How an environmental education program is changing a Peruvian community

The community of Huari, Peru is largely made up of farmers, whose lives revolve around the natural environment. The community also relies on the environment for tourism, making their livelihoods doubly dependent on forces both within and beyond their control.

In an effort to care for and protect the environment it so heavily relies on, the municipality of Huari recently created a new position, Director of Environmental Initiatives. It was filled by former U.S. Peace Corps volunteer, Carlos García.

“The goal of my job,” Carlos says, “is to help a community that is heavily dependent on its environment but don’t understand what or why things are happening around them. One of the projects I have launched in my community is a free education program by way of environmental videos and lectures, where I coordinate the screening of science documentaries.”picture1

Each week there is a guest lecturer speaking speaking in conjunction with the videos, explaining how the subject is important to Huari and to Peru. The line-up of speakers includes scientists from the Smithsonian Museum, NASA, Hudson Riverkeeper, RUNA Foundation, NRDC, Conservation International, National Cave and Karst Research Institute, and past TEDTalk speakers.

“The programs are exciting for Huarinos. For some, it’s a family affair and for others it’s a place to meet up with friends,” says Garcia. “The audience is varied and we have kids from three-years-old to adults in their 70s. One of my main goals in creating this program was to peak people’s interests in the environment and have people start asking questions.”

A major component of the initiative is to help set an example of female leadership in science. “I specifically wanted to reach out to women leaders in science to speak at our series,” Carlos says. He and the community are reaching out to women and girls who have been limited in their science education due to the emphasis of traditional gender roles.

“I wanted to let the women and girls of Huari know that their end goal could be more than being wife or being in traditional ‘women jobs’. They could study sciences and math as well,” Carlos explains. “One of the most rewarding moments in my career and life was last week when a university student came up to me after the video lecture and told me that she realized she could understand ‘tough’ scientific concepts that were explained in the videos and by the lecturers, and it made her decide to change her studies from tourism to environmental engineering. Something that she was always told was a ‘man’s job’ and that she would never understand.”

He added: “By simply showing some videos and hearng amazing professionals talk, we’ve now changed this girl’s future, hopefully for the better. If during my time on this earth I can change just one person’s life for the better, I know I will have left this world a better place than when I came into it. That’s my ultimate goal.”

picCarlos, in fact, has a led a life dedicated to leaving the world a better place. Before serving in the Peace Corps, he worked in New York City for a personal injury law firm, working exclusively with 9/11 victims. He was the litigation science adviser, combining his desire to help others with his love for science.

“The very first time I worked in a science capacity was at the age of 13 when I was awarded an internship at the American Museum of Natural History, Aeronautic and Space division,” he recalls.

Soon after that, in high school, Carlos did humanitarian work in Costa Rica helping locals with solid waste management issues. It was after high school, though, that he realized a deep passion for humanitarian work.

“I would say the biggest life-changing experience I had when I was younger was in between high school and college, when I decided to go to Africa to work,” he said. “I had already traveled all around Europe and I wanted to go somewhere I had never been and help people who really needed it. So, by myself, I lived and worked with locals in Uganda for two months at orphanages and schools in slums, and I did the same in Kenya for three months. I repeatedly got sick and got a bad case of malaria, but it was worth it. Seeing that I could actually make a change had a huge impact on me and changed the course of my studies and future work.”

During his college career, Carlos worked in Barcelona, Spain at a renewable energy consultation firm and the next summer he worked at an environmental NGO in Colorado. The next summer and school year he worked at a law firm in Baltimore. After college he moved to New York to work for the Hudson Riverkeeper.

In Huari, Carlos can now focus his passion on helping people and the environment, incorporating his science background. “When I got to Huari, I knew I wanted to promote environmental education in some way, and after thinking about it, I came to the realization that ‘Why couldn’t the people of Huari have the same level of educational exposure as I had?’”

“The population is mainly made up of farmers,” he says. “Most are under-educated but are motivated to learn, as well as be extremely sincere and welcoming.” Their lives are grounded in traditional beliefs that Carlos hopes to bridge with a more expansive knowledge of their environment.

