Hacksaw Ridge: A story of integrity, redemption, and heroism

Redemption At Hacksaw Ridge: The Gripping True Story That Inspired The Movie

Redemption At Hacksaw Ridge: The Gripping True Story That Inspired The MovieRedemption At Hacksaw Ridge: The Gripping True Story That Inspired The Movie  is a page-turner that will keep you riveted to your seat while you discover how Desmond Doss became the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor. This dramatic true story of integrity, redemption, and heroism inspires trust, courage, commitment, dedication, and the faith to live by the courage of your own convictions. (Our Reel Book Lovers club will be reading and watching this book to movie adaptation together sometime in 2017.)

The men of the 77th Infantry Division couldn’t understand why Private Desmond T. Doss would voluntarily enter into the horrors of World War II without a single weapon to defend himself. “You’re nothing but a coward!” they said. But the soft–spoken medic insisted that his mission was to heal, not kill.

Tara and Sam of Brickwall Pictures went to an early screening of ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ the Mel Gibson movie based on the book, starring Andrew Garfield, Hugo Weaving, Sam Worthington, Theresa Palmer, and others.

Please keep in mind video reviews contain language and content from the films and reviewers that may not be appropriate for younger viewers.


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Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge Student Registration Opens Today As Educators Help Stop the “Summer Slide”

thanks but i'm booked

Bestselling Authors Varian Johnson and Michael Northrop to Visit the Top Schools that Log the Most Reading Minutes This Summer

Educators Who Register Their Students Before June 30th Can Enter to Win a Free Classroom Library of 50 Books

thanks but i'm bookedNEW YORK – On April 6, 2015 Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL) launched student pre-registration (K-8th Grade) for the 2015 Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge at scholastic.com/summer. Now in its ninth year, this free, global reading program motivates children to read for fun throughout the summer months by logging their reading minutes, earning rewards and helping to break the world record of 304,749,681 minutes read (set in summer 2014). The top elementary school that logs the most minutes this summer will win a visit from bestselling author Michael Northrop, and the top middle school that logs the most minutes will win a visit from bestselling author Varian Johnson.

FOR EDUCATORS

  • Exclusive access in April: Educators can pre-register their students, class and/or school before the challenge officially launches on May 4th, 2015.
  • Chance to win prizes: Educators who pre-register their students before June 30th will be entered to win a free classroom library of 50 books.
  • Free summer reading tools:
    • Educator dashboard: Educators can have access to track their students reading minutes throughout the summer.
    • Emails to parents (in English or Spanish): The educator dashboard provides automated emails for educators to send to students’ parents throughout the summer to remind and motivate them to keep reading.
    • Free classroom resources: Educators can access bi-lingual information including: booklists, letters to parents, printable activity sheets, reading logs and reading certificates, and author videos.

FOR STUDENTS (starting May 4, 2015):

  • Free original stories and videos from bestselling authors: As kids enter their reading minutes, they can unlock 12 original short stories and access never-before-seen videos from these authors.
  • Dynamic creative writing game: Students can play a new “innovation machine” game and write their own short story. This game encourages kids to create a one-of-a-kind story with fun story starters and wacky vocabulary combinations; plus they can enter into a contest to win prizes.
  • Ultimate goal of setting a new reading world record: Students read and log minutes to help set a new world record for summer reading. This summer kids need to read beyond the current record of 304,749,681 minutes.

“When students discover a book they love, they are motivated to read more, understand more and learn more, and summer is the ideal time to help make this possible,” said Francie Alexander, Chief Academic Officer at Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company. “The Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge has created a global reading movement among schools to get more students to commit to achieving personal summer reading goals in order to help their school achieve top honors – it is a true win-win for reading.”

SUMMER READING STATISTICS:

  • Teachers spend four to six weeks re-teaching materials students because of the “summer slide – the learning losses which can occur when school is not in session.1
  • Children who read four or more books over the summer fare better on reading comprehension tests in the fall than their peers who read one or no books over the summer, regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic level or previous achievement. 2
  • Ninety-one percent of children ages 6–17 say “my favorite books are the ones that I have picked out myself” and 71% of children 6–17 say, “I’m more likely to finish a book I choose myself.” 3
  • The majority of children of all ages (6-17) say when reading for fun, they want “books that make me laugh” (70%).4

For more information about the Scholastic Summer Challenge, please visithttp://mediaroom.scholastic.com/SummerReadingChallenge.

