Monday, November 26, 2007

Gift Giving

This Christmas season consider donating to a charity. We all have those family members who are impossible to shop for. Maybe they would appreciate having some books donated to needy children, soldiers in Iraq, African women, etc. in their name. For someone who has everything this is the perfect gift. Here is a list of charities that you might want to consider: This is a program that involves donating a laptop for a child in a needy country. It is a new program that is just getting off the ground.

Remember sometimes the best gifts are those that come from the heart. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I have read a number of Carl Hiaasen's books including Skinny Dip and Hoot. Hiaasen originally was only an adult writer, but recently has begun writing YA fiction. His most recent book is entitled Flush. Like almost all of his books the setting is Florida and the book's theme centers around environmental issues. In Hoot, the main character attempts to prevent a pancake restaurant from being built on land where endangered owls inhabit. In Flush, Noah's father is a pro environment fanatic who ends up in jail for sinking a local casino boat. According to Paine, Noah's father, the casino owner is dumping gallons and gallons of sewer into the waters every night. Since there is no proof of this occurring, Paine is arrested. Meanwhile, Noah and his younger sister, Abbey, decide to help their father's cause by becoming involved in unearthing evidence to pin point the casino owner's illegal actions.
The entire book is fast paced, witty and fun. The underlying themes of environmentalism are great lessons for any young adult to become aware of and learn. To find out more about Carl Hiaasen and to check out his latest books visit his website at

Saturday, November 10, 2007


The Dental Wives book club, that I am a member of, recently finished reading Lois Lowry's The Giver. This is mesmorizing read about 12 year old Jonas and the world that he lives in. He is surrounded structure, rigid formality and order. Every person has a specific job and task from which he/she should not sway. What is lacking is creativity, memories and imagination. At first glance this may seem to be an idyllic world. For Jonas, however, the discovery that the old of the community are exterminated after a certain age and that young babies who are sickly are killed is beyond comprehension. When children turn twelve they are given specific jobs. Jonas is given the job of Receiver of Memories. It is his responsiblity to keep all of the memories of the people, whether pleasurable, happy, painful, sad, etc. This is an emotionally draining job that leaves Jonas questioning the reason why he is living in such a world.

Although this is considered a young adult book it is a thought provoking book for people of all ages. The book leaves one with many questions and thoughts about one's own life, society and how one views the world. Humanity is brought into question throughout the book since Jonas' world keeps people from fully participating in certain emotions, thoughts and feelings. This book is truly worthy of the 1994 Newbery Medal that it was awarded.