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What is sexual harassment?

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"What is sexual harassment?" my granddaughter asked after listening to the news last week. It's a good question, and one that all kids should be asking. Basically, sexual harassment is another form of bullying. Only with sexual harassment the comments, gestures, suggestions, threats or unwanted physical contact is aimed at your body parts, your appearance, of your sexuality. It can occur at school, after school, on your job, or even at your home, and it is NOT just an adult problem.  Both boys and girls can be victims. In fact, some experts believe that 1 out of every 7 boys and 1 out of every 4 girls will become victims. Why so many? One of the answers is social media. Kids as young as 5 years old are now carrying smartphones, and smartphones offer an easy and efficient way to intimidate, bully, and sexually harass other kids.   Kids with smartphones and computers can now receive unwanted texts, emails, and even pictures, and since some texts now disappear shortly afte…

Book Month Continues: The Vargrom Series

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Charles Scribner, Jr. said, "Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind. It forces you to stretch your own." For me that means stretching your mind into genres you might not have considered before. For a long time, I was read only historical fiction, but then an author, Kevin Hopson, invited me to read his fantasy series and I was hooked. I hope you have the same experience. Enjoy!
Note: If you read The Fire King, you met the dwarf warrior, Modrad. I came to love the way he looked at life and the strength he commanded in the face of danger. But, I wanted to know what made Modrad the warrior that he was, and I found it in Vargrom: Modrad's Exile. You will not be disappointed.

Vargrom: Modrad's Exile  Facing exile from everything he has come to know, Modrad must journey back to his home city of Vargrom. The way is not easy, but there are other things at play and the Dwarf Council may have other plans in store for the young warrior.  Available at Amaz…

A Fantasy Read for Teens

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EEK! I didn't realize I ad been gone so long. But I am back with a series of books for the fantasy reader in you. It's from one of my favorite fantasy authors, Kevin Hopson, and it's all part of the Vargrom series. The Fire King is the first book, and here's a hint--there be dragons. 

The planet Oabrora faces a perpetual winter after a human mage, Vico, causes all the volcanoes in the dragons' homeworld to erupt. Three dragon siblings survive the blast and set out on a journey to bring the Vico to justice. But there is a far worse enemy on the horizon. You can get your copy as an ebook or in print at Amazon
P.S. I loved this book. The personalities of the three dragons combined with an adventure that could end both them and the world around them kept me turning page after page.

Kids: Could you have a future in robotics?

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Have you ever wished that there was a robot to make your bed, feed the dog, do your homework? If you have, you are not alone. In fact, your mom and dad have probably thought about the same thing once or twice. The difference, however, between you and your parents is that you have the opportunity to turn your wish into a reality through a career in robotics. 
Robotics is the technology that creates, designs, constructs, and programs mechanical devices that can perform tasks or jobs in a set environment. It combines mechanics, science, engineering, and computers. But the most important aspect of robotics is creativity. That translates into imagination. Your imagination!
Today, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different robots. Some stack shelves, paint cars, manufacture parts, defuse bombs, do people's taxes, perform surgeries, explore the galaxy, and even mix your frozen yogurt. They can be stationary or movable. They can be so small you can only see them with a microscope…

Kids: How to Keep School Friends During the Summer.

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With summer vacation right around the corner, will the friendships you have made at school stay or will they disappear when the last school bell rings? One of my favorite authors, Dr. Seuss, often talked about the value of friendship and the need to keep friends. He said, "To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world." So how do you keep those friends? 

When summer comes, life gets busy. There are soccer games, baseball games, vacations, swim practice, and hundreds of other activities that take time. There is also the probability that either mom or dad, or both, still have to work, and your summer time is spent with grandparents, aunts, or the dreaded babysitter. Or maybe, you've been enrolled in a week long or month long summer camp. So with all of that going on, is it possible to stay in touch with those valued school friends?  The short answer is YES, but even short answers need a little motivation and lots of effort. Here is the best way…

Kids: Be The Courageous You!

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When you see a picture of a knight fighting a dragon do you think, "Now that's courage?"Depending on the circumstances, you may be right. But what is courage really? And, do you have to be a knight in shinning armor before you can be courageous? The answer is "NO!"  Courage is the ability to do something even though it scares you. It's being bold, brave, and determined to face a situation that might make your knees shake and your palms sweat. Courage is that part of your mind and heart that says, "I have to do this," and it takes all forms. I see kids just like you show their courage every day. There are kids who stand up for a friend when another kid tries to be the bully. There are kids who know when to back down from a fight. There are kids who know words cannot hurt. There are kids who raise their hand in class even though the thought of answering in front of their peers makes their stomach queasy. There are kids who walk up to the new kid an…

Knowledge is Power Series: Refugee or Immigrant?

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With all of the discussion on immigration, the one term that needs to be clarified is "refugee". What does it mean to be a refugee? What circumstances occur that create refugees? And, where do refugees go? First, let's define the term. A refugee is a person who is so afraid to stay in his/her country that he/she is forced to leave.  This fear can be caused by war, religious persecution, the threat of death,  a natural disaster like a flood or a volcanic eruption, or even starvation. In other words, the situation is so bad in the person's home country that he/she is no longer safe to live there. When that occurs, the person or persons flee to another country often with little more than the clothing they are wearing.  As you have probably seen on television or heard on the news, thousands of people have fled Syria in the last few years because of war. These people have lost their homes, family members, everything they own, and are afraid they will lose their lives or …