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Monologue: “Reading for Life Experience”

One of my favorite authors for children, Lloyd Alexander, believed that for young people, literature is a dress rehearsal for life.  This is a common thought for authors, and even for teachers, parents, and librarians.  As adults we can see that through books, young people are given time to audition different aspects of their world. As they read, they encounter diverse situations that allow them to practice new values and ways of dealing with problems. 


Literature guides children through the numerous possible attitudes a person can have toward life. Books show them an infinite variety of values, emotions, and lifestyles. Then these same books help young people select from this rich pallet those portions which are correct for themselves and the society around them. One item of critical importance to children on this journey of discovery is that it is done in a non-threatening environment. The perils and evils in books are not overly harmful or overwhelming, and they are easily vanquished by simply closing the pages. 


One of my favorite quotes paraphrased from an idea by author G.K. Chesteron by another great author Neil Gaiman, notes “Fairy tales are more than true – not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.”  This thought captures for me just how powerful stories can be in giving us ways to deal with life. Many adults may be shocked or even outraged at the numerous unbounded worlds available to young people in books. This is especially true when we propose that children use books to test all aspects of their world. We are all inclined to protect children from the harsh realities of the world. In doing this we also try to censor the things young people read with the hopes of keeping them innocent. This certainly is a noble endeavor, but might I suggest here there is some caution needed. 


Since young people truly desire to know and experience many things, it is important that we not make the mistake of showing them only the simple, easy, and light portions of the world. We must allow them to discover and face the hard things, as well as the good, so they may have an opportunity to formulate their own values and find the solutions to problems by themselves. I believe that as adults we must guide children, but not manipulate them. It is the children who are allowed to make mistakes who are the most fortunate. For we see, here at Worlds Awaiting, it is only through this gentle, non-manipulative guiding that great books provide, that young people will be able to acquire the keys to their future.

 

Neil Gaiman https://dragonscanbebeaten.wordpress.com/tag/coraline/

 

From Rachel Wadham, Host, WORLDS AWAITING

 

DISCLAIMER:

At Worlds Awaiting we discuss a wide range of information aimed at supporting adults who want to build literacy skills in their children.   We understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to children’s development, so the information we provide is intended to reach a wide audience. The books and other resources we recommend will also naturally cover a wide range of interests and subject matter that addresses a range of maturity, reading, and comprehension levels.  Since no one understands a child’s needs better than their caretakers, we encourage families to critically select the books and resources that meet their own individual needs and standards.

 

Movie Review - Maze Runner: The Death Cure

Maze Runner: The Death Cure, 1/26/18, 2hr 22min, PG-13

Welcome to a 90 second movie review for Maze Runner: The Death Cure on BYU Radio.

This is the third installment of the Maze Runner series, and another teenage dystopian society film.  When will it ever end?  I admit I did not see the 2nd Maze Runner film, but do I really need to? 

Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and his gang are trying to rescue some of their friends from being taken by WCKD.  So they take a whole train car and still don’t get everyone.  Thus begins this film that feels reminiscent of all the other dystopian films.  Fight the big bad government who is keeping us all down. 

Despite being an OK action film there have been too many of this same story recently.  Just because all the books made money doesn’t mean they all need to be made into films.  The theme is getting tired and that makes even what could be a good movie just too much to take.  I did like the fact that the movie just gets right into the story and doesn’t worry about reconnecting with people we already know.

I did like some of the action in this film but the plot got predictable and I knew what was coming as the story went on.  I did not read the book either.  There was one good plot twist at the end though that peaked my interest.

If you are considering taking kids to this film you’ll want to know that it contains a lot of action with guns and hand to hand combat.  People are kidnapped and there is some blood shown coming out of wounds.  Also, those who are infected have some veins coming to the surface of their skin.  There are a few battle scenes as a city is under attack.  Officials shoot into a crowd and zombie like creatures attack people.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure is rated PG-13 and I am giving it a C+ grade. Thanks for listening I’m Shawn O’Neill and this has been a 90 second movie review on BYU Radio.


Book Review: The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery by Steve Sheinkin

The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery by Steve Sheinkin.  Flash Point, 2010.

 

Benedict Arnold is known for being the first great traitor against the United States of America, but few know he also played a role in saving the American Revolution. Arnold is wild, intelligent, daring, abrasive, and most definitely indelicate. He first led the Americans to victory in defining battles such as at Saratoga and vehemently argued for what he felt would end the fighting. After numerous conflicts with politics and Congress, Benedict Arnold believed the only way to stop the fighting and reinstate peace was to help the British end this terrible war. However, Arnold only met disappointment and resentment as the tide of war turned, once again, in favor of America.

 

Steve Sheinkin brilliantly tells the true story of Benedict Arnold’s life and legacy in this accessible and entertaining biography. Perfect for middle grade to adult readers, The Notorious Benedict Arnold harmonizes first-person accounts, historical battles, and political intrigue in this historical nonfiction. Sheinkin gives readers an equal, and rather unbiased look at a historical figure that often falls under scrutiny. While it is undeniable the choices that Benedict Arnold made, it is interesting to consider the events of his life and the nature of his character that led to such actions. An excellent addition to any library, and especially for teachers wishing to engage students in the history of the American Revolution.

