Birth of a Movement
Harper, February 2019
This book is not about the tragedy on February 14th, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
Instead, it is about all that the student activists accomplished in the following year and how they did it. I felt like I’d followed this story pretty closely, but I was stunned by some of the things I learned. And those things are the reasons I want people to read this book.
I think most folks will be as shocked as I was to find out how ATF background checks are conducted, and why it is that way.
I was floored by all that these students accomplished over one summer and I was delighted to see their efforts to include other young activist groups that were not receiving the same media attention, such as Black Lives Matter, BRAVE & The Peace Warriors.
As expected, being familiar with Mr. Cullen‘s work, Parkland is thoughtful and thought-provoking. Honest, yet hopeful and inspiring.
I simply had to share this with “my” students. I took it in this week, and donated my copy to their classroom library. There was so much interest, I’m going to add a couple more copies soon. Everyone that wishes to read Parkland should have that opportunity.
Reviewed by jv poore, March 2019.
Wild Midnight: An Emily Story
Second Chance Ranch
Jolly Fish Press, January 2018
It should not surprise me when a Juvenile Fiction book pulls me in and holds my attention almost as tightly as a well-written, true-crime testament. And yet, when my reading of Wild Midnight: An Emily Story by Kelsey Abrams was rudely interrupted, I was absolutely more annoyed than I should have been.
Admittedly, I picked it up planning to savor it. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Second Chance Ranch series, so reading the last book seems bittersweet. But, I got so caught up in Emily’s quest to acquire a mustang there was no way I was going to stretch it out.
After careful research and a fruitful family meeting, Emily’s parents agreed to apply to participate in the upcoming auction of free-roaming horses, recently rounded-up. Approval was not a surprise, the Ramirez family’s commitment to rescuing animals is well-known in this part of Texas and Mrs. Ramirez is the go-to veterinarian for the area. However, caring for the critters currently residing on their ranch is expensive. Emily had only a small budget and was easily outbid.
Understanding the emptiness after seeing your dream horse slip through your fingers, her oldest sister, Natalie, promises to help Emily find the perfect equine partner. It is not enough. Emily’s heart is so broken that even Chandler the Emu cannot lift her spirits. But, when she’s invited to visit the mustangs at a near-by ranch, it is possible that a beautiful, black beast and a persnickety stable-hand can help her heal.
I loved the feel of adventure and action as humans attempt to encourage wild horses to acclimate. Also adrenaline-pumping: matter-of-fact preparation for an approaching storm, while potential danger pulses through the air. Softened by a sweet, strong young lady, this is a stellar story.
Reviewed by jv poore, September 2018.
Well that made me smile! Thank you so much–and especially for sharing the book with your kids. So many students discovered “Columbine” through their high school library, and great, active librarians. I hope this book inspires more kids to ACT. 🙂
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Thank you so much for your reply!
In addition to Parkland, there is at least one copy of Columbine in their classroom library–I’ve featured it several times. Both of your books have been enthusiastically received. Thank you, for putting so much of yourself into your books!
I;m curious about reading what occurred after the tragic event. And the children’s book sounds so fun. Exactly what I would have loved as a young girl, and now!
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I think you will be wowed by how the students came together after the tragedy, worked so hard & reached so wide.
I’m with you about the Second Chance Ranch series–these books are phenomenal!