Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

Surprise!

A little surprise! Announcing my new children’s book by July/August 2017, these 2 ebooks are on special summer offer https://tinyurl.com/y864klzz! You might want to grab them – each has special activities for adults who read to/with kids or kids who read by themselves! 

#kidlit #childrensbooks

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Overwhelmed♡

Ever gotten this kind of a review/motivation for your book? Bev Tiernan, you are one of a kind♡. Everything this lady does is unique:) My first children’s book in rhyme (which should be out this summer), just got this poetic comment via email (posting here with author’s permission). 

Just read through your story

And read it with speed,

Don’t make any changes

There is no real need.

The characters are lovely

There’s no need for fright,

I love the cool ending

It all turns out right.

The lesson is taken

And taken so proudly,

One must spread the word

And yell it out loudly.

Whenever a flaw is in us at all

We must face it bravely

And follow our call.

So happy Hank did this and found his own way,

It just makes me want to shout out HOORAY!!!
B.J. Tiernan

Overwhelmed by huge support from fellow teachers and authors for my upcoming children’s book. You warm my heart and help me go on. Every second of your time is appreciated, and every line of (constructive) criticism, advice and praise is cherished. 

Especially now that the school year is in its finale, and all those who are teachers, like myself, know what a stampede that can be. I just squeezed this post amongst work phone calls, email trainee conferences, lesson planning, re-recording lesson music and stories, and I’m not even at work yet…. woohoo. Coffee time and then something exciting. 

Onwards and upwards!  Ready steady…

#amwriting #amteaching #newbook #kidlit

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New release in the summer

You may think authors take reviews for granted. We do not. I am so grateful to anyone who takes the time to read my book and craft a review. It’s like wind in my sails every time the sea gets too rough, the time too scarce, and my energy too low. 

Getting some inspiring advanced reviews for this little guy has made my week. Getting it published during the summer now looks promising. Planning on some online events, so stay tuned for a positive children’s book about accepting ourselves as we are. His name is Hank:) 

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LEFT OUT by Jean Gill – my review

Have you heard about the Looking for Normal books? They might be just the thing for your teenage and YA children and students, and hey,why not – even for you! Especially if you are dealing with such kids/adults:).


Another one of Jean Gill’s brilliant stories! The best thing a book can do is pull you in and make you think and feel, and this one does just that. No matter whether you are an adult or a teenager, this is definitely a story you should let into your library. Every educator and parent should read it, and so should teenagers (although we might try telling them they shouldn’t, just to increase the chances of it actually being enticing to them). 

The story touches on numerous important issues about growing up, without preaching, judging, laying blame or displaying any prejudice. Introducing the theme of prejudice through the seemingly simple problems of a left-hander in the right-handed world lures us into seeing our world as it is – filled with prejudice all around. We realize how many times all of us show it, unaware, yet effectively hurting each other. The witty and humorous parts of the story and the wonderful characters will feed your soul, and basically inspire you to be a better person, not a mere conformist. A special treasure are the various kinds of parents in the story – they made me angry and smile at the same time, as I recognized myself in their attempts at doing what’s best for their kids and loved them for it. Jamie and Ryan will, no doubt, resonate with teenagers – there is so much to relate to with those bright kids growing into great people.

The author shows admirable understanding of the teenage mind, led primarily by their emotional world, as they try to tug themselves out into reasonable adulthood. She displays the depth of their conviction, which sometimes may be misguided, but is deeply felt nonetheless, and we should therefore respect it in all its seriousness. For instance, when the main character Jamie observes her mother and never wants to be like her – we’ve all been there, right? Or when Ryan (mis)judges his mother’s intentions – that scene made me rethink my own relationship with my son. Reading about Kelly’s misplaced trust and about Ryan’s new school, opened my eyes to the fact that it is no wonder how many teenagers enjoy gaming and fantasy so much – it is easier to bear than their own reality. But life has its twists and turns, and when we try to do better, we can, as Jean Gill proves. The story is permeated with author’s expressive style gems, such as comparing Jamie’s family to a bus terminal, informative texts about left-handers (with charming comments by the main characters) and the realistic family conversations.

As a parent and a teacher, I felt this book in my gut. It hits so close to home on more levels than I can count. I felt for all those kids, all those teachers and parents trying, failing and succeeding at doing the best they can. It is amazing to see how similar parenthood is all around the world, how many things can go wrong, how many times misunderstandings stem from brief, implied (mis)communication instead of good old-fashioned listening. This may well be the best writing by Jean Gill I’ve read yet, and I am so happy to know there are so many books I still haven’t read by this author. 

Left Out on Amazon 

PS: You can never have enough of a good thing. Not only was I fortunate enough to read Left Out (and enjoy its remakewith this great new cover), but there is also a sequel – Fortune Kookie  coming out. It is the second part of the Looking for Normal trilogy. Quality reading for me and my YA learners!

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Work in progress

‘He’d better get used to nightmares soon,’ she thought, ‘because he’s living in one.’

#quote from current #wip #amwriting

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Creativity=Survival 

Watch this #now. Keep your #creativity alive. Keep your soul alive.

#art #parenting  #life 

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Read like a Child – with ♡

Happy International Children’s Books Day!

#children #reading #books

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Lesson plans at home;)

Spent the morning preparing for my preschool English lesson tomorrow on dinosaur digs. And it was NOT at work, but home. I am actually off to work soon, to teach adults and school kids. Not dinosaurs though;), more like business etiquette, future plans, writing film reviews… 

Just a normal #teaching day. Needless to say, my daughter can now sing the entire dinosaur song and recite most of the bones and some digging equipment.  

For those of you wondering if I did any writing, well, yes – this is it;) #motherhood & #writing & #teaching

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Magic

It is not usually like me to share videos such as this, simply because I feel them too much and can never go through even watching one without crying, but this one proves the power of good stories and the superpower of reading to and with other people, no matter their age. 

There is that intangible bond, sort of a special invisible bubble you create when you read or tell a story, which connects you and the person you read to (even if it is simply your own inner child). Then all else seems to fade away, giving you time, energy and even advice to help you face reality when you are back to it. 

Reading is magical. I know. I see it on the faces of my learners when we read or tell stories, I feel it in the air. It can turn a really bad day into a warmer one, for everyone involved. 

I can never emphasize enough how much stories, and art in general, matter. When we all create, imagine, sing, draw, sculpt, build, design… we are all better.  

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SOREN by D. M. Cain – my review

Soren is a children’s fantasy book for the preteen and teen generation, although I have to admit I read it in two sittings. Being a fan of fantasy myself, and working with students of all ages, I know this book will appeal to many. 

The characters are well-set, my favourites being Dash and Callista, and there are plenty of magical events and creatures to satisfy a teen fantasy fan (even some honouring the author’s commendable writing influences, I dare say). The descriptions are clearly laid out but not burdening the story, the suspense really written with feeling, rhythm and even a tease; ending chapters on a cliffhanger gets you moving immediately to “just one more chapter”. Having also read this author’s Phoenix Project, it is obvious that D. M. Cain has a natural knack of vividly describing action scenes, especially hand-to-hand duels. The language is excellent, not over-simplified for children but just enough of a challenge.
My favourite part of the book (except for Dash:) is how the author depicts the (royal) family – with past trauma behind them, and the fears of the oncoming prophecy, they are still that imperfectly perfect family of different kids, a moody dad and a slightly controlling mother.

I am glad the story has many possibilities for a sequel, as it is obvious Soren will soon have his followers, the rebel with a (special) heart that he is.

This review will also appear on Readers Review Room with a gold bookworm. 
Amazon link

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