Book Review- I am Yours by Reema Zaman

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I am Yours by Reema Zaman, is a memoir which retells the journey of Zaman’s life living in India, Hawaii, Thailand, New York, and Oregon. The story centers on her struggle as a woman in a society where men rule and try to dominate women. She discovers that intelligence and beauty can become a threat. The book is artfully and poetically written. The breath-taking proses drip from its pages.

The story begins with her life as a young girl living in India and Thailand, where Zeema feels like an outcast. She’s overweight and her classmates taunt her.She lives a privildege life as the daugher of a UN ambassator but still struggles to fit in. By her teenage years, she decides to change her life and become beautiful.  She soon evolves into a “beautiful” young woman after becoming anorexic. Men desire her and she becomes the envy of many girls in her class. As she grows she soon discovers being beautiful also comes with a price. Zaman’s writes about her struggle with anorexia and challenging relationships that shape who she is and how she finally finds herself.

This book isn’t YA and I only mention that because most of my reviews are young adult fiction. I really loved this book. Once you open its pages you’ll find yourself falling in love with it too.

Teen Book Review- A Place For Wolves by Kosovo Jackson

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I can’t think of a better way to start off 2019 reading journey than with  A Place for Wolves by Kosovo Jackson. It’s my first YA read of 2019. The book centers on the life of to teens, James Mills, an African-American teen and his boyfriend Tomas Sousas who are staying with their families in Kosovo. James and Tomas’s parents are humanitarians who are working in Kosovo with USAID. During his stay in Kosovo, James writes several letters to his sister, telling her about his life Kosovo, the last place on earth he wanted to be!  Soon his letters tell her about his budding romance with Tomas, a Brazilian boy he met and falls in love with.  

After spending several months in Kosovo James and Tomas find themselves trapped in Kosovo during the outbreak of a violence civil wars where they becomes targets of a sinister plot to overthrow the government. The two boys end up running for their lives and relying on each other in order to survive. 

It’s not just an excellent debut novel, but a must read for 2019 and beyond! This novel has lots of action, suspense, and balanced with romance.  You’re going to love it! Go out and grab this book today!!

#TA #LGBTQ #OWN #POV

Teen Writing Competition- SPJ / JEA High School Essay Contest

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This essay contest, sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Journalism Education Association, invites students to consider the importance of independent media.  9th–12th grades are eligible. 

Students submit 300–500 word essays based on this prompt What is the role and importance of the Fourth Estate in American society?

Prize: $1000

Deadline: February 22, 2019

Good luck!

Annual Signet Writing Competition

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Penguin Random House offers an essay writing competition every year  This year’s book is Hickleberry Finn by Mark Twain. 

The deadline is April but why not get an early start? The submissions window opened in July so why not get a heard start? Below are the topics for this years competition. Select one topic.

Topics

Select one of the following five topics:

  1. Huck and Jim are the novel’s protagonists, but can they also be called heroes? What qualities do they possess that make them such? How do they prove themselves through their actions?
  2. The dialect used in the book, particularly the racial slurs, has long been controversial. How does the use of dialect add to or take away from the book as a work of literature? Give examples.
  3. How does Huck’s attitude toward Jim change over the course of the novel? Discuss some incidents that illustrate the evolution of their relationship.
  4. Huck begins with enormous disadvantages. He is orphaned and abused, often homeless, and poorly educated. What personality traits, skills, and talents help him to rise above his circumstances?
  5. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been banned from a number of schools across the nation. Critics cite the immoral behavior of the characters and racism as reasons to keep the book away from students. What are your reactions to these criticisms? What arguments can you give against banning the book?

Go to https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/signet-essay-contest/ for more information.

Deadline: April 15, 2019.

Prize: 5 Winners will win $1000 for college

Book Review – Voices of Jordan by Rana F. Sweis

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I recently read the Voices of Jordan by Rana F. Swiss after meeting her at her book signing. Sweis takes you on a trip to Jordan and introduces you to its’ people. People we often never learn much about but often wonder about.

One thing I love about this book is Sweis’s vivid description of the country and the lives of the people. Her visualization of the area brings you to Jordan and invites you to learn the cultural traditions, family life, and politics of the region.  She introduces you to what Jordan’s struggle with, dream of, and what they are willing to sacrifice for their dreams.

The book consists of interviews of ten individuals living in Jordan: Omar a political cartoonist; Wafa, a female politician, Farhan, an imprisoned jihadist; Amal, a Syrian refugee; Sultan, a nomad who works for the Jordan Armed Forces, Shirene, a social media influencer and “fashionista; and a cast of other intriguing characters who share their thoughts on politics, family, and survival.

This book should be on everyone’s book list for 2019. I loved this book and you will too.