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Thank a Teacher

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Who Knew?

Reading has been a part of my world since childhood. Hence, I am passionate about reading, and that will never change. Because I wanted to connect with other bibliophiles, I became a member of Litsy, Goodreads, and Instagram. I even began a blog, so I could share my book reviews and engage in stimulating conversations.

Through the Instagram community, I met LaQueisha Malone, editor of Strawberry-Lit Magazine.  When attending one or her Instagram lives, she asked me if I was an author. My response was simple, “No.” At the time, the thought of becoming an author never crossed my mind. Although she told me that I could become an author, I still had no interest in trying to become one.

Well, one day, that changed. Little did I know that these authors were having an influence on me. Due to the grade level that I teach and students that I tutor, I read a lot of children’s books and young adult literature. Therefore, I aspire to become a children’s author. Having decided on the type of writer that I aspire to be, an idea instantly came to mind, so I will be working on my new book. Having met many authors on Instagram has been a blessing in disguise. Stay tuned!

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Eric Jerome Dickey

Sister Sister. Between Lovers. Thieves’ Paradise. Naughty or Nice. Naughtier Than Nice. Drive Me Crazy. An Accidental Affair. These are just a few of the many novels that Eric Jerome Dickey wrote. It is with sadness that I write the post. On January 3, 2021, Eric Jerome Dickey, a literary giant, departed this earth, and his death came as shock to his audience.

When I saw the first Instagram post about Dickey’s passing, I immediately searched the Internet to find out if this news was true; I found nothing. A few hours later, I saw another post. I searched the Internet again, and again, I found nothing. I saw a third post. For the third time, I searched the Internet. This time, I found an article confirming his death. and no, it was not fake news. I could not believe it. I stared at my phone; I was hurt. This man was my favorite author. Although I never had the opportunity to meet him, I felt like I had lost a friend.

As I processed this news, my phone rang. It was a friend calling to see if I was okay. She knew that I would be sad about Dickey’s death. When I answered the phone, she immediately asked, “Are you okay?” I totally appreciated that call, so to my friend, LaQueisha Malone, thank you for your act of kindness.

The literary world lost an icon. He had the power of the pen. He was a master of words. He made his readers feel like they knew the characters in his books He made his readers feel emotion while reading his books. He may be gone, but he will never be forgotten. Eric Jerome Dickey, thank you for sharing your talent. God rest your soul.

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Bookmarks Anyone?

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Trethewey’s On the Blog Today

American poet and author; 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry; 2012 U.S. Poet Laureate

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Personal Achievement

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Students on Strike: Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Brown, and Me: A Memoir by John A. Stokes

It is the era of Jim Crow, and segregation is rearing its ugly head. From transportation to education even to drinking from water fountains, there is a division between blacks and whites; in other words, everything is separate.

John Stokes chronicles his experience of racism growing up in Kingsville, Virginia, which is located in Prince Edward County. Stokes focuses his attention on education because he and his sister, Carrie, “walk four and a half miles to attend school in Farmville, Virginia.” In contrast, white students ride the bus to a nearby school, a whites only school. The “separate but equal” law is not only in effect but also strictly enforced.

It is 1927, and Prince Edward County finally builds its first high school for black students. Robert Russa Moton School provides education for students in grades 8-12, and they walk to school until “their” bus service begins in 1939. Ironically, the school board opens another Robert Russa Moton School, and the first building becomes an elementary school. Sadly, the school is not large enough to educate over 180 students. “The white school board’s solution to this overcrowding was to add three wood-frame structures with tar-paper walls…it is heavy paper covered in tar that is used for waterproofing and wind proofing buildings. No brick, mortar, or wood covered the wall. Tar paper provided the only insulation.” (Stokes 50). Unfortunately, when it rains, more problems exist; the building leaks. “They are inadequately insulated. There are not toilet facilities in them. We have an enrollment of more than 450 students in a school that was set up for 180 students.’” (Stokes 51).

Fed up with Jim Crow Laws influencing their education, on April 23, 1951, students of Robert Russa Moton School decide to take a stand and fight the powers that be! These “good troublemakers” fight for equality in education in Prince Edward County, Virginia, more specifically, in Kingsville, Virginia. Due to the racism that exists and being tired of it, the students execute the “Manhattan Project.” Read about how these students fight the school board in search of a better educational system for black students.

#bookreview #alwaysforeverreading #moton #Johnastokes #barbarajohns #robertrussamoton #motonmuseum #civilrights #author #bibliophile #book #bookaddict #bookaholic #bookblogger #booklove #booklover #books #bookshelf #bookstagram #education #bookstagramfeature #igreads #bookstagrammer #ilovebooks #kindle #library #librarybook #literate #literature #livros #nook #read #reader #reading #readinglist #stories #yalit #africanamerican #blackhistory #blackpstudents #black #blacklivesmatter #blackhistorymonth #blackculture #blackunity #bhfyp

Forever Reading’s Rating = 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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from Naughty or Nice Eric Jerome Dickey


