Dad of Divas' Reviews: August 2020

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Book Review - 27 Essential Principles of Story: Master the Secrets of Great Storytelling, from Shakespeare to South Park

27 Essential Principles of Story: Master the Secrets of Great Storytelling, from Shakespeare to South Park



About the Book
A master class of 27 lessons, drawn from 27 diverse narratives, for novelists, storytellers, filmmakers, graphic designers, and more. Author Daniel Joshua Rubin unlocks the secrets of what makes a story work, and then shows how to understand and use these principles in your own writing. The result is “an invaluable resource” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), offering priceless advice like escalate risk, with an example from Pulp FictionWrite characters to the top of their intelligence, from the Eminem song “Stan.” Earn transformations, from Alison Bechdel’s Fun HomeAttack your theme, from The Brothers Karamazov. Insightful, encouraging, filled with attitude, and, as Booklist puts it, “perfect for any writer looking to ensure their stories operate and resonate at the top of their potential,” this book gives contemporary storytellers of all kinds a lifeline of inspiration and relatable instruction.
 
“[The] new bible of lessons and practices for creators.”––Library Journal
 

“Not a ‘how-to,’ thank God, but a ‘here’s why.’ Writers of all levels of experience will benefit from reading––and then rereading––this elegant exploration of the principles of storytelling.”––Traci Letts, Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning playwright
 
“A godsend for storytellers in all media. It will help you decide what to write and then show you, step by step, how to tackle virtually any problem you face.”––Anna D. Shapiro, Tony Award-winning director, August: Osage County

 

My Take on the Book
This was a great book that is made for anyone that wishes to share a story that the have living within themselves. The book explores tips and tricks when it comes to constructing plots, making characters as well as creating the setting , dialogue and theme.

The book was set up so that it was easy to read and follow and with its' three sections you can really explore each of the above areas to allow yourself the freedom to practice and gain added skills to make you a stronger writer than you ever thought you could be.

You will learn from the written word but also through illustrations, pop culture and more. The chapters go by quickly and you will take so much from each page that you read (I know I did).

The author also wants you to learn and at the end of each chapter you will be tested on your learning to make sure that you have gathered the knowledge needed to move to the next phase. Also, the author has put together a number of resources for you to be able to continue your learning beyond the pages of this book. 

This book is a must have for anyone that wishes to take their writing to the next level. You will grow a toolbox to help you create a story that will help your reader to truly connect on a deeper level.


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Book Review - The Constitution Decoded: A Guide to the Document That Shapes Our Nation

The Constitution Decoded: A Guide to the Document That Shapes Our Nation



About the Book

Be an active citizen. Know your Constitution!

Ever wonder why the president has a Cabinet? Why there’s such thing as trial by jury? Why someday you’ll have to pay income tax, or why there are no Dukes, Duchesses, Counts, or Countesses in the United States? Because the Constitution says so––and so much more. And now, in The Constitution Decoded, the ideas, concepts, and rules that make America are unpacked and explained in detail to help all of us, kids and parents too, become more informed citizens.

Written with impeccable clarity and illustrated in a style that brings America’s early days to life, this fascinating guide goes through the Constitution literally word by word, sentence by sentence, and idea by idea to give readers a true understanding of not only how the Framers envisioned the United States, but also why they made the choices they did. Here’s why, for example, the United States has three branches of government—legislative, executive, and judicial. It explains how bills become laws, why we have the right to free speech, how we can change the Constitution as our country evolves, and so much more.

Packed with historical context and figures, vocabulary, anecdotes, and trivia, this book is an accessible yet richly layered work that belongs in every family library.



My Take on the Book
This is a book that truly breaks down a document that can seem confusing and complex but in this book the author has done a great job exploring the entire document and making even adults better understand the context and content held within the important document. This is a book that makes the Constitution make sense and is definitely a book that I would encourage any child interested in our founding principles to read. The book is full of great illustrations, but even better is the content that is easy to digest.
 
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Book Review - Generation Brave: The Gen Z Kids Who Are Changing the World

Generation Brave: The Gen Z Kids Who Are Changing the World


About the Book
An illustrated celebration of Gen Z activists fighting to make our world a better place.

Gen Z is populated—and defined—by activists. They are bold and original thinkers and not afraid to stand up to authority and conventional wisdom. From the March for Our Lives to the fight for human rights and climate change awareness, this generation is leading the way toward truth and hope like no generation before.

