Book Club: “All Four Stars” by Tara Dairman

Disclosure Pic

I’ve had trouble keeping up with our book club sharing, but we’ve been having loads of fun with books this year!  All Four Stars was one of those books.

 

Meet Gladys Gatsby: New York’s toughest restaurant critic. (Just don’t tell anyone that she’s in sixth grade.)

Gladys Gatsby has been cooking gourmet dishes since the age of seven, only her fast-food-loving parents have no idea! Now she’s eleven, and after a crème brulee accident (just a small fire), Gladys is cut off from the kitchen (and her allowance). She’s devastated but soon finds just the right opportunity to pay her parents back when she’s mistakenly contacted to write a restaurant review for one of the largest newspapers in the world.  But in order to meet her deadline and keep her dream job, Gladys must cook her way into the heart of her sixth-grade archenemy and sneak into New York City – all while keeping her identity a secret! Easy as pie, right?

 
There are so many things that I wanted to do with my book clubbers for this book!  The possibilities are endless, and they’re so very fun, but …. I couldn’t decide, so this one became a multi-day event!
 
Book Club All Four Stars
 
On the first day of our All Four Stars book club event, we headed to Durham to the India Gate, a family-owned restaurant with a lunch buffet.  This seemed like a great way for our kids, none of whom had ever tasted Indian food before, to sample some of the things that made up Gladys’ best meal ever.
 
The people at the India Gate couldn’t have been kinder, even though we took up fully half of their tables during their busy lunch rush.  If you’re in the Triangle area of North Carolina, the India Gate is definitely worth a visit.
Gazar Halwa
 
One reason I chose the India Gate over other local Indian restaurants is that they feature Gazar al Halwa on their menu.  The orange-y dish in the front is this one.  Several of the book clubbers were also excited to try goat, as they’d never eaten it before, and so one family ordered goat biryani and shared it with the group.  
Book Clubbers Foodie Review
 
Following our delicious lunch, we headed to a Chick Fil-A down the street – not because we were still hungry, but because we wanted a quiet place to sit and write a review, Gladys-style, of the food we had just eaten without being overheard by the India Gate staff.  The kids got in groups and wrote their reviews, trying hard to use foodie phrases and colorful, descriptive words just like Gladys.
 
DSCN7937
The next day we continued our Indian foodie theme.  A former missionary to India came to visit us, and she was wonderful!  She brought photos of her life in India, told stories about cultural differences, and even brought a sari that she wore to a wedding during her time there.  She helped each female put on the main piece of the sari to get a feel for what the traditional clothing was like.  It was a beautiful sari!
 
Money from India
 
She also brought money from India for us to pass around and compare to our American money.  She brought storybooks, snacks, and more, too.  It was truly a wonderful and informative visit.
 
Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes
 
After that, we baked Gladys’ green tea cupcakes with sesame icing.  I love that Dairman has some of Gladys’ recipes on her website!  We really had no idea what these would taste like, but we were all pleasantly surprised.  Rather than tasting strongly of a new flavor (which would have been okay, just new), they were mild, with the icing tasting like peanut butter.  Several of the kids had seconds!
 
For our last All Four Stars project, we Skyped with Tara Dairman herself!  She was very nice and told great stories.  I loved hearing the kids ask about her writing journey and her world travels.  (I was so focused on the conversation that I forgot to take pictures!)  I’m so glad that she was willing to speak with us.  Why is it so important to meet friendly authors like Dairman?  Find out here.
 
All in all, I loved our experiences with All Four Stars.  We tried new things right along with Gladys, we learned about other cultures, and we tried our hand at writing restaurant reviews.  If you have a fellow foodie or are looking for a fun, foodie read, definitely check out All Four Stars.
 
For even more learning fun, check out these projects:
 
All Four Stars Cover
 
Vocab Writing Prompts Cover
 
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Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop – January 17, 2018

Welcome to Encouraging Hearts & Home

 

The Encouraging Hearts & Home Bloggers

Join your Encouraging Hearts & Home hosts each week for encouragement and support for your heart & your home. We hope to provide a space that builds each other up and lends a helping hand along the way. With all the negativity in the world, let’s shine a positive light!