#EricJDickey #favorite #fav #favoriteauthor #love #alwaysforeverreading #foreverreading #author #kindle #blogger #blog #ontheblog #book #books #ontheblogtoday #bloggersgetsocial #bloggerlife #bloggersoftwitter #page #bookstagrammer #newblogpost #bibliophile #bookblogger #bookish #pages #booklove #booklover #bookphotography #ilovebooks #imagine #library #livros #read #reader #bhfyp

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Weekly Quote

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Grand Opening: A Family Business Novel by Carl Weber

How It All Started

In Grand Opening: A Family Business Novel, readers are introduced to Lou, L.C., Larry, and Levi – the infamous Duncan brothers. There is also a story line focusing on Chippy, Donna, and Alejandro Zuniga. Overall, I like the novel because I now know how the Duncans got started with their businesses and how L.C. and Chippy’s relationship began. However, I hated reading about cockfights, dog fights, and helpless piglets because I am an animal lover.

#carlweber #africanamerican #author #authorlove #bet #afamilybusinessnovel #thefamilybusiness #blog #blogger #bookblogger #bloggerlife #bookcover #bookreview #favoriteauthor #mystery #newblogpost #ontheblogtoday #read #urbanfiction #alwaysforeverreading #foreverreading

Forever Reading’s Rating = 🌟🌟🌟🌟

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Currently Reading: Missing by Brenda Z. Guiberson

#alwaysforeverreading #currentread #currentreads #currentreading #currentlyreading #reading #bookstagram #books #book #booklover #bookworm #read #bookish #booknerd #bookaddict #bibliophile #bookstagrammer #reader #booksofinstagram #bookaholic #readingtime #bookshelf #booklove #bookphotography#booksbooksbooks #bookblogger #booklovers #bookclub #bookcommunity #currentlyreading #goodreads #novel #writersofinstagram #fiction #education #readers#childrensbooks #ilovebooks #bookobsessed #libro #learning #amreading #bhfyp

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“The Cask of Amontillado”

You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; You are happy, as once I was. You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter.

#edgarallenpoe #alwaysforeverreading #bookquote #weeklybookquote #bookquoteoftheweek #bookquotes #quotes #fiction #shortstory #booksbooksbooks #bookgram #bookblog #booklife #ilovereading #bookreader #bookstagram #books #booklover #bookish #read #booksofinstagram #bookstagrammer #bookcommunity #booklovers #bookaholic #readersofinstagram #reader#booklove #bookblogger #bhfyp

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Adventures with Liyah Presents: Colors at First Sight by Vallean Jackson

Are you a parent who wants to teach your child about colors? Are you an educator who wants to teach your students about colors? Whether you are a parent, an educator, or both, Adventures with Liyah Presents Colors at First Sight is a book that all children should read. Just as the title suggests, this book focuses on Liyah’s adventures through the world of colors. Whether primary, secondary, or tertiary, Jackson’s book brings colors to life so much that young children will want to read it. In fact, it could be the book that children will continuously want to read for their bedtime story or during story time at school.

Liyah, the main character, loves colors, and no matter where she goes on her journey, she sees an item that represents its particular color. For example, when the story opens, readers see Liyah sitting at her bedroom window, looking upward. Readers do not know what she is viewing, but they do know that she has a smile on her face. When they turn to the next page, readers discover that Liyah is viewing the sky, and it is the blue sky that makes her happy. Similarly, each page in the book follows this format. Readers will view an illustration of Liyah in a different location (her adventure), then read about it, which features a new color.

Navi Robins, the illustrator, brings Liyah’s adventure to life. On the first page, readers see Liyah surrounded by the colors that are featured in the story. Each page’s background is in color, and the words are written in white. However, the featured color is written in its particular color. For example, when Liyah tells readers about the color red, every word with the exception of red is written in white. This is an excellent strategy to use because readers can visualize the difference between the colors. In addition, because the illustrations are so detailed and vivid, young readers will not have to guess what the pictures are about. Hence, these illustrations will strengthen readers’ learning because they will be able to identify the pictures and colors as they see them in their every day lives. 

Overall, this book is definitely worth purchasing. It promotes learning, it is well-written, and the illustrations are easy to understand for the targeted audience. It is evident that Jackson devoted much thought about the content of this book and had fun writing it, and Robins’ illustrations clearly depict the words on each page. Hence, children will have fun reading while learning.

     Forever Reading’s Rating = 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Wangari’s Trees of Peace

Always Forever Reading’s Rating = 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Are brave enough to stand by yourself?

Born and raised in Kenya, Africa, Wangari Maathai saw a problem and took a stand despite the opposition that she faced.

Seeing the need to restore trees in her homeland, she takes it upon herself to right a wrong, restoring a barren land. Next, she shares her vision with other ladies. Their mission produces positive results!

Her message is powerful for young and older readers. Even when life does not go as planned, persevere and know that the desired results will happen. Stand up for what is right even if it means that you stand by yourself. You will find out that you are not alone; there will be other people who are fighting for the same cause as you and therefore will stand with you.

I love the illustrations in this book because young readers can know what Kenya looks like. In fact, through these pages, they can travel to Kenya to learn about the culture in a clear, colorful, and simplistic manner.

