Falling Up By Shel Silverstein [Book Review]

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Book Review: Falling Up by Shel Silverstein | Poetry | Reading | Childrens books | RachelPoli.com

I got the book at Barnes & Noble when I was a kid.

Summary:

Millie McDeevit screamed a scream
So loud it made her eyebrows steam.
She screamed so loud
Her jawbone broke,
Her tongue caught fire,
Her nostrils smoked…

Poor Screamin’ Millie is just one of the unforgettable characters in this wondrous new book of poems and drawings by the creator of Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic. Here you will also meet Allison Beals and her twenty-five eels; Danny O’Dare, the dancin’ bear; the Human Balloon; and Headphone Harold.

So come, wander through the Nose Garden, ride the Little Hoarse, eat in the Strange Restaurant, and let the magic of Shel Silverstein open your eyes and tickle your mind.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The cover portrays the title well and matches the illustrations used inside the book to explain the poetry.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I was very much into Where The Sidewalk Ends when I was a kid, so I ended up getting this book as well.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

Shel Silverstein upholds his reputation of writing silly yet witty poetry for kids. Each poem has the same premise of using the imagination and also having a certain rhyme or rhythm to it yet the content of each poem is vastly different from the last. The lengths of the poems vary, but they’re all quick reads and this is a book to keep turning the pages.Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was a great book to revisit from when I was a kid. My nephew is about 2.5 and I’d love to read this book with him sometime. This is a great one for kids.

Falling Up by Shel Silverstein gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you – just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.” -Shel Silverstein, Falling Up

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Where The Sidewalk Ends By Shel Silverstein [Book Review]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

Book Review: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein | Reading | Poetry | Children's books | RachelPoli.com

I got it when I was a kid from Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

Where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein’s world begins. There you’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I’ve always loved the book cover. It paints the title of the poetry collection so well. The drawing is simple and while it may seem bland to some, I find it to be perfect to go along with the illustrations inside the book.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I used to read Shel Silverstein a lot when I was a kid. I found this on my shelf and decided to read it again for old time’s sake.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is a collection of poetry aimed toward kids. Some poems can be long, but most of them are pretty short being less than a page long. A lot of the poems have illustrations similar to the cover to accompany the poem which are all well done.

The poems are silly and completely unrealistic, but that’s what makes them great. They usually rhyme and you can’t help but read them with some sort of rhythm in your tone.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

It was great to revisit Shel Silverstein again. I haven’t read his poems in a long time and I forgot how great they were. This is a must read for kids who are looking for something quick and silly.

Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“If you’re a bird, be an early bird–
But if you’re a worm, sleep late.” -Shel Silverstein, Where The Sidewalk Ends

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Locomotion By Jacqueline Woodson [Book Review]

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Book Review: Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson | Reading | Young Adult | Realistic Fiction | Poetry | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

I bought a paperback copy at Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

When Lonnie was seven years old, his parents died in a fire. Now he’s eleven, and he still misses them terribly. And he misses his little sister, Lili, who was put into a different foster home because “not a lot of people want boys-not foster boys that ain’t babies.” But Lonnie hasn’t given up. His foster mother, Miss Edna, is growing on him. She’s already raised two sons and she seems to know what makes them tick. And his teacher, Ms. Marcus, is showing him ways to put his jumbled feelings on paper.

Told entirely through Lonnie’s poetry, we see his heartbreak over his lost family, his thoughtful perspective on the world around him, and most of all his love for Lili and his determination to one day put at least half of their family back together. Jacqueline Woodson’s poignant story of love, loss, and hope is lyrically written and enormously accessible.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The cover is sweet and pretty. I like its simplicity, though it doesn’t have much to do with the contents of the book.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I’ve read a couple of Jacqueline Woodson’s books before and she’s a great writer. So when I saw this at the bookstore I decided to pick it up.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Through poetry written by Lonnie, the protagonist, we learn a lot about what’s going on in his life and the world around him. This is the story of him and how he’s growing through his poetry and overcoming challenges and his past with his little sister and his foster mom.

