Foster Meaningful Dinner Table Discussions with Kids and Young Adults

Author Kim Moog wrote ‘Food for Thought’ after seeing the impact open-ended exchanges with her children had on their character and confidence

When raising children, especially pre-teens and teenagers, parents can face tension when big topics are brought up and it can be challenging for them to navigate these tough conversations. Author Kim Moog, a parent herself, has recently published “Food for Thought: Raising Confident Kids One Conversation at a Time,” which is a guidebook filled with insightful questions for the dinner table to evoke critical thinking skills. These questions are posed to help develop independence within school-aged children by giving them a safe space to have their own judgment for various situations.

Struggling as a parent herself, Moog was inspired to start having regular family discussions with her children after playing an open-ended question game, Scruples, with her friends. Moog soon implemented regular discussion questions with her family at the dinner table and found that her children enjoyed these questions and even started to ask their own. Moog, with her own family, has proven how effective this communication tactic can be and hopes to help other parents raise children with good character and strong morals.

“Food for Thought” also contains discussion questions centered around faith, to help instill Christian values within children and encourage them to think about life with God in mind. This book can help parents raise children with integrity, courage and a Christ-centered mindset.

“In such uncertain cultural climates, my book can help parents, who desperately wish to raise children with strong character, discuss important issues impacting our world,” said Moog. “I hope to help them raise confident, faith-centered children.”

With the discussion questions presented in “Food for Thought,” parents are given the opportunity to both listen to their children’s perspectives and provide their own wisdom in a respectful manner, creating not only a dialogue between family members but also an optimal platform for parents to impart important family values.

“Food for Thought: Raising Confident Kids One Conversation at a Time”

By Kim Moog

ISBN: 978-1-9736-9646-9 (softcover); 978-1-9736-9647-6 (e-book)

Available at the WestBow Press Online BookstoreAmazon and Barnes & Noble.

 

“Earth, My Dearest” #NewBook #EarthDayEveryDay

Earth, my dearest, I will. Oh believe me, you no longer need your springtimes to win me over.” —Rainer Maria Rilke

earth day book

A new book, Earth, My Dearest, is an inspirational compilation of over 200 quotes around conservation and sustainability. Hopefully it will inspire people to treat the planet a little more respectfully, and further give inspiration to those who fight to keep the planet livable and healthy for all species.

Highlighting the wonders of our planet and ways on how best we can save it, Earth, My Dearest includes quotes ranging from poet Henry David Thoreau to activist Greta Thunberg. This quote collection will help show all of us how to cherish the environment and key ways to protect our fragile planet moving ahead to an uncertain future.

There is no time like the present to begin your environmentalism or kick it up a notch. We are on borrowed time, with species vanishing literally every day, and much more rainforest is destroyed then is left remaining. If we hope to have a planet, we better start working together and not just SAYING we care, but actually doing things that show that we care.

We need to show our children how much we love them and save their futures.

What have you done today to love your planet?

For inspiration, check the book out here or wherever you buy your books. Have a good day, love to all.

How Our Government Really Works—What Every Teenager Should Know

After such a wild election season, kids and teens might find themselves more interested or curious in politics. And if so- good on them. Let them read all they can, and not just about one side of things. Forming well read and  properly researched opinions will only make them better, smarter, and more empathetic people.

One book that has recently come out is a book that describes itself as “compelling, bipartisan insights about our country’s democracy. You Call This Democracy? How to Fix Our Government and Deliver Power to the People from author, speaker and public policy expert Elizabeth Rusch examines in simple terms our democracy’s missteps and how we can work together to create “a more perfect union.”

Some of the topics discussed are-

1. Why the race for president might distract us from the most important story of this election — ballot measures that affect our democracy

2. How COVID provides a surprising opportunity to finally do something about this country’s abysmal voter turnout

3. Important election topics people can discuss with family, friends and colleagues without starting a partisan brawl

4. What every American needs to know about how elections are run in their state

How Our Government Really Works—What Every Teenager Should Know

Whether you’re a student, parent, educator or engaged citizen seeking the truth, You Call This Democracy? How to Fix Our Government and Deliver Power to the People from public policy expert Elizabeth Rusch paves the way for every citizen to not only understand the flaws in our current democracy but to also fix them.