REFERENCES:

  • (1) Lasting Consequences of the Summer Learning Gap, Karl Alexander, Doris Entwistle, Linda Steffel Olson, April 2007.
  • (2) Summer Reading and the Ethnic Achievement Gap, Jimmy Kim, Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 2004.
  • (3, 4) The Kids and Family Reading Report™ 5th edition conducted by YouGov and Scholastic, 2014.

Christmas in July Sale in our Zazzle Shop

Retro image of party of people drinking and watching television. sex on tv can't hurt you unless you fall off

Here are some of the my newest graphics added to our shop. CLICK HERE to visit our shop or click on any of the images below to see them on mugs, puzzles, magnets, postcards, t-shirts, and other gift items.

Christmas in July sale in our Zazzle shop.
Save between 15% and 60% off everything in the shop with discount code: JULYHOLIDAYZ

Don't go to bed mad, stay up all night plotting your revenge

 

 

 

 

service with a  smile

 

 

Latte is French for You spent too much money on that coffee

 

 

Assorted chocolates, I would give upchocolate, but I'm not a quitter

 

thanks but i'm booked

 

 

Retro image of party of people drinking and watching television. sex on tv can't hurt you unless you fall off

Browse other gifts in our Zazzle shop.

On World Book Night volunteers are giving away half a million books

By Amy Lyn, The Bristol Books Examiner

world book night 2014World Book Night (WBN) is an ambitious campaign to give away half a million books to light and non-readers on one day. This event takes place every year on April 23rd which is Shakespeare’s birthday. The event was launched in the UK in 2011 and is now in its third year in the US.

The books chosen to be handed out on WBN are written by a variety of bestselling and award winning adult and young adult authors. Titles include some new books, popular fiction, well known classics, books in Spanish and books in large print. The WBN organizers have chosen a very diverse selection of books in a variety of subject matter that they hope will spark everyone’s interest and encourage reading.

Starting in October, volunteers applied online to be givers, selecting which book they’d like to hand out and where they intended to find recipients for their books. According to the WBN website, WBN givers comes from all walks of life; teachers, book club members, social workers, first responders, local business people, librarians, book sellers, students, parents and more.

As the Bristol Books Examiner I’m pleased to say I was chosen for the third time to hand out books on World Book Night. This year, I’ll be handing “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs.

Soon to be a major motion picture, directed by Tim Burton, this book crosses the line deftly between fantasy and reality. This thrilling mystery has a dash of horror, mixed with science fiction and time travel to create a wondrous tale. The photos included throughout the pages of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” really bring the story to life and add to the creepiness factor that delights lovers of mystery and horror.

OTHER BOOKS BEING HANDED OUT ON WORLD BOOK NIGHT 2014

(Click on the book cover or title below for more information)

Bobcat and Other StoriesBridge to TerabithiapontoonCatch-22Code Name Verity

EnchantedHootHotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetKitchen ConfidentialMiss Darcy Falls in Love

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar ChildrenPresumed InnocentSame DifferenceSunrise Over FallujahTales of the City

The Botany of DesireThe Dog StarsThe Lighthouse RoadThe Perks of Being a WallflowerThe Ruins of Gorlan Ranger’s Apprentice Book 1

The Tipping PointThe Weird SistersThe Zookeeper’s WifeThis Boy’s LifeWait Till Next Year

Young Men and FireWildWhere’d You Go, BernadetteWhen I Was Puerto RicanWaiting to Exhale

The Zookeeper’s Wife” by Diane Ackerman (W.W. Norton)

Kitchen Confidential” by Anthony Bourdain (Ecco)

The Weird Sisters” by Eleanor Brown (Berkley)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky (Simon & Schuster)

After the Funeral” by Agatha Christie (William Morrow Paperbacks)

The Ruins of Gorlan: Ranger’s Apprentice Book 1” by John Flanagan (Puffin Books)

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford (Ballantine Books)

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” (in Large Print) by Jamie Ford(Thorndike/Gale; Cengage Learning)

The Lighthouse Road” by Peter Geye (Unbridled Books)

The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay Books)

Wait Till Next Year” by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Simon & Schuster)

Catch-22” by Joseph Heller (Simon & Schuster)

The Dog Stars” by Peter Heller (Vintage)

Hoot” by Carl Hiaasen (Knopf)

Pontoon: A Novel of Lake Wobegon” by Garrison Keillor (Penguin Books)

Same Difference” by Derek Kirk Kim (First Second Books)

