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Put reading first, with 20 minutes a day spent reading to your children. 
Make it fun and exciting! Be imaginative!

If you read just 1 book a day, you will have read about 365 books in a year. That is 730 books in two years, and 1,095 books in just three years!


Book Reviews
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Qb1 By Mike Lupica
by Mike Lupica

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Think Twice
by Lisa Scottoline

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The short chapters in this book made me want to read more.

by Tillie Walden

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A graphic novel-memoir, Spinning is framed around the twelve years Tillie Walden was an ice skater. However, the meat of the story is how her life off the rink affected how she performed on the rink. I enjoyed the inside look into the world of figure skating, which I know next-to-nothing about.

Mind Game
by Iris Johansen

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good story as usual for Johansen.

Ranger In Time Long Road To Freedom
by Kate Messner

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It was about a dog named ranger and some children named Sarah and Jesse.

Long Way Down
by Jason Reynolds

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** spoiler alert ** Long Way Down, like Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, has an ending that is unresolved. What will Will do: will he join Buck, Dani, Frick, Pop, Uncle Mark, and Shawn as a victim of gun violence because /they/ followed Rule Three? Or will Will decide he doesn’t have to follow Rule Three. Because of this “unending,” coupled with the fact that it is written in free verse —short and sweet for reluctant readers— makes it a perfect read for African-American, urban high/middle schoolers who need a mirror text to realize that they have the power to halt the gang violence that may be present in their neighborhoods.

Eliza And Her Monsters
by Francesca Zappia

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Eliza and Her Monsters definitely is for fans of Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl. Eliza is the anonymous artist and creator of a /very/ popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea. At high school, though, she is the antithesis of popular. And so she hates it, as anyone who is considered a pariah/leper by their peers would. Her only friends are Max and Emmy, two fans-turned-friends who help her monitor the webcomic's site and forums. Until she meets the new kid, Wallace, who hardly talks. Turns out Wallace is a super fan of Monstrous Sea. As Wallace and Eliza's friendship turns to romance, Eliza has to make a decision: should she tell Wallace she is the creator of Monstrous Sea? If she does, how will that affect their relationship? And will that compromise her anonymous author persona? Eliza and Her Monsters was SO good! It has been sitting in my TBR list, and I've been eyeing as a purchase for my teens, and this totally convinced me! It's clever, it's web-relevant, and it's smart. Even better though, is that Zappia covers the emotional recourse to [spoilers]. And it isn't solved easily or with a dues ex machine. Eliza's growth, as well as Wallace's, is what makes this a five-star read and makes its place on the TAYSHAS list well-deserved. Brava, Zappia! Thank you for sharing /your/ creation with us!

The Crown's Game
by Evelyn Skye

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I avoided The Crown's Game for too long because I thought it was going to be a Hunger Games repeat. I was SO wrong! It's 1825, in Russia, and Vika and Nikolai are the only two individuals in Russia who have innate, magical abilities. They are each being raised to become the Tsar's Enchanter. However, only one of them can have that title. To determine who gets it, the Tsar begins the Game wherein only one can survive. However, that game + duel to the death + the only one left living is the winner is where the similarities with The Hunger Games ends. Instead of outright warfare, Nikolai and Vika try to out-do the other in feats of magic to help the tsarevich celebrate his impending birthday. There might be some underhanded violence, though, too, since only one can come out alive and the victor. There's some falling in love, some beautiful magic, some blossoming friendships, some betrayals, and some Lady Macbeth-like behavior from a younger sister all while the Game is taking place. But dystopian violence is never present. Skye does an EXCELLENT job at executing third-person omniscient narration (the best I've read in a very long time), and the short chapters help her accomplish this. There is lots of action and very little ruminating, which will make The Crown's Game a hit with reluctant readers. And the small pinches of romance (which seem hoaky at the beginning) won't deter boys from reading it. If you prefer high fantasy over contemporary fantasies, you would still enjoy The Crown's Game. The non-British setting is similar in it unfamiliarity as an epic realm would be. And if you like historical fiction, specifically set in Russia, you'll still enjoy The Crown's Game because Sky was a Russian history/literature major at Stanford, so she has done her homework (literally!) in regards to the historical facts. The only thing I disliked was the actor's accent(s) for the audiobook. When he reads narration, he affects a slight Russian accent and makes it more pronounced when reading dialogue. This is annoying, as is the Russian accent. I'm not super familiar with Russian accents, but it was just unnecessary. Do yourself a favor and read the book; don't listen to the audio version. Now, on to the sequel!

Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution
by Bernie Sanders

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This nonfiction books is perfect for high school and college-aged readers who want to learn more about the state of our nation in regards to a livable wage (ch. 1), tax reform (ch. 2), Wall Street and the impact of big business on the economy (ch. 3), health care (ch. 4), higher education and its cost (ch. 5), climate change (ch. 6), the criminal justice system --with an emphasis on the industrialized prison complex (ch. 7), and immigration reform (ch. 8). Sanders breaks down his proposed ideas on all of these topics and backs up his reasons with logic, statistic, and testimonies of the everyday people. The infographics and the fact that the book is just over 200 pages makes the wealth of information more palatable, as do the glossaries on economic terms and types of governments. In all, I agree with 90% of Sanders's propositions, but what I like most is that he seems to be the only one calling out how the government isn't "for the people" anymore, but is in the pockets of Big Business, and that that is the state of our "for the people and by the people" country is appalling and unacceptable.

The Great Train Mystery
by Stephen Hillenburg

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