PROMPT: One of your favorite book characters is delivering a commencement speech at a university. Write the kind of speech that that character would give.
Eager to write more? Check out more writing prompts here!
Genre: Picture Book
Recommend to Others?: Yes
ABOUT: A young Asian boy notices that his eyes look different from his peers’ after seeing his friend’s drawing of them. After talking to his father, the boy realizes that his eyes rise to the skies and speak to the stars, shine like sunlit rays, and glimpse trails of light from those who came before—in fact, his eyes are like his father’s, his agong’s, and his little brother’s, and they are visionary.
Inspired by the men in his family, he recognizes his own power and strength from within.
REVIEW: Eyes that Speak to the Stars is a beautiful companion story to Joanna Ho’s previous title. They’re similar in a lot of ways, but still different enough to feel new and be enjoyable.
In this story, the main character is feeling confused and sad by a drawing one of his classmates made. He asks his dad why his eyes were drawn differently.
Through lyrical descriptions and comparisons, as well as gorgeous illustrations that sweep across the pages, the main character learns what makes his features so great. He finds strength and pride within his personal and cultural histories. He also finds the power to dream big.
It warmed my heart how his family helped him see the beauty within himself. Through his eyes he envisions a bright future of his own making, which I think will inspire readers to love who they are and have a more positive outlook on life.
I really loved Eyes that Speak to the Stars, especially the illustrations that absolutely wowed me.
More by Joanna Ho
Library love! This is a great quote about why libraries are so important, essential, and empowering. Libraries are welcoming places that provide critical resources to all no matter one’s background, education, or financial means. I love the library. It has played a vital role in my life and has in part shaped me into who I am today.
“The library is an arena of possibility, opening both a window into the soul and a door onto the world.” – Rita Dove
Like this quote? You can find more here!
Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt was a book quote freebie so I chose quotes about empathy in relation to books.
I truly believe that reading builds empathy and an invaluable connection to others. The wonder and magic of reading is that we get to live the lives of so many different characters, see the world from so many different perspectives every time we open a book.
We learn that there is no one way of being. We learn that things are not always as they appear. That everyone has a story to tell. They have wants, dreams, fears, desires, worries. Things that make them happy, sad, or mad. They experience triumphs, failure, and grief too. As Maya Angelou once wrote, “We are more alike, my friends,/Than we are unalike” (“Human Family”).
Empathy is so important. It makes us stop, look, and listen. Empathy encourages us to build each other up instead of tearing each other down. So I’ve compiled some quotes about reading and empathy for your viewing pleasure.
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.” – Harper Lee
“Reading is an exercise in empathy; an exercise in walking in someone else’s shoes for a while.” – Malorie Blackman
“Fiction gives us empathy: it puts us inside the minds of other people, gives us the gifts of seeing the world through their eyes. Fiction is a lie that tells us true things, over and over.” – Neil Gaiman
“It’s important to have diverse characters in books because books give kids mirrors and windows. Books create empathy. If we don’t have diversity, if we’re only showing things from one perspective, how are we creating empathy?” – Angie Thomas
“Diversity reflects my reality…I feel very strongly that kids should have books where they can find themselves, but also where they read books about other kids who aren’t like them. I think it creates empathy, and it’s also just more fun to read about different kinds of people and their experiences.” – Maurene Goo
“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.” – James Baldwin
“The fact of storytelling hints at a fundamental human unease, hints at human imperfection. Where there is perfection there is no story to tell.” – Ben Okri
“Literature is the safe and traditional vehicle through which we learn about the world and pass on values from one generation to the next. Books save lives.” – Laurie Anderson
“Reading fiction is important. It is a vital means of imagining a life other than our own, which in turn makes us more empathetic beings. Following complex story lines stretches our brains beyond the 140 characters of sound-bite thinking, and staying within the world of a novel gives us the ability to be quiet and alone, two skills that are disappearing faster than the polar icecaps.” – Ann Patchett
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Lords of Scandal #10
Recommend to Others?: Yes
ABOUT: He’s a rake beyond redemption…
The Marquess of Milton was the sort of handsome that made women swoon at his feet. Which suited him just fine. Of course, no mother would allow him near her daughter, which worked even better. Who wanted to tangle with a woman he might have to marry? But when his path crosses with Miss Eliza Carrington, a woman who is both strikingly beautiful and as fiery as they come, he knows he has to have her. And when he realizes there is no marriage minded mama to contend with… it’s time to be wicked.