Enchanted” by Alethea Kontis (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Miss Darcy Falls in Love” by Sharon Lathan (Sourcebooks)

Bobcat and Other Stories” by Rebecca Lee (Algonquin Books)

Young Men and Fire” by Norman Maclean (University of Chicago Press)

Tales of the City” by Armistead Maupin (HarperPerennial)

Waiting to Exhale” by Terry McMillan (New American Library)

Sunrise Over Fallujah” by Walter Dean Myers (Scholastic)

Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson (HarperTrophy)

The Botany of Desire” by Michael Pollan (Random House)

When I Was Puerto Rican” by Esmeralda Santiago (Da Capo)

Cuando Era Puertorriqueña” by Esmeralda Santiago (Vintage Español)

Where’d You Go, Bernadette” by Maria Semple (Back Bay Books)

Where’d You Go, Bernadette” by Maria Semple in Large Print (Thorndike/Gale; Cengage Learning)

Wild” by Cheryl Strayed (Vintage)

Presumed Innocent” by Scott Turow (Grand Central Publishing)

Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein (Disney Hyperion)

This Boy’s Life” by Tobias Wolff (Grove Atlantic)

100 Best-Loved Poems” edited by Philip Smith (Dover)

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” by Jesse Andrews (Amulet/Abrams)

Zora and Me” by Victoria Bond and T.S. Simon (Candlewick)

The Raven’s Warrior” by Vincent Pratchett (YMAA Publications)

A Wonderful Easter book to share ‘The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes’ by Du Bose Heyward

country bunny the the little gold shoes

On this sunny, but a bit chilly, beautiful Easter day I wanted to share with you my all time favorite Easter book, “The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes“.

country bunny the the little gold shoes

It’s a lovely story with a powerful message that is told gently with wonderful illustrations.This book from the 1930’s, written by Du Bose Heyward, was well before its time. It features a single mother and taught racial tolerance and gender equality with a central message of kindness, perseverance and teamwork.

The illustrations by Marjorie Flack are simply gorgeous and really bring the story to life.

DESCRIPTION

Little Cottontail dreams of being one of the five Easter Bunnies, but when she grows up and has twenty-one little bunnies, the dream seems unlikely to come true. But as Grandfather Bunny searches for a replacement Easter Bunny, he decides that Cottontail is just right for the job, and gives Cottontail the most difficult job of all – one that requires her to be wise, and kind, and swift, and very, very brave.

It is truly an inspiring book for readers young and old. Always remember, no matter your circumstances to never give up on your dreams. With hard work, perseverance and kind heart, anything is possible.

Lasting aftertaste of Prohibition in books

Boardwalk Empire

By Amy Lyn

“Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City”, by Nelson Johnson
“Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City”, by Nelson Johnson

In January 1920 the 18th Amendment, which banned the manufacture, transportation and sale of intoxicating liquors ushered in the Prohibition era. Despite very early signs of success, prohibition was difficult to enforce. People who wanted to keep drinking found even more inventive and potentially dangerous ways to do it.

Individuals made “moonshine” or “bathtub gin” at their houses, illegal nightclubs selling alcohol known as “speakeasies” were plentiful and supplied by the rise of criminal activity associated with bootlegging.

These illegal operations fueled an increase in gang violence, and the rise of the most notorious gangster in American History, Al Capone who ran Chicago’s largest bootlegging, gambling and prostitution syndicate.

It took 13 years before the law was repealed by the 21st Amendment ending prohibition on December 5,1933. The age of Prohibition changed the face of fashion, music and the criminal underground. It was an era of over indulgence that left behind a fascination and hunger for fact and fiction on an era that is immortalized in books with thrilling stories of an age not soon forgotten.

Here are some books based on the Prohibition era that you should check out.

“Vixen” (Flappers #1), by Jillian Larkin
“Vixen” (Flappers #1), by Jillian Larkin
“Water for Elephants”, by Sara Gruen
“Water for Elephants”, by Sara Gruen
“The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York”, by Deborah Blum
“The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York”, by Deborah Blum
“The Untouchables”, by Eliot Ness, Oscar Fraley
“The Untouchables”, by Eliot Ness, Oscar Fraley
"Live by Night” (Coughlin #2), by Dennis Lehane
“Live by Night” (Coughlin #2), by Dennis Lehane
“Once Upon a Time in America” (BFI Modern Classics / BFI Film Classics), by Adrian Martin
“Once Upon a Time in America” (BFI Modern Classics / BFI Film Classics), by Adrian Martin
“Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition”, by Daniel Okrent
“Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition”, by Daniel Okrent
“The Great Gatsby”, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“The Great Gatsby”, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Black Duck”, by Janet Taylor Lisle
“Black Duck”, by Janet Taylor Lisle
“Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition”, by Karen Blumenthal
“Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition”, by Karen Blumenthal