It’s a sweet story but that’s basically all there is to it. We about Lonnie’s past and how he’s trying to overcome it. It’s a lot of telling through his poetry.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

There’s only a handful of characters in this story and we see them all through Lonnie’s eyes and what he writes in his poems. Lonnie is an interesting character to follow and I liked his teacher and foster mom. His younger sister played an important role though she wasn’t in it much.

The development is subtle, but it is there for most of these characters.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is a book of poems written by the main character in his point of view. They’re easy to read and flow well. The poems range from various styles and definitely work well with the plot. The book itself is short and sweet being only 100 pages. It’s a very quick read to get through.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

While I wouldn’t peg this as one of my favorite books by Jacqueline Woodson, this was a good read and I enjoyed it. This is certainly worth the read.

Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Ms. Marcus don’t understand some things even though she’s my favorite teacher in the world. Things like my brown, brown arm.” –Jacqueline Woodson, Locomotion

Buy the book:

Amazon

Read my reviews of Hush and Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson!

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around! Also, check out some other Book Reviews I’ve done!

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Amnesia By Breanna Brown [Book Review]

Amnesia by Breanna Brown | Book Review | Poetry | Self-publish | RachelPoli.com

Summary:

This is a collection that details my struggles with grief and abandonment issues after the death of my mother and the dissolution of my household. I struggled with relationships, parenting and my mental health. Eventually, I found God again and He reawakened me from my depressive slumber. Through Him and my daughter, I learned to live and love again.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I have to say I absolutely love the book cover. The colors were well chosen. It’s pretty and it pops out. Yet, everything is mixed together, as is the title. The way the title is written is clever because with “amnesia” everything is jumbled up.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I’ve been wanting to read more poetry and expand my horizons a bit in that genre. I’ve also been reading a few mental health subjects lately so I figured I’d give this a try.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

This book tells the story of the author’s struggles in life after losing her mother. It was a powerful read, especially since this is something we all have gone through or will go through. It’s part of life. Like some, the author found God and was able to bring her life back on track.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed reading this book. It’s broken up into poems of various lengths and forms. I’ll admit there were a few poems I had to re-read in order to understand them. Though I don’t think it was from the writing, I think it was because I was reading so quickly. It’s easy to get caught up and carried away with poetry, especially short ones.

I felt the author had a nice way of conveying her feelings through it all. At some moments, I felt like I was right there with her.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was an uplifting read, despite the context, but it was filled with hope. The writing was well done and the story was told well through the poetry. If you enjoy poetry, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this book.

Amnesia by Breanna Brown gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com 4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“is there such a thing / as a happy medium / when your body is / swollen with life / but your soul is watching / everything else / walk off with death?” –Breanna Brown, Amnesia

Buy the book:

Amazon

About Breanna Brown

Breanna Brown, Author | RachelPoli.commy name is Breanna Brown, 26 years old, mother of one, in Nevada
writing has been my passion since my mother taught me
before I entered preschool. I love writing poetry and fiction
and I am currently pursuing my masters in English
my literary heroes are Stephen King
O’ Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson, Ellen Hopkins
Rupi Kaur and Christopher Nolan. Coffee
oils my gears, reading horror tames my fears
rap and rock flood my ears
and if I could, I’d live out my years
off french fries and spend my days
listening to classic rap
surrounded by a dozen cats
with paper stacked
both literary and monetary
I’m grateful for the miracle life
and what it has to teach me
so I cringe when people preach to me
unless it’s metaphysics, philosophy
or poetry
but I’ll digress and say I’m very appreciative
you giving your time and kindness
thank you for reading this
I hope you will enjoy
some more of what I got
comin’

Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to chat!

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Short Story Sunday 193: Looking Back

Short Story Sunday

Another year
Has come and gone.
Did the year stand
To your expectations?

Did you
Accomplish your goals?

Did you
Tell people how you really feel?

Did you
Remain optimistic?

Did you
Find happiness?

Did you
Stay carefree?

Did you
Say heartfelt goodbyes?

Did you
Show kindness to all?

Did you
Reach your goals?

Did you
Try something new?

Did you
Face your fears?

Did you
Give thanks to people you love?

Did you
Change for the better?

Another year
Has come and gone.
Remember all the good and bad,
And live and learn for next year.

Words: 97

I hope you enjoyed the story! Let me know what you think in the comments below and we’ll chat!

I Am Soul By Yecheilyah Ysrayl [Book Review]

I Am Soul by Yecheilyah Ysrayl | Poetry Book Review | RachelPoli.com

Title: I Am Soul
Author: Yecheilyah Ysrayl
Published: 
December 20, 2017 by Literary Korner Publishing
Genre: Poetry
How I got the book: I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

I AM SOUL is Yecheilyah’s Fourth Collection of poetry. Select poems from the PBS Blog and her personal journal, these pieces focus on all things personal and all things SOUL.

My Review:

rp-first-thoughts

I was pleased to find out this author had a poetry book up her sleeve for one last release in 2017. Poetry has intrigued me lately and I’ve been trying to read more of it. So I was eager to give this one a try.

rp-writing-style

As the summary suggests, I Am Soul is a collection of poetry from the author’s blog or personal journal.

These poems are based on African history and literature as well as Women’s literature. It’s interesting to read from such a perspective because I come from a different background than the author. It reads just like a journal and it’s refreshing.

The poetry comes in all shapes and sizes so that it doesn’t get monotonous. Some are long lasting two to three pages while others are just a few lines taking up half a page. Some of them rhymed and some didn’t. Some lines were long reading like prose and others weren’t. It kept my attention and I was able to read it in one sitting, despite how short it is at 96-pages.

rp-overall

If you’re interested in history or even just poetry in general, this is a great book to read.

I Am Soul by Yecheilyah Ysrayl gets…
5-Star Rating | Book Review 5 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“But I can write, / articulating the suffering / of the now silent.” –Yecheilyah Ysrayl, I Am Soul

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Supernova [Movie Review]

Supernova

Title: Supernova
Director: Ishan Modi
Starring: Topaz Winters
Writer: Topaz Winters
Release Date: March 2017 (Singapore)

Storyline:

“It is so easy to believe that I’m made entirely of empty space. Loneliness is familiar – it’s blue and flushed, like remembering. It’s a mother tongue. It comes so easily to me. I disappear into myself and I find solar systems, galaxies. I understand more than I ever could when I’m surrounded by others.”

A film exploring the loveliness in loneliness & the infinite wonder we find when we allow ourselves to bloom into the empty. A soft sense of purpose, how it sings within & around itself: this is so, this is so, this is so.

My Review:

Supernova is a short film written by a good friend of mine, Topaz Winters. It’s a three-minute film exploring loneliness and the world and people around us.

Despite the film being short, I got sucked into it. I seemed to have blinked and it was over.

The narration was spot on and brings you right into the story as you watch the protagonist gaze around her, question herself, and try to figure things out.

The writing was poetic. I found it to be very true to life and it was easy to follow along with.

The words, sound, and music, were smooth and easy to hear in the background. The camera and direction were great as well. You forget you’re watching a movie.

Everyone should give this film a watch. It’s quick, poetic yet out of this world, and has a great message.

Favorite Quote:

“I crave the company of others as much as they overwhlem me.” –Topaz Winters, Supernova

Have you watched the film? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Into The Light By Emily Stroia [Book Review]

Into The Light by Emily Stroia

Title: Into The Light
Author: Emily Stroia
Published: 
October 2017
Genre: Memoir, Poetry
How I got the book: I received a free digital copy in exchange for an honest review

Summary:

Into the Light is a memoir-inspired poetry collection in seven parts.

The book shares the author’s life from a transformative perspective of being in a deep state of darkness to finding hope, miracles and light. In the final part, there are notes to the reader and finding one’s inner peace after adversity.

This book explores trauma, abuse, sexual abuse, mental illness, loss, healing, spirituality, meditation, inspiration and empowerment.

My Review:

rp-first-thoughts

This isn’t the kind of book I would typically read. I’ve read poetry before and I do enjoy memoirs. However, if I saw this at the bookstore I probably wouldn’t have picked it up. It’s a dark, sensitive topic, but it’s a quick read and it never hurts to branch out a little. Since this is a memoir, this review will be written a little differently.

rp-plot

This memoir is told through the author’s point of view from birth and beyond. It goes through all the motions as everything she witnessed as a child between her father’s relationship with her mother as well as her father’s relationship with herself. She describes both of her parents and watches them both continue on with their lives, though not necessarily in an upbeat way.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, however. It’s hard to describe as the story is so short. This one is better if you just read it yourself.

rp-writing-style

This book is a quick read being only 158 pages. It’s told entirely through poetry, so it goes fast. Some pages only have a few words written on them.

The poetry was well written and easy to follow. Some pages rhymed while others didn’t. Some of the poetry was written in longer sentences and some weren’t. It flowed well and no matter how it was written, it just read poetically. The author does have a way with words.

The book is broken up into several parts as well. We start at the very beginning, go through the journey and pain, and end up with her breakthrough and finally forgiveness. It goes through the motions very well almost as if it were the stages of grieving.

It’s fast-paced, but I think it worked well for this particular topic. As I read the story, I felt as though the ending, the redemption, was slower than the beginning. That was my interpretation of it, but I liked it. You want that happy ending.

rp-overall

This was a great read. While I can’t personally relate to the author, I’m sure there are others out there who can. It’s easier said than done, but there are positive moments in life and everything does and will get better. I think that’s what this story is about. You go through tough times, but there always is a light at the end of the tunnel. It was well written and I commend the author for sharing her story.

Into The Light by Emily Stroia gets…
5-Star Rating | Book Review5 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“If you ever wonder what you could
have done differently
remember you were doing your best
with what you knew how.”
-Emily Stroia, Into The Light

Buy the book:

Amazon

About Emily Stroia

Emily is an intuitive teacher, spiritual leader, author, and artist. Emily first discovered her gifts of intuition and creativity as a child and was placed in a highly gifted program for children. She often explored her gifts through writing, art, and experienced frequent visions and dreams that would turn out to be accurate. Not understanding fully why or how she was able to do this, she decided to study.

She has always felt a strong attraction to the metaphysical and spiritual aspects of life and continues to delve deeper into each. Believing strongly in her intuitive gifts, as well as wanting to express her deep desire to help people, Emily decided to utilize her abilities to turn her passion into a profession.Her mission is to inspire people to find the gifts in

Her mission is to inspire people to find the gifts in their stories and live powerful transformed lives with ease and peace. Her life is a breathing expression of intuition, passion, spirituality and creativity. Most days you can find her coaching clients, writing, practicing yoga and playing with her dog in Los Angeles.

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Meet Emily Stroia, Author

It’s my pleasure to welcome Emily Stroia to my blog today!

Emily Stroia Author Pic

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am an intuitive and spiritual teacher.

I write and teach people on how to connect to your intuition and find healing after loss and trauma.

How long have you been writing for?

All my life.

I started with short-stories as a child. English was always a favorite class of mine in school.

What is your writing process like?

It starts usually with an inspirational idea that nags me until I put it into words. I use post-it notes to build the skeleton of the book. The post-it notes are like reminders of ideas for chapter names, concepts, themes and information.

I may go into meditation for answers or guidance when I am feeling stuck at a particular part in a book. If I am avoiding the book I will take a break and read another author for inspiration, listen to a podcast or practice yoga to gain insight.

It is so important to move the energy the writing process. There are moments of sitting and reflecting on what I am crafting and other times when I am 1000% in the flow and have created a message that feels aligned with the theme of the book.

Another tool that has helped me is recording voice notes of book downloads for what will come next in a chapter or section.

Do you have a writing routine? If so, what’s a typical day like for you?

My writing practice has become more consistent over the years.

I explore through journaling and free-writing to loosen my attachment to how I “think” the book should look.

I ask myself in a day what I can commit to with writing and some days it is only 15 minutes. Other days it can be an one-two hours.

I brainstorm in the morning and in the evening when I am in the trenches of the book.

What motivates you to write?

Realizing that my message is relatable and one that many people can connect to. I write to inspire others to never give up on the journey of life and find their own healing journey. It is most humbling to receive an email from someone about how my book has touched them or changed their life, or awakened them to finding their truth, courage and special gifts.

What was the first thing you did when you found out your book was being published?

Self-publishing my own books is a great feat! It takes so much courage to not only write a book but to be brave enough to share it with the world. It is truly being the master of my own fate.

Are you currently working on anything new?

I am working on a second book as sibling to Into the Light. This book will explore healing and growth in relationships, trust, and living a transformed life.

If you weren’t a writer, what would your career be?

I am a woman of many talents and also coach people on finding their intuitive gifts, connecting to their inner voice and sharing their stories with the world.

What is the easiest part of writing for you? What is the hardest part?

The easiest part of writing is the inspired ideas that come to me. The hardest part is trusting that this is a book people will want and can relate to. The actual writing process without judging it.

What’s one thing you learned through writing that you wish you knew before you started?

Structure and routine are important to hone the writing craft. I think before it was more spontaneous for me to write.

What is your favorite book or genre? Is there a special book that made you realize you wanted to write?

Sabrina Ward Harrison is a collage artist and writer who changed my life with her books when I was in high school.

She spoke to my heart about the struggle of life and being brave in the unknown. My favorite book right now is Milk & Honey but Rupi Kaur.

Genres of books are poetry, self-help and spirituality.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

To explore writing with being attached to the outcome. Write because it is a part of you that brings you the gift you need.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Writing for me is a constant state of exploration and self-discovery. I write because I am endlessly curious about what my next work will be like, feel like and how I will be different. I get to be the witness to my own growth and transformation in the writing process.

About Emily Stroia

Emily is an intuitive, writer, spiritual leader, teacher, and artist. Her life is a breathing expression of intuition, passion, spirituality, and creativity. Most days you can find her coaching clients, writing, practicing yoga and playing with her dog in Los Angeles. Her life’s work is to inspire everyone to find the gifts in their story and share them with the world.

Connect with Emily Stroia

Facebook | Instagram

Buy Emily’s Book

Amazon

Into The Light by Emily StroiaInto the Light is a memoir-inspired poetry collection in seven parts. The book shares the author’s life from a transformative perspective of experiencing trauma & darkness to finding hope, miracles and light.

In the final part, there are notes to the reader and finding one’s inner peace after adversity and healing through brokenness. This book explores trauma, abuse, sexual abuse, mental illness, loss, healing, spirituality, meditation, inspiration, and empowerment. This book is for anyone who has ever experienced loss, grief, brokenness, depression, abuse, trauma and heartbreak.

 

September/October 2017 Writing Contests

September/October 2017 writing contest deadlines

September 2017

Genre: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, or Poetry
Theme: None
Website: Still: The Journal
Deadline: September 9, 2017
Entry Fee: $12
Prize: First – $200

Genre: Essay
Theme: None
Website: Literal Latte
Deadline: September 30, 2017
Entry Fee: $10/1 essay or $15/2 essays
Prize: First – $1,000

Genre: Nonfiction
Theme: My Crazy Family
Website: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Deadline: September 30, 2017
Entry Fee: None
Prize: $200

October 2017

Genre: Poetry
Theme: N/A
Website: Writer’s Digest
Deadline: (Early bird) October 2, 2017
Entry Fee: $15
Prize: First – $1,000

Genre: Popular fiction (romance, YA, thriller, crime, horror, sci-fi)
Theme: N/A
Website: Writer’s Digest
Deadline: (Early bird) October 16, 2017
Entry Fee: $20
Prize: First – $2,500

Genre: Fiction
Theme: Short story (new writers only)
Website: Glimmer Train
Deadline: October 31, 2017
Entry Fee: $18
Prize: First – $2,500

Genre: Nonfiction
Theme: Christmas and Holiday
Website: Chicken Soup for the Soul
Deadline: October 31, 2017
Entry Fee: None
Prize: $200

Please be sure to read through the guidelines for each contest. Information may change.

Do you know any other contests with deadlines coming up? Are you thinking of submitting to any of these contests? Let me know in the comments below! Good luck if you do!

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