Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Geek Dad, by Ken Denmead

How many of you love working on projects with your children? Most of you I am sure. Well I have the perfect book for you. It is called Geek Dad, by Ken Denmead. The book is filled with many different hands on projects that you can do with your children. And a lot of them are reasonably priced also.

First and foremost, is an introduction on what a geek dad/(mom) really is and how it came to be. I learned in order to be a true geek you need to have three important factors: Knowledgeability ( being able to store a lot of information and easily recall it), Social Skills (being able to form lasting friendships, but not in the popular sense), and Obsessiveness (one's ability to be able to catapult himself into something that he is passionate about).

The projects are broken down into six different sections in the book. These categories are games and crafts, activities for outdoors, accessories, kids go green, build/learn/geek, and potpourri (the geeky way of course). Each project also has an informational chart at the beginning for you to look over. At the top of the chart is the concept, so you know what you are about to work on. Second, is the cost which gives you an idea of how much you need to spend. Third, is the difficult level of the project. What is neat about this is that it is broken down by age group, so you know if your kid will be able to fully hands on complete it with you or not. Fourth, is the duration. This ranges from zero to fifteen minutes to three hours or longer. Fifth, is reusability.  I found this really helpful. It lets you know how many times a project can be used over again after it is completed. And last but not least are tools and materials.

Some of the projects that I thought were really cool are: Make Your Own Cartoon, The Coolest Homemade Coloring Book, Create the Ultimate Board Game, Build an Outdoor Movie Theater, Lite-up Duct Tape Wallet, and Exploding Drink Practical Joke.

This is a really great book and I encourage everyone to go out and get one for themselves. I think you would really enjoy working with your kids on these different projects and your kids will love them just the same. I highly recommend it. And if I can pull a line from the book, 'Go get your kid (s) and get started!'

This book was given to me for an honest review.

Friday, July 23, 2010

To Whom It May Concern: A Struggle to Survive

To Whom it May Concern: A Struggle to Survive This was a very hard review to write. The story line of the book I felt was okay, but the grammar was horrendous. Every three pages I encountered some grammatical problem. This caused major problems for me. English was my favorite subject in school and I have a hard time dealing with bad grammar. I struggled to get through this book.

To Whom It May Concern: A Struggle to Survive, by Joseph A. Klingman, is a story about a girl who goes through life trying to make it. She encounters all kinds of problems, but has the world's strongest determination to get through them.

Cynthia Thomas didn't have a typical childhood. The only thing that got her through was looking forward to her future being out of the house. Her father was very abusive toward her and her siblings. Unfortunately she received the brunt of it all. One day she brought home a paper that she received an A on and the teacher put a note on it saying that she could have done better. So her father made her write 'I could have done better' over and over again well into the night.

Once she graduated from high school, she went to St. Alban's University on a scholarship. The unfortunate thing about it was that she met a guy at a bar by the name of Dan Callahan. A couple of nights with him and her life started to change. She lost her scholarship. This in turn caused her to have to move and get a job. When she started working at Grahams Department Store, she was in for a rude awakening. Dan turned out to be married to the lady who owned the store. What started out as a bad situation, started to take a turn for the better. Ms. Graham, the owner, offered to help Cynthia out by letting her stay with her and giving her a better position at work. She also helped her brother receive a scholarship to the college and brought her sister up to live with them also.

Throughout her life, she and Dan met up and had a relationship pretty much like her childhood. He technically wasn't any better to her than her own father. The night before her graduation (she was to receive her MBA) Dan raped her and beat her up to the point of hospitalization. Throughout the ordeal, she pictured her father saying and doing everything to her. No matter what, she felt like she could not get away from her childhood life. One good thing that came out of that dreadful night was meeting her doctor, who in turn, later became her husband.

After her marriage, her life started to look up. She started fundraisers and later on had three children.

This book was a good read. I will say that if you have a hard time reading books where the grammar isn't 100% perfect, you might want to reconsider.

This book was given to me from Dorrance Publishing for an honest review.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Big, Big Dream by Michael Scott Roberts

Every parent wants a good book to either read to their child or have their child be able to read and enjoy. Well, I have found that very book.

A Big, Big Dream, written and illustrated by Michael Scott Roberts, is a story about Milton Hershey. The story is set up as though a teacher is speaking to his students about having dreams and making them come true. The story lets you know that no matter what your dreams are, big or small, they can come true.

Milton's story starts out when he was a young boy and was taught important values by his parents on their farm. When he gets a little older, he starts to work in a candy shop. That is where his love for candy began and also where his dream, of owning his own candy business came about. Sometime later, once he grows up, he opens his own candy shop. The first one wasn't successful. Neither was the second one. Yet he kept at it. One day a man from Europe purchases a large order from him, which enables him to build a big manufacturing company. He also opened up a school called the Hershey Industrial School, which is now called The Milton Hershey School.

At the top of the book are words to a song that goes along with the story. When you purchase the book, it comes with a code that lets you download the song and story so your child can follow along by themselves. I did this for my daughter and she loved it.

This is a really good book that can teach the older kids about their future becoming a reality and can also engage the younger ones because of the great illustrations and song. I highly recommend this book as a must read for all kids.

This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.