Book Review · Books

What Is Empathy?

Empathy is a trait you learn by example. In, What Is Empathy, best friends Ava and Sofia learn what empathy is when Sofia has to move away from Ava. With that life change Ava makes a new friend, but this new friend wants to hog their friendship, so Sophia is left out. Will Ava and Sofia make amends? This story is told from both their perspectives.

This middle grade book brought up my own memories of being bullied in elementary school. If bullying is a trigger for you, as an adult, then you may want to tread gently. Even though it is a simple book for kids on what empathy is and how they can reflect it in their lives, the examples of bullying in the story are realistic.

It’s strange how you can recall incidents as if it happened yesterday. I recall as a kindergartener/1st grader the older kids would pick me up and not put me down when I nicely asked. I was small for my age. One time I visited my old school the other kids thought I was there to visit the Kindergarten class. Another time in second grade an older boy almost beat me up at school, but the kid whose grandmother’s house I stayed at after school rescued me. Even in junior high I got asked why I didn’t shave yet. I was 12. Calm down. Needless to say kids and teens can bullies.

I received my complimentary copy of What Is Empathy by Amanda Morin and John Joseph from Rockridge Press, care of Callisto Publisher’s Club. The views are mine and of my own choice. This picture book is a great book to add to your child’s school classroom or personal home library. It makes a great conversation starter and I’d say it affective for any age group, young or old.

Book Review · Books

Brave Enough

Cason Martin is a professional dancer whose life revolves around her dance schedule and high school. While auditioning to get into a professional ballet academy her one leg is giving her extra pain than normal, but Cason pushes through her routine. Her mom is her dance director and expects only perfection. At the end of her routine Cason hears a sound, not realizing it’s her leg. After being rushed to the doctor she finds out she has cancer.

Why does the big C word have to interfere with her plans for greatness? Cason’s one tract mind is on dancing and having to go through treatment isn’t going to help her reach her goal. While going in for treatment she notices a classmate of hers, Davis. He seems nice and everyone seems to like him on the oncology floor. The only problem is that he’s a recovering addict. Cason’s mom nips that potential friendship in the bud.

Davis notices Cason while doing his community service at the hospital and is sad when he realizes she’s there for treatment. Will her mom ever view him anything other than an addict in recovery? Davis decides to work on befriending Cason, though her anger about her circumstances doesn’t help ease his attempts at friendship. Can Davis convince Cason to go to cancer camp for a week?

Will Cason ever accept Davis’ friendship and will she ever come to terms with her diagnosis? Can a recovering pill addict and ballet dancer become friends?

I received my complimentary copy of Brave Enough by Kati Gardner from North Star Editions and Flux, care of NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own choice. This novel was just plain sweet. If you need an impactful novel, a sweet YA romance then I highly recommend this title. The subjects involved aren’t easy to always digest, but cancer and pill addiction are two relevant topics in today’s world. I feel the author handled these topics realistically and with grace.