October 31, 2011

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

In honor of Halloween I thought I'd write about Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.  The story is impressively and creepily paired with aged photographs of a levitating girl, a human-faced dog, a contortionist, and many more.  As a kid, Jacob has been regaled with his grandfather's unbelievable stories of Miss Peregrine and his peculiar friends on some distant island.  Years later, after a strange phone call from his grandfather, Jacob goes to his house to find his grandfather out back in the forest, bleeding and dying.  Jacob tries to make sense of his grandfathers last words but he is frightened by a mysterious creature nearby in the woods.  Now Jacob, with his grandfather's last words, travels to a small Welsh island to try and find out more about his grandfather's life.  What he ends up finding can't possibly be true but he starts believing all his grandfather's peculiar stories. 

October 12, 2011

Jennifer S. Holland’s Unlikely Friendships

Anyone who loves animals and heartwarming stories will love this book.  Holland has collected 47 unique tales of inter-species friendships in the animal kingdom.  Awwww-inducing photographs accompany each unlikely pairing along with stories of the circumstances behind each relationship.  It is touching to read about the bonds that can be formed between species and to believe that animals can show compassion, loneliness, grief, and dare I say love with another.  

October 10, 2011

The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch

And now back to a new young adult novel...

Born to a free-spirited mother on a California communal farm, Alex Lee has dreadlocks, a bit of extra weight, and a great deal of knowledge regarding plants and herbs.  When her mother dies in a tragic car accident, an unfamiliar and wealthy grandmother comes to move Alex to Savannah, Georgia.  After only days in the “grandma-mansion” Alex learns she was born into an exclusive social club, the Magnolia League.  Forced to spend time with the two other teenage girls in the League, Alex finds herself being sucked into the high-society world.  Now, as her new friends, the girls take on the challenge of altering Alex’s look to prepare her for the upcoming debutante ball.  Through this transformation Alex starts to understand the mysteries behind the Magnolia League’s beauty and power.  More importantly she learns the reason why none of these women ever leave Savannah.  Expect sequels out of this one. 

October 3, 2011

Global Girlfriends by Stacey Edgar

Consider this statistic for a moment: there are 1.3 billion people in the world living on $1 a day and 70% of those people are women. In 2003, social worker Stacey Edgar felt a universal need to help these women and jumpstarted Global Girlfriend, a market for women worldwide to fairly trade their handmade goods.  With a $2,000 tax return and the determination to help impoverished women, Edgar has grown a multimillion dollar enterprise.  Global Girlfriend details Edgar’s steps along the way.  The many stories and names you’ll read are just the tip of the iceberg when you realize all the hard work that has been put into each and every trade, product, and sale.  Edgar has built her business on three core values: the products must be made by women, fairly traded, and eco-friendly. 

It is inspiring to see how women can help change the lives of other women just by changing the way they shop.  Whether you want to buy eco-friendly products or help women across the world, or both, you should check out the website for Global Girlfriend.  By giving women the opportunity and outlet to work and create their products, Edgar (and all of us) can increase a woman’s income and economic security.  This translates to better access to basic needs, opportunities in education for their children, better economic stability for their community, and oftentimes protection against sex-trafficking.   

Pretty amazing.

Also check out GreaterGood, where you can click to give.