Thursday, April 20, 2017


Don’t be fooled by the classification of juvenile nonfiction, PHILANTHROPARTIES by Lulu Cerone (Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster, May 2017) is for tweens, teens, young adults, and us grown folks! I was blown away at the quality and quantity of creative ideas between the covers!

Author Lulu Cerone was ten years old when she heard about the devastation of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. To raise money for Haitian relief, she organized a competitive lemonade stand that raised $4,000! Encouraged by this success, she founded LemonAID Warriors, a non-profit that shares idea guides for combining social activist intentions with fun events: philanthroparties!

The book is organized by month and offers three event ideas for each. Each idea comes with a list of supplies/materials needed and photo-illustrated step-by-step instructions. Here's just one idea: October is Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month. So, throw a Puppy Love Party! First coordinate with a shelter to make sure they can take your items. Then, have a party wherein you and your friends make homemade dog treats and toys... and then donate them to the shelter. Lulu gives recipes for dog and human treats and step-by-step instructions for making doggie toys with empty water bottles and old tube socks. Her ideas are very creative, thoughtful, and easily carried out.

I love Lulu's encouragement in the dedication, "Live each day with purpose and always remember to play"! Highly recommended for ages 10 to 110!

Perfect partner titles for this are:
  • Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters by Laurie Ann Thompson (Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster, Sept 2014)
  • The Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution: A Guide for the Next Generation by Bernie Sanders (Henry Holt, Aug 2017)
  • Can Your Smartphone Change the World? by Erinne Paisley (Orca, Sept 2017)
  • I Am Malala (youth edition) by Malala Yousafzai (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Sept 2015)
  • It's Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired and Get Going by Chelsea Clinton (Philomel, Sept 2015)
  • Marley Dias Gets It Done - And So Can You by Marley Dias (Scholastic, Jan 2018)

Follow the author and her organization on Twitter (Lulu; LemonAID Warriors), Facebook, YouTube, and her blog.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

RADIUM GIRLS... they glowed in the dark

Whoa. Today's entry is very different from the previous one. THE RADIUM GIRLS: THE DARK STORY OF AMERICA'S SHINING WOMEN by Kate Moore (Sourcebooks, 5/2/17) is at once captivating and devastating, an emotionally tough book to read. 

In the late 1910s and early 1920s, young women were hired to apply radium-infused glow-in-the-dark paint to watch and clock dials. Because the surfaces they had to paint were so small, almost all of the women used the "lip-dip-paint" technique wherein they used their lips to make the brush as fine as possible. The employers, mainly the United States Radium Corporation (USRC), weren't upfront with their workers that safety precautions needed to be used when working with radium. As a result, many young women suffered terribly with radium poisoning: cancerous tumors in their bones, rotting jaws, stiff and sore joints, and ultimately death. Their search for a cause and treatment took a while and by the time someone figured out what was going in and brought suit, USRC claimed that the statute of limitations had passed. 

Reading about the girl's suffering and ongoing search for help, both medical and legal, is heartbreaking but compelling. I found myself racing through the book in the hopes I would read that they not only lived to see the end of their legal case but also won! This is really great narrative nonfiction and I highly recommend it!

*Note: I read a digital advance reviewer copy via Edelweiss.