“We think we live in a democracy. One person, one vote. But how democratic is our government really?” Rusch asks. “The hard truth is that political power is not shared equally among all citizens. It shouldn’t matter if you are rich, poor, urban, rural, Democrat, Republican, old or young when you mark your ballot. Your race and gender shouldn’t matter either. But they all do.”

You Call This Democracy? gives an honest view of how our democracy truly functionswho really has the power and why (and how that power impacts politicians and policies) and how we can work together to make our democracy more responsive to the will of the people.

Consider the following:

1. Presidents can take office without winning the popular vote. 

2. Voting districts are drawn by politicians for their own benefit.

3. Millions of citizens—young, old, poor, people of color, women—are blocked from voting.

4. Money wields much more influence than the wishes of ordinary Americans.

You Call This Democracy? offers insightful solutions to undemocratic elements plaguing our government, with inspirational examples of citizens already working to make change. International comparisons, extensive sources and resources prompt readers to dig deeper ― and take action.

Supplementary materials to the book include Rusch’s “50 State Democracy Report Card” (https://www.youcallthis.com/your-state), where people can check to see how democracy fares in their state overall and on specific metrics, and how they can strengthen democracy in their state; and a series of short, fun, informative videos on the issues covered in the book, called Flash Course on Democracy, available free at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUOGZlteO6dRY7aQV1uqpddW1C1maGLxP.

Additionally, discussion guides and debate questions are available at www.youcallthis.com.

Elizabeth Rusch is the author of 20 award-winning books, and more than 100 magazine and newspaper articles. She is also the creator of the “50 State Democracy Report Card” and the video series Flash Course on DemocracyYou Call This Democracy?, an Amazon Bestseller, was featured in the New York Times Book Review and received a starred review from Kirkus, which called it “a riveting must-read.” Rusch and her work have also been featured in The Discovery Channel, Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think Out LoudThe Wall Street JournalTeacher magazine, Parenting Magazine and Working Mother, among many others. Rusch has a master’s in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and has served as a Jacob K. Javits Fellow in the U.S. Senate. Visit her at www.elizabethrusch.comwww.youcallthis.com and on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUOGZlteO6dRY7aQV1uqpddW1C1maGLxP.

You Call This Democracy? How to Fix Our Government and Deliver Power to the People Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN-10: 0358176921

ISBN-13: 978-0358176923

Available from Amazon.com and wherever books and audiobooks are sold

For more information: www.youcallthis.com. Thank you.

WIN! Home Learning Essentials from National Geographic Kids Books

As millions of kids embark on distance learning, what’s on the family bookshelf has never been more important.  This Fall, Nat Geo Kids Books debuts three reference titles that are home learning essentials, crafted by the experts at National Geographic.
National Geographic — known for its authoritative data, expert cartography, and beautiful photography — is the number one provider of atlases for people of all ages and also publishes the best selling kids almanac on the planet
 
  “No one does maps or atlases with as much panache and knowledge as National Geographic.”  – The Washington Post
Whether it’s for a full review or inclusion in an upcoming column about must-haves for the school year, I hope you’ll consider these three outstanding titles for coverage:

Beginner’s United States Atlas, Third Edition,(ages 7-10) The fully updated edition of this popular atlas introduces young readers to the wonders of all of America’s states and territories, with maps, fun facts, geographical features, and more. It’s accessible design showcases what’s unique about each state and territory and every profile starts with a colorful map and essay and includes capital cities; population; important land and water features; state birds, flowers, and flags. It’s all packaged in a bigger format, with a refreshed design, and bold, bright photos and illustrations.