‘Where the Red Fern Grows’ is the best tale about a boy and his dogs ever told

where the red fern grows by wilson rawls

where the red fern grows by wilson rawlsWhere the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

I read this book for the first time when I was in the third grade and have read it at least a dozen times since. It is a tale I will never grow tired of.

This wonderfully written story captivates you from the beginning, pulls you in and tugs at your heartstrings. The adventure holds you in its grip as you root for Billy and his dogs as they battle bullies and predators.

Whether you are a dog lover or not, “Where the Red Fern Grows” will strike a chord with you. It is, hands down, the best tale about a boy and his dogs ever told. Grab a box of tissues, you’ll need it.

Description from the publisher:

“Billy, Old Dan and Little Ann — a Boy and His Two Dogs…

A loving threesome, they ranged the dark hills and river bottoms of Cherokee country. Old Dan had the brawn, Little Ann had the brains — and Billy had the will to train them to be the finest hunting team in the valley. Glory and victory were coming to them, but sadness waited too. And close by was the strange and wonderful power that’s only found…

An exciting tale of love and adventure you’ll never forget.”

“Crooked Letter Crooked Letter” by Tom Franklin

crooked letter crooked letter by tom franklin

crooked letter crooked letter by tom franklin

From the first paragraph of “Crooked Letter Crooked Letter”, Tom Franklin had me hooked. I was so captured by the characters in his novel I didn’t want to put it down. At the same time, I didn’t want it to end, and I put it aside a few times to make it last longer.

When you reach the last page, this quote will really ring true;

“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.” ― Paul Sweeney

Description from the publisher:

“In the 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas “32” Jones were boyhood pals in a small town in rural Mississippi. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry was the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, black single mother. But then Larry took a girl to a drive-in movie and she was never seen or heard from again. He never confessed . . . and was never charged.

More than twenty years have passed. Larry lives a solitary, shunned existence, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion. Silas has become the town constable. And now another girl has disappeared, forcing two men who once called each other “friend” to confront a past they’ve buried for decades.”

World Book Night spreads the love of reading from person to person

wbn logo

On November 24, 2013 the Word Book Night organization announced the addition of three book titles for book givers to choose from because of overwhelming demand. The number of books to be be given away will increase to 550,000.

According to the Carl Lennertz, Executive Director of World Book Night U.S.,  “Sadly, the call for books for at-risk teens across the country is growing, from underfunded schools to foster homes to tutoring programs, but it’s encouraging that our givers are seeing that need and want to reach out with a book. “

The additional WBN US picks for 2014 are:

(Click on the book title or book cover image for more information)

Zora and Me Me and Earl and the Dying Girl The Raven's Warrior

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” by Jesse Andrews (Amulet/Abrams)

Zora and Me” by Victoria Bond and T.S. Simon (Candlewick)

The Raven’s Warrior” by Vincent Pratchett (YMAA Publications)

World Book Night U.S. is part of an ambitious campaign to encourage light and non-readers to read. A half million free paperbacks will be handed out across America April 23, 2014 by 25,000 volunteer book lovers.

The online giver application process opened on October 24, 2013 and continues through January 5, 2014. Applicants must state where and to whom they intend to give out their 20 WBN special paperbacks.

The 35 World Book Night U.S. titles for 2014, alphabetical by author, are:

(Click on the book cover or title below for more information)

Bobcat and Other Stories Bridge to Terabithia pontoon Catch-22 Code Name Verity

thin black line

Enchanted Hoot Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Kitchen Confidential Miss Darcy Falls in Love

thin black line

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Presumed Innocent Same Difference Sunrise Over Fallujah Tales of the City


thin black line

The Botany of Desire The Dog Stars The Lighthouse Road The Perks of Being a Wallflower The Ruins of Gorlan Ranger’s Apprentice Book 1

thin black line

The Tipping Point The Weird Sisters The Zookeeper’s Wife This Boy’s Life Wait Till Next Year

thin black line

Young Men and Fire Wild Where’d You Go, Bernadette When I Was Puerto Rican Waiting to Exhale

thin black line

The Zookeeper’s Wife” by Diane Ackerman (W.W. Norton)

