Your reading for December – from Susan Keefe

The Liberal Record: Everything You Need to Know

by Marcelo Brazzi
“This book explores the history and differences between political parties,” the author Marcelo Brazzi summarises in his prologue. Then this “card-carrying independent,” a well-travelled man, who holds a master’s degree in systems engineering, and who has accomplished so much in his careers as a spacecraft engineer on NASA’s Apollo program, and a computer science instructor at California State University, goes on to share with his readers a wealth of well researched information, which, when studied, enables them to come to a cognizant conclusion.

To understand the two major parties better, Marcelo Brazzi takes his reader back through history, reflecting on their past performances. These studies allow us to understand fully how the parties have evolved throughout the years, and examines their instigation, and implementation of various important political decisions which have been made, on subjects such as the vote for women, slavery, gun laws and workers’ rights.

It was also very interesting to see how the various forms of media, with politics, like other things, have used their ability and power to influence the public. The media have the ability to manipulate the facts either way, and in return affect the bias, resulting in a remarkable influence on peoples decisions on which way to vote in an election, and an impact on the economy.

Other important issues which are considered are the environmental impacts caused by our actions, and the increase in population growth, both of which are hot topics at the moment. These two subjects which are intertwined, are having an incredible influence on the future of our planet, and the political decisions we make today will affect the health not only of our planet, but everyone on it. It is vitally important to take ownership of the problems we have caused, and the duty of those in power to ensure that changes are made not only for our generation, but for those to come, and indeed for this planets long-term survival.

In summary, this book offers the reader a comprehensive insight into the two major parties. The author explains clearly, throughout the book, and also in the Appendix, in various ways such as graphs, charts, tables, quotes, and references, how these parties have evolved and work. Highly recommended for readers who have a sincere interest in politics.

Dynomike: Pay It Forward: (Children’s Book on Being Kind) 

by Frankie B. Rabbit
The message Dynomike is spreading in this bright and engaging children’s book is that it’s good to help others, not for reward, just to be a friend to someone in need.

When Dynomike goes to get some of his favourite strawberry pickles he is disappointed that the shop keeper Robyn has run out. However, being nice, Dynomike doesn’t let this setback ruin his day, instead, when he spies his friend Spunky having trouble, quick as a flash he’s to his aid. What does he want in return? Nothing! “Just pay it forward. Help someone today,” is his reply.

Well Spunky follows Dynomike’s advice and throughout the day the help is paid forward. All the small gestures mean a lot to the recipients, and just take a little time and consideration. What’s more, at the end of the book the young reader discovers that sometimes, small random acts of kindness can reap wonderful rewards!

My granddaughter loved me reading this colourful book to her, she adores Dynomike and all his friends, so of course, we download each book as soon as it is released.

As a mother and grandmother it is nice to have found a series of children’s books which are suitable for young children, and are also colourful and engaging for them. Most importantly, I can always be assured that each one will cleverly lead her train of thought towards being a nicer person as she grows up, and that it will encourage her to have compassion, and understanding, to others.

Gunfight in Abilene 

by Joe Corso
Joe Corso has written many great books and this new western which continues the adventures of The Calico Kid, now Sheriff Cal Rhymes of Cheyenne, is a must read for all wild west fans.

The book opens with a solemn notification in the Cheyenne Leader that a ranch has been plundered and the pregnant wife of the owner attacked and killed. The owner is none other than Cal, called away on business he is in Laramie, however as soon as he receives the editor’s telegraph he heads home – one thought in his head, kill the men who killed his wife and stole his happiness.

Hardly glancing at the trail riders he passes on his way to Cheyenne, he is soon to learn that they were in fact the murderers. Leaving Cheyenne with his deputy and friend Spud it’s not long however before they are hot on their trail and Cal has the opportunity to start gaining his revenge, discovering not only the names and descriptions of the culprits but also their destination, Abilene. But why Abilene?