 

Find this and other book reviews at: http://byucbmr.com/

 

DISCLAIMER:

At Worlds Awaiting we discuss a wide range of information aimed at supporting adults who want to build literacy skills in their children.   We understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to children’s development, so the information we provide is intended to reach a wide audience. The books and other resources we recommend will also naturally cover a wide range of interests and subject matter that addresses a range of maturity, reading, and comprehension levels.  Since no one understands a child’s needs better than their caretakers, we encourage families to critically select the books and resources that meet their own individual needs and standards.

Book Review: “Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color” by Julia Denos

“The Girl Who Loved Color” by Julia Denos

In a world where colors are alive and wild lives a color-tamer named Swatch. She is even more free and untamable than the colors she loves and one day decides to catch and keep the beauty of each color. From Bravest Green to Rumble-Tumble Pink, she collects each one until only Yellowist Yellow remains. However, Swatch learns that perhaps wild colors aren’t meant to be cooped up, but they are to be free to create the beauty that surrounds us.

 

This book is both captivating in its vibrant art and creative story. Julia Denos’s illustrations capture the wild nature and spirit of her characters and mesmerize readers through its playful and colorful style. The main character, Swatch, learns that raw beauty is found in both freedom and benevolence. A fun read for audiences of all ages, Swatch is for free spirits and color enthusiasts alike.

 

Find this and other book reviews at: http://byucbmr.com/

 

Rachel Wadham, Host, WORLDS AWAITING


DISCLAIMER:

At Worlds Awaiting we discuss a wide range of information aimed at supporting adults who want to build literacy skills in their children.   We understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to children’s development, so the information we provide is intended to reach a wide audience. The books and other resources we recommend will also naturally cover a wide range of interests and subject matter that addresses a range of maturity, reading, and comprehension levels.  Since no one understands a child’s needs better than their caretakers, we encourage families to critically select the books and resources that meet their own individual needs and standards.


Book Review: “Go to Sleep Monster" by Kevin Cornell

Go to Sleep Monster by Kevin Cornell.

Fearless Anna faces the monsters who are scaring the monsters who are scaring her brother. Parents tell children that they shouldn't be afraid of something because it is more afraid of them. Determined to get to the bottom of things so that they can all get to sleep, Anna uncovers layer after layer of frightened fiends until everyone gets a good night's sleep together.   

 

In this cute little bedtime story, light and dark are used by the illustrator as a focal point as each monster is revealed. Anna's character is fearless, facing monster after monster. Her lack of fear shows throughout that there is really nothing to be afraid of if fears are faced with curiosity and determination. Anna is also protective of her little brother and makes a great example of a big sister. The ending gives the wonderful message to children that everyone is afraid of something and that together we can overcome our fears, whatever they may be. A great book to turn fiends into friends.

 

Find this and other book reviews at: http://byucbmr.com/

 

By Rachel Wadham, Host, WORLDS AWAITING


DISCLAIMER:

At Worlds Awaiting we discuss a wide range of information aimed at supporting adults who want to build literacy skills in their children.   We understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to children’s development, so the information we provide is intended to reach a wide audience. The books and other resources we recommend will also naturally cover a wide range of interests and subject matter that addresses a range of maturity, reading, and comprehension levels.  Since no one understands a child’s needs better than their caretakers, we encourage families to critically select the books and resources that meet their own individual needs and standards.

 

Book Review: “Baabwaa and Wooliam by David Elliott, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Wooliam and Baabwaa are sheep that like to read and knit. One day, these best friends decide to take a walk and find adventure. They are not particularly enjoying their walk until they meet a wolf in sheep's clothing who begins a chase. Wooliam recognizes the wolf from the famous Red Riding story and this stops the wolf in his tracks. People know about him? Really? Baabwaa and Wooliam decide to teach the wolf how to read: a task which is made difficult by constant lapses in attention where the wolf's innate desire to eat them gives them lots of exercise. These two very progressive sheep manage to have a cautious, but deep friendship with the wolf, who does indeed learn to read and enjoy it!

 

Quirky, wonderful, and fun, this story is not overly educational but it has value in the unflagging friendship and optimism of these two hip sheep, who are not afraid to be themselves. They seem delightfully content with each other and their habits and are quite willing to shake up their routine with an adventure. When their adventure goes awry, they turn the situation into an opportunity to help the wolf learn to read. Additionally, when the wolf forgets his lessons and resumes the chase, they find understanding for his innate nature and do not judge him. This is a quirky take on friendship and what it takes to befriending someone who is completely different than yourself. The illustrations have a hipster vibe with bright water-colored images that imbue their own quirkiness to the story. This is a wonderful book about less than friendly friends, and will make for a more understanding and patient world.

 

Find this and other book reviews at: http://byucbmr.com/

 

By Rachel Wadham, Host, Worlds Awaiting


DISCLAIMER:

At Worlds Awaiting we discuss a wide range of information aimed at supporting adults who want to build literacy skills in their children.   We understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to children’s development, so the information we provide is intended to reach a wide audience. The books and other resources we recommend will also naturally cover a wide range of interests and subject matter that addresses a range of maturity, reading, and comprehension levels.  Since no one understands a child’s needs better than their caretakers, we encourage families to critically select the books and resources that meet their own individual needs and standards.

 

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