United States Atlas Sixth Edition,(ages 8-12) Current, authoritative, and produced by the expert cartographers at National Geographic, this best-selling United States atlas is newly updated with all the latest info and is  packed with maps, stats, facts, and pictures. National Geographic‘s world-renowned cartographers have paired up with education experts to create maps of all 50 states, U.S. territories, and Washington, D.C., that pinpoint the physical features, capitals, and other towns and cities. Discover the latest data along with colorful photography of each state and the people who live there. Key points reflect the latest information about land and water, people, and places. Essays cover each region of the country while eight specially themed maps on nature, population, economy, energy, climate, and more delve deeper into key issues. State birds and state flags add to the high visual interest.
National Geographic Kids Almanac 2021 (ages 8-12) – The latest installment of the New York Times best-selling almanac is edutainment at its best.  With features like Homework Help and STEM related topics, and deep dives into history, geography and cultures from the world, combined with facts, crafts and activities, this is the go-to reference for both the school day and down time.This new edition also includes the  Almanac Challenge 2021 — which inspires kids to reduce their plastic waste and encourage others to do the same — and also highlights the winner of the 2020 Almanac Challenge.
One of you can win these books from National Geographic! Please feel free to enter to win via the RC Code below.
Ends Oct. 17, 2020, good luck.

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PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE LAUNCHES “THE CONVERSATION” TO SUSTAIN ANTIRACIST ENGAGEMENT, COLLABORATION, AND ACTION

“The Conversation” Goes Beyond the Books with Next Steps Toward a More Equitable Future

Penguin Random House today announced the launch of a new website to support families, educators, communities, organizations, and readers who are working to combat racism and end racial inequities in our daily lives. Named “The Conversation,” this website brings together a curated array of resources and programming for readers, including discussion guides, title lists, and special content for all age groups. With a strong focus on family reading and community engagement, The Conversation was designed as a resource to support multiple constituencies, including educators, librarians, booksellers, activists and allies, as well as Penguin Random House employees. The site is designed to be a dynamic resource, and will be updated in real time as authors and allies create and share relevant content.

This organic employee initiative grew out of an internal company brainstorm about how to assist those learning about anti-racism take the next actionable steps. It also reflects discussions held by PRH employees throughout the company, including members of the Penguin Random House Diversity & Inclusion Council.

“In virtual classrooms and virtual conference rooms, and within our company, people are grappling with how to discuss our world, and how to create real and lasting change,” said Jaci Updike, President, Sales, Penguin Random House, U.S. “We want to amplify the work of our authors, engage with readers, listen carefully to what is being asked of us, and share resources that fuel conversation and spark collective action.”

The Conversation includes resources to facilitate dialogue about books by Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and other iconic writers. It will also provide toolkits, inspired by the works of Ibram X. Kendi and Jennifer L. Eberhardt, for creating anti-racist workplaces. The website will feature books and content from all of Penguin Random House’s publishing divisions, and the company is creating book bundles and materials for independent bookstores to help these businesses with their outreach to local schools and libraries.

A primary focus will be our youngest readers, with toolkits for raising anti-racist children, centering on books by Jacqueline Woodson and Nic Stone, among others. Additionally, a Family Reads initiative will be launched via The Conversation later this fall, which will include family reading guides for the adult and young-reader editions of Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy and Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime, along with video content and other resources to facilitate meaningful family conversations.

“We want to maintain momentum in our communities, and provide resources for our collective journey ahead,” continued Updike. “All of PRH is committed to the ongoing development of The Conversation – to creating new material and responding to current events as close to real-time as we can.”

To participate in The Conversation, visit www.penguinrandomhouse.com/theconversation.

For National Trails Day, Two books will inspire families to enjoy the great outdoors

family camping

Families on Foot: Urban Hikes to Backyard Treks and National Park Adventures (Falcon Guides, ISBN# 1493026715, Sports & Outdoors, March  2017)

“Jennifer Pharr Davis and Brew Davis have a rare combination: tons of experience with trails and with kids. For families looking to get outdoors, that means tons of useful advice.” —Dennis Lewon, Backpacker Editor-in-Chief

Published in partnership with the American Hiking Society, Families on Foot offers practical advice and engaging activities to make hiking even more fun for families. You’ll find clever ideas and inspiration that apply to kids of all ages–from tackling diaper blowouts in the backcountry to using smartphone apps and GPS to engage teenagers with nature. Information for children with special needs and seniors is also included.

