• Book Reviews,  Parenting Girls,  Product + Service Reviews

    7 Books to Help Girls Overcome Anxiety, Fear + Worry + Other Feelings

    This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. It does not cost you anything extra +  you’ll keep me supplied in caffeine. It’s a win for everyone, really.

    My oldest daughter, my 5-year-old, is a worrier. She always has been ever since she was a baby + toddler. I see it creeping into the 3-year-old too now. We checked out some of these books to help her work through some of her worry + fear.

    Toddlers + kids are a ball of emotions. They are learning what feelings are + how to deal with them — whether it is being angry, sad, frustrated, or something else. I’ve read all of these books to my girls + I think it has helped them learn about their emotions + given them some tools to deal with them — even as young girls.

    In most of these books (but not all) the main character is a girl. I think this helps girls to relate to what’s going on even more so than if it was a boy (although I don’t think if the characters were/are boys that they totally dismiss the lessons).

    1. Wilma Jean the Worry Machine

    Both of my older girls loved this book. It rhymed + I think the oldest one could relate a lot to what Wilma Jean worried about. My oldest has overcome it now, but she had some anxiety around starting Kindergarten this year. This book touches on worrying about things at school. I think it truly helped her to deal with some of the fear + overcome it.

    2. What to Do When You Worry Too Much

    This book is another great option for kids to learn how to deal with worry + to overcome the battle of worrying. We read it at the start of Kindergarten so I think it might have been a little too over my daughter’s head at that point. I do think the book does a great job of giving real-world examples + activities kids can do (it has some workbook style activities in it) to take them step-by-step through the process of saying goodbye to their worry.

    3. My Many Colored Days

    My Many Colored Days is a Dr. Seuss book about feelings. It uses colors to explain emotions or feelings that young kids might have. It’s a great book for letting kids know that everyone has sad days, happy days + other kinds of days — + that having all of these days (feeling all of these emotions) is A-OK.

    4. In My Heart

    Another great book that walks kids through all of the feelings they experience. Beyond the lessons the book holds, the illustrations are fun for kids. The HUGE rainbow die-cut heart on the front cover that goes all the way through the book is a big hit, too.

    5. Bernice Gets Carried Away

    My 3-year-old especially enjoys this book. It’s about a cat who is having a bad day + what she does to turn her bad day around. A series of events happen to Bernice that create a bad day in her mind. Then, Bernice springs into action to create a series of events that turn her bad day into a good day. It’s great at illustrating how you have control over your feelings + can do something about them.

    6. The Way I Feel Sometimes

    This book is more like a series of poems that tackle various situations + how you might feel about these situations. Being mad, scared, worried or how a child might feel when there is a new baby in the house are but some of the emotions covered in this book. This is a book that you can read from beginning to end or pick + choose the feelings you might want to tackle with your child.

    7. Grumpy Pants

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book + so do my girls. It’s about a grumpy penguin. (I LOVE penguins so it might be one of the reasons I like this book so much). He can’t seem to shake off his grumpiness + he isn’t even sure why he is grumpy. Then, he does a bunch of things he likes to do like take a cold bath, drink hot cocoa, read his favorite book + fall asleep with his favorite teddy bear. He also tells himself that tomorrow is another day + it’ll be a better day.

    If you’ve read any of these books with your kid, what did you + the kids think? Are there any other books you’d suggest for kids?

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  • Book Reviews,  Product + Service Reviews

    The Hate U Give

    Last night, I finished reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. It is technically a Young Adult novel but we read it for my book club for moms.

    The Overview

    The novel is told from the point of view of 16-year-old Starr Carter, an African-American girl living in Garden Heights, which most consider the ghetto.

    Her parents are hard-working — mom is a nurse at a clinic + her dad owns a convenient store in their neighborhood. They work hard to send all three of their kids to private school outside of their neighborhood, a primarily white school.

    One night, as Starr + her childhood friend, Khalil, are driving away from a party, they are pulled over by a white police officer. The cop ends up shooting + killing Khalil.

    The book is all about how Starr deals with witnessing the killing of her friend for the second time. She also witnessed a friend, Natasha, who was killed in a drive-by shooting when Starr + Natasha were 10-years-old.

