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2 Children’s Book Review

  

Neema’s Reason to Smile

By Patricia Newman

  SIBERT-Honored AUTHOR’S NEW PICTURE book SHARES THE POWER OF female entrepreneurship AND EDUCATION

 “Lyrical and lovely, Neema’s Reason to Smile reminds us that education is the greatest gift we can give a child, and that with enough love and determination, dreams sometimes do come true. Moving, important, and inspiring.”

Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medal Winning Children’s Author

The issue of equal access to education for girls is something that Sibert-honored author Patricia Newman is passionate about. She aims to bring understanding and awareness to it through the vibrant and lyrical tale of Neema, a young Kenyan girl who dreams of going to school and becoming financially independent, in her beautifully illustrated new book for early readers, Neema’s Reason to Smile (Lightswitch Learning, May 1, 2018).

“The idea for Neema’s Reason to Smile grew out of a phone call I had with a librarian from New York.” shares Newman. “She told me about the town of Mtwapa, Kenya, where many kids are unable to go to school. This can be because of a lack of funds to buy uniforms and supplies or, in other circumstances, because their parents don’t understand the importance of formal schooling. Seeing this problem among the youth of the town, an inspiring woman opened up the Jambo Jipya School, and it has literally changed the lives of the children and their families in Mtwapa.”

In Neema’s Reason to Smile, young readers everywhere no matter their location or upbringing, will find commonality and lessons in the power of entrepreneurship and financial literacy. In addition, they’ll gain a unique perspective into how different life can be for those not afforded the same opportunities for education. Neema’s Reason to Smile weaves the ideas of global citizenship, female empowerment, financial independence, and the importance of kindness together into one of shared experience that transcends cultural and geographical differences—reminding readers that what affects someone else in the world affects them as well.

            Every day, Neema, —a hopeful and vivacious child with big dreams—balances a heavy basket on her head and traces a dusty, winding path to town. Her basket is full of fruit, but she also imagines that it is full of big dreams, like being a scientist, an inventor, or a teacher, with hope that one day being able to afford to go to school to achieve these dreams. Slowly, and with great purpose, Neema makes a plan to save her money in an effort to bring these dreams to life. In doing so, she learns that her financial independence gives her power and options, and she even inspires her mother to do the same. Soon after, thanks to her determination and entrepreneurship, a mysterious young girl wearing a red skirt and white shirt skips down the street and guides Neema to both a new school and the start to the future of her dreams.

            “Neema’s Reason to Smile is a work of fiction, but it is based on the real-life students at Jambo Jipya School who understand the true power of education,” Newman continues. “I hope their story gives you a reason to smile.”

            *A portion of the proceeds from the book will support the Jambo Jipya School in Mwapa, Kenya.

About the Author:

Patricia Newman’s award-winning books show kids how their actions can ripple around the world. With titles such as Neema’s Reason to Smile; Zoo Scientists to the Rescue; Sea Otter Heroes; and Plastic, Ahoy!, Newman hopes to empower kids to think about the adults they’d like to become. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or Pinterest.

 About Lightswitch Learning:

Lightswitch Learning is a division of Sussman Education Company, a leader in K-12 digital and print educational resources for over 45 years. Lightswitch Learning’s mission is to provide the most engaging and relevant resources parents and teachers need to help children succeed socially, emotionally, physically, and academically.

 To support its mission, Lightswitch Learning publishes inspiring picture books, informational text collections, fiction collections, and bullying prevention programs for students. These titles model positive behaviors that can help students build the self-confidence they need to manage academic and social stresses, while improving literacy skills and subject knowledge. Resources for teachers include professional development materials, companion teacher’s guides, classroom activities, and more. Parents are supported with parent guides created by leading practitioners to provide practical strategies to support their children in today’s complex world. These resources help students build 21st century skills and are available in grade appropriate bundles for schools and community engagement programs.

Lightswitch Learning donates a portion of the proceeds from their books to a number of non-profit organizations with related social missions, including: pacer.org, nobully.org, reason2smile.org, afroamcivilwar.org and many others.

For more information on Lightswitch Learning and to view the full catalogue visit www.lightswitchlearning.com.

 Neema’s Reason to Smile will be will be available via Amazon and through all major retailers on May 1, 2018.

 My review of this book:

This book is well written and has a great story line. The story line keeps you interested to the very end. The book captivates your imagination as if you were actually there with Neema. The book is a story that many children in Africa and other third world countries face. The book is also well illustrated and goes good with the story.

There are discussion question,activities and group activities for children and adults to participate in.

This book will be a great book for any library personal or public. These books will be available via Amazon and other major retailers on May 1, 2018.


The Little Girl with the Big Voice

By Wé McDonald

 Giving Kids the Confidence to Make Their Voices Heard:

THE VOICE’S MCDONALD PENS INSPIRING CHILDREN’S BOOK ABOUT OVERCOMING BULLYING

            As anyone who works with children on a regular basis knows, bullying is not something to be taken lightly; a few words or actions can leave a lifelong impact, sometimes in ways that are literally life-altering. This is something Wé McDonald — a successful and beloved contestant on NBC’s The Voice — knows all too well. And, in her new children’s book, The Little Girl with the Big Voice (Lightswitch Learning, April 24, 2018), she tackles this issue with an inspiring tale of how one young girl overcomes bullying and finds success; a story based on McDonald’s own childhood experiences.