The trail travellers and residents of the towns they pass through recognise The Calico Kid, and uneasily he faces the twin evils of being revered as a peacekeeper, but also being the target of every gunslinger, finding himself challenged to duels by those who cannot resist the chance that they might win.

As their journey progresses they join a family wagon through Indian territory their beautiful daughter Loretta is smitten with him, however, revenge is paramount in Cal’s mind, nothing can distract him from his mission…

Why Abilene? Well these men are not just killers, they have other cards at play and it is the task of Cal, Spud, the sheriff of Abilene – Wild Bill Hickock, Jesse James, and their followers to ensure that the law is upheld and the guilty brought to justice – but what a challenge!

This story has it all, gunfights, outlaws, Indians, settlers and even romance, and with plenty of excitement throughout I am sure that this story will enthral all Wild West fans.

Lights Out (Super Speed Sam Book 6)

by Monty J. McClaine
Lights Out (Super Speed Sam) (Volume 6)In this special Super Speed Sam book mom is cooking the dinner and suddenly there’s a flash of lightning and the kitchen light goes out, the bulb has gone! Being a mom she tries to act cool so her children, little princess Molly, and her older brother Jack are not scared. Dad’s at work so she decides to change the bulb, even though she’s scared of electricity and heights!

Jack gets his torch and she climbs up, onto the kitchen table to change the bulb…

What happens next brings tears of worry to the eyes of Molly and Jack, however someone else is in the kitchen, and watching the proceedings, their Basset Hound Sam. Sam has secret abilities which he earnt one very special Christmas eve, but that’s another story, which fans like us of Super Speed Sam can read in Santa’s Rescue Dog (Super Speed Sam Book5).

Quickly sizing up the problem, and what he can do to help, Sam accesses which abilities he will need and in the twinkle of an eye he changes. In super speed mode he uses these abilities, then returning to his normal self, without the children even noticing. Then in his very special way indicates to his young master Jack what he must do next.

What follows are very important messages to children, about how to act, what to do in the case of an emergency, and also a little tip about safety.

My granddaughter and I love these books, we read one each time she visits. She loves them because they are brightly illustrated and we love dogs, and I love the messages the author manages to weave into the story, and the bond which Jack and Sam share, although some would say they are partners in crime.

I highly recommend this book to all children who love animals, I am sure, that like us they will enjoy this, and the other Super Speed Sam adventures in this series.
I Believe: It Is Ok to Be Afraid and Talk About My Fears, Just Like Sparky, the Amazing Dog.
by Suzanne Mondoux
I Believe: It Is Ok to Be Afraid and Talk About My Fears, Just Like Sparky, the Amazing Dog.In this inspirational story two horses, Carlo and Teddy, are yet again on their adventures when they hear whimpering. Being inquisitive they decide to investigate, and discover a little black dog, hiding, head in paws.

The little dog is scared, and so being caring souls they suggest that he should come with them so he is not alone and afraid anymore. Eagerly he joins them on their journey and is happy when they suggest the name Sparky for him.

Teddy explains to Sparky that although he is scared, he has in fact already taken his first brave step by lifting his head from his paws and talking to them. Teddy believes that he knows just the place where Sparky will be at home, loved and encouraged to overcome his fears by the children and animals who live there.

After hearing about this amazing place Sparky is keen to go there, and when they arrive Sparky is immediately made to feel safe, at home and loved by everyone there.

In this ‘I Believe’ book, through interactive drawing and positive affirmations children discover that although facing their fears is scary at first, if they can take the step to bravely talk them over, they will be able to overcome them.
At the special place Sparky is invited to, and in the book, the author invites her readers to write for 30 days about the fears they have, and things which they can do to overcome them, and then also each day they are encouraged to think what they can do to help animals.

The author, Suzanne Mondoux is an explorer, environmental professional and author, and her love for animals and her dedication to being a voice for them shines through in this wonderful series of incredibly motivational children’s books.

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