Generation Brave showcases Gen Z activists who are fighting for change on many fronts: climate change, LGBTQ rights, awareness and treatment of mental illness, gun control, gender equality, and corruption in business and government at the highest levels. Illustrated throughout, this book will offer a celebration of what might be the most influential generation of the century, including profiles of figures such as:
  • Simone Biles
  • Jaden Smith
  • Jazz Jennings
  • Haile Thomas
  • Yara Shahidi
  • Nadya Okamoto
  • Marley Dias
  • Helena Gualinga
  • Fionn Ferreira
. . . and other amazing kids who are using their voices for good.

 
 
My Take on the Book
This was an amazing book of young people that are changing the world. This book really opened my eyes to so many that are doing great things but who I had not all heard of. It was great to learn about all of these people and I cannot wait to see what else awaits them as they continue on in their lives. 
 
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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Book Review - Sounds All Around: A Guide to Onomatopoeias Around the World




About the Book

Did you know that in German, a pig doesn’t say oink, it says gruntz, and when you sneeze in Japanese it’s hakushon, not achoo? With vibrant comics and fun facts, Sounds All Around will teach you interesting and funny onomatopoeias from all over the world!

Words that imitate sounds are known as onomatopoeia, and they are a wonderfully strange and interesting part of language. After all, we all hear the same sounds, but we interpret and write them differently in different languages. Sounds All Around is a fun and funny illustrated guide to how people say many of these sounds all around the globe. Inside you’ll learn what a cat sounds like in French, what a yawn sounds like in Norwegian, what a bell sounds like in Hindi, and much, much more!

 

My Take on the Book
What a fun book! This book is filled with so many sounds that you would not know. The graphic novel not only has artwork that will put a smile on your face, but the book is completely filled with so many sounds that you would typically find in a comic here, but there are so many languages that you would not know. You will leave this book learning a ton, but also enjoying every moment of it. 
 
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Book Review -Diary of a 5th Grade Outlaw: Who Is the Bucks Bandit?




About the Book
In Book 3 of the Diary of a 5th Grade Outlaw illustrated novel series, it's Halloween, and the merry misfits are in for more tricks than treats!

When Bonus Bucks start disappearing from teachers' desks, Nadia immediately blames Wilu, the new kid in class. Robin launches "Mission Make Wilu a Friend" to figure out if he's really the Bucks Bandit—but it's hard to befriend someone who's determined to go it alone! Will Robin win Wilu over and learn the truth about the disappearing bucks?

 

My Take on the Book
Another great book in the series for anyone that have read these before. Even if you haven't you will love the characters in the book and the plot is even more fun. The book is an easy read for an early reader. The art in the book also makes the book even more fun. The mystery is one that will keep you guessing! 
 
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Book Review - Disney Who's Who




About the Book
In the updated edition of this comprehensive guide, get to know more about your favorite Disney and Disney*Pixar characters-and meet some you may not know. What is the name of Alice's cat? Who is Gilbert Huph? How many hairs does Elsa have on her head? Don't know? You will soon! With more than six hundred character bios and a whole host of fun facts, you'll be a Disney character expert in no time! 

 

My Take on the Book
If you are a fan of Disney you will love this book. This book introduced you to a ton of amazing Disney characters from Disney movies. While the book does not have all of the Disney characters that are a bit more obscure, you will still find a ton of fun reconnecting with characters that you might have forgotten. This book will also open your mind to getting to know the characters again. I know as I read through this I found that I was reconnecting with loved characters and I know you will find the same. Each of the bios in this book are amazing and really allow you to get to know the characters that much more! 
 
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Book Review - Teen Titans Go! to Camp




About the Book
Summer's in the air and the Teen Titans are leaving Jump City behind for six fun-filled weeks of mosquitoes, sunstroke, and poison ivy at summer camp!

What the Titans don't realize until they arrive is that this is Camp Apokolips, where the "bug juice" is made with real bugs, the swimming pool is a fire pit, and the lunch lady is Granny Goodness! Things only get worse when they encounter the bunks they'll be competing against in the camp's games: the Titans East and the H.I.V.E. Five! Given all of that, there's only one thing on Robin's mind...

No, not escape. It's how to beat the other bunks to become the camp champions. This is Robin, remember?




My Take on the Book
If you love the Teen Titans Go TV show you will love this book too as it takes the best of the TV show antics, you will then love this graphic novel. The graphic novel is a ton of fun and you will love the letters that the characters write home from camp, I know that I did! You will find different art styles for the different characters which allows you to experience the characters in different ways. The writing is strong but the art is even better. You will love the summer camp aspect of the book. You will find the plot fun and exciting and by the end you will be wanting to find even more!


