In accordance to the FTC guidelines, I must state that I make no monetary gains from my reviews or endorsements here on Confessions of a Literary Persuasion. All books I review are either borrowed, purchased by me, given as a gift, won, or received in exchange for my honest review of the book in question.

30 November, 2006

Book Review: A Day of Small Beginnings by Lisa Pearl Rosenbaum

Read and reviewed for armchair interviews

In 1906 Poland, Itzik Lieberman, - an overworked fourteen year old, stumbles across a Polish peasant whipping three young Jewish children on their way home from studying. He stops to help them, and in the process, accidentally kills the Pole. He flees the angry mob that comes looking for him, and hides in the Jewish cemetery. There, he falls on the newly uncovered grave of Friedl Alterman and prays to God for protection. His terrified and frantic prayers awake the spirit of Friedl, who comes to protect the scared boy. Itzik, who has been called faithless since his father left his family, can not hear Freidl’s spirit and does not realize the help he has been given. He eventually flees Poland for America, where he can be free from the horrible accident. Itzik raises a family and never talks about either Poland or the religion that he has cast aside for socialism. When his son and then his granddaughter return to Poland, after his death, the country they encounter is vastly different from the little they know of Itzik’s Poland.

Lisa Pearl Rosenbaum’s first novel explores the idea of the loss of family history once members make the journey to the new world. She bases her story on a tale she heard about her own family’s loss of heritage. She weaves a story that crosses four generations, two countries, and one religion. A Day of Small Beginnings examines what it means to be Jewish even when you don't practice the religion, and what happens when Jews-by-name begin to explore their heritage and the rich history of Judaism. Because this is such a plausible story, not just for Jews but for anyone with an immigrant background Rosenbaum's story engages readers across the spectrum and allows them to identify with the ill-fated Itzik and his reasons for running away from home.
ISBN-13: 9780316014519
Publish Date: November 2006
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Binding: Hardcover

02 November, 2006

Book Review: The Healthiest Kids in the Neighborhood : Ten Ways to Get Your Family on the Right Nutritional Track

Read and Reviewed for Frontstreet Reviews

Are your kids junk food kids?

Dr. William Sears, a well known pediatrician, has written a book with his wife and two sons (themselves doctors) about getting your kids to eat healthier. He admits that raising healthy kids is getting harder and harder to do. These days, there are fast food restaurants everywhere, school lunches frequently have junk food as a part of the meal, and there is an overabundance of trans-fats and high risk sweeteners in the snacks and foods targeted at children. More and more kids are being diagnosed with illnesses like A.D.D., diabetes, cholesterol imbalances, and being overweight at an early age. These are situations that can be linked directly to the foods that children are eating.

The book is broken down into chapters that first identify good foods and then explain how and why these choices can boost a person's immunity. Another chapter focuses on how to make changes that will result in your children craving healthy foods, not junk, and one that shouldn't be missed talks about how to go shopping with young children and still come home with healthy foods instead of attractively-packaged junk. There are also answers to many nutritional questions that parents may have and a section with kid friendly recipes.

This book is written in a tone that sounds helpful without being preachy. It helps parents learn how to plan meals and snacks that will instill healthy eating habits that will carry over into adulthood. Dr. Sears is able to share with his readers the knowledge and experience that his family has gained throughout the years, and his sons are proof that his methods work. He uses examples of real families throughout the book along with some very helpful advice for both parents and children.

I found the book to be a great reference guide to how different foods help or hinder our health. I especially loved the chapters that broke down the “grow foods” or super foods for kids. They show us why the super foods are super for our children (and us as well) and give us ways to include these foods in our daily eating to maximize their importance to growth and general heath. Most of what was explained should be common sense to the caring parent, however it was great to see Dr. Sears’ advice on what to look for when reading labels, and which vitamins are good to give your children in supplement form to enhance what they should be getting through food. The charts breaking down how much of a mineral you need each day (example iron, and calcium) and the best food sources for those minerals were extremely helpful. This is a book that will be helpful for those parents determined to raise their children as healthily as they can. Whether it is from their child’s first solid food stage, or as an older child that is slowly having his food choices changed from "junk food" to "pure food".

ISBN: 0316060127
ISBN-13: 9780316060127
Publication Date: September 2006
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Binding: Paperback

01 November, 2006

the books come marching two by two...

I have two new review books staring at me right now.

1. Sentinal by D.M. Paul came yesterday
2. The Tower of Shadow by Drew Bowling came today.

I have to restrain myself from diving into either until I turn in the one review for frontstreet, and seriously revamp the one I'm writing for Armchair interviews.

It's hard as I have been waiting for Sentinal to come out since I read and wrote the review for One Wizard Place. I figure once I turn in the other review I can start the book...