Anne at Learning TableLinda at Apron Strings & Other Things

Amy at A Nest in the Rocks

 

The most clicked post from last week’s Blog Hop was:

The Happiness Habits That Have Dramatically Increased My Joy

 

 

Join us each Thursday! Link up your family-friendly blog posts and find encouragement for your heart & home!

How to Link Up

  • Use the form below to share your posts this week, and maybe you’ll discover some new ideas from all the fabulous links!
  • Please share only your family friendly posts with us!
  • Please only link up images that you have the rights to use.
  • By linking up, you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs, we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post.

Other nice things you can do

  • Follow and/or subscribe to your host’s blog.
  • Visit a few other bloggers and show them your support. We all love getting comments, and who knows what inspiration you may find? Be sure to share the love–that’s what a blog hop is all about!
  • If you are interested in co-hosting, contact Anne at anne@mylearningtable.com

Join us each Thursday! Link up your family-friendly blog posts and find encouragement for your heart & home!

How to Link Up

  • Use the form below to share your posts this week, and maybe you’ll discover some new ideas from all the fabulous links!
  • Please share only your family friendly posts with us!
  • Please only link up images that you have the rights to use.
  • By linking up, you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs, we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post.

Other nice things you can do

  • Follow and/or subscribe to your host’s blog.
  • Visit a few other bloggers and show them your support. We all love getting comments, and who knows what inspiration you may find? Be sure to share the love–that’s what a blog hop is all about!
  • If you are interested in co-hosting, contact Anne at anne@mylearningtable.com


NEW! “All Four Stars” Writing and Novel Study Packs

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I love when we find a book that’s exciting to read but full of springboards for learning, too, and that’s exactly what Tara Dairman’s All Four Stars is. 

It’s the wonderful story of Gladys, a young girl who dreams of writing restaurant and foodie reviews for a major New York newspaper.  We read this book in our book clubs (more about that soon!) and I created a unit study and a vocabulary/writing pack with All Four Stars in mind.

All Four Stars Cover

Throughout the story, Gladys takes trips into New York City, where she visits landmarks and navigates the city.  She also eats food from around the world and is a great writer, and all of these make great springboards to study things like the anatomy of the brain, idioms, and the architecture of Penn Station.   This novel study is 45 pages of creative learning activities.  Want to know more?  Check it out here.

Vocab Writing Prompts Cover

All Four Stars is smoothly and well written.  It takes place entirely in New York, but it is very culturally diverse, and so there are words from a variety of languages throughout the book.  There are also ethical dilemmas, dreams for the future, and quite a lot of the main character’s writing throughout the story.  This pack is full of vocabulary activities and writing/discussion prompts that come directly from these story elements.  Want to know more?  Check it out here.

These All Four Stars packs are designed to keep your students learning from the first page of the book until the last.  If your students love to read – or don’t, but you’d like them to – these studies are the perfect way to combine their learning with their reading.

Find these and other fun learning projects at my Teachers Pay Teachers store here.

10 Reasons Why Should Kids Meet Authors

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Many people see the benefit of kids being good readers, or, at the very least, of reading good books while in school.

Fewer people see the benefit, it would seem, of meeting the people who write the fantastic books that we believe should be a part of our kids’ education.

Of course, in many cases that’s difficult, or even impossible.  Meeting J.K. Rowling would surely be an amazing experience, but since she lives in Europe, that’s not possible for us.  Meeting Melissa Savage, who’s new book Lemons we devoured as our October book club pick, would be awesome – but she lives in the Midwest somewhere – closer, but still not in our current range of possibility.  My Little Man is currently reading Journey to the Center of the Earth and I know he’d love to speak with Jules Verne, but since he’s long dead – again, not possible.

