Dan is an accomplished news reporter who is smart and driven. After covering some stories during wartime and maybe striving to be chosen for assignments and pitching stories too ambitiously, he turned to cocaine and ecstasy to stay geeked and what he thought was at the top of his game. A wake up call came on live TV when he experienced a major panic attack and was forced to take stock. He ended up getting some therapy, was able to stop the drugs, and added meditation to his days. Change came gradually as he read lots, attended retreats, conferences, and became friends with several of the experts he went to originally for advice--Dr. Mark Epstein, Deepak Chopra, and even the Dali Lama himself. His story has a frank and yet funny voice. In addition to enjoying Dan's story, I'd say for me, I'll be giving meditation a try as well.
A slight page-wise book, but not so topic-wise. Two sisters, close in age and even closer I think due to their parents' divorce at a young age. They always have each others' backs, and gain a confidence and security to face the world as a result. Until, that is, the other sister, Layla, starts to withdraw and attempts to cover-up a big secret from her family and friends. Nell, the younger sister by only a year, has always been the peace-maker, a follower, but now finds herself being tested. Does she out Layla's secret? Does she take the leap into unknown territory which is to disagree with her sister. Loyalty and love are tested. I wish the book had been a couple hundred pages more. Dana Reinhardt is a rock star though and I still look forward to her next book
Story takes place in Haiti with community and family at the forefront. Claire's Mother dies in childbirth and her father is devastated at his beloved loss. Poverty and hardship is commonplace here in Haiti and Claire's father looks to have Claire adopted so she will be provided for and taught the ways of a young woman. A seamstress who owns her own shop and has grieves over the death of her own child agrees to take Claire in. There's a hint of a possible relationship between her and Claire's father, as we see Claire struggle with this decision by her father and runs away until she can come to grips with this path her life is taking.
Meet Henry. He's in a loving, nerdy family who we watch flounder with agony and heartache after a family tragedy. In this Canadian author, Susin Nielsen's skilled hands though, it's a satisfying read mixed with likeable characters and sweetness. Yes, hard to imagine with a story about hideous bulllying, culminating in tragic death.
Henry talks a robot-language to cope, starts seeing a therapist, and journals to figure out how to move forward. Winning the 2013 Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children and Michigan Library's Association 'Thumbs Up' 2013 Book of the Year is a strong endorsement for this story, which I gladly add my vote to as well.
Since we're counting by 7s, here are seven things I liked from this book.
1.Question: What are the 7 most important things in your life?
2.Willow says, "To know me is to know my garden."
3.Willow says, "Don't lose your individuality, even though you're in a flock."
4.Willow says, "Besides the number 7, I have two other major obsessions. Medical conditions. And plants.
5.Quote: "Even free things are never free. The burden of ownership means everything has a price."
6.Quote: "The world where we live is so much in our head."
7.12 year old Willow Chance is unforgettable.