Why my kid is different

I really wish I had a 24/7 recording of my kids so I can keep up with all this stuff. Because there are so many things said that I’d love to have recorded to look back at later.

The Boy had some developmental tests run which included various questions to get at his intelligence, analytical ability, etc. The evaluator noted several things that Sam said that surprised her. The one that I can remember:

Evaluator: “I’m right in front of you, but you can’t see me. This is because I am….”
Sam: “Microscopic!”

Me and just about everyone else I know would have said “Invisible,” but my boy thinks differently and comes up with a totally different answer that is completely correct.

And one day he’s going to think differently enough to invent something or find a better way of doing something or some other amazing thing that will have a positive impact on the world. That’s my boy!

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Book Review: Ashes by Ilsa Bick

Ashes Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In this first installment of Ilsa Bick’s dystopian thriller trilogy, Alex is a teen with a dark secret who goes backpacking in the wilderness. While in the wilderness, an EMP blast takes out most of humankind and the few who survive are either Changed (turned into carnivorous monsters)or must fight the Changed and scavenge for supplies in order to survive. Alex finds herself part of a family of Spared (young people who survive and are not Changed) as she, Ellie (an 8-year old girl) and Tom (a 22-year old Afghanistan war veteran) fight to survive.

I found myself up late at night past my bedtime unable to put this one down. Bick has created a world with deep characters and a well-planned storyline that kept me guessing as to what would happen – all the way up until the end of the book when I was left hanging. Only then did I realize this was part of a series.

For those who loved the Hunger Games series, this book is a sure hit. I can’t wait for the next installment in the series!

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Book Review: Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky

AwakenAwaken by Katie Kacvinsky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Awaken is the story of a future world where people live their lives online for the most part. All their social interactions are online, all school is online (DS – Called “Digital School”). People rarely leave their homes, and when they do they find themselves tracked by their fingerprints whenever they use public transportation (which is what most people use) and in a world of fake trees, grass, even food.

Maddie is the daughter of the founder of DS. She has a rebellious streak in her and is contacted by Justin, who leads a group trying to give people a choice between DS and face-to-face school. Justin introduces her to a world where people get together to socialize, food is made from scratch, and DS is optional. And Maddie introduces love to Justin.

What I love about this book: ACTION! There are actual chase scenes in the book. I also love that Kacvinsky has created characters that question the status quo and attempt to shake things up and create a revolution (much in the same way that Katniss and Peeta changed things in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series). And I love that Kacvinsky has created a world where online social interaction has become the main means of socializing. Why? Because this book takes what I see in my library every day (chatting online, Facebooking, texting) and makes you question the hold these online interactions have on us and how out-of-touch we can become by living our social lives online.

Part of me wishes that the romance played a lesser part in the book because with less of a romantic focus it could be a great YA book club book to discuss the affect of technology on our lives. I can see this book appealing to teen girls but not so much to boys.

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Book Review: Blood (Mercian Trilogy #1) by K.J. Wignall

Blood (Mercian Trilogy, #1)Blood by K.J. Wignall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

William, Earl of Mercia, has been “undead” (his preferred term to describe a vampire) and frozen at the age of 16 for over 750 years. He has been in and out of hibernation for all those centuries and seen his earldom given to his younger brother and then crumble as famine, plague and wars have given way to modern society. When he awakes from hibernation in the present day, he discovers that this awakening is unlike any other. He soon meets Eloise, and finds his fate intertwined with that of the runaway teen. With her help, he learns more about his past and why he was bitten. He also learns that he is no longer alone in this world.

This book was quite the refreshing read for a YA paranormal novel. While it is set in the modern day, the backstory goes into the 13th century – a time of superstition and fear about anything not normal. Witch-burnings were common then and the theme of witchcraft has been woven in nicely. It was a fast read and really kept me going, trying to guess where the author was going to take me. While there is the slight element of romance, it is downplayed and is not the dominant theme in the book.

I think this will be a very popular YA series and I’m already looking forward to seeing what book #2 in the trilogy will bring!

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