“Traditional beliefs are passed on generation through generation. Too often, they don’t ask questions or research the topic themselves, they take what they are told as fact. One of the most concerning beliefs that I’ve encountered, which helped spur the program, was that ‘paper comes from plastic bottles’ and that we need to use as much plastic as possible to help create more paper. obviously, some of these beliefs can be damaging to the environment, as well as the population in general.”

“Climate change is one of the most evident things happening around the people of Huari,” Carlos says. “They don’t really understand it. They don’t understand why seasons are changing out of pattern, why animals that used to live near Huari aren’t here anymore, and why their crops are not growing as efficiently as they used to. This week Andrea Becerra of the National Resource Defense Council gave a great introductory lecture on the greenhouse effect and the community was astonished. They had no idea that driving cars attributed to climate change. It’s these kinds of concepts that, when the community learns about them, give them the ability to make informed decisions about how they want their and their community’s future to turn out.”

But the videos and lectures are just the tip of the iceberg, Carlos says.

His current workload consists of a native tree reforestation program, the international lecture and video series, an international exchange program for the schools in the area with the aim of creating environmental initiatives, and creating and redoing all of the municipality’s websites.

The reforestation program, Monti-Muru, is the municipality’s first reforestation program. It focuses on planting native tree species and educating the public on the pros of native species versus the cons of non-native species. The community plans to plant 15,000 trees by March of next year.

“I am a huge on the concept of sustainable development so in creating this program I involved as many local ‘players’ as possible,” Carlos says. “SERNANP, the Government of Peru’s national service of natural areas, the local university, and the municipality are all a part of the program. What I would love is to return a few years after I leave and find that the program is still running and is even more effective than when I left it. Ultimately, I want this to be their program, not mine.”



Film Adaptations of Literature–Part Two

As I said in Part One of this list, nothing can replace reading a great book. However, watching a good film adaptation might be the next best thing.

We might find that our “books-to-read” list is getting long or our child’s patience with reading is getting short. Reading is essential to a solid education and to becoming a strong writer, but we can give our young readers (and ourselves) a “break” without losing all the benefits of reading a book.

Basic literary elements such as theme, plot, and character can be addressed by watching a film adaptation of a book. Furthermore, writing projects such as a movie review, summary, or in-depth analysis can easily come out of a movie. These projects will promote a deeper interaction with the film and allow for interesting writing pieces.

With that in mind, here is part two of a list of movies adapted from young adult and children’s books. Make some popcorn, get comfortable on the couch, and enjoy the show.

  1. The Jungle Book (2016): Robbie Collin of The Telegraph deemed this film “a sincere and full-hearted adaptation that returns to Kipling for fresh inspiration.” Based on a collection of stories by English author Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book tells the story of Mowgli, an orphaned human boy. He is guided by his animal guardians as he sets out on a journey of self-discovery while evading the threatening tiger, Shere Khan. Rated PG


  1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005): Based on the Roald Dahl book of the same name, the film tells the story of a young boy who wins a tour through the most magnificent chocolate factory in the world, led by the world’s most unusual candy maker. While some prefer the original with Gene Wilder as Wonka, Tim Burton’s charlie-and-the-chocolate-factory-2-the-kids-of-tim-burton-s-charlie-and-the-chocolate-factory-have-all-grown-up-jpeg-2473482005 remake is said to be slightly more faithful to Dahl’s original story. Why not watch them both? Other popular films based on Roald Dahl’s books are James and the Giant Peach (1996, Rated PG) and BFG (2016, Rated PG). Rated PG


  1. Where the Wild Things Are (2009): Maurice Sendak’s book is a classic story about wherechildhood and the places we go to figure out the world in which we live. When rambunctious and sensitive young Max feels misunderstood, he escapes to an island where he meets mysterious creatures, called the Wild Things. He soon finds that their emotions are as wild as their actions. The Wild Things desire a leader to guide them, just as Max longs for a kingdom to rule. As their leader, Max promises to create a place where everyone will be happy, but he soon discovers that ruling his kingdom is far from easy. Rated PG


  1. How to Train your Dragon (2010): Loosely based on the children’s book series by dragonCressida Cowell, this film is set in a mythical Viking world where a young Viking teenager named Hiccup aims to follow his tribe’s tradition of becoming a dragon slayer. After finally capturing his first dragon, he finds that he no longer wants to kill it and instead befriends it. Rated PG



