Sunday, November 15, 2015

Youth Need Values and Dreams

Anthropologist Scott Atran is one of the leading researchers on the question of why people turn toward violent extremism. He's spent a great deal of his career interviewing members of radical movements all over the globe, most recently Islamic State (also known as ISIS) members in Kirkuk, Iraq, and aspiring members in Barcelona and Paris. He recently addressed the United Nations Security Council on how to counter ISIS's disturbingly potent appeal to some people, and he provided some key insights, some of them a bit counterintuitive. Atran's entire address is worth watching.  It's titled, Youth Need Values and Dreams, Click here.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Two Winters in a Tipi

Mark Warren is a naturalist, composer, novelist, and director of Medicine Bow, a “primitive school of earthlore.” In the summer of 1989, a streak of lightning scorched his house and everything inside, so he moved into a tipi. He tells his story in Two Winters in a Tipi.  I loved this book and it's perfect for intermediate to advanced readers.  If you have a reluctant reader, this is a great read-aloud book.  It's a story of one man's search for the soul of the forest.  Mark is an amazing storyteller and he expertly weaves an intimate yarn that you will not be able to put down.  You'll love his dog, Elly.

Mark is a very wise man and has lived an admirable, adventurous, and rich life close to nature.  We can all learn a lot from him as to how we too can reconnect with ourselves by reconnecting to the natural rhythms of the wilderness.  The world needs more men and male teachers like Mr. Warren.  If I lived anywhere close to North Georgia, I would attend as many of his workshops as possible.

Click here to visit Mark's website.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Paper Tigers Film

Paper Tigers is an intimate look into the lives of selected students at Lincoln High School, an alternative school that specializes in educating traumatized youth. Set amidst the rural community of Walla Walla, WA, the film intimately examines the inspiring promise of Trauma Informed Communities - a movement that is showing great promise in healing youth struggling with the dark legacy of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES).

Exposure to chronic and adverse stress (and the altered brain function that results) leaves a child in a fruitless search for comfort and escape from a brain and body that is permanently stuck in flight or fight. That comfort comes in the form of drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, sex, food and more.

Every year, millions of unloved and traumatized youth enter adulthood with damaged brains and hearts. They are highly predisposed to die from self-destructive behaviors, and highly likely to continue the cycle of abuse. Even those who do not engage in self destructive behaviors are highly predisposed to get cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and immune disorders.

The impact of unloved and traumatized children on society is profound and widespread. 85% of inmates were traumatized as youth. 27% of hospital visits can be traced to causes linked to childhood trauma. Hurt kids grow up to hurt people. The generational cycles of trauma and abuse are as stubborn as they are tragic.

But there is hope.

There are doctors, researchers, teachers, nurses, social workers and law enforcement officers that are turning the tide against the cycle of trauma and abuse. A movement is rising, one that sees aberrant behavior in children as a symptom rather than a moral failing. This movement asks not what is wrong with our youth, but rather what has happened to them. The paradigm is shifting from punishment and blame to a deeper commitment to understanding and healing the underlying causes of aberrant behavior. With this shifting paradigm comes the promise of great improvements in many of the society’s costly ills: less crime, less illness, less teen pregnancy, abuse, rape, divorce.

Simply put, it is cheaper to heal than to punish. Paper Tigers takes a look at what is possible.

Click here to watch trailer and learn more.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Dark Eagles

The Dark Eagles is an action adventure series that has become very popular with boys ages 10-14 and in particular to those who don't necessarily love to read.  So far there are two primary books in this series.

First Flight (Book 1) - Kief loves exploring the rugged mountains on his horse, Natch, with his best friend Tarc. But when he receives a mysterious map on his birthday, left behind for him by his dead grandfather, Kief is thrown into an adventure beyond even his imagination. Leaving home to pursue his childhood dream of attending the merchant academy on the coast, extraordinary events unfold propelling Kief, along with his friends and his map, toward the same perilous destiny.