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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Book Review - Lois Lane and the Friendship Challenge

Lois Lane and the Friendship Challenge



About the Book
From New York Times bestselling author Grace Ellis (Lumberjanes) and artist Brittney Williams (Goldie Vance) comes a new story about 13-year-old Lois Lane as she navigates the confusing worlds of social media and friendship.

It's the first day of summer break in the sleepy town of Liberty View, and young Lois Lane bursts onto the scene with what she knows is a sure-to-go-viral video channel. Okay, maybe her platform only receives two views a week (thanks, Mom), and maybe her best friend, Kristen, isn't quite as enthusiastic about social media, but when Lois sets her mind on something, there's no turning back.
At the end of the week, the big neighborhood barbecue and bike race will be the perfect backdrop to Lois and Kristen's #friendshipchallenge video. But when the girls find out the annual fireworks are missing, Lois doubles down on her efforts for fame, testing her friendship in ways she couldn't imagine.

With Kristen leaving for sleepaway camp after the barbeque and a new girl on the block taking all of Kristen's attention, will Lois be able to find the missing fireworks, celebrate the summer, and post the best #friendshipchallenge the internet has ever seen? Or will she have to face her challenges IRL?



My Take on the Book
This was a very cute story of friends and something of a mystery. I loved seeing Lois Lane in her element investigating things and showing why she became a great reporter as an adult. This had great illustrations and was a fun story altogether.

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Thursday, August 6, 2020

Book Review - Malina's Jam

Malina's Jam



About the Book
Malina the hedgehog loves to tend to her raspberry bushes and loves to make delicious raspberry jam, but when winter comes, she realizes that a caring community is sweeter than any sweet treat.



My Take on the Book
Such a beautifully written book with amazing images and a story that you will love sharing with your kids. The story has a wonderful plot but an even better morale that helps kids learn about caring and kindness. A must read for any parent to have with their kids!



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Book Review - Frozen 2: One for the Books

Frozen 2: One for the Books



About the Book
Olaf has learned to read, and it is one of his favorite things to do. He is a frequent visitor to the Arendelle library. When he and Anna discover that the librarian is going out of town for a few days and the library will be closed, they can't think of anything sadder.

But Anna has a brilliant idea for a substitute librarian . . . Olaf!

The lovable snowman shares his joy for books with the children of Arendelle and leaves the library in a state different than that in which he found it.

Will Odvaar the librarian mind when he sees it? Or will a warm hug from everyone's favorite snowman fix everything?


My Take on the Book
This was such a fun book for anyone that loves books and libraries let alone Olaf and his friends. You will love seeing the creativity of Olaf and how he brings the love of books to everyone. The images in the book are vibrant and bring the world of the book alive! If you are a fan of Olaf and the whole Frozen world you will love this book!

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Monday, August 3, 2020

Book Review - Burnout to Breakthrough




About the Book
It's official. For the first time, the World Health Organization has classified burnout as a health problem. Renowned motivational speaker Eileen McDargh proposes that to tackle it, we must learn to break out of energy-draining thoughts and behaviors.

Resilience, she argues, is strictly a matter of energy management--by better managing your energy, you can both build resiliency and overcome burnout. Breakthrough happens when our energy is consciously distributed to what matters most in our lives. So after a short survey that will tell you where you fit in a burnout and resiliency profile, McDargh helps pinpoint the causes of your burnout and examine the energy demands that keep you from refueling and recharging. She provides an in-depth energy analysis and gives you the keys to master the four dimensions that can give you a resilience breakthrough: head, heart, hands, and humor.

McDargh guides the reader through the process of identifying energy drains and implementing strategies for handling them, whatever phase of life you are in. Her intention is to help you not only to successfully manage work and life demands but also make even larger strides in understanding how to put together a life by design and not by default.


My Take on the Book
This author does an amazing job to bring out a completely new perspective on looking at burnout. The book is practical and you can definitely get through the book in only a few sittings, at least I did!  As I read this I found that I definitely was learning things that was making me look at the world around me in a new way.

The author brings out interesting work from psychologist Herbert Freudenberger, who first introduced burnout.

Through her research she created a book that is full of self-assessments and exercises that help you identify instances of burnout.

By the end of the book you have a better understanding of burnout and what you can do to make changes in your own life to make big rewards for the future.

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