  1. The Lorax (2012): In an adaptation of the book of the same title, the imaginative world of Dr. Seuss comes to film. Twelve-year-old Ted will do anything to find a real live Truffula Tree in order to impress the girl of his dreams. As he embarks on his journey, he discovers the incredible story of the Lorax, a grumpy but charming creature who speaks for the trees. Rated PG


If you haven’t seen the first half of the list, you can see it here: Film Adaptations of Literature. You can add your own film suggestions in the comments below.

I hope you and your child will find these films both enjoyable and great tools for education.

Tips for traveling in a country where you don’t speak the language

School breaks are a wonderful time to take your children abroad where they can learn about different countries, languages, foods, and sites. And homeschooling allows for an even greater flexibility to travel.

My wife, son, and I had the opportunity to live in South America for two years. This was an experience that I feel was fundamental to our child’srunning view of the world. We have also spent significant time in Mexico. Furthermore, these trips have opened up a variety of writing projects for our son.

However, not knowing the language of a country that you’re visiting is not unusual. Many people love to be in new countries and experience new cultures, and traveling is an invaluable addition to one’s education—but we can’t simply pick up a language in a few weeks or even months. We shouldn’t let these language barriers prevent us from exploring the world around us, though.

So, what should you do when you don’t speak the language of the land? Below are a few tips I came up with while living abroad.

Learn the basics. At least learn how to say hello, please, thank you, excuse me, and goodbye. In Ecuador, for example, you don’t just walk into a store, look around, and leave. You should say “Buenos dias” or “Buenas tardes” (depending on the time of day) when you enter a store. If not, you’re rude. Furthermore, when you leave a small store, it’s important to say, “Gracias,” even if you didn’t buy anything.

As a safety precaution, learn how to say a few distress phrases. Even if you don’t end up needing them, you’ll feel more at ease having words like “help,” “emergency” and “police” in your vocabulary.

I also recommend you learn to ask for bathrooms, food, and drink. These can be important.

Use hand gestures and sounds. Nodding, pointing, and even making movements that represent what you’re saying can be very successful. Of course, gesturing for a bathroom might not be a good idea. So, like I said in number one, learn how to say it.


Bring a notepad. Drawing pictures is a great way to get your point across without having to play Guess-what-I’m-saying-based-on-my-gestures. Also, in Spanish-speaking countries, you could sometimes get away with writing the word in English, first. If you need a hospital, for example, you could communicate by writing the word. When a local sees the word in writing, they’ll know what you need because it’s the same in Spanish. If you say it in English, though, they might not understand you since the pronunciation is different.

Take notes. In that notepad, write down some important words and phrases that you think you might need but haven’t been able to learn. If it’s a short list and you know what’s in it, you’ll be able to find it fast. As a plus, you might learn those important words and phrases just from writing, saying, and repeating them.

Also, in the notepad, you could put the street address where you’re staying. If you get lost or don’t have a ride, you could show a taxi driver the address, with the nearest cross street–even if you don’t know how to pronounce it.

Be patient, stand back and observe. Many questions can be answered without speaking. Before asking, you might see a sign that indicates public bathrooms or a street name that looks familiar.

Use your smartphone. I recommend you use it as you would a pocket dictionary. You can also use a smartphone to translate text in photos, like street signs or menus.

Using a smartphone in some areas might prove to be a bit dangerous, depending on where you’re traveling. In that case, you might consider the old-fashioned method: a paper dictionary.

boatsThen, there’s the ever-frustrating suggestion: Take classes, meet a local, start a conversation. People traveling and living abroad have heard this over and over again. These are great ways to learn the language. However, for those who have tried this approach, you know it’s easier said than done. You don’t just learn it by being in a new country. Learning a new language is hard work and it’s frustrating. But be strong, have patience, learn the essentials, and enjoy the country you’re in.

If you decide you want to learn a new language, you will be taking on a worthy task. You can read more about the benefits of learning a foreign language in an earlier  post: Improve your English Grammar by Learning a Foreign Language.