But sometimes it’s more possible than you think to speak with authors.  Many have active websites, where you can get background information about them and their work.  Others have YouTube channels or active Facebook pages, where you can spend virtual time with the, learning about their journey.  Chris Grabenstein says that kids tend to ask him the same questions, so he periodically records a video of his answers.  It’s a fantastic way to gain information!

None of those are actually meeting them, though, and that might require a little bit more work – but only a little bit.  Many authors go on book tours when releasing a new work.  Others are willing to Skype with classes or book clubs who have read one or more of their books.

That does require work on your part.  You might have to drive to a distant bookstore, wait in line for pictures or autographs, or arrange for Skype visits in advance.  You might fight technology, traffic, or a busy schedule.

Why should you?

10 Reasons Why Kids Should Meet Authors

I think it’s important.  I think it’s worth the time and effort we, as parents and teachers, put in to meet these amazingly creative people.  I think our kids are worth that time and effort.

Why?  What benefit comes from it?

Here are ten reasons why I think we should make meeting authors, either in person or virtually, a priority.

  1.  They become real people.  The authors that write our favorite books are usually people we look up to.  We admire their creativity and ability to create new worlds, share wisdom, and paint pictures in our heads with mere words – and we tend to put them on pedestals.  Meeting them in person or via Skype lets us see that they are real people, just like us.  It helps us to view them more realistically.
  2. It makes dreams of writing attainable.  Kids often want to pen books just like their favorite authors do, and while not all of them are meant to do that, some are.  Yet we often hear about how difficult an author’s life is, how hard it can be to make a living as a writer, and those things are discouraging.  The truth is that while it’s not an easy career, it is possible – and our kids need to  hear stories of writers whose dreams have come true.  Authors are also the perfect people to provide encouragement to future writers.  Jenny L. Cote has been a huge source of inspiration and encouragement to My Big Helper.  Since meeting her, Jenny’s kind words, fierce hugs, and sincere discussions of book plots, characters, and life in general have opened up new possibilities for My Big Helper’s future dreams.
  3. It helps to bring the stories to life.  I love hearing authors talk about their books.  I love that Chris Grabenstein chose Mr. Lemoncello’s name because of his close connection with his grandparents and their Greek ancestry.  I love knowing that Jennifer Chambliss Bertman based part of Emily’s character on her own book nerdiness.  I love hearing Jenny L. Cote’s stories of deep faith and about the adventures that writing the Epic Order of the Seven series bring her.  It adds to the background of the story, and the more that background is fleshed out, the more real it feels.
  4. It teaches them perseverance.  While Skyping with Bertman yesterday, we learned that she loves to write picture books, and she’s tried to sell 37 of them – and hasn’t had a single sale yet!  How discouraging that must have been, and yet she didn’t give up.  She switched genres and sold Book Scavenger very quickly – after spending 10 years writing it.  She’s found success, her dream has come true, and yet it took time – and she had to stick with it.  Incidentally, she’s planning to write more picture books – she’s keeping that particular dream alive.
  5. It teaches the value of hard work.  Bertman, the New York Times-bestselling author of Book Scavenger?  She didn’t just hang in there – she worked really hard, too.  She rewrote Book Scavenger 8 times, and she studied the craft of mystery writing to improve her work.  She didn’t just expect her dream to swoop in and land on her desk – she worked really hard to make it happen.  Our kids need to learn that there is value in a job well done – in doing your best, and then working some more.
  6. We learn that there’s more than one way to become an author.  When we Skyped with Beth Fantaskey, author of Isabel Feeney, Star Reporter, we learned that this book grew out of her research to attain her master’s degree (from Penn State – WE ARE!).  I never would have imagined that as the background for this book – but she’s done a masterful job of turning women’s rights, murder, and the mayhem of Chicago in the 1920s into an exciting and yet appropriate middle grade book.  Chris Grabenstein worked in advertising with James Patterson before he began writing novels.  Tara Dairman’s foodie knowledge for her All Four Stars series comes, in part, from her experience during her world-traveling honeymoon.  To write, we must know what we’re writing about, but that doesn’t mean that the basis for stories all come while sitting at a table with pen and paper.  It’s a journey, and hearing those stories are not only exciting in and of themselves, but it helps kids to see open doors in their lives.  And really, isn’t it true that there’s more than one way to become an X no matter what your dream is?
  7. In meeting great authors, our kids meet heroes.  No, I don’t mean that authors should be put on pedestals any more than professional football players or movie stars; no human should live on a pedestal.  But I do think that we can recognize greatness in each other, and we can appreciate that amidst our humanness.  We can do that same thing with authors.  I met Jennifer Chambliss Bertman yesterday via Skype, and I’d definitely consider her a great human – she’s creative and amazingly persistent!  Chris Grabenstein is funny, kind, generous, and humble.  I’ve met and Skyped with him several times now, and over time I’ve heard him reference tutoring at his church, giving books away, and the value he places on family.  He doesn’t draw attention to it, but these are things that he seems to value, and they’re quietly there to find if you’re looking.  I appreciate those values in him, and the way that he shares them, and I think it’s important for our kids to see that there are people out there who are famous who have great qualities.  
  8. Meeting authors helps to learn about the life of an author.  My Big Helper thinks this is important.  At times, she thinks she wants to be an author when she grows up, and so learning about how publication works, the editing and revision process, the way that publishing houses work – it’s all important career information to her.  Not every kid dreams of writing as a career, but, hey, we teach them about firefighters and police officers and doctors – why not writers, too?
  9. It can encourage kids to read more and a wider variety of books.  Sometimes we’ve gone to hear an author because s/he wrote a really great book, but we don’t know too much else about him.  When he gives a great presentation, that usually means that we’re all inspired to go home and find other books that he’s written and give them a read.  We’ve found lots of great books that way.  Also, invariably some kid asks the author what his/her favorite books are, and the answer is usually that “there are so many, but I’d have to say that X and Y and Z are way up there on the list.”  That means that we end up leaving with ideas for books we want to read that were not written by that particular author, but inspired him because of the style/genre/word choice/setting/characterization/something else, and we leave with lists of other great books to read, too.
  10. It encourages kids to speak up and speak properly to adults.  I’ve seen kids hesitate to speak to adults, but especially adults they view as important (I’m still working on this, personally – I’m completely tongue-tied every time I meet an author whose work I love: Chris Grabenstein, Jenny L. Cote, etc.)  I’ve watched my kids interact with authors over time, however, and their speaking skills have improved.  They’re becoming more comfortable in these situations, and, sure, we could set them up with public speaking gigs or sign them up for a debate class, but this is a lot more fun – and we get to become friends with some cool people, too.

