Molly's Reviews

Why me?Why Me
Rita Y Toews

Engaging Read … Recommended 5 ... stars

This is a small 14 page eBook filled with pertinent information about a problem facing many kids today. The Introduction offers a discussion of bullying and its prevalence for youngsters attending school, at the mall and elsewhere. "Why Me" is written in a case study format. Bully Quiz, is an executable quiz with question and possible answers to guide the reader in understanding how to know if you are being bullied, Answers to Quiz and feedback follow the quiz with suggestions as to how to deal with bullying if it happens to you. Information about bullying with urls where more information is available. Tips for how to develop self confidence is filled with sensible tips for youngsters. The work culminates with sections About the Author, and About the Software used to create the eBook. Feedback and contact information are included. The work is printable.

This unpretentious, jam packed work "Why Me" offered by Rita Y Toews is filled with perceptive, well thought out recommendations for youngsters who may face being bullied at school and elsewhere. The counsel presented by writer Toews for deciding if you are being bullied as well as proposals for how to deal with bullying are ones parents, teachers and counselors often try to instill in kids. The format of a modest easily read eBook is one sure to appeal to youngsters in the target audience of middle grades to mid high school. These are the kids, ages nine to fifteen who often withdraw into their own thoughts unwilling or afraid to tell teachers, school counselors and even parents what is happening to them. Often friends will know what is taking place, however they too may fear telling adults what is taking place. Writer Toews' book will help these youngsters and their friends understand the importance of recognizing they are being bullied, that there is help, and telling parents, teachers or other adults can bring help.

As with this author's others works the writing used in "Why Me" is snappy, to the point, well thought out, and presented in clear, concise verbiage kids can understand without having to get a dictionary or ask for help. Two activities few kids in the target audience are loathe to do are get a dictionary or ask for help. Toews wit and style of writing make for easy reading as she deftly captures the mood of youngsters facing the difficult task of growing up and the problems that accompany that situation.

Bullying is a pervading problem many schools, law enforcement officials and parents are just beginning to realize is serious. Bullying may cause long lasting problems, and can lead to serious repercussions from those who are being bullied or think they may be, and feel they have little recourse for protecting themselves from their abusers.

"Why Me" is an excellent work for parents, teachers and school counselors to add to their libraries. Parents in particular would be wise to offer the book for their children's reading.

Kelly's Baby BrotherKelly's Baby Brother
Rita Toews
Artist: Karin Falk
Writers Echange ePublishing

Enjoyed the read……Recommended……. 4 stars

When Mommy told Kelly she would be getting a baby brother Kelly thought a new baby was wonderful news. Now she is not so sure. She is sure that Mommy and Daddy don't love her anymore. That baby takes all the time, he cries and Kelly is not one bit happy. Then one day Kelly discovered that having a baby brother is fun. And to her enormous relief Kelly found that Mommy and Daddy have not stopped loving her at all.

Writer Toews has produced a marvelous book detailing the problems young children often face when they are presented with a new sibling. The photographs of Kelly and her family are a delight. This is a read to book for the younger set. Kelly and her struggle to understand what has happened to her family since that new baby has arrived is one that parents will understand, and little ones will enjoy since so many of them will have the same concerns for the very reason as does Kelly. The book provides lots of opportunity for children and parent to chat about their fears and delights over their own new sibling.

This is a well thought out work sure to please parents who may be looking for something to help them assuage the new baby jitters in their own 'big girl or boy.' I will admit I prefer PDF format to any other eFormat, however, I enjoyed the book as it was sent to me.

Christmas StarsChristmas Stars
Rita Y. Toews
Artist: Jennifer Macaire
Books Unbound

Nice premise
... Recommended for older children
... 4 stars

Catharine is happy she is old enough to help her father decorate the big tree in her yard for Christmas. While they are working with the tree Catharine is puzzled when her Father tells her that there is too much snow this year. Catharine figures out a way to help the critters who will be troubled because of all the snow.

I like very much the premise of the tale and Catharine's solution to the problem she discovers. Writer Toews' book is well thought out, introduces children to a real problem faced by animals during winter and provides a credible solution. Vocabulary introduced is a bit advanced for very young readers. Illustrations done by Jennifer Macaire add much to the work. Writer Toews has produced a delightful work complete with a maze, suggestions for a bagel treat for wild life and a word find puzzle. The book should have great appeal to the 8-10 year old set.

As a teacher I would like to see a word list of vocabulary used with grade level noted as to when the word is introduced in school setting added to the back of the book. I would also like to see a small blurb added to alert classroom teachers, home school educators and parents as to reading level children will need to successfully read the book alone.

Glad to know that a CD of the book will be available. The separate arc files were a tad tricky to navigate. The CD version will no doubt find an audience among educators and parents alike. I do feel the book has a place in the school setting. Vocabulary is a bit advanced for the younger readers. This is a read to book for the 3-8 set, read alone about ages 8-10.

I like the book very much.




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© 2005 by Molly Martin