As I read this book, I was reminded of what is happening in many cities across the United States. As I drive down the street, I see more and more trees being torn down to make room for apartments, houses, businesses etc. Although this “may be” a necessity, it irritates me because I think about where the animals will live. I used to see rabbits behind my house all the time. Sadly, I do not see them hopping around and having fun due the coyotes who have decided to become my neighbors.

What about when it rains? Without trees, flooding becomes a major issue. I wish the city officials and developers would think about these concerns before destroying the land. It seems like all they care about is money. Therefore, do not be surprised when and if you see a bear walking down the street. Do not be stunned if you look out your window and see a coyote staring back at you. Do not be offended if the snake is in your home. I say this because someone once told me that a snake was in her home. My response, “You were in the snake’s home.”

Please, please, please, leave the land alone. The land needs to be respected because when a natural disaster occurs, human error can only intensify the damage. Who will help the people who have been affected? Do not say, “We are in this together” if you are not really trying to help them. Do not help some people and neglect others. Hence, we need to follow Wangari Maathai’s footsteps to take a stand and respect the land and try to restore its natural order.

#alwaysforeverreading #readingforeveralways #author #bibliophile #book #bookaddict #bookaholic #bookblogger #bookish #booklove #booklover  #bookphotography #bookreview #books #bookshelf #bookstagram #bookstagramfeature #bookstagrammer #bookworm #climax #currentread #currentlyreading #igreads #ilovebooks #imagine #instabook #instabooks #kindle #library #literate #literature #livros #nook #page #pages #plot #read #reader #reading #readinglist #stories #yalit #bhfyp

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Weekly Quote

You need to be where you’re celebrated, not tolerated.

Lisa Nicole Cloud

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Never Caught: The Story of Ona Judge

Always Forever Reading’s Rating = 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Courageous. Fearless. Daring. Meet Ona Judge, George Washington’s slave who wanted freedom. She desired freedom so much that one day, she simply departed President Washington’s Philadelphia home, never to return. Although she escaped, this does not mean that her journey was easy. Read about Ona’s long and dangerous road to gaining freedom and remaining free. Overall message: Anything worth having is worth working for.

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Weekly Quote

“The earth was naked. For me the mission was to try to cover it with green.”

Wangari Maathai

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Favorite Book Quote

Right is right, even if you’re alone.

Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa

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Weekly Quote

If you get, give. If you learn, teach.

Maya Angelou

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We’re Moving Where?! Glen Blackwell

As a member of Goodreads, I am afforded the opportunity to meet individuals who, like me, love reading books. This is how I met Glen Blackwell. He sent me a message to ask me if I would review his preview copy of We’re Moving Where?! Because the synopsis sounded interesting, I agreed to read and review it.

Harry and his parents, Mark and Jess Jones, reside in England. Harry is living the fun life of a ten-year-old, watching cartoons, playing with his toys, and spending time with his friends. However, unbeknownst to Harry, his life is going to change in a major way. 

This change focuses on Harry’s dad. When his father receives an offer for a new job, one that he should not turn down, Harry will have to relocate with his family. This new job is in Canada, and Mark and Jess are concerned with how Harry will react toward this news. At first, like most children, Harry does not want to leave his friends. But once he learns that they will be living adventurously in the woods and that he will be able to keep in touch with his friends, Harry warms up to the idea. Hence, moving to and living somewhere in the middle of the woods in Canada gives this novel its title, We’re Moving Where?!

While reading this novel, I also noticed the British spelling of certain words, such as mum, whilst, coloured, pyjamas, and favourite. I do not know if this strategy was intentional, but I liked it. It teaches children that the same words used in different countries have different spellings. This is a great way to allow students to learn about different countries. At the end of the novel, I did not want to stop reading, so I hope that Blackwell writes another book to give this story some closure.

I enjoyed reading this novel, as it was full of positivity. Page after page, I kept waiting for something terrible to happen. But with each page, I did not find anything negative. Moreover, this novel is full of adventure, and the events make this novel fun for students to read.

I was curious about the readability level of this novel, that is the appropriate grade level of it. To determine the grade level, I used two popular readability formulas to see if the grade levels of this novel were consistent. The first formula that I used was the Fry Graph Readability Formula. I randomly selected three 100-word passages. Then, I counted the number of sentences and syllables in the these passages. Next, I calculated the average sentence length and syllables; after calculating the average sentence length and syllables, the determined readability level of this novel is for students in the 7th grade. 

The SMOG Readability Formula is the second method that I used to determine this novel’s readability level. With this formula, I randomly selected three passages consisting of ten sentences. Next, I found all the polysyllabic words, words with three or more syllables, in each passage. Then, I totaled the number of polysyllabic words in each set of three passages and found the closest perfect square of the sum. For the next step, I found the square root of the number closest to the perfect square. After finding the square root, I added three to the calculated square root; this will be the readability level. According to the SMOG Readability Formula, this novel is for students in the eighth grade. Therefore, I recommend that this novel, We’re Moving Where?!, is for for middle school students. It is a clean, appropriate novel that is full of much imagery, which will allow readers to use their imagination as they read.

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