Day: July 14, 2017

Review of ‘Learning My Words: A-Z’

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Learning My Words A-Z is another nice little picture book by Piaras O. Cionnaoith. This one introduces basic reading skills with notes for teachers at the end. Because of the British spellings, it probably would be of only marginal utility for American readers, and a couple of the definitions in the teachers’ notes section are misleading, e.g., for ‘fire’, the effects of fire are given as the definition, rather than a precise definition of what fire actually is.

Despite these shortcomings, it’s still an interesting book.

I give it three stars.

New Western Series for Younger Readers

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Outlaw Publishers, a small publisher based in Texas, has just published the second book in the Daniel’s Journey series, western stories for younger readers. The first, Wagon’s West: Daniel’s Journey, the story of a wagon train journey through the eyes of a ten-year-old boy, was published in April.

Daniel’s adventures, however, don’t end with a wagon train trip. My plans are to follow young Daniel as he grows up in Oregon in the late 1800s, maybe all the way to maturity. The purpose of the series is two-fold; first, to introduce younger readers to the western genre, a uniquely American literary form, and secondly, to show that the American West was populated by more than steely-eyed cowboys and lawmen, dastardly outlaws, and Native Americans fighting to retain their land and culture. There were families as well, including children, and I’ve often wondered what life was like for them. In this series, I’m using my imagination, backed up with a lot of research, to create that world for myself, and hopefully, for a lot of new readers.

In book 2 of the series, Wagons West: Trinity, the little town of Trinity has been established near the ranch owned by Daniel’s parents. it too is experiencing growing pains, as people of different backgrounds learn to live together. I also explore the issue of women’s rights in this story, something that I imagine actually might have happened in a few places considering that the first woman to vote in the US voted in Wyoming.

If you have young readers in your household, or on your gift list, consider introducing them to the western. I’ve tried to ensure that these books contain no material that would be harmful to younger readers, but at the same time, make them interesting for adult readers as well.

I would love getting some feedback, on the books as well as the concept. And, if you happen to like what you read, a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or your blog would be most appreciated.