Yesterday, November 11, 2018, was the 100th anniversary of the signing of the treaty that ended the 1914-1918 war, usually called World War I, known then as “the war to end all wars.” We all know now that although that name was filled with hope, that hope was quickly dashed. In ceremonies in many countries, those who fought in that war, and those who didn’t return, were remembered yesterday. There…

I shared this post on my other blog a couple of weeks ago, but its message is so important that I wanted to share it here, today, as well. Music can truly be like a candle lighting the darkness, whatever darkness might surround a person. This post will show how music created light in one young person’s life. Back in February of 2017, on my blog The Starborn Revue, I…

This is the second in my monthly series of posts about writing, This Writer’s Voice. The first post, about why I write what I write, can be found here. Whether you use the term critique partner, first reader, beta reader, or even if you have a whole critique group or two or three, one of the most important things a writer needs is someone who will provide honest feedback. Note…

June is a middle-schooler who loves to read, and who never gets into trouble — until her parents and then her school start banning books. This would be a good book to read with your child, to discuss with them, and to open or continue the conversation about dealing with the unfamiliar and the sometimes uncomfortable topics in books and in life. I admit this book isn’t perfect. Some of…

Many, perhaps most, of us know someone who deals with dementia. My first encounter with dementia was when I was in my early teen years, although that word was not commonly used then. We’d go over to visit my paternal grandparents, and Grandma would say, “Father is confused today.” We accepted this confusion as part of the package of Grandpa’s aging, although I never liked the fact that Grandma would…

Today is Thanksgiving in Canada. Usually I would write a post about some of the things I am grateful for, and in a way, this post is about gratitude, for gratitude is important. But it’s a different kind of gratitude than the sort we usually think about on Thanksgiving. As you know, I write for kids (and adults) and I’m working toward being published one day. There are many of…

Cue the herald trumpets! Those of you who have been reading my blog for some time will know that October 1 is a special day of celebration for me. It is the birthday of three people whom I admire, who have directly or indirectly provided guidance, example, wisdom, and strength. As is my custom when October 1 falls on or near a blogging day, today I want to celebrate those…

Title: Amina’s Voice Author: Hena Khan Publisher: New York: Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster Children’s, 2017 Genre: Middle Grade Fiction Audience Age: 9 to 12 Themes/Topics: empowerment, racism, feeling comfortable with who you are, lifting up your voice Opening Sentences: Something sharp pokes me in the rib. “You should totally sign up for a solo,” Soojin whispers from the seat behind me in music class. I shake my head. The mere…