Kid Lit: When is it OK to Talk About the Holocaust?

The Holocaust is hard to talk about... It was a terrible, horrific time in history. However, it's important to teach the Holocaust to future generations to honor those whose lives were so savagely taken and to ensure history doesn't repeat itself (although history has the stubborn habit of doing that anyway). Think about it. When did you learn about the Holocaust? Like me, many people in my generation grew up just knowing about the Holocaust. When I was a kid, I remember knowing someone whose grandparents lived through the Holocaust. Kids today don't really know about the Holocaust. It has to be explicitly taught. As a parent, how do you explain to your child someone decided that an entire population should be exterminated, like getting rid of that pesky ant mound in your front yard? How do you explain that 11 million people were murdered? How do explain that crap like that is still happening around the world? I hope you have answers to these questions, because I certainly don't. Keep Reading

A Book and a Bite: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

How is October almost over?!? It's 40 degrees and windy here today and snow is in the forecast for Friday. Summer is but a distant memory. Halloween somehow snuck up on me AGAIN and I'm frantically piecing together costumes and trying to find a night to carve pumpkins. For the third year in a row, my son and daughter are wearing matching costumes. I'm relishing in this cutie-fest for as long as it will last. It hasn't even been my idea. My daughter always comes up with the ideas and my son happily follows along. Two years ago they were the "Lady" in with the Yellow Hat and Curious George and last year they were Word Girl and Captain Huggy Face (somehow Jude got stuck with being a monkey two years in a row!).              This year, after watching the Lego Ninjago movie, they both decided to be Ninjas. You're telling me my kids want to wear warm pajamas for trick-or-treating? Can do!  Pinterest has a ton of easy ideas for making ninja Keep Reading

In the Books: This Week’s Best Book-Related Links

This week is fall break, which means I have (most of) the week with my kiddos. If you read my last post, you already know that this year has brought a lot of change for my family and me. Even for those of us who relish in the new adventures and experiences that change brings, it is seldom easy and often wrought with growing pains. For quite a few years, fall has meant that the ease and flexibility of summer ends and the rigid schedules that come with full-time work take over. I usually left the house by 6:15 am and was lucky if the kids and I made it home by 5:30 pm. Even though I loved my job, I secretly longed to have a simpler, less stressful life. Then presto change-o! I found my self without a job and not having to work. I finally had time to bake my own bread, do those crafts I pinned on Pinterest, make my kids after-school snacks, make a big deal about even the smallest holidays. I could finally see a perfect life taking shape before my eyes now that I had the extra time. Then Keep Reading