I did like this little book, though some of the rhyming was unnecessary or downright forced. Young children go over all the things they appreciate abo...moreI did like this little book, though some of the rhyming was unnecessary or downright forced. Young children go over all the things they appreciate about themselves and their body. Thankful for eyes that see, and the THINGS they see. Thankful for life, really. A nice bedtime story to perhaps come before nighttime prayers.(less)
Now I have to buy this book. So that I can highlight portions, and then buy another so that I can share it with people. Nia Vardalos is my spirit animal...moreNow I have to buy this book. So that I can highlight portions, and then buy another so that I can share it with people. Nia Vardalos is my spirit animal, apparently.
I never watched Tiny and Toya. To be honest, I was a bit prejudiced. Comments or tabloid posts didn't necessarily sway me, but I was a bit tired of th...moreI never watched Tiny and Toya. To be honest, I was a bit prejudiced. Comments or tabloid posts didn't necessarily sway me, but I was a bit tired of the reality shows that highlighted the almost-wives, wifey material, and opportunistic exes of celebs. That, and I've lost interest in most of what BET produces these days.
So, I just wasn't all that interested in seeing how life was like for the former singer/current fiance (at the time) of T.I., or the ex-wife of Lil Wayne. Neither life interested me in the least, and I just wasn't up to the real housewifey-ish drama.
I wonder if I had watched, would I be less inspired and profoundly touched by Ms. Carter's book. She had much, much more to say than what I expected to hear.
Antonia Carter may be known by some as the ex-wife of a famous rapper, but she's also a heroine. A survivor of family secrets, heartbreak and desperation. She's turned her life into something she can be proud of, and not only is it a story worth reading, but one worth sharing.
At a very young age, Toya was "collected" by an uncle and his wife who realized that drugs were keeping Toya's parents from actually taking care of her. She grew up longing for a relationship with her mother, and yet ashamed of her through the harsh words of neighbors and even some family. That embarrassment led to teenage rebellion, which also led to her being tossed from house to house within her family. Some aunts were too old to take care of an angry, disrespectful teen, while some cousins were simply uninterested. The few family members who wanted more for her, she rebelled even harder against.
Meanwhile, the place she would freely accept affection from, was boys. Their hugs and kisses made her feel worthwhile and acceptable. As Toya put it, she felt like if she was pretty and he was handsome, and they were popular all would be well. While she evaded actually going "too far" with most of the boys she dated, she finally fell head over heels in love with a boy she calls "Dream", who readers learn is her name for Wayne. Their romance was hot, heavy, and endearing but she makes reference to the fact that Dream was simply not ready for the family life she had in mind. Even less when she actually did become pregnant at age 14.
Through short vignettes into her life as a young and practically homeless mom to daughter Reginae, 18 year old wife of a young man whose career was taking him farther from the home she wanted so desperately to build, and overcoming her feelings of low self worth, Toya gives amazingly blunt and heartfelt advice. She discusses the relationship with her ex-husband, friends, and family members freely, with a tone of maturity and forgiveness.
Some of Toya's advice is said with an innocence that can be mistaken for naivete, but it is clear that she's nobody's fool anymore. The chapters cover everything from sex to faith, and she is careful to include every bit of herself that could be helpful to other girls and young women. Including her own daughter.
The book was published by Farrah Gray Publishing, which I feel could have done a much better job on the editing, as there were missing words and some minor misspellings. There were also some times where I couldn't figure out which aunt she was referring to, or what time period we had jumped into. Overall, it was a beautiful book that I will share with the young girls in my life.(less)
Imagine God. Now Imagine God as a 12 foot tall Tuskeegee Airman named Joe. Now Imagine God, the Tuskeegee Airman named Joe, creating a place for all gho...moreImagine God. Now Imagine God as a 12 foot tall Tuskeegee Airman named Joe. Now Imagine God, the Tuskeegee Airman named Joe, creating a place for all ghosts to dwell in six days. Because of course on the seventh day, he rests.
The place he's built is called Ghostopolis, and all the types of the dead (live) there: Specters, Wisps, Bony Skeletons, Mummies and more. They reside in somewhat perfect harmony until a stranger named Vaughn appears and stirs up rumors and trouble between all the groups only to then present himself as the only one to bring peace. He uses giant bugs, summoned from the Underworld, to help him police Ghostopolis, and he secretly works to ensure that he will soon be as powerful and in control as Joe, who no one has seen for years.
And he would be successful too, if not for two problems: Traitors and Living People.
Back in the land of the living, The Supernatural Immigration Task Force is cracking down on runaway ghosts who are sneaking back into our world. Investigator Frank Gallows is at the top of his game, tracking down the ghosts and zapping them back to Ghostopolis, when he accidentally sends a living/dying boy named Garth, along with a ghost. Garth has an incurable disease, and only had a few more months with the living anyway, but those months should be enjoyed! His mother pleads for his speedy return by the SITF, and two extraction teams head out to get him, but not before Garth can stir up some trouble, memories and good feelings down in Ghostopolis. He may even have within him, the spirit that can make Joe return.
I absolutely love this book. I was expecting something darker and far less comical, but it was just the right dose of humor and emotion. Garth, Frank, and even Vaughn were all funny but they also made me feel compassion towards them. Even at his worst, there was something about Vaughn that made me care for his part of this tale.
The subject of death and dying can be hard to discuss with young adults in a way that isn't preachy or clinical. Garth's feelings towards his own grim future was indifferent at times, but there were also subtle ways that the author revealed Garth's true feelings towards his life, his possible impending death, and his relationship with his mother. Joe as a strong but gentle godlike figure was, I thought, a fresh way to encourage readers to be hopeful and helpful, no matter what their personal circumstances may be.
There were some quirky things that felt rushed or unexplained, but the rest of the story was so captivating and funny that I let those few moments slide. I've read my fair share of graphic novels which used their images only to add to the written words, but with this book, I truly felt as though the pictures could have told a story by themselves. They included some of the jokes, and a great deal of emotion.
There were some allusions to this being the first in a series, and I truly, truly hope that comes to pass.(less)
THIS BOOK ROCKS! First of all, the fact that it's an African American girl is sweet, secondly there are affirmations all over the illustrations like,...moreTHIS BOOK ROCKS! First of all, the fact that it's an African American girl is sweet, secondly there are affirmations all over the illustrations like, "You Can Do It", "Girls Rock", etc. But most importantly it just makes you smile. Great message to girls and says things like, "Somewhere, somebody loves you more than cows love to moo, more than ballerinas love tutus and would ride a smelly yak across Kathmandu just to be with you, and that's really far too..wow it's great to be you!" I thought it was extremely sweet. And its written by an aunt for her neices which was a bonus for me. (less)
Kevin Clash tells about his life growing up in Turner's Station, Maryland and...moreVery sweet. Almost too sweet.
But then, what would you expect from Elmo!?
Kevin Clash tells about his life growing up in Turner's Station, Maryland and his childhood from sharing a room with his siblings, putting on puppet shows for the neighborhood kids and turning down his first two job offers in hopes of landing a Sesame Street gig that didn't come through. He relates many of his own life experiences to story-lines that Elmo has experienced on the show and they reveal just how similar the 6ft. tall black man is to the red, furry 3 year-old monster. The book was short in stature and in pages and would be an inspiring piece of nonfiction for other Muppet Lovers, but also anyone who wants to achieve a dream that just doesn't "look" like them. (less)