Basic
Cooking (stirring, measuring, etc.)

Awesome Edible Kids Crafts provides 75 projects that encourages kids to play with their food. From gummy bear slime (making slime out of gummy bears) to glowing gelatin aliens, kids will learn about the science of food as much as the how to turn ordinary pancakes into something extraordinary. Recipes are rated by the necessity of adult supervision (from 1, which kids ages 6 and older can do on their own, to 5, which will require a lot more help).

The Big Book of
Tricks for the Best Dog Ever,
written by Larry Kay &
Chris Perondi

Skills needed:
Patience, A Dog

As hard as it was to potty train your child, kids will need that kind of patience to be able to train the family pet to perform awe-inspiring tricks, like sitting pretty and carrying objects. The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever is a great bonding tool for youngsters to get to know their dogs, and is best for kids in middle school and older. The instructions are perfect to teach both the dog and the human how to perform.

On Fire by Naomi Klein, review

Facing the world climate crisis, social activist Naomi Klein’s ‘On Fire’ builds a case for a new world order under the Green New Deal.

Imagine living in a world with abundant clean energy, jobs, and resources for everyone, instead of destructive weather and fossil fuel and mineral extraction. Imagine living in a world offering dignity, liberty, and justice no matter your race, gender, class, religion, abilities or birthplace.

In her new book, “On Fire: The (Burning) Case for the New Deal, Klein explains how the Green New Deal (GND) could do both. Making the connection between the exploitation of nature and humans is an opportunity to solve many challenges at once. Climate scientists now urge replacing failed, obsolete economic policies that waste and pollute our natural resources. Current policies harm human lives in many ways, from creating wage stagnation, which leads to gaping inequalities, to crumbling government services. Green New Deal policy changes, however, will likely add momentum to a surging right-wing backlash.

What exactly is this Green New Deal? In “On Fire,” Klein explains a vision for social and economic transformation to reduce carbon emissions, pollution, and waste of resources while converting to clean energy. This would create more meaningful, well-paying, low-carbon jobs.  This would meet more of our basic needs, including education, health, homes, and transit. By changing how we live, grow our food, work and move around, we could improve our quality of life and reduce waste.

How could we win this GND? In her chapter, “When Science Says that Political Revolution is Our Only Hope,” Klein reveals that our current economic paradigm is a threat to ecological stability, prioritizing gross domestic products (GDP) growth above all else. It disregards human or ecological consequences. Many scientists have been moved by their research to advocate action, lead marches and even get arrested for resisting pipelines, coal mines, and fossil fuel investments.

In a sample commencement speech, Klein exhorted new college graduates to “Stop trying to save the world all by yourself,” warning that no single career or lifestyle choice would suffice. We can only meet this tremendous challenge together as part of massive local and global multi-issue, multi-generational and multi-identity movements.

As in prior books, Klein writes with the clear, concise style of a professional journalist. She adds her personal stories, such as meeting with Pope Francis, Swedish global-warming activist Greta Thunberg and other world leaders; she shares a story of her own family suffering through a summer of sunshine lost to wildfire smoke. For those who critique the limited specifics of the GND, she would reply that the precise details will be up to each sector, institution, city, state, and nation.

One can hope future books will elaborate on how to pay for the GND transition. Klein briefly mentions reducing military spending. As the largest part of the U.S. discretionary budget, redefining national security to reallocate funds from “weapons to windmills” would yield trillions while also reducing the carbon footprint of war and weapons.

The most awesome books for gaming fans (part 1)

Whether it’s battling otherworldly aliens, embarking on a heroic quest, or hacking into mainframes, these awesome books are the perfect companions to some of your favorite computer games. Now, time to put down the controller…

Only You Can Save
Mankind, Terry Pratchett

The book follows Johnny Maxwell, a normal boy with the most ordinary life. He loves video games, but one day, after receiving a mysterious message from the last remaining alien spaceship in the game he’s playing, his life drastically changes. Johnny becomes humanity’s last hope and finds himself the hero of the story that helps an alien race. Only You Can Save Mankind is a thrilling adventure you’ll never want to end. 

My Magical Life,
written by Zach King

My Magical Life follows the weird and wonderful life of Zach, a boy who’s capable of doing magic (without a wand). Everyone wants to know how he does his tricks but mean girl Tricia wants to bring him down. The book comes with a super-cool app that brings the book and characters to life through awesome augmented reality. Tech fans will love scanning and tapping to interact with the characters that appear on the pages. Be sure to collect all the trophies!

Super Mario Official
Sticker Book

A legend in his own right, Mario and pals are a firm fave of all ages. And now he’s back, in sticker form! This awesome activity book features hundreds of stickers so that you can stick Mario and all of your fave characters’ faces onto your computer, notebooks, phone, and anywhere else that takes your fancy! You will love solving all the puzzles with this plumbing duo and their famous friends.

Hacker by Malorie
Blackman

Vicky is the best hacker in the world and when her father is
arrested after being accused of stealing money from the bank he works at, she
uses her hacking skills to prove his innocence. She attempts to break into the
bank’s computer files… but will she be able to find the real thief before she
gets caught? This is a fantastic read for those with a passion for coding.

‘Through the Needle’s Eye’, review

In her first novel Through the Needle’s Eye, Linda Bledsoe provides a grim look into the dark side of the southern Appalachians’ life. It tells the story of Jessie, the oldest child in a poor family in the southern Virginia hills in the late 1950s.

The family has much more things to deal with than lack
of means. The father,
an
alcoholic with a violent temper, is horribly abusive, and the mother is unable
or even unwilling
to help herself and her children. Jessie and her younger brother and sister endure things that no child should, and they also see things that no child should see.

The children are always deprived: of a stable home, enough
food, decent clothes and toys, but also love, care, attention, and emotional support.

From the very beginning, we all understand that Jessie’s plight is
especially dire. Scarred by an accident, Jessie is considered worthless by
everyone, including her parents. As
the oldest child in the family, she is often called upon – or takes it upon herself – to take on responsibility beyond
her years.

The one good thing in her existence is Granny Isabelle, having lived through more than her own
share of hard times. Granny Isabelle sees something in Jessie that no one else takes time to
notice and tries to inspire her to believe that she can rise above. The Bible
informs much of Granny Isabelle’s advice and beliefs; the title of the novel refers to the eye
of the needle, and she tries to convince Jessie that she can make it through.

Without a doubt, Linda Bledsoe makes the desperate lives of children like Jessie horribly real. Therefore, we feel her terror, anger, and confusion when she watches her father beat her mother or waits for the blows that she knows are coming her way. Jessie and her siblings wet themselves so often that the story itself seems soaked in urine and snot at times.

Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi

An award-winning novel raises a lot of expectations, not only on its substance and style but also on its linguistic strength in connecting the readers with the imagined world of possible realities. In final, what count are the lingering thoughts the prose leaves the readers to keep on grappling with in solitude. Celestial Bodies, the first Omani novel to win the Man Booker prize, ticks all the boxes on being alluring, irresistible, and imaginative at the same time.

First published as Sayyidat al-qamar, the novel written by academic Jokha Alharthi traces an Omani family journey over 3 generations, through the twists and travails in a country emerging as a 1960s oil-rich Gulf state but was the last to abolish slavery in 1970. Crafted on a historical canvas carefully, it prisms the lived experience of three sisters when they swim through changing times which opens life in an Omani village to the world.

There
were surprises throughout
for
American historian Marilyn Booth, who translated the book into English and shared the prize.
What attracted Marilyn Booth to translate Alharthi was the absence of
stereotypes in her analysis of race, gender, and social distinction. Alharthi weaves individual
stories through a distinct but engaging and intricate narrative; meanwhile, the third-person account deals
with the person on
whom the chapter is named, the first-person reflections are by Abdallah, the lone voice in the world
of a
man who happens to be the husband of
the eldest sister.

Set
in the Omani village of al-Awafi,
Celestial
Bodies follows the stories of three sisters: Mayya, laying immersed in her sewing machine but
getting married
into a rich family after a heartbreak; Asma, at peace with her books and getting married
for
duty; and Khawla, having
spent the better part of her
life
with her mirror and having waited
to marry a man who had emigrated to Canada. Each has a share in the complicated relationships
in a domestic drama connecting
the ‘past’ with the ‘future’ through the ‘present’. 
It is the subtle artistry of the author which allows the characters to retain their
individuality meanwhile
remaining part of a home that has externalities of influences
at work all the time, shedding
light on travesties of life in Oman.