Kitchen Confidential” by Anthony Bourdain (Ecco)

The Weird Sisters” by Eleanor Brown (Berkley)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky(Simon & Schuster)

After the Funeral” by Agatha Christie (William Morrow Paperbacks)

The Ruins of Gorlan: Ranger’s Apprentice Book 1” by John Flanagan (Puffin Books)

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford (Ballantine Books)

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” (in Large Print) by Jamie Ford (Thorndike/Gale; Cengage Learning)

The Lighthouse Road” by Peter Geye (Unbridled Books)

The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay Books)

Wait Till Next Year” by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Simon & Schuster)

Catch-22” by Joseph Heller (Simon & Schuster)

The Dog Stars” by Peter Heller (Vintage)

Hoot” by Carl Hiaasen (Knopf)

Pontoon: A Novel of Lake Wobegon” by Garrison Keillor (Penguin Books)

Same Difference” by Derek Kirk Kim (First Second Books)

Enchanted” by Alethea Kontis (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Miss Darcy Falls in Love” by Sharon Lathan (Sourcebooks)

Bobcat and Other Stories” by Rebecca Lee (Algonquin Books)

Young Men and Fire” by Norman Maclean (University of Chicago Press)

Tales of the City” by Armistead Maupin  (HarperPerennial)

Waiting to Exhale” by Terry McMillan (New American Library)

Sunrise Over Fallujah” by Walter Dean Myers (Scholastic)

Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson (HarperTrophy)

The Botany of Desire” by Michael Pollan (Random House)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs (Quirk Books)

When I Was Puerto Rican” by Esmeralda Santiago (Da Capo)

Cuando Era Puertorriqueña” by Esmeralda Santiago (Vintage Español)

Where’d You Go, Bernadette” by Maria Semple (Back Bay Books)

Where’d You Go, Bernadette” by Maria Semple in Large Print (Thorndike/Gale; Cengage Learning)

Wild” by  Cheryl Strayed (Vintage)

Presumed Innocent” by Scott Turow (Grand Central Publishing)

Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein (Disney Hyperion)

This Boy’s Life” by Tobias Wolff (Grove Atlantic)

100 Best-Loved Poems” edited by Philip Smith (Dover)

Macabre Month of Horror #25 “The Strain” Guest review by Amy Lyn Kench (when did I become a guest on my own blog?)

The Strain by Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan Published by Harper

The Strain by Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan Published by Harper

If there is only one book you have the chance to read this Halloween season, “The Strain” is it. Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan bring back the evil, dark, twisted and tormented vampire in this shake you to your skeleton thrill ride.

If you are a fan of the Twilight books you will be shamed to learn, vampires are not sparkly or cute boys looking for love. They are blood sucking, emotionless, death mongers. So, deal with it!

Whether it was the gripping tale or the fact that I was too scared to turn out the lights, I could not put this book down! “The Strain” will stay with you, it will haunt you in the way true horror lovers appreciate to no end.

Description from the publisher:

“An epic battle for survival begins between man and vampire in “The Strain” – the first book in a heart-stopping trilogy from one of Hollywood’s most inventive storytellers and a critically acclaimed thriller writer.

Guillermo del Toro, the genius director of the Academy Award-winning Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy, and Hammett Award-winning author Chuck Hogan have joined forces to boldly reinvent the vampire novel. Brilliant, blood-chilling, and unputdownable, “The Strain is a nightmare of the first order.”

COMING SOON – “THE STRAIN” MADE FOR TV MOVIE

So, I have to say I’m more than a little excited about this. It’s not just because Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan wrote the book and screenplay, nor because Del Toro is directing. (I mean seriously, come on, who else could handle this monster?) After seeing the cast list I am on the edge of my seat waiting to see this sure to be horror masterpiece.

As soon as I read Corey Stoll was cast as Dr. Ephraim Goodweather I just knew there was no way this movie could go off the rails. He is amazing in “House of Cards” and I can totally see him taking this role to the next level.

English: John Hurt at the Cannes film festival

More perfect casting is John Hurt as Professor Abraham Setrakian. The man is a master of walking that thin line of nice and wise older gentleman to slightly deranged loon.

The cast list is fantastic and I’m especially excited to see

Robert Maillet at the gala premiere of "M...

 as The Master. He is going to kick some serious ass!