Improve your English grammar by learning a foreign language

A couple of weeks ago, a high school History teacher told me, “I learned most of my
English grammar by studying Latin.” I can relate to and agree with this through my study of Spanish.latin

I started studying Spanish two decades ago. The first word I learned was from the mother of a friend from Mexico. She spoke no English. One afternoon I went to his house and he wasn’t home. His mother told me something in Spanish and it was clear from the look on my face that I had no idea what she had said. She then continued to repeat “Biblioteca, biblioteca” as she pointed up the hill toward the library. When I arrived at the library, I found my friend and I realized I had learned my first Spanish word.

From that day, I decided to make it a point to learn Spanish. I took Spanish through high school and college. I studied Spanish in Guatemala for three months, working one-on-one with a Guatemalan teacher, five days a week, eight hours a day.


After Guatemala, I volunteered at a maternity home where many of the clients were Spanish speakers. I tutored students in Spanish at a college. Over morning coffee, I spoke Spanish with a friend of Puerto Rican descent. Then, throughout my English graduate studies, I sat-in on as many Spanish college courses as I could.

I never planned to be a Spanish teacher or permanently live in a Spanish-speaking country. I wanted to learn a new language because I was aware of the well-known benefits of doing so: a greater ability to complete analytical tasks, an worldbooksresizeintroduction to a new culture, a competitive edge in the job market, and so on.

When I completed my MA in English, my family and I moved to Ecuador. There I took Spanish classes, but most of my time was dedicated to teaching English. As a new teacher in a classroom, I found that teaching the English language was not much different than learning the Spanish language. I discovered that all my years of studying Spanish helped me to better understand the English language.

Anne Merritt points out in “Why learn a foreign language? Benefits of bilingualism” that learning a foreign language draws our focus to the mechanics of language: grammar, conjugations, idioms, and sentence structure. Merritt says, “This makes you more aware of language, and the ways it can be structured and manipulated. These skills can make you a more effective communicator and a sharper editor and writer.”

If we want a better hold of English and we want to improve our reading and writing skills, we should remember the words of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.”


Tips From a Linguist: How to be a better writer

Writing well can be challenging, and the work is sometimes intimidating. In an effort to make the process easier for all of us, Eric Barker of Time reached out to Steven Pinker to talk about the rules and science behind good writing.

vintage-1170657_960_720Pinker offers tips for becoming a better writer. He is a cognitive scientist and linguist at Harvard, and he was recently ranked as one of the top 100 most eminent psychologists of the modern era.

His latest book is The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century. Below are six tips from the Harvard linguist to make you a better writer.

  1. Be visual—make your reader see

“We are primates, with a third of our brains dedicated to vision, and large swaths devoted to touch, hearing, motion, and space. For us to go from ‘I think I understand’ to ‘I understand ,’ we need to see the sights and feel the motions. Many experiments have shown that readers understand and remember material far better when it is expressed in concrete language that allows them to form visual images.”

  1. Don’t assume everyone knows what you know

“…another bit of cognitive science that is highly relevant is a phenomenon called ‘the curse of knowledge.’ Namely, the inability that we all have in imagining what it’s like not to know something that we do know. And that has been studied in various guises in the psychological literature. People assume that the words that they know are common knowledge. That the facts that they know are universally known… the writer doesn’t stop to think what the reader doesn’t know…Show a draft to some people who are similar to our intended audience and find out whether they can follow it. This sounds banal but is in fact profound. Social psychologists have found that we are overconfident, sometimes to the point of delusion, about our ability to infer what other people think, even the people who are closest to us.”

  1. Don’t bury the lead—tell the reader what your point is

“Readers always have to fill in the background, read between the lines, connect the dots. And that means that they’re applying their background knowledge to understanding the text in question. If they don’t know which background knowledge to apply, any passage of writing will be so sketchy and elliptical, that it’ll be incomprehensible. And that’s why journalists say, ‘Don’t bury the lead.’ Basically, a writer has to make it clear to the reader what the topic of the passage is and what the point of the passage is. That is, the writer has to have something to talk about and the writer has to have something to say… The exact place in which the point of a text is displayed is less important than the imperative to divulge it somewhere not too far from the beginning.”