Best children’s books about football

Does your kid prefer kicking a ball to picking up a
book? Make them excited about reading with books about the beautiful game, from
brilliant football fiction for all ages and step-by-step technique manuals to World
Cup histories.

The
Story of the World Cup

Best children’s books about football

The Story of the World Cup is a fact-packed book with two hundred countries taking part in, three stolen trophies, and a heroic dog called Pickles. It is beautifully illustrated in Richard Brassey’s clear and accessible style. Expect an expert running commentary about golden boots, Cup records, and greatest players to accompany all match-watching after it has been read!

50
Football Skills

50 Football Skills is a practical manual of tips and techniques, covering all areas of the game, from the basics of defending and attacking to the complexities of obeying the offside rule and making a perfect corner kick. This book is guaranteed to be studied obsessively. Moreover, it is pocket-sized for easy access at the park or on the pitch.

Billy
Bonkers: and the Wacky World Cup! by Giles Andreae

Billy Bonkers: and the Wacky World Cup! includes three funny football stories and has the perfect length for newly independent readers to read alone. Billy Bonkers is a great wacky hero for KS1 soccer devotees as landing a plane and flying through the air in a hot-air balloon to the World Cup final.

Football
Joke Book by Clive Gifford

Arm your kid with a huge selection of good, clean
football jokes. The puns, visual gags, one-liners, and plays on words will
ensure that they are expanding their vocabulary with all relevant lingoes!

Cinderboy
by Laurence Anholt

A football-retelling of Cinderella, this story is great to read aloud and will be appreciated by KS1 readers. Cinders clean up after his nasty stepdad and ugly brothers and have no hope of going to the cup final… until he is invited to play!

Football
things to make and do

Keep football fans entertained with some hands-on
craft projects. Make a flicking football game, a 3D penalty shoot-out and a
league table with slot-in football shirts, all from everyday household items.
Each activity is clearly illustrated with step-by-step instructions, so minimal
supervision is re vvv][p0

Bringing Down the House: a blackjack playing guidebook

There
are several books written on playing Blackjack, but one of the phenomenal book
written so far that gives great inspiration to Casino lovers is “Bringing Down
the House.” Penned down by Ben Mezrich the book narrates the story of a group
of MIT Card Counters, famously known by the name the MIT Blackjack Team. The
book is a series of events that took place when this team played several games
of Blackjack and came out winning. The story is so inspiring that there were
two movies made on the story, namely 21 & The Last Casino.

Story
of the Book:

The
MIT Blackjack team had great casino players the top players of which were Jason
Fisher and Andre Martinez. In 1993, Jason Fisher and Andre Martinez invited
another MIT graduate Kevin Lewis in the team. Lewis is the main character of
the book. The financer of the team was a colorful character, Micky Rosa. The
team played with unity; however, later, there were card counting deterrent
efforts as well as personality conflicts which caused the MIT Blackjack Team
incarnation.

The
book is labeled as a non-fiction book, but there are claims that it is not. The
Boston Globe, a famous American daily newspaper, however, claimed that the book
contains several fictional elements.

Controversies
of Bringing Down The House:

The
book was claimed as fictional several times. Famous magazines and newspapers
like Boston Magazine and The Boston Globe were the first to run articles
claiming that the book has fictional element at significant places. It was
claimed that the author, Ben Mezrich, not only made up some events but
exaggerated at a number of places leading to a fictional story.

The
book also had several historical inaccuracies, for example, the underground
Chinatown Casino which in reality was never there. Also, the book showed that
strippers were used to Cash Out Chips, which is again not true.

There
are several scenes in the book that show that the players indulged in physical
assault, but again there are no records of any such event happening in real
life.

Whatever
it may be, the book had some great learnings for the casino aspirants. A
reading of the book offers great insights into the
rules of blackjack

and help people improvise their games. There may be many
controversies related to the book, but in all, it gained a lot of popularity
and still is referred by many casino lovers.