            The Little Girl with the Big Voice is a motivating story that will leave kids excitedly turning its pages. The book teaches valuable lessons, like how to triumph against adversity, and how to build self-confidence. McDonald hopes The Little Girl with the Big Voice, combined with her platform and experience, will ultimately help others. “I was bullied as a child but overcame it,” shares McDonald. “I want whoever is reading this book to know that they’re more than enough, and that special awareness doesn’t even begin to describe who they are.”

            Written in McDonald’s own words, The Little Girl with the Big Voice is a powerful story about a girl who courageously embraces her uniqueness and discovers her true voice — overcoming personal struggles and great challenges. She does so by working hard to fulfill her dreams, and expanding her own understanding of herself and the world around her.

Throughout her life, McDonald has been faced with bullies and naysayers. With the support of loving friends and family, she stayed focused on her dreams and her passion to share her voice with the world. On The Voice, McDonald’s inner confidence radiated. A strong contestant with an even stronger drive, she was a finalist on the show and has gone on to perform with music industry legends all while laying the foundation for her career as an artist. McDonald is living proof that from hate, a person can motivate. Her story is inspiring to adults and children alike, from the days of grade school bullies to being thrown into the public eye and being bullied on social media.

            One of the driving forces behind the book is to recognize the importance of support systems for children who are being bullied. In fact, a portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to No Bully, an organization that fights bullying around the world by creating stronger connections between people. “I am so lucky to have a great support system of my own,” continues McDonald. “I want children to be able to feel less alone, find their confidence, and know that the best may in fact be yet to come.”

About the Author:

Wé McDonald is a 19-year-old singer/ songwriter, dancer, actress, and author. She was born in Harlem, New York, and raised in Patterson, New Jersey. McDonald was a finalist on Season 11 of NBC’s The Voice, joining coach Alicia Keys’ team. Since her television debut, Wé McDonald has performed alongside Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Tony Bennett, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Josh Brogan, Cee Lo Green, Estelle John Lenten and many moreDuring her childhood, she was bullied at school, which brought forth the inspiration for her debut children’s book, The Little Girl with the Big Voice. McDonald hopes to be an inspiration to children, letting them know that, when you are bullied, it is not your fault. She currently resides with her parents, sisters and brother.

 About Lightswitch Learning:

Lightswitch Learning is a division of Sussman Education Company, a leader in K-12 digital and print educational resources for over 45 years. Lightswitch Learning’s mission is to provide the most engaging and relevant resources parents and teachers need to help children succeed socially, emotionally, physically, and academically.

 To support its mission, Lightswitch Learning publishes inspiring picture books, informational text collections, fiction collections, and bullying prevention programs for students. These titles model positive behaviors that can help students build the self-confidence they need to manage academic and social stresses, while improving literacy skills and subject knowledge. Resources for teachers include professional development materials, companion teacher’s guides, classroom activities, and more. Parents are supported with parent guides created by leading practitioners to provide practical strategies to support their children in today’s complex world. These resources help students build 21st century skills and are available in grade appropriate bundles for schools and community engagement programs.

 Lightswitch Learning donates a portion of the proceeds from their books to a number of non-profit organizations with related social missions, including: pacer.org, nobully.org, reason2smile.org, afroamcivilwar.org and many others.

 For more information on Lightswitch Learning and to view the full catalogue visit www.lightswitchlearning.com.

 My review of this book:

This book to is well written and addresses an issue that children and teens are facing nowadays. Bullying! Bullying is no laughing matter, but Wé writes how she overcame the bullying. But she also realizes at one point in the book that she too was being a bully. I will stop there so I don’t give to much away so that you will order the book and read it for yourself. This book is well written and keeps your attention to the very end. The book is also well illustrated and goes good with the story.

There are discussion question,activities and group activities for children and adults to participate in.

This book will be a great book for any library personal or public. These books will be available via Amazon and other major retailers on April 24, 2018.


About These Books

The Little Girl with the Big Voice by Wé McDonald (April 24, 2018), tackles the issues of bullying and empowerment with an inspiring tale of how one young girl overcomes bullying and finds success; a story based on McDonald (famous for being a much beloved finalist on NBC’s The Voice) own childhood experiences.

Neema’s Reason To Smile (May 1, 2018) by Sibert-honored author Patricia Newman. This beautifully illustrated  book is a vibrant and lyrical tale of Neema, a young Kenyan girl who dreams of going to school and becoming financially independent. In Neema, young readers everywhere no matter their location or upbringing, will find commonality and lessons in the power of entrepreneurship and financial literacy. In addition, they’ll gain a unique perspective into how different life can be for those not afforded the same opportunities for education.

About Lightswitch Learning:

Lightswitch Learning is a division of Sussman Education Company, a leader in K-12 digital and print educational resources for over 45 years. Lightswitch Learning’s mission is to provide the most engaging and relevant resources parents and teachers need to help children succeed socially, emotionally, physically, and academically.

To support its mission, Lightswitch Learning publishes inspiring picture books, informational text collections, fiction collections, and bullying prevention programs for students. These titles model positive behaviors that can help students build the self-confidence they need to manage academic and social stresses, while improving literacy skills and subject knowledge. Resources for teachers include professional development materials, companion teacher’s guides, classroom activities, and more. Parents are supported with parent guides created by leading practitioners to provide practical strategies to support their children in today’s complex world. These resources help students build 21stcentury skills and are available in grade appropriate bundles for schools and community engagement programs.

Lightswitch Learning donates a portion of the proceeds from their books to a number of non-profit organizations with related social missions, including: pacer.org, nobully.org, reason2smile.org, afroamcivilwar.org and many others.

For more information on Lightswitch Learning and to view the full catalogue visit www.lightswitchlearning.com.

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