  1. You don’t always have to play by the rules, but you should try

“That’s right: when it comes to correct English, there’s no one in charge; the lunatics are running the asylum. The editors of a dictionary read a lot, keeping their eyes open for new words and senses that are used by many writers in many contexts, and the editors add or change the definitions accordingly…There is no tribunal. There’s no rules committee when it comes to English. It’s not like the rules of Major League Baseball which are exactly what the rules committee stipulates them to be. That would just never work with language. There are hundreds of millions of English speakers and they are constantly adding new terms to the language. They’re constantly changing shades of meaning.”

  1. Read, and read a lot!

“I don’t think you could become a good writer unless you spend a lot of time immersed in text allowing you to soak up thousands of idioms and constructions and figures of speech and interesting words, to develop a sense of writing at its best. Becoming a writer requires savoring and reverse-engineering examples of good prose, giving you something to aspire to and allowing you to become sensitive to the hundreds of things that go into a good sentence that couldn’t possibly be spelled out one by one.”

  1. Revise

“Much advice on good writing is really advice on revising. Because very few people are smart enough to be able to lay down some semblance of an argument and to express it in clear prose at the same time. Most writers require two passes to accomplish that, and after they’ve got the ideas down, now it’s time to refine and polish. Because the order in which ideas occur to a writer is seldom the same as the order that are best digested by a reader. And often, good writing requires a revising and rearranging the order of what you introduce so that the reader can easily follow it.”

Writing Ideas

Writing2Finding a topic isn’t always easy. There are many strategies for coming up with ideas based on a particular subject—brainstorming, freewriting, and mapping are all great ways to think of ideas for an essay.

Brainstorming involves listing everything that comes to mind when you think about your topic: impressions, emotions, reactions, and facts. Freewriting is when you write nonstop for a specific period of time, letting your mind run free. Mapping (or clustering) is a more visual way to discover ideas and relationships.

But where do you start? Sure, a topic can be “anything.” The world of “anything” can be an overwhelming abyss, though.

To get you started, Michael Gonchar has put together some terrific prompts. Through the Learning Network, you can access “301 Prompts for Argumentative Writing” and “500 Prompts for Narrative or Personal Writing.”

Each prompt is a question. The question can be used as a starting point for brainstorming, freewriting, or mapping. You can use your answer to develop more specific ideas for writing.

So, when you are told to pick your own topic or you are just looking for some ideas for your writing, you can scan these thorough lists for some inspiration. Lux Writing Center can also help you come up with writing projects and provide individualized instruction.

Film Adaptations of Literature

Nothing can replace reading a great book. But watching a good film adaptation might be the next best thing.

It’s also a great way to write about literary elements such as theme, plot, and character without reading a book. When crunched for time—or when your “books-to-read” list has grown too long—watching a movie can provide a fabulous source for writing and critical thinking. Just as we write literary analysis, we can write film analysis.

However, watching a film adaptation can either be a great experience or a letdown. How many times have you heard or said “The book was better”?  To help you choose a film for you or your child to watch, here are list of great movies adapted from young adult and children’s books.

  1. Harry Potter series (2001-2011): These eight movies are HPbased on the seven-book series written by J.K. Rowling. The movies follow the life of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, who are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story arc concerns Harry’s struggle against Lord Voldemort, the Dark wizard who intends to become immortal, overthrow the Ministry of Magic, subjugate non-magic people, and destroy anyone who stands in his way. Just like the books, the movies increase in complexity as the characters grow up. Rated PG to PG-13


  1. The Wizard of Oz (1939): This musical comedy-drama fantasy film is based on L. wizard of ozFrank Baum’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Dorothy, along with her dog Toto, is swept away in a tornado and taken to a magical land where she embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home. Along the way she meets some memorable friends and foes. Notable for its use of fantasy storytelling, musical score, and unusual characters, it has become an icon of American popular culture. Not Rated


  1. Charlotte’s Web (2006): Based on the popular children’s novel by E.B. White, Webfilm tells of a young girl named Fern who rescues a runty piglet and raises it as her own. Wilbur, the pig, grows into an adult pig. To her regret, the girl is forced to take the pig to the Zuckerman farm, where he is to be slaughtered for food. At Zuckerman’s barn, Wilbur meets a host of animals and later learns from them that he will be slaughtered. Wilbur’s new spider friend then hatches a plan to save the pig’s life. Rated G


