The Genius of Home by Catherine Read, Ph.D.

In recent years, there has been a notable increase in the number of parents choosing to teach their children at home rather than sending them to school. Many parents find that public schools cannot offer their children the individualized support they need, and private schools can be an intense expense. 

In The Genius of Home (Bell Pond Books, November 2021, 978-1952166099, original trade paperback), Dr. Catherine Read describes her experiences following her decision to school her children at home and to follow the curriculum used in Steiner-Waldorf schools. Read is a pioneer of this method, among the first ever to document her journey and her success. To some, using the Waldorf curriculum at home may be a contradiction, but The Genius of Home provides both an informative base for why this method works, as well as instructional guides for those considering homeschooling. 

Catherine Read shares her journey as the primary teacher of her two daughters through the entire Waldorf curriculum – from early childhood through high school. She outlines what she did, when she did it and why. In this inspiring account, Read reveals the flexible, artistic, challenging and ultimately rewarding nature of this unique approach to education. There are many approaches to homeschooling, but Read and her children found their success through the guidance and insight of Rudolph Steiner using the Waldorf method. Both of Read’s daughters have gone on to pursue higher education, with one graduating in veterinary medicine at Cornell and the other receiving her Master’s in Art Therapy at Long Island University. With Read’s book as a guide, parents can help prepare their children for further education in a thoughtful, balanced way. She emphasizes a balance between observation and critical thought, sleep schedules and biological rhythms, and between intellectual work and time in nature.

“To educate means to draw forth (Latin, educare: to lead, to bring up); the teacher must draw forth, but, also, must meet the new individual at their own level. But what does the teacher draw forth from the child?”

The Genius of Home, by Catherine Read, includes detailed instructions on classroom materials and setup, sample lesson plans, curriculum adaptations, and day-by-day examples of how the author adopted the Steiner-Waldorf curriculum into her home. Explore how rhythm, creativity, and nature come together to give a comprehensive education from kindergarten to high school graduation. Part memoir and part how-to, the account from Read’s years as both a parent and teacher will be an encouraging and instructional companion to anyone thinking of engaging in their own school-at-home.

 

Uncontrollable by Sara Staggs

Epilepsy, seizures, brain surgery—these are not the everyday problems of everyday people. For Casey Scott, a high-powered civil rights attorney in Portland, Oregon, they are a part of her life. Like many smart and super capable women, she is determined to manage her demanding boss, two kids, a husband—also with a big career—and her health conditions, until one day she can’t. Finally, up against a wall where sudden death from a seizure is a real possibility, Casey must make a heart-breaking decision that will alter everything she had carefully planned for her successful life.

Based on her real-life struggles with epilepsy, UNCONTROLLABLE (Black Rose Writing, 978-1-68513-201-9, $22.95, May 23, 2023) is a debut novel by Sara Staggs. It is the story of 

Casey and Jonah Scott, a power couple, who fell in love and married expecting to conquer the world. But when Casey’s seizures start occurring more frequently Jonah insists that they need to get serious medical help and make extreme changes to her career plans. 

An extensive hospital stay and painful testing takes Casey halfway across the country, while Jonah tries to handle his own failing aspirations at work and with the kids. Meanwhile, Casey is determined to return to work on a prominent civil rights case, after brain surgery. The strain on their marriage has unexpected consequences and Jonah and Casey will have to find even more strength and courage to save Casey and their family.

Sara Staggs was a civil litigator in Portland, Oregon. Two brain surgeries were successful at limiting the severity of her seizures, which can now be controlled with medication and proper self-care. She had to close her law practice and bid farewell to that chapter of her life for good. For Sara, writing is the next frontier. She has contributed to several publications including: Huffington Post, Flash Fiction Magazine, In Parentheses Literary Journal, Five Minute Lit, and Tiny Seed Literary Journal literary journals. She also has several other projects in the pipeline.

UNCONTROLLABLE is an inspirational story of a woman whose life is derailed by something out of her control, and how she chooses to face life on its terms, abandoning what she once dreamed she could be. 

SARA STAGGS was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She practiced civil rights litigation for several years before turning to writing. Her debut novel, Uncontrollable, is based on her experiences with epilepsy, and has been called “a compelling story that tackles complex themes with sensitivity and nuance” by Pacific Book Review and is a Five-Star Readers’ Favorite.

She loves to write fiction, both adult contemporary and YA. Sara is an epilepsy advocate and an LGBTQ+ advocate. She writes a blog that covers epilepsy, LGBTQ+ concerns, writing and publishing tips. She has appeared on television and podcasts to talk about epilepsy and works to dispel the stigma that surrounds the condition. She lives in Portland, Oregon, and, when she’s not writing, can be found reading, hiking, mountain biking, or camping with her husband and two children. 

 

Find her online at www.sarastaggswrites.com

Can We Play Baseball, Mr. DeMille? by Mark Angelo

The cover image for Can We Play Baseball, Mr. DeMille? by Mark Angelo“An uplifting true story of a determined young boy, his love of a game, and the belief that every child needs a nearby place to play ball.”

Set in 1958, a young boy and his friends want to be baseball players just like their Dodger idols. There’s just one problem: they don’t have a field to play in. Luckily, the kids know a secret. There’s a mansion around the corner with a yard big enough for an entire ball field and the hedge surrounding it has a gap just big enough to crawl through. Apparently, the owner is a big-time Hollywood mogul. He won’t mind a few ball games, right?

The new children’s book Can We Play Baseball, Mr. DeMille? (FriesenPress, April 2023, ISBN: 9781039153844, Hardcover) by renowned writer Mark Angelo centers on one young boy’s devotion to baseball and the newly arrived LA team, the Dodgers. With its rich and colorful illustrations, children can join Mark as he and his friends try to find a place where they can play ball like their heroes. Just when it seems they’ve found the perfect spot, they run into more trouble—Will their unforgettable encounter with a Hollywood legend end in a foul? Or will Mr. DeMille tell the kids, “Play ball!”?

Can We Play Baseball, Mr. DeMille? is an inspiring, true story that speaks to the nostalgia, joy, and importance of community when it comes to having a place for children to gather & play. There’s even a slice of classic Hollywood history! Dedicated to the memory of Angelo’s brother Chris and set just as “Dodger-mania” gripped the city of Los Angeles, this sensational true story is full of youthful determination and summer fun. Baseball fans of all ages will enjoy Can We Play Baseball, Mr. DeMille?, whether they’re new to the game or just want to pass their life-long love down to younger enthusiasts. Angelo’s book is officially licensed through Major League Baseball.

About the Author

MARK ANGELO has been a baseball fan since he was a little boy! He is also a globally renowned river conservationist and the founder of World Rivers Day, now celebrated by millions of people in over one hundred countries. Among his many accolades, Mark is a recipient of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest honor. His acclaimed debut children’s book, The Little Creek that Could, is the true story of a stream that came back to life. Through his work with groups such as the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC, Mark has been a long-time advocate for outdoor spaces for all to enjoy. Can We Play Baseball, Mr. DeMille?, about a young boy’s search for a place to play ball, recounts an actual experience from his childhood. Mark lives in Burnaby, British Columbia, with his wife, Kathie.

Can We Play Baseball, Mr. DeMille?
By Mark Angelo
Illustrated by Patricia and Robin DeWitt
FriesenPress
Publication Date: April 2023
ISBN: 9781039153837 | 9781039153844 | 9781039153851
Format: Paperback | Hardcover | eBook
Page Count: 38

To learn more about Mark Angelo, please visit: https://www.canweplaybaseballmrdemille.com/

The Apprentice of Buchenwald by Oren Schneider

In 1943, when Alex Rosenberg was a teenager, he left his life of privilege and his identity behind when his family lost everything during the War. He was thrust into a reality of hiding and horrors, for which nothing could have prepared him.  However, his selfless acts and a determination to survive saved his father, and the lives of Allies on the battlefield.  Alex’s story is now immortalized in a new book The Apprentice of Buchenwald (Amsterdam Publishers; January 27, 2023; Hardcover; $23.95) by his grandson, Oren Schneider.

Using their last reserves of wealth and influence to escape extermination, the Rosenbergs fled their hometown and went underground to avoid the Gestapo. Eventually exposed, captured, and taken to Buchenwald, the largest concentration camp in Germany, Alex and his father collaborated to survive one day at a time.

A chaotic chain of events put Alex, an entrepreneurial trader’s son with the hands of a gifted mechanic, now a forced laborer, at the heart of a massive armament sabotage scheme. When his father is gravely injured and disappears after an air bombing, it is up to industrious Alex to create leverage and use wartime machinations and raw talent to save his father’s life.

Oren Schneider spent a lifetime documenting his grandfather’s story, and complemented it with genealogical information researched with the help of www.myhertiage.com to write The Apprentice of Buchenwald.  His photos, audio recordings, and transcripts made it possible to recreate Alex’s story; a young man who rose to the occasion to fight back and leave a footprint on the history of World War II and The Holocaust.

About the Author

Oren Schneider was born in Israel, a third generation to holocaust survivors and seventh generation to farmers from the Galilee.  He is an entrepreneur and business owner who enjoys music, cooking, travel, people and especially the combination of all four. He lives with his family in Brooklyn.

The Apprentice of Buchenwald:
The True Story of the Teenage Boy Who Sabotaged Hitler’s War Machine
By Oren Schneider
Amsterdam Publishers
Publication Date: January 27, 2023
Hardcover ISBN: 978-9493276536
Page Count: 232
Author Website: www.ApprenticeOfBuchenwald.com

The Girl Who Counted Numbers by Roslyn Bernstein

“‘I’ve found the perfect solution,’ he said, reading the headline aloud: ‘How American Jews Claim Their Jewish Heritage in Israel.’ Beneath the headline, there was a photo of a group of young people standing in front of the SS Jerusalem II, a ship that sailed from New York to Haifa for the Zim Lines. ‘That could be you,’ he said, pointing to the picture. For the first time in a week, he was actually smiling. Her father had come up with a new plan, one that he approved of. ‘I’ll send you to Israel.’”

Susan Reich has spent her whole childhood in a small neighborhood near New York City, living comfortably with her father. At seventeen, she decides to turn away from the neatly plotted out life ahead of her and confronts her father about taking a gap year. The two are at odds until he proposes a way for them to both get what they want: Susan can postpone college so long as she spends her gap year abroad in Israel searching for her long-lost uncle.

The Girl Who Counted Numbers (Amsterdam Publishers, October 12th 2022, 978-9493276360) is the story of an independent, Jewish-American girl who leaves for Israel to solve a family mystery. The hunt for any evidence of her uncle takes her to unexpected places where she must confront parts of the past she never knew. With the infamous Adolf Eichmann trial happening in the backdrop of The Girl Who Counted Numbers, Susan begins unraveling these complex layers of history and is drawn into the tense political climate of a post-Holocaust Israel. As she gets more and more involved in the struggles of her Israeli and Jewish-Moroccan friends, she explores awakening emotions and discovers her own interest in truth, justice, and activism.

“All families must deal with the past in order to move forward, but for some families that is harder than for others. Roslyn Bernstein’s beautiful new novel chronicles one family’s difficult quest for peace. Moving, nuanced and inspiring, this gripping book rings achingly true.” —Gish Jen, Author, Thank You, Mr. Nixon

In 1961, author Roslyn Bernstein spent 7 months in Jerusalem. She was present during part of the Adolf Eichmann Trial—often cited as the event that sparked public awareness of the atrocities committed during the Holocaust— and listened to the stories of immigrants and survivors and daydreamed about their meanings. Her trip was a source of inspiration for The Girl Who Counted Numbers. Susan’s story, while fictional, is heavily influenced by real issues of politics, history, and identity that permeated Israel in the aftermath of the Holocaust and even today. The Girl Who Counted Numbers is a nuanced, thrilling tale about discovering a past and confronting one’s identity.

The Girl Who Counted Numbers
By Rosyln Bernstein
Amsterdam Publishers
ISBN: 978-9493276369
Publication Date: October 12, 2022
Original Trade Paperback
Price: $19.95
Pages: 284