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code7r has commented on (99) products.

Everybody Present: Mindfulness in Education by Nikolaj Rotne
Everybody Present: Mindfulness in Education

code7r, October 20, 2013

According to the authors, Nikolaj Flor Rotne and Didde Flor Rotne “Everybody Present: Mindfulness in Education” is meant to “demonstrate how mindfulness techniques can transform not just children but the adults who teach them.” Reading the title and the blurb on the back of the book, I assumed it was going to be mostly focused on children in the classroom and how to create a better environment for them to learn in. It does touch on this, but that is not what the main focus of the book is. There are a lot of stories from the authors’ lives (which I love) about their journey and how the book came into being. There are also a lot of stories to help Illustrate a point and there are mindfulness exercise such as keeping a gratitude journal, deep breathing and breath awareness. That is what this book excels at: how to breath, how to calm yourself, how to acknowledge feelings such as anger without letting the feelings dictate our behavior. If you are looking for direct skills that can be instituted immediately in the classroom, then this book probably is not for you. I thought some of the ideas were lovely, such as a minute of silence before class, and although I would love if my children’s teacher could implement sessions where the kids focus on breath, I know that you would also get a lot of parents upset that this was being taught to their children. They would not see it as mindfulness but as a way to “convert” kids in a way they would not like. I do not agree with that, but that is the reality.

Although from the title it does sound like it is centered around the classroom, the book is actually written for anyone who reads it; a parent, teacher, friend, mentor, yourself. I think that the title is actually a little misleading. You can use it with children, but it is not limited to that.

Overall I enjoyed the book with the true stories, the stories to help make a point, and the various exercises within. I think that anyone who picks this up can use it to help themselves become more aware and mindful.

**This book was received through GoodReads Member Giveaway. This did not influence my opinion in any way.**
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Cryonic: A Zombie Novel by Travis Bradberry
Cryonic: A Zombie Novel

code7r, September 15, 2013

I was excite to get Travis Bradberry's new novel "Cryonic: A Zombie Novel." I'm not one who normally reads zombie novels, but his take on it that a man named Royce Bruyere was cryogenically frozen and is reanimated into a different United States then he remembers. He wakes up to be surrounded by Chinese people and finds out that the United States was invaded by China. He is the first person to be successfully reanimated, but through Chinese greediness, the others that are reanimated after he was turn out to become zombies. Interesting, huh? Definitely. Unfortunately, I was disappointed in the book. I felt that the main character was a little unbelievable and completely unlikable. The dialogue seems forced. Perhaps I had higher expectations since it was written by an award-winning author who has sold more than a million copies of his books. I really like the premise and there is a good story there, but not in this version of the book.

Although I was disappointed in this book, it would not stop me from reading other books by this author. Clearly he has a vivid imagination and perhaps it comes through clearer in other works.

**I received this book from the Goodreads Members Giveaways. It did not influence my review.**
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The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida
The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism

code7r, September 15, 2013

“The Reason I Jump” was originally published in 2007 in Japanese by a 13 year old autistic boy. It was translated into English in 2013. Naoki Higashida was pretty much a non-verbal autistic. He learned to spell out words through the use of an alphabet grid.

In his book, Naoki answers common questions that people have about what it is like to be autistic. Some examples are: Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking? Is it true that you hate being touched? and Why do you flap your fingers and hands in front of your face?

Naoki tries to answer each question so that the reader fully understands it. He is well spoken and not shy about why he does some things that people find strange. I think that this book would be an excellent tool in the school classroom. If children read what it is like for Naoki to be a non-verbal autistic, then perhaps they would have more empathy and also maybe to try being friends with someone who is different.

This was definitely an interesting peek into the mind of an autistic!

**I received this book from the Goodreads Members Giveaways. It did not influence my review.**
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January First: A Child's Descent Into Madness and Her Father's Struggle to Save Her by Michael Schofield
January First: A Child's Descent Into Madness and Her Father's Struggle to Save Her

code7r, August 24, 2013

“January First” by Michael Schofield is a remarkable story of a young girl who has full-blown schizophrenia. The story is told from the father’s perspective, Michael Schofield. I had seen the documentary on Jani and so I already knew the story before reading the book. This family is remarkable. Instead of hiding their daughter away, they decided to tell the world about her so that maybe the world would be a little kinder to children with disabilities.

I did enjoy reading the book and seeing what it was (and is) like from the father’s point of view. What I didn’t expect, and I felt it was distracting, were the pot shots taken at the mother throughout the book… as though it was only the father who fought for Jani. I truly expected that the last page would say they were divorced, but instead he talks about Susan, his wife, and how he wouldn’t have wanted anyone else by his side.

When the book focused more on Jani and what she was going through, that was when it was hard to put down. It would have been so easy to have her institutionalized, but the family decided that she was to stay part of the family and made some amazing sacrifices so she could.

This book was an amazing peek into what life is like for schizophrenia. I think it would be an interesting read for parents and people who have family or friends with mental disorders.

*** I received this book through GoodReads First Readers Giveaway. It had no influence on my review. ***
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Sailing an Alien Sea by Cindy L. Gold
Sailing an Alien Sea

code7r, August 17, 2013

“Sailing an Alien Sea” by Cindy Gold is a book that is set mostly in the 1970s in Sante Fe that focuses on a girl, Sylvie, as the main character, and Emily (her older sister) and Nola (who is friends with both) as supporting characters. The 70s was much different from today, especially with the freedoms that kids took (leaving the house and having mom yell “be back home in time for dinner” and not really knowing where her kid was) and as a child of the 70s, it was nice to revisit that time.

I really liked Sylvie. She is a tough, smart girl who has a big heart. Through her sister, Emily, she meets Nola who has a very visible disability. How the author dealt with Nola was really great. She acknowledged the disability but didn’t focus on it; it was just a part of Sylvie’s world that she accepted. We didn’t feel sorry for Nola, but were impressed that her limitations didn’t stop her. Nola gave Sylvie strength by being strong herself.

This book was an enjoyable read that will be enjoyed by tweens, teens and adults. It is a book about unconditional love and acceptance, about trying to do what is right but messing up at times, and about finding yourself. I felt that the story could have been tightened up in spots, but that is probably the only “fault” of the book. I look forward to reading more works by this author.

**I received this book through GoodReads First Reads Giveaway. It did not affect my review.**
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