  1. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005): This lion
    fantasy film is based on the works of C.S. Lewis, British novelist, poet, essayist, and lay theologian. During the World War II bombings of London, four English siblings are sent to a country house to be safe. One day Lucy finds a wardrobe that transports her to a magical world called Narnia. After coming back, she soon returns to Narnia with her brothers, Peter and Edmund, and her sister, Susan. There they join a magical lion in the fight against the evil White Witch. Rated PG


  1. Night at the Museum (2006): This hilarious fantasy film is based on Milan Trenc’snight-at-the-museum-533ed195d0cd9 children’s book. A new night watchman at a museum of natural history makes a startling discovery that takes him into a historical world of chaos and adventure. Because of the unleashing of an ancient Egyptian curse, the museum’s animals, birds, bugs, and other exhibits come to life after the building closes and the sun goes down. The encounters include a Tyrannosaurus skeleton, Old West cowboys, and former President Teddy Roosevelt. Rated PG


There are many more great films made from books—so stay tuned for part two of the list!


Punctuation habits of authors

Ernest Hemingway loves the period. Jane Austin loves the comma. Meanwhile Cormac McCarthy ignores everything but the comma, period, and question mark.

Adam Calhoun boErnestHemingwayiled eight of his favorite novels down to just the punctuation. The novels he chose were James Joyce’s Ulysses, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, and William Faulkner’s Absalom! Absalom!.

Calhoun then analyzed the works, visualizing the punctuation of these novels in a way that put their punctuation use in perspective.

For example, in one chart, Calhoun shows punctuation density, or how many words (on average) an author puts in a row before using a punctuation mark. Hemingway, who favored short, crisp sentences, uses punctuation more densely than Jane Austen, William Faulkner, or Charles Dickens.

Jane Austen  620

Calhoun also breaks down each novel by most-used punctuation mark. Commas and periods tend universally to be the most used marks, but some authors have a fondness for apostrophes (Mark Twain), exclamation points (Lewis Carroll), and semi-colons (William Faulkner).

You can view the charts on

Study finds that homeschoolers get more sleep; suggests a later start in the morning for traditional high schools

Study finds that homeschoolers get more sleep; suggests a later start in the morning for traditional high schools

In a recent study, researchers determined that teenagers who are homeschooled benefit from healthier sleep habits than those who go to private and public schools. The findings of the study provide addialarmtional evidence of teens’ altered biological clocks and support an argument for starting traditional high school later in the morning.

“The differences are stark,” said Lisa Meltzer, PhD, a sleep psychologist at National Jewish Health in Denver, and lead author of the study. “Across the country, public and private schools that have changed their high school start times see considerable benefits. Students are tardy less often and graduation rates are actually higher,” she said.

Whether your child is homeschooled or attends a public or private school, Meltzer offers advice to help your children develop healthier sleeping habits:

  • Get all electronics out of the bedroom. TVs, computers, video games and phones are major distractions for teens and often delay sleep.
  • Don’t look at any screens 30-60 minutes before bed time. Though turning off media is as simple as flipping a switch, the human brain does not work the same way. Being stimulated by media just before bed can make the brain too active to sleep.
  • Set up family charging stations, where mom, dad and the kids plug in their phones at night so they are out of reach.
  • Most importantly, set a consistent routine. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This one habit can help regulate your body’s internal clock and improve the quality of sleep you get.

“Adolescents need nine hours of sleep a night and if they’re only getting seven hours, on average, by the end of the week they are a full ten hours of sleep behind schedule,” said Meltzer, “and that impacts every aspect of functioning.”


An excellent source for literature

readingA website simply named “American Literature” has a lot to offer. The site consists of lists like “Short Stories for Middle Schoolers” and a page of “American Literature Classics Library.”

And the best part is the works are all there! Click on a work of fiction, and it’s there for your—or your child—to read. So, if you need help finding reading assignments for your child or you’re simply looking for something good to read, check out: