This is the second book by Allie Pleiter that I have read. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!!
In A Heart to Heal, we meet guidance coThis is the second book by Allie Pleiter that I have read. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!!
In A Heart to Heal, we meet guidance counselor Heather, who is working hard to make high school easier for Simon. She hopes to accomplish something by gaining the assistance and mentorship of Max Jones, who is with Adventure Access. Max, however, has a pretty wild streak even considering his mobility limitations. Can he be trusted? Will Simon's parents be ok with someone like Max teaching him the ropes of getting around in his chair and dealing with bullies like Jason Kikowitz?
First of all, I LOVE LOVE LOVE that Ms. Pleiter was not afraid to write about people with mobility issues!!!! That is not a common thread in reading these days!! I applaud her for taking the chance to write Max and Simon's stories. Her descriptions of having issues reaching certain places (like tables in restaurants) is a real issue and she wrote it well! She also conveyed the raw emotions and feelings that a caregiver faces when dealing with someone with mobility issues. For the past 33 years, I've watched my mom face these challenges with her wheelchair (she has Muscular Dystrophy). In a particular restaurant scene with Heather and Simon, I could empathize with Heather...the stares, the fear of what others think, etc. It made my heart really feel for her.
The second thing that I loved most about this book was the redemption found within, for all the characters. Even though this is a work of fiction, this is a book about healing. I do think that many could find hope and healing through this book.
Many thanks to Ms. Pleiter for bringing another great story to life as well as providing an autographed review copy of this book in exchange for my personal thoughts. ...more
W-O-W...I don't know that I can adequately convey my feelings about this book in this post. Everyone has an opinion about the "War in Iraq" or whateveW-O-W...I don't know that I can adequately convey my feelings about this book in this post. Everyone has an opinion about the "War in Iraq" or whatever terminology you chose to use in regards to this conflict. I had one prior to reading this book and I DEFINITELY have one now!
I was contacted awhile back by the publicist for Dr. Coppola to review this book. My background in pediatric cardiology nursing drove me to want to read this book. I finished it in two sittings, which is rare for me to do! There are so many things I learned from this book and I'll take a few minutes to share with you my thoughts and reactions.
First, a brief synopsis provided by the publisher:
ynopsis: Coppola: A Pediatric Surgeon in Iraq is the fierce, true-life account of Dr. Chris Coppola’s two deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom as an Air Force pediatric surgeon. Twice stationed at Balad Air Base, fifty miles north of Baghdad, in what was first a rude M*A*S*H*-style tent hospital and later became one of the largest U.S. military installations on foreign soil, Dr. Coppola works feverishly to save the lives of soldiers and civilians as word spreads among Iraqi families that, no matter what the infirmity, he can save their children. From his first night on call, Dr. Coppola is confronted with injuries more severe than any he has ever encountered—I.E.D. and suicide bomb casualties, which shake his religious conviction and trigger persistent bouts of insomnia. In his first weeks, he witnesses Iraq’s health care system tumble into crisis as thousands of Iraqi doctors flee the country, Al Qaeda ramps up efforts to target civilian sites such as schools, funeral processions, women and children; and families are left without basic essentials like electricity and drinking water. Dr. Coppola, exhausted after marathon nights in the OR, homesick for his wife and three boys in San Antonio, Texas, finally asks himself, “How can I go on?”
Dr. Coppola faces some very traumatic cases in Iraq while on his two tours of duty. This book mainly focuses on his first tour where you learn of young children who are injured in the war. Innocent, precious lives...some of them with fixable injuries, others with more difficult situations. Dr. Coppola talks of some of his comrades that come in to the facility where he is stationed with missing arms, legs, and shrapnel everywhere. The reader has a glimpse of the good and the bad of these cases. Some were very touching and will stay with me for a VERY long time.
A non-medically trained person may ask if this is the right book for them. While I think it requires a strong stomach to read through some of the heartache and trauma, Dr. Coppola never leaves the reader guessing what each diagnosis means. He is aware of his readers possible lack of knowledge when talking about what the steps are to remove shrapnel from the spinal column and uses layman's terms, along with the medical term. I found this book to be very educational in that respect.
Speaking of respect...my respect for the soldier fighting for my freedom escalated to the nth degree. I knew it was bad to be there, but I didn't realize (and will never fully realize unless I go) just how bad it really is. The conditions in which our soldiers are living and working there are deplorable! I cannot imagine how Dr. Coppola and his team must have felt when all the dust kicking up everywhere prevents a 100% chance of a sterile field in the operating room!! Things we take so easily for granted here are necessities over there. Our very soldiers lives are at stake!
I know now, that after reading this fantastic book, that Dr. Coppola is a doctor whom I would love to work beside one day. His compassion on these children that he treated while there just proves that he is a real human being! Dr. Coppola had to fight to care for the "non-warfare related" injured children while there. Many families heard of Dr. Coppola and his skills while there and would bring their children for multiple issues, one of which was gender determination.
The cover of this book is most poignant. A hand holding a piece of paper that says "Coppola". It's beautiful! The story is in the middle of the book and it brought tears to my eyes.
I laughed, cried, and even got angry while reading this book. This one is staying on my shelves and I'll purchase the full copy as well. I'm not a huge memoir fan but I'm so thankful to the publicist and Dr. Coppola for asking me to review this book. My life feels different now and I hope to impart to my students the importance of serving your country, whether in the military or simply through their choice of profession.
This book is currently available only at http://www.coppolathebook.com. Preorders on Amazon.com are available beginning February 2010. In addition to your purchase online, 10% of all purchases made on the site will go to support the not-for-profit organization War Child
Don't let this one slip away. This is a life-changing book that I HIGHLY recommend to all! ...more
This super cute book written by Leah Orr is about a little girl named Tessy who's left with her Aunt Fran while her mom goes off to the gym. Aunt FranThis super cute book written by Leah Orr is about a little girl named Tessy who's left with her Aunt Fran while her mom goes off to the gym. Aunt Fran falls asleep so Tessy takes it upon herself to keep the entertainment going. She draws on her walls, paints Aunt Fran's hair, gets into her mom's make-up, and takes her baby dolls to the salon. Her mother will never guess what's she been up to when she gets home though!!
I loved this book. It reminds me so much of my Messy MJ it's not funny. Everytime I turn around, she's making messes much like Tessy. MJ really enjoyed this book too, and realized she had a partner in crime!
The best thing about this book is that all of the proceeds go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The author is a mom of 3 girls, the youngest who is affected with CF. The beautiful illustrations are penned by Leah's mother, Josephine Lepore. Also check out Kyle's First Crush and Kyle's First Playdate which also benefit the CFF.
The autographed review copy was sent courtesy of the author....more
This is a book of about 15 short stories written by J.W. Nicklaus. There is a little drama, humor, romance, and more in this book. I enjoyed reading iThis is a book of about 15 short stories written by J.W. Nicklaus. There is a little drama, humor, romance, and more in this book. I enjoyed reading it during a conference when the topics did not interest me as much as the book did! I found it hard to put the book down at times because the stories were so captivating. In my opinion, the most memorable stories in the book are the following with a short review:
Requiem for Linny: I enjoyed this story because it reminded me of my grandmother a little bit. There are some things that people hang on to and have a hard time letting go. Reflecting back on this today, the story means a little more as a young man I know died in a drowning accident over the weekend. He's the second in my church in 3 days to drown. Puts a different spin on a story like this.
10:18-All I can say about this one is "WOW". If this one doesn't change your life....well, it SHOULD change your life!!
One Washington Diner: This one I read in the doctor's office this morning and needless to say, the tears in my eyes caused my doctor some concern when he finally came in my room. This was one of my favorites. It's a very sweet love story that had me reflecting back on my marriage and our relationship and how I might improve that.
Winter Rose: Another tear jerker...this is a MUST read. If you only read one story in this book, make it this one. In light of present world events it puts some things in perspective.
In the Name of Love: This is the only non-fiction story in this book. It's very personal and will strike a chord with anyone with a heart.
While these were my favorites, I don't want to take away anything from the other stories. They were all enjoyable and I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for some inspiration, a "feel good" story, or who is just looking for a quick read while at a conference, the doctor's office, or whereever else the world might take you. ...more