Wells in Desolation (Book 2) - With his faithful friends and mystical stone, Kief sets out on his greatest adventure yet to seek passage across the dangerous seas in search of the dreaded Wells in Desolation. But there is more to fear than enemy soldiers and the pillaging rogues of the sea as others seek the power of the stone. Kief encounters new friends that help him along his journey and reveal secrets about his past and destiny. But a shocking truth threatens to doom the fate of The Dark Eagles.

These very cool books are by David Smith.  David says he set off to write an epic adventure of a boy and his horse and created a story of freedom, adventure, love, courage and sacrifice. 

To learn more about this epic adventure and David Smith, click here.

Friday, September 18, 2015

150th Anniversary at Andersonville National Historic Site

September 2015 marks the conclusion of the 150th anniversary at Andersonville National Historic Site. The entire month of September is dedicated to highlighting the history of the infamous Civil War prison, the plight of all prisoners of war, the end of the Civil War, and what happened after the surrender at Appomattox. There are many questions we hope to explore this month. How does a soldier go from war to peace? How does a prisoner go from captivity to freedom? How does a nation reunite after such immense division?

This month holds a great deal of meaning not only in Civil War history, but for all American Prisoners of War. The third Friday in September is officially National POW/MIA Recognition Day. With that in mind, Andersonville National Historic Site is hosting a three-day special event weekend. This weekend will mix Civil War history, POW veterans groups, active duty military, and civilians to explore the stories of survival and sacrifice by United States service members during the Civil War and today.

WHY 13,000?

During the fourteen months of operation, just over 12,900 United States soldiers perished due to the diseases, hunger and wounds that they received on the battlefield and while in prison at Andersonville. Over that time, their bodies were placed in long trenches for burial. Those trenches are the foundation of Andersonville National Cemetery. The national cemetery holds not only the remains of those original prisoners of war, but also Union soldiers killed across Georgia in those final years of war. The number 13,000 acknowledges that greater whole. Today, the national cemetery has over 20,000 interments.

Click here to learn more about Brothers of War and Andersonville.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What Your Kids (and You) Should Read This Summer, by Your Favorite Authors

Hello Everyone,

I hope that your summer is off to a great start.  I was interviewed by ParentMap in Seattle and want to share the article with you titled,  What Your Kids (and You) Should Read This Summer, by Your Favorite Authors.  Click here for the list.  15 Puget Sound literary luminaries developed a great summer book list.

Have a safe summer,


Sunday, April 26, 2015

High Wind to Idaho

High Wind to Idaho is a middle-grade historical airship adventure set during the America's first UFO scare of 1896, and foretells the later Japanese balloon bombs of W.W.II. Yoshi, a young Japanese boy steals a ride on a secret balloon and ends up in the USA, as the nation worries about reported Martian landings and mysterious airship sightings.

He lands on an Idaho farm where another boy, Billy, and his mother, hide Yoshi from a zealous
sheriff and vengeful neighbors. Yoshi must get back to Japan before the secret of this new balloon gets out and his uncle's reputation is destroyed. Yoshi and Billy learn to adapt to each others culture as Yoshi is driven to return and apologize to his uncle, or face the humiliation of betraying his ancient samurai family honor.

They hatch a plan to hoodwink the sheriff and leave town on a rail journey that exposes Yoshi to oriental hate and bigotry as Billy helps protect him. Once in San Francisco they are accosted by a Japanese Army Officer bent on returning Yoshi to Japan and chased by a female Pinkerton detective determined to capture Yoshi and hand him over to the new US Army Intelligence Service.
The novel was inspired by the Great Texas Airship Mystery of 1897 that occurred in nearby Aurora, Texas.

This cool adventure story is by Rod Barclay.  Rod is a retired Engineer and Industrial Designer who has studied aeronautical design and balloon developments of the 19th Century. To learn more about Rod and his books, click here.