Banned Books Week

“Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular,” as stated on the American Library’s Association (ALA)’s website.

Here is the list of the top 10 most challenged and banned books of 2021 and the reasons cited for censoring the books:

  1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
    Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to have sexually explicit images
  2. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
  3. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and profanity and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
  4. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez
    Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for depictions of abuse and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
  5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity and violence and because it was thought to promote an anti-police message and indoctrination of a social agenda
  6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and use of a derogatory term
  7. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
    Reasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and degrading to women
  8. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Banned and challenged because it depicts child sexual abuse and was considered sexually explicit
  9. This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
    Reasons: Banned, challenged, relocated, and restricted for providing sex education and LGBTQIA+ content
  10. Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.

To celebrate this week, add these books to reading your list! As the theme of this week says, “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.”

Happy Book Birthday! 🎉

Happy 1 year to Turtle Tube: An Erutuf National Park Novel! 🎈🐢📚

It’s been a wonderful year from seeing the printed book in person for the first time to reading sweet reviews to meeting new fans to visiting my book in an actual bookstore and receiving an award! I’m really looking forward to year 2 and also book 2 coming out!

For those of you on Instagram, I am hosting a giveaway to celebrate the one year of publication by giving away 6 signed copies of my book. Head over to my Instagram account to check it out and enter the giveaway which ends on 8/25. Good luck! 🍀

If you haven’t had a chance to review my book, please take a few minutes and just write a sentence or two online for it. Each review makes a huge difference in the algorithms online!

Thank you all for your support!!! 🐢📚❤️

Exciting Book News!

I have some book news to share….

Turtle Tube: An Erutuf National Park Novel won three Honorable Mention Awards for the Middle Grade Fiction, New Author: Fiction, and Green Books/Environmental categories in the Story Monsters 2022 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards Contest! 🏅 Yay!! 🎉

So honored and grateful! ❤️

Click here for more information on my book.

Another Decade

Cheers to another lap around the sun!

As I enter a new decade in my life, I can’t help but reflect on the past ten years (and beyond). If you don’t know or really want to know which decade, ask my children or ask my older friends welcoming me to this club. I plan on answering that I’m 36 years old again. 😉

The previous decade flew by! People always warn you how fast the time with your children goes and these last 10 years really did go fast! Our children are both double digits now with one entering high school and the other only has one more year of elementary school left. I blinked and it flew by! I’m pretty proud of our two kiddos and the adults they’re becoming!

When I think back over these last 10 years, I really think about a time of growth as a family and adventures together.  I even wrote and published a children’s book! 😊

I feel very lucky! Over the last ten years, I made a number of new friendships; watch older friendships grow; reconnected with past ones; and said good bye to those whom we lost.

In these last ten years, I have seen three very, very, very different men get elected and serve as Presidents. Kamala Harris became the first woman, first African American, and first Asian American to be Vice President. The United States legalized same-sex marriage across all 50 states. The #MeToo movement went viral. Fidget spinners were a craze. The Paris Agreement, an international treaty, was created to focus on climate change. We experienced a total eclipse. Space-X launched astronauts to the space station.  The Black Lives Matter movement started. Astronomers were able to capture the first-ever image of a black hole. The U.S. established June 19th as Juneteenth National Independence Day, a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. COVID-19 spread around the world. And of course, the Chicago Cubs broke the curse and won the World Series in 2016!

While I enter this next decade with some angst, I also welcome the next ten years of adventures and life. In fact, I feel very, very grateful!

“This a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” Maya Angelou

Summer Reading Challenge

To help keep your kids reading this summer, I created a fun summer reading challenge.

One of the main characters in Turtle Tube: An Erutuf National Park Novel, Dean, loves to read. He needs help to read more books this summer!

Click here for the challenge.

Complete the list, e-mail me, and you will receive a fun sticker in the mail.

Emma will be proud!

Peter Pan Day

“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Happy Peter Pan Day or really, J.M. Barrie’s birthday! J. M. Barrie authored “Peter Pan” as a play first in 1904 and then as a novel in 1911.  Cheers to this Scottish author and playwright for creating such a memorable set of characters and story!

To celebrate, make some pixie dust, go on an adventure, tell a good story, battle a pirate, and act like a kid! Or pick up the original book and read it today!

“To live will be an awfully big adventure.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Happy Peter Pan Day!

Independent Bookstore Day

Happy Independent Bookstore Day!

This national one-day party celebrates independent bookstores across the country online and in-store. 

To celebrate this day and these special stores, go visit your local independent bookstore either in-person or even go online! Yay – another reason to buy more books!

You can even find my children’s book Turtle Tube: An Erutuf National Park Novel at a great independent bookstore in Florida called Copperfish Books. Click here to order it online from them and check out their awesome selection of books.

Copperfish Books

Happy Shopping!

Fun Facts about Green Sea Turtles

Enjoy some fun facts about green sea turtles:

  • They feed on jellyfish and crabs as juveniles. As adults, they eat mostly sea grasses and algae.
  • These creatures weigh an average of 400 pounds!
  • They can swim up to 35 miles per hour.
  • They can be found off the coast of around140 countries, but are still on the endangered species list.
  • They are estimated to live about 80 years old.
  • Sea turtles cannot breathe underwater. They must come to the surface for some air.

And last, did you know that Emma is a great name for a sea turtle? 😉 For more information about Emma, check out my book, Turtle Tube: An Erutuf National Park Novel.

Photo by Jesse Schoff