She has no time for games…
The Marquess of Menace? That’s what they called him? Eliza rejects the name from the first. It implies there is something dangerous about this man when really he’s just an overgrown child. One who wanted to play at sin and dance away from the consequences of life. She’ll have none of it. And if he thinks his cute lines and his handsome face will have her falling in his bed, he’s got another thing coming. She’ll teach him a few lessons about playing with a woman’s affection that he’ll never forget.
But when danger comes knocking at her door, it’s Menace who is there to fend it off. And when his arm slips about her in comfort, she has to confess that’s it’s as strong as it is comforting.
And the reckless beating of her heart. Surely, that’s a mistake.
REVIEW: A quick and really enjoyable story of self-worth and redemption, all entangled in a spicy romance.
For the longest time, Eliza has taken care of her three younger sisters and ran her father’s business. She prefers her independence and doesn’t wish to marry, but longs for freedom and adventure.
Dylan has always felt like a disappointment to his family. Saddled with a title he never wanted, he seeks a wife with a hefty enough bride price to get out of debt and prove his worth to everyone.
Eliza and Dylan both carry heavy burdens that influence their relationship. While they’re mutually attracted to one another, their goals don’t align. They have to learn to trust one another with their hearts and true selves. Their romance was lovely to watch progress as they worked together to solve the mystery of who has been stealing from Eliza’s father.
Though I haven’t read the other books, the backstory was easy to follow. I loved all the characters. For an under 200 page story, Marquess of Menace sure packed a lot within. There was so much danger, mystery, internal struggles, and romance. The suspense was fantastic because you didn’t know who could be trusted.
I didn’t mind the cliffhanger, but do wish the story had been longer because of how much I was enjoying it. I’m very interested in reading more of this series.
The stellar theme for this month’s Six for Sunday posts is “Magical May.” Today’s prompt is magical characters you’d love to be friends with.
This prompt is my kind of perfect for me because many of my favorite characters have magical abilities of all kinds and are some of the best people you’ll ever read about. For my list, I chose characters from Tamora Pierce’s books since she is my all-time favorite author. She also writes young adult fantasy, so her characters are perfect for today’s prompt.
Magical character I really want to be besties forever with are:
( 1 ) Daja Kisubo
( 2 ) Diane (Veralidaine) Sarrasri
Magic: wild magic – communicate with animals; shape-shifting
( 3 ) Alanna the Lioness
( 4 ) Beka (Rebekah) Cooper
Magic: hear spirits of the dead through pigeons; hear sounds & conversations that happen near dust spinners
( 5 ) Briar Moss
( 6 ) Tris (Trisana) Chandler
Who are some of your favorite magical characters that you would like to be friends with?
SETTING PROMPT: Write a story that takes place in an underwater fantasy world that’s filled with magical sea life, advanced technology, and a hidden treasure that’s been lost for centuries.
Eager to write more? Check out more writing prompts here!
Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where you spotlight a highly anticipated book.
An upcoming, summer release I’m highly anticipating is The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna.
There are a lot of appealing factors about this book already. The story is about witches (always a plus). The cover is eye-catching. The title rolls off the tongue nicely. I want to know even more about the main character, Mika. I like that the place she goes to is called “Nowhere House.” And I absolutely love found family stories.
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches releases August 23, 2022.
ABOUT: A warm and uplifting novel about an isolated witch whose opportunity to embrace a quirky new family–and a new love–changes the course of her life.
As one of the few witches in Britain, Mika Moon knows she has to hide her magic, keep her head down, and stay away from other witches so their powers don’t mingle and draw attention. And as an orphan who lost her parents at a young age and was raised by strangers, she’s used to being alone and she follows the rules…with one exception: an online account, where she posts videos pretending to be a witch. She thinks no one will take it seriously.
But someone does. An unexpected message arrives, begging her to travel to the remote and mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic. It breaks all of the rules, but Mika goes anyway, and is immediately tangled up in the lives and secrets of not only her three charges, but also an absent archaeologist, a retired actor, two long-suffering caretakers, and…Jamie. The handsome and prickly librarian of Nowhere House would do anything to protect the children, and as far as he’s concerned, a stranger like Mika is a threat. An irritatingly appealing threat.
As Mika begins to find her place at Nowhere House, the thought of belonging somewhere begins to feel like a real possibility. But magic isn’t the only danger in the world, and when a threat comes knocking at their door, Mika will need to decide whether to risk everything to protect a found family she didn’t know she was looking for….
We’ve all been or are still there. Buying books we just HAD TO HAVE, but then some or all end up sitting on our shelves for who knows how long. I am very guilty of this. Sometimes it seems like an impossible task to decrease the number of owned books before buying more. But it is doable! I’m trying my best to do so this year and it’s going…well…so-so.
Here are 10 books I was so excited to get, but still haven’t read (but hoping this year will be the year I do!):