Author Jennifer Pharr Davis, the former record holder of the fastest thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, together with her husband Brew Davis, marries old-fashioned know-how onsafety, preparation, and trail conservation with modern day activities and technology, inspirational and interactive games, and down-and-dirty fun on the trail. Information includes smart tactics for families with kids of a variety ages .


Walks of a Lifetime: Extraordinary Hikes from Around the World (Falcon Guides, ISBN# 1493026410, Sports & Outdoors, May 1, 2017)

“All of us have talked about walking the world’s great trails; in this book, the Mannings show us how to ‘walk the talk.'”
—Gregory Miller, President, American Hiking Society

The bestselling book, Wild, made us all want to start hiking, and most people are familiar with one of the most famous walks, Spain’s Camino de Santiago.

To walk is to discover, from those first halting steps as a child to walking the world’s greatest long-distance trails. Experience breathtaking coastlines, mountain ranges, historic landscapes, wilderness areas, religious pilgrimages, great cities, and iconic rivers. Walk to learn more about our beautiful and curious world, to be healthy and happy, to add adventure and authenticity to life, and to learn something about yourself in the process. Walking is simple, but it can also be profound.

Veteran outdoor enthusiasts Robert and Martha Manning invite readers to experience the joy of walking in Walks of a Lifetime. They offer firsthand descriptions of 30 of the world’s great long-distance trails and multi-day walks, including personal anecdotes, natural and cultural history, practical tips, and full-color photographs and maps. Walks range from inn-to-inn routes to backpacking treks and are found across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Trail descriptions are accompanied by a series of short, engaging essays on the many dimensions of walking. Let’s get inspired to hit the trail!

Win National Geographic Kids Books and Plush Toys #GiftGuide

Just in time for the holidays, National Geographic Kids Books is rolling out a brand new series of picture books that are perfect for kids ages 3-7 (preschool – 2nd grade).  To  celebrate the release of the first two books in their So Cool! So Cute! series, National Geographic is giving away a very huggable prize pack: a hardcover copy of So Cool! Sharks, a hardcover copy of So Cute! Pandas AND adorable shark and panda plushes.

shark book
So Cool! Sharks – Sharks are among the world’s top predators, but that’s just ONE reason why they are SO COOL. So who wouldn’t want to hang out with them to learn more! These books blend awesome animal photos with silly quips and info that will delight young readers and animal enthusiasts. For example, kids can catch the hunting habits of a great white shark while learning that its true nature is as chill as a frozen fish stick. This is the perfect little reader to get their brain buzzing and keep them laughing during downtime, bedtime, or anytime.
So Cute! Pandas – Get ready for cute overload, panda style. And the funny thing is, this panda isn’t just cute. It’s got attitude! You’ll flip over the adorable photos and be equally charmed by what this sassy little panda is thinking on every page. Introducing the brand-new series from National Geographic Kids that combines two wonderful things: super cute photos of all your favorite fluffy animals and silly text that will have the whole family laughing. Add to that some great nonfiction content that gets kids learning, and, what can we say? This series is just so cute!
These are perfect for gift giving- what kid wouldn’t love to receive them?
You can pick yours up online and you can enter to win below as well.
Good luck! Ends Nov. 29, 2019

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The Little Girl With the Big Voice

An inspiring story about overcoming bullying and achieving dreams

 

No one wants their child to experience the torment of bullying. If they do encounter this behavior, are they prepared to handle the situation? Knowing how to cope with bullying is a much needed life skill our children must learn to successfully navigate conflict.

The Little Girl with the Big Voice, written by Wė (pronounced Way) McDonald, is a book your child can relate to and may be helpful in starting conversations regarding bullying. The book teaches valuable lessons such as how to overcome adversity, and building self confidence. Written in Wė’s own words, the book is a powerful story about a girl who courageously embraces her uniqueness and finds her voice.

The book was engaging and illustrations well-done. My niece was completely attentive and asked questions as Wė’s experiences unfolded.  The Little Girl with the Big Voice is fresh and timely. However, I believe the book could have given just a little bit more strategy on conflict resolution. The book’s focus shifted from bullying to Wė being a contestant on the television program, The Voice. Definitely two books in one, which may be good thing for some parents.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Donna Andrews

Super aunt of a 7-year-old girl