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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Freedom on the Underground Railroad: Ghost train to Freedom Book review

If you ever wanted your kids to get excited about history, you have just found your solution. I received the book, Ghost Train to Freedom An Adventure on the Underground Railroad by Faith Reese Martin, in exchange for an honest review. It is part of the JMP History Mystery Detective Agency Series.

The book weaves together a fascinating story of time-traveling teens, Jinx and Max. The adventurous girl and boy travel back in time to the 1800's when slave trading was alive and accepted in America. It was also a time of the Underground Railroad where freedom was found in secret through a dangerous series of trustworthy brave people and hiding, largely at night.

The author knows her history well. Faith Reese Martin is a former fourth and fifth grade teacher who simply desired to spark her students interest in history - a subject that is far too often presented in a dry and boring manner. The author, instead, approaches it with a fictitious story set in a time that really happened, using real facts of history woven throughout the story. The result of combining history with fiction and mystery is that you won't want to put the book down. You will find yourself pulled into the story as if you traveled through time on a time-traveling train with Jinx and Max, the main characters who guide you trough history.

If you're not intrigued yet, you will be the moment you crack open the covers of this book. From the first paragraph all the way through to the end of the 300+ pages, you will be on the edge of your seat asking yourself why you never learned this much details about this important time frame in America's history. It will lead you on a trail of further research. You will discover facts about the past that will make you want to know more.

. Here is something I learned from the book: Making it to freedom took desire, bravery, skill and complicated communication. Some of the trails to freedom were communicated through the use of Freedom Quilts which were scraps of fabric woven together to form a quilt filled with intricate designs of codes and symbols showing the road to freedom. See what you discover when you use the book for summertime reading enjoyment or weave it into a history class and lesson about American history.

You can find the book at I was provided with websites on the information I received, however when I visit the sites I get error messages that will not allow me to proceed. Hopefully, they will be up and running soon for you to discover more. Here are the sites:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Say This, NOT That to Your Professor Book Review

I know, the cover of this book alone is enough to brighten your day. I recently had the pleasure of reviewing a book that was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for only an honest review. Well, the book is amazing and a must-have for every college student. Actually, it's a must-have for anyone who ever deals with any other human being ever in their lives. Though, it is focused on dealing with college professors.

The book by Ellen Bremen, M.A., is Say This, NOT That to Your Professor. It walks you through more than 35 scenarios of what you might feel like saying to your professor, and better ways to phrase it so the professor responds favorably. As a professor, the author has personal experience to draw from and expresses helpful advice in an easy-to-understand format.

What you say, and what the professor hears can be drastically different. It can mean the difference of passing a class with joy and ease or having a miserable time throughout. For instance, if you missed a class and want to find out if you missed something important, there are ways to approach your instructor so he or she does not interpret what you say as meaning that you do not find the class important. The book is very conversational and easy to read with practical advice every student will value.

If you've ever been a student or a teacher, chances are you will relate to at least a handful of the scenarios in the book. It is a must-read for any student headed off to college in the fall or taking a summer session. You can find out more information about the author and where to buy the book at her site,