    It’s also a book about race relations. A white officer killing a black boy. A black girl dating a white boy. Black children attending a predominantly white school + how they interact with their classmates + how their classmates interact with them.

    What I Liked

    The book was an easy read. It was a page turner so I kept turning, not wanting to put the book down, so I could find out what happened. I wanted to know if the cop was going to be charged with murdering an un-armed boy.

    I wanted to know how Starr would deal with witnessing the murder of her friend.

    I wanted to know.

    For me, it was not about what color the officer was + what color the boy was that he killed. To me, they were human beings + one of them was dead at 16 + his friend was dealing with the trauma of witnessing his death.

    For the characters of the book, however, it was about more than that. It was about race + their feelings about the fact that when there are officer-involved shootings that it’s typically a white cop + a black victim + that the white officer is never charged for a wrongdoing.

    I also liked that the book was about a strong girl character. Having three girls, I am always drawn to characters that are girls, that are strong + that want to make a difference in this world.

    In this novel, Starr is that girl.

    Even though she is only 16, she is wise beyond her years. She is grappling with being a teenager + with being a black teenager in this world. She struggles with making the right choices + decisions + for the most part she does the right thing throughout the novel.

    What I Didn’t Like

    I don’t really have anything bad to say about this book. Angie maybe could have wrapped it up in fewer pages but maybe not.

    I think she did leave some things hanging, though. Maybe she’s planning a sequel or maybe she just forgot to tie up some loose ends.

    Book Grade

    Overall, I give this book an A. My kids are too young right now but I suggest this as a book for teenagers to read, especially girls. I think it gives an insider view of what it’s like to be a teenage girl + what it is like to be a black teenage girl.

    The author does a good job of revealing to other teenage girls that may be reading the novel that they are not alone. That everyone feels self conscious at times. That everyone feels uncomfortable in certain situations + that they are not the only ones dealing with these feelings + problems.

    Next on my list of reads, Where the Crawdads Sing.

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  • Book Reviews

    The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

    This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you use these links to make a purchase. It does not cost you anything extra +  you’ll keep me supplied in caffeine. It’s a win for everyone, really.

    The last book I read for my moms’ book club was The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. In fact, we met just last night to discuss it.

    Book Overview

    The book is about an old Hollywood Star Evelyn Hugo + how her life intersects with a magazine writer that she commissions to write her tell-all life story.

    Evelyn takes us back into old Hollywood (the 1950s + 1960s’ Hollywood). She reveals her secrets + the secrets of the rich + famous as she introduces each of her seven husbands to Monique.

    The entire time Monique is sitting there taking in Evelyn’s life story, while she is mesmerized by it, she is also wondering why someone so famous has chosen her to write her life story.

    It’s a mystery that is not solved until the end + it is quite a twist.

    At first glance, the title might just make you think of Elizabeth Taylor. She did, after all, have 7 husbands, right?

    There might be a little bit of a connection. One of the moms was saying last night that some of the descriptions in the book mirror real-life celebrities of old Hollywood, such as Marilyn Monroe + Elizabeth Taylor.

    The Good

    I thought this book was an easy read. I only get to read for a little while before I go to sleep at night. I looked forward to picking up the book each night + getting through at least 1-2 chapters without a problem.

    The glitz + glam of Hollywood is alluring to many of us. This book revealed tons of behind-the-scenes secrets that make you wonder just how much of what we see on TV + the Internet is true + how much is fabricated.

    The writing is good so the author kept me coming back for me. She kept me wondering what was going to happen next. When it ended, she made me want to read one of her other books (which I have on hold at the library right now as we speak).

    The Bad + The Ugly

    For one of the only times in my life, I don’t really have anything bad or ugly to say about this book. As I mentioned earlier, one of the moms thought it mirrored real-life movie stars a little too closely at the opening of the book, BUT even she admitted she got over it + loved the book by the end, too.

    To Sum It Up

    If I had to sum it up in one word, I’d pick L-O-V-E.

    I highly recommend this book. It would make a great beach read for vacation but is equally as fab for a I’m-a-mom-and-only-get-to-read-a-chapter-a-night-before-I-go-to-sleep-read.

    Grade: A+

    Also look out for Taylor’s (I feel like we should be on a first name basis) other novels:

    Daisy Jones & The Six, Maybe in Another Life, Evidence of the Affair, Forever Interrupted.

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