Review: Legalizing Marijuana: Promises and Pitfalls by Margaret Goldstein

Legalizing Marijuana by Margaret GoldsteinLegalizing Marijuana: Promises and Pitfalls
Margaret Goldstein
Twenty-First Century Books
Published on November 1, 2016

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Many states and experts have vastly different positions on the use of marijuana. Are the medicinal benefits strong enough to justify legalizing it for treatment of some serious health conditions? Is it safer than already legalized recreational substances like alcohol and tobacco?

In chapters populated with information on the drug’s history, scientific studies, and current laws governing use, this book presents a fairly balanced look at issues surrounding the potential legalization of marijuana. Strong arguments in favor of medicinal use are checked by the reality that currently, scientists in the United States do not enough … Continue reading

Review: 21 Days to Happiness by Ingrid Kelada

21 Days to Happiness by Ingrid Kelada21 Days to Happiness
Ingrid Kelada
Wellness Ink Publishing
Published on September 25, 2017

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About 21 Days to Happiness
Feeling busy, stressed or disappointed has become the “new normal”. The truth is it doesn’t have to be that way, and the solutions are simple.

Instead of hoping for happiness, what if happiness is something you DO, something you CHOOSE every day? The good news: it is.

Psychologist and happiness expert Ingrid Kelada provides a step-by-step guide to help you increase your personal happiness and feel more motivated. You can learn how with simple 10-minute strategies. Each day of the 21 day journey focuses on one key area … Continue reading

Review: They Can’t Kill Us All by Wesley Lowery

They Can't Kill Us All by Wesley LoweryThey Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement
Wesley Lowery
Little, Brown & Co.
Published November 15, 2016

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About They Can’t Kill Us All
Conducting hundreds of interviews during the course of over one year reporting on the ground, Washington Post writer Wesley Lowery traveled from Ferguson, Missouri, to Cleveland, Ohio; Charleston, South Carolina; and Baltimore, Maryland; and then back to Ferguson to uncover life inside the most heavily policed, if otherwise neglected, corners of America today.

In an effort to grasp the magnitude of the repose to Michael Brown’s death and understand the scale … Continue reading

Review: Trashing the Planet by Stuart A. Kallen

Trashing the Planet by Stuart A. KallenTrashing the Planet: Examining Our Global Garbage Glut
Stuart A. Kallen
Twenty-First Century Books
Available August 1, 2017

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Humans produce an incredible (or incredibly gross) amount of trash each year. Garbage ends up in landfills, rivers, oceans, and even in space. Controlling this waste to keep it from polluting air and water supplies is a monumental task. Scientists continue to learn more about the impact of waste and chemicals on the environment. Exciting new inventions create opportunities for cleanup to proceed quickly, allowing humans to undo some of the damage done to the environment. But as the mess took a global effort to make, it will take … Continue reading

Review: Prom by Jill S. Zimmerman Rutledge

Prom by Jill S. Zimmerman RutledgeProm
Jill S. Zimmerman Rutledge
Twenty-First Century Books
Published January 1, 2017

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Prom serves as an important tradition for youth in America today. This book explores the history of the social event as well as its evolving trends while giving a spotlight to students and community members who worked hard to create integrated proms which protect and encourage LGBT student participation. Adults reflect on their prom experiences, some dating back to the Great Depression, and share tips and memories for today’s Prom attendees. Current trends like “promposals” and dress registries get a nod as well as some creative prom dress-making challenges and programs to provide dresses for girls who couldn’t … Continue reading

Review: Racial Profiling by Alison Marie Behnke

Racial Profiling by Alison Marie BehnkeRacial Profiling: Everyday Inequality
Alison Marie Behnke
Twenty-First Century Books
Published January 1, 2017

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Media and political activists have worked hard to bring attention to the issue of racial profiling in America. Profiling occurs when details about someone’s racial identity are used as reason to treat them differently. Sometimes this happens when police assume a person of a particular race must be guilty of a crime before any investigation takes place. The real statistics about how many people experience racial profiling can be staggering. In this book, Behnke carefully defines racial profiling and explains what it is and areas of the community … Continue reading

Review: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline WoodsonBrown Girl Dreaming
Jacqueline Woodson
Nancy Paulsen Books
Published August 28, 2014

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From Goodreads
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite … Continue reading

Review: Liked by Kari Kampakis

Liked by Kari KampakisLiked: Whose Approval are You Living For?
Kari Kampakis
Thomas Nelson
Published November 15, 2016

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Maintaining an online presence through social media can be tricky to navigate no matter your age. Author Kari Kampakis presents advice to teen girls about using social media in a way that’s godly and healthy, too. She discusses ways to keep priorities straight—making sure life doesn’t become about how many “likes” you accrue on a post or photo. She discusses how to handle relationship issues that can arise from miscommunication or thoughtlessness on social media. Through each page, Kampakis shares her wisdom like a cheerleader, making the reader feel like she’s totally on your side and wants … Continue reading

Review: Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things
Jenny Lawson
Flatiron Books
Published September 22, 2015

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It doesn’t seem possible to write a hilarious book about depression and anxiety, but that’s exactly what author Jenny Lawson has done in Furiously Happy. Her wacky adventures fill the pages and her unique view of herself and the world around her challenge readers to embrace their own weird. She has a keen sense of irony and writes in a rambling-yet-engrossing way. She takes readers through the highs and lows of book tours, a trip to Australia, and the challenges of depression and anxiety in daily life.

I think I read this book at exactly the right time. I’d seen it … Continue reading

Review: Girl Talk by Lois Walfrid Johnson

Girl Talk by Lois Walfrid JohnsonGirl Talk: 52 Weekly Devotions by FaithGirlz
Lois Walfrid Johnson
Zonderkidz
Published May 4, 2010

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A while back I reviewed a girls’ bible study that left me disappointed—both in the appropriateness of the subject matter for the age group and in some of the teaching. Since then I’ve been on the hunt for a devotional or study that my eleven-year-old and I could do together, something that addresses some of the issues she faces on a daily and weekly basis.

Girl Talk is set up in chapters, one for each week. Each chapter begins with a story in which the main character faces an obstacle or choice. Sometimes the story ends with … Continue reading

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