So there you go – ten reasons why I think it’s super important to make the time and effort to meet authors.  What do you think?  Have you met any authors?

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The Homeschool Review Crew

Encouraging Hearts & Home – January 11, 2018

Welcome to Encouraging Hearts & Home

 

The Encouraging Hearts & Home Bloggers

Join your Encouraging Hearts & Home hosts each week for encouragement and support for your heart & your home. We hope to provide a space that builds each other up and lends a helping hand along the way. With all the negativity in the world, let’s shine a positive light!

Anne at Learning TableLinda at Apron Strings & Other Things

Amy at A Nest in the Rocks

 

The most clicked post from last week’s Blog Hop was:

Decluttering: A Family Tradition?

 

Join us each Thursday! Link up your family-friendly blog posts and find encouragement for your heart & home!

How to Link Up

  • Use the form below to share your posts this week, and maybe you’ll discover some new ideas from all the fabulous links!
  • Please share only your family friendly posts with us!
  • Please only link up images that you have the rights to use.
  • By linking up, you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs, we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post.

Other nice things you can do

  • Follow and/or subscribe to your host’s blog.
  • Visit a few other bloggers and show them your support. We all love getting comments, and who knows what inspiration you may find? Be sure to share the love–that’s what a blog hop is all about!
  • If you are interested in co-hosting, contact Anne at anne@mylearningtable.com

Join us each Thursday! Link up your family-friendly blog posts and find encouragement for your heart & home!

How to Link Up

  • Use the form below to share your posts this week, and maybe you’ll discover some new ideas from all the fabulous links!
  • Please share only your family friendly posts with us!
  • Please only link up images that you have the rights to use.
  • By linking up, you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs, we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post.

Other nice things you can do

  • Follow and/or subscribe to your host’s blog.
  • Visit a few other bloggers and show them your support. We all love getting comments, and who knows what inspiration you may find? Be sure to share the love–that’s what a blog hop is all about!
  • If you are interested in co-hosting, contact Anne at anne@mylearningtable.com


Have You Tried SchoolhouseTeachers.com? – Review

I’m excited to announce that I’ve joined the Homeschool Review Crew this year!  That will mean more reviews, more versatility, and a wider variety of great products and programs that I can share.  Telling others about great discoveries makes me happy, and I hope to help you find products and programs that you love, too.

High-quality, Self-paced, Online Homeschool Resources {SchoolhouseTeachers.com}
The first one I can share with you is SchoolhouseTeachers.com – a subscription-based website with classes, videos, printables, planning guides, videos, research resources, and more.  The kids and I have been digging all around this website, and we’ve found some things that we’re excited to try this semester.  This website is accessed through a membership, and you can subscribe monthly or yearly; I’ll be sharing benefits of a Yearly Membership, which we reviewed, below.

My Big Helper loves architecture.  I’ll randomly find her drawing buildings, sketching floor plans, or deciding how to rearrange the furniture in her bedroom to create a new look.  She’s been asking for information about architecture, and so I was super excited to find just such a class under the electives on SchoolhouseTeachers.com.  It’s worth a full credit for high school students, too!

The architecture class has thirty-seven lessons, and while clicking around to check out all the exciting elements, I chose to download the Frank Lloyd Wright – Fallingwater lesson for closer examination as I’ve visited that house personally.

The lesson is impressive.  The base of it is text describing the history and style of the house, as well as basic biographical information about Frank Lloyd Wright.  There are many links to more information, including pictures and videos, and there are activities, projects, quizzes, and vocabulary words.  It is a very complete lesson, and with thirty-six more in the class, a student must gain a treasury of knowledge from it.  If all of the classes are as well-written as this one, we’ll have more exciting choices than we know what to do with.

We’re often rather eclectic homeschoolers, though, and sometimes it works best for us to study things in our own way.  This architecture class would be fantastic just as written, working through it sequentially – but it looks as if you could also, because each class is focused on a different structure, match the lesson with your topic of study.  For example, we could have studied the Hoover Dam lesson and the Empire State Building lesson when we were learning about the Great Depression this past fall.

So, still excited about the topic of architecture, I hopped over to the World Book section of SchoolhouseTeachers.com, hoping for great things.  My Little Man loves to sit and read dictionaries, and I think he’d do the same to encyclopedias if any were still around.

Happily, I discovered loads and loads of books about every subject – even architecture!  There are lots of books about animals, though, too, and space, myths, legends, history, science, etc.  My Little Man will love it!  There’s even a classic books section with several hundred offerings – it’s like having access to your own little library.

There’s a video section to SchoolhouseTeachers.com, too, and I was curious as to what that contained.  It turned out to be a master list of all videos found on their website, and I made a few fun discoveries.  “Stevie’s Trek to India” is a 32-minute documentary style video that would complement the India study we just completed.  There’s even a worksheet to go with it, if that’s your thing.

But the BEST PART about the videos?  They have DRIVE-THRU HISTORY.  ALL OF THEM.  We love those! – but we only have a few. We will definitely be making use of this resource. 

My Big Helper is currently in seventh grade.  Time is flying by, and I know I need to be planning ahead for her high school classes, but it seems like such a huge  and daunting task that I’ve procrastinated doing research about that.  There’s a whole section of the website called “Member Resources” that contains ebooks, one of which is all about getting into college – CLEPs, transcripts, etc.  I really like the printable section of that area, though, too – there are gradebook pages, GPA pages, college prep printouts, and more.  These will all really come in handy, and I love that they’re all gathered together in one place.

That’s a lot, right?  A lot of great things, and a lot of things in general.  It might even seem overwhelming (kind of like the thought of sending my firstborn off to high school), but there’s another fabulous feature to SchoolHouseTeachers.com that’s definitely worth using: the chat-and-help feature.  

Somehow, after joining the site, I lost my password.  I’m not sure how – but the next time I wanted in, I couldn’t figure it out.  Since it was only my second time logging in, I thought that maybe my registration had gone wonky or something.  After learning about the chat feature, I starting type-talking to a super nice person who was able to find my info and get me access in minutes – and the problem was my own Christmas brain and not a registration problem.  She solved my problem on the spot and offered help for anything else, too.  How great is it to work with a customer service rep who’s really, really nice?

All in all, I can’t wait to begin using SchoolhouseTeachers.com with my kids.  Since we’re still on Christmas break, they’ve explored the site with me a bit, but we haven’t resumed classes yet.  They’re excited about these new options, though, and they’re going to love it! 

Homeschool Curriculum for Everybody - {SchoolhouseTeachers.com Reviews}
You can find out more about SchoolhouseTeachers.com by clicking on the title and hopping over for a visit.  I bet you’ll find great things for your family, too.

Crew Disclaimer
 

Encouraging Hearts & Home Blog Hop – January 3, 2018

Welcome to Encouraging Hearts & Home

 

The Encouraging Hearts & Home Bloggers

Join your Encouraging Hearts & Home hosts each week for encouragement and support for your heart & your home. We hope to provide a space that builds each other up and lends a helping hand along the way. With all the negativity in the world, let’s shine a positive light!

Anne at Learning TableLinda at Apron Strings & Other Things

Amy at A Nest in the Rocks

 

The most clicked post from last week’s Blog Hop was:

 

 

 

Join us each Thursday! Link up your family-friendly blog posts and find encouragement for your heart & home!

How to Link Up

  • Use the form below to share your posts this week, and maybe you’ll discover some new ideas from all the fabulous links!
  • Please share only your family friendly posts with us!
  • Please only link up images that you have the rights to use.
  • By linking up, you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs, we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post.

Other nice things you can do

  • Follow and/or subscribe to your host’s blog.
  • Visit a few other bloggers and show them your support. We all love getting comments, and who knows what inspiration you may find? Be sure to share the love–that’s what a blog hop is all about!
  • If you are interested in co-hosting, contact Anne at anne@mylearningtable.com

Join us each Thursday! Link up your family-friendly blog posts and find encouragement for your heart & home!

How to Link Up

  • Use the form below to share your posts this week, and maybe you’ll discover some new ideas from all the fabulous links!
  • Please share only your family friendly posts with us!
  • Please only link up images that you have the rights to use.
  • By linking up, you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs, we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post.

Other nice things you can do

  • Follow and/or subscribe to your host’s blog.
  • Visit a few other bloggers and show them your support. We all love getting comments, and who knows what inspiration you may find? Be sure to share the love–that’s what a blog hop is all about!
  • If you are interested in co-hosting, contact Anne at anne@mylearningtable.com

Encouraging Hearts & Home – December 27, 2017

Welcome to Encouraging Hearts & Home

The Encouraging Hearts & Home Bloggers

Join your Encouraging Hearts & Home hosts each week for encouragement and support for your heart & your home. We hope to provide a space that builds each other up and lends a helping hand along the way. With all the negativity in the world, let’s shine a positive light!

Anne at Learning TableLinda at Apron Strings & Other Things

Amy at A Nest in the Rocks

The most clicked post from last week was:

Large Family Hospitality:  Part 2.

Join us each Thursday! Link up your family-friendly blog posts and find encouragement for your heart & home!

How to Link Up

  • Use the form below to share your posts this week, and maybe you’ll discover some new ideas from all the fabulous links!
  • Please share only your family friendly posts with us!
  • Please only link up images that you have the rights to use.
  • By linking up, you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs, we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post.

Other nice things you can do

  • Follow and/or subscribe to your host’s blog.
  • Visit a few other bloggers and show them your support. We all love getting comments, and who knows what inspiration you may find? Be sure to share the love–that’s what a blog hop is all about!
  • If you are interested in co-hosting, contact Anne at anne@mylearningtable.com


Encouraging Hearts & Home – December 20, 2017

Welcome to Encouraging Hearts & Home

 

The Encouraging Hearts & Home Bloggers

Join your Encouraging Hearts & Home hosts each week for encouragement and support for your heart & your home. We hope to provide a space that builds each other up and lends a helping hand along the way. With all the negativity in the world, let’s shine a positive light!

Anne at Learning TableLinda at Apron Strings & Other Things

Amy at A Nest in the Rocks

 

 

I’ve been taking a break for a while, but I’m back and excited to see what’s happening on our hop!

 

 

Join us each Thursday! Link up your family-friendly blog posts and find encouragement for your heart & home!

How to Link Up

  • Use the form below to share your posts this week, and maybe you’ll discover some new ideas from all the fabulous links!
  • Please share only your family friendly posts with us!
  • Please only link up images that you have the rights to use.
  • By linking up, you agree that if your blog post is selected to be featured on any of our hosts’ blogs, we can use an image from your post with a link back to your post.

Other nice things you can do

  • Follow and/or subscribe to your host’s blog.
  • Visit a few other bloggers and show them your support. We all love getting comments, and who knows what inspiration you may find? Be sure to share the love–that’s what a blog hop is all about!
  • If you are interested in co-hosting, contact Anne at anne@mylearningtable.com


“Imperfect Justice” by Cara Putman

Disclosure Pic

The police say the woman was a murderer. Emilie Wesley knows they can’t be talking about her client . . . can they?

To the world it seems obvious: Kaylene Adams killed her daughter and then was shot by police. Attorney Emilie Wesley knows a different story: Kaylene would never hurt anyone and was looking for a way out of a controlling, abusive relationship. Her death shakes Emilie’s belief that she can make a difference for women in violent marriages. Self-doubt plagues her as she struggles to continue her work in the wake of the tragedy.

Reid Billings thought he knew his sister – right up until he learned how she died. He discovers a letter from Kaylene begging him to fight for custody of her daughters if anything should happen to her. No attorney in her right mind would support an uncle instead of the father in a custody case, but Kaylene’s letter claims Emilie Wesley will help him.

Thrown together in the race to save Kaylene’s surviving daughter, Emily and Reid pursue the constantly evasive truth. If they can hang on to hope together, can they save a young girl – and find a future for themselves in the process?

Putman

Cara Putman penned the perfect mystery in Imperfect Justice.  Building layer upon layer of intrigue and suspense, she’ll keep you guessing until the very last chapter.

Putman writes realistic characters that you’ll want to cheer on to success in their endeavors – in this case, in finding the truth about what happened to Kaylene Adams.  Emilie is a determined lawyer and caring person, and I love the way that she navigated the waves of trouble that kept coming her way.

I enjoyed Reid’s journey to realization about how distant his family had become.  Family is an important thing, and the lessons that Reid learned throughout this story are ones that we should all heed.

The best part of this story is the reality of the trouble that Kaylene finds herself in – well, the best and worst.  It’s very realistic, which keeps the suspense factor high.  That reality is what makes it sad, though, because the thought of someone actually experiencing what Kaylene did is awful – but Putman handles the situation carefully.  Between the problems that Emilie sees at work, Kaylene’s situation, and Emilie’s unique problem itself, any reader will understand why it’s important to choose a relationship carefully. Putman provides hope for the reader and valuable lessons about a woman’s worth no matter her current romantic situation, and I appreciate the theme that she’s leaving readers with:  that God loves you for you, and it’s never to late to find hope and help if you need it.

Putman’s Imperfect Justice is dramatic and